Happy Cinco De Mayo, everybody! Frank Stampfl here as Dan Schneier is on a well-deserved vacation. The biggest news entering Friday is undoubtedly the promotion of Cubs' top prospect Matt Mervis. This is a hitter who provides nearly everything you can ask for offensively outside of speed. He has great plate discipline, makes contact and hits for a bunch of power. I actually had the pleasure of seeing Mervis back in November in the Arizona Fall League. In the very first game I watched out there, Mervis pulled a home run to deep right field. Later in the weekend, I saw him hit a home run to the opposite field in the AFL Fall Stars game. This kid is legit and reminds me a lot of Vinnie Pasquantino.
The problem, like with any rookie, is the learning curve. Does Mervis hit the ground running or does he struggle at first? The smart money is on the latter. Without even talking about it, Scott White and I both moved Mervis up to 22nd in our first base rankings. I can make the argument he should be as high as 15th. He absolutely should be added in 10 or 12-team leagues where you won't need to rely on Mervis right away. In a league that shallow, you should be able to hold Mervis on your bench for now to see what kind of start he has. In a deeper league, you need to be more judicious. I still think you should add him and see where this goes, but don't drop a proven veteran who has everyday playing time like a Ty France or Josh Bell in that format. You can read more about Scott's opinion on Mervis .
Eduardo Rodriguez dominates again
What year is it? In a season where it's been so tough to find reliable starting pitching, Eduardo Rodriguez now has five strong starts in a row. On Thursday he went eight shutout with nine strikeouts against a Mets lineup that is scuffling right now. Rodriguez was dotting his fastball and hitting all of his spots. Rodriguez hasn't changed anything with the pitch-mix or added velocity. He's just limiting the walks and hard contact. He obviously won't remain this good all season, but he's had productive years in the past. It wouldn't hurt to see what you can get for Rodriguez on the trade market, but if nobody is willing to overpay, I'd just hold and continue to ride this out.
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Masataka Yoshida looks like the real deal
The Red Sox offense is on fire right now, and rookie Masataka Yoshida is a big part of that. He got off to a bit of a slow start, but all of a sudden he's in the midst of a 14-game hitting streak that has his batting average up to .317! Yoshida went 3-5 with his sixth home run of the season Thursday night, this one coming off one of the best starting pitchers in the league in Kevin Gausman. I've recently moved Yoshida inside my top-30 outfielders.
News & notes
- Ronald Acuña was removed with a left knee injury. He fouled a ball off his knee in the sixth inning of that game.
- Corey Seager is 7-10 days from returning to the lineup. Get those trade offers in now!
- Tyler Glasnow will make a minor league rehab start at Triple-A Friday. The plan is for him to make 2-3 rehab starts.
- Triston McKenzie threw another bullpen session Tuesday, his second since being diagnosed with that muscle strain in his shoulder.
- Nolan Gorman exited with lower back tightness.
- Zach Plesac was optioned to Triple-A. Peyton Battenfield will start in his place Friday. Top prospect Gavin Williams is a name to watch with the Guardians. Williams, a former first round pick, has a 0.46 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, with 26 strikeouts over 19.2 innings pitched and was recently promoted to Triple-A.
- Vince Velasquez left his start early with right elbow discomfort. Luis Ortiz is somebody who could be an option if Velasquez misses time. In six starts at Triple-A, he has a 2.45 ERA, 1.02 WHIP with 26 strikeouts over 29.1 innings pitched.
- Jake Burger was placed on the IL with a strained left oblique. Lenyn Sosa was recalled.
- Phillies manager Rob Thomson confirmed that Matt Strahm will move into the bullpen when Ranger Suarez is activated next week.
- Orlando Arcia began taking dry swings Thursday. It sounds like Vaughn Grissom could be sent back down upon Arcia's activation.
- Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol was noncommittal when asked whether Steven Matz will remain in the rotation. Adam Wainwright is set to return this weekend and Matthew Liberatore has looked great in the minors this year.
- Jeurys Familia was designated for assignment. Zach Jackson had the most recent save opportunity and gave up a game-tying home run to AJ Pollock.
- Blue Jays pitching prospect Ricky Tiedemann left his start in the minors Thursday due to left biceps discomfort.