Depth Chart Review: Trades, Trades, and New Faces in New Places
After arguably the busiest trade deadlines ever, we have a massive depth chart review. With so many fantasy-relevant players moving teams, we do our best to keep up to date on how this affects our fantasy squads. You can find the other depth chart reviews here. We’re keeping the introduction short because there is a ton to discuss, so let’s dive in.
Jared Walsh (1B/OF – LAA) Lands On IL
Angels 1B/OF Jared Walsh hits the injured list with a right intercostal strain. After a solid April and May, Walsh cooled down in June and July. Walsh compiled 12 homers, 25 runs, 38 RBI, and two stolen bases with a .306 batting average in the first two months of the season.
Since then, Walsh hit ten home runs, 22 runs, and 29 RBI with a .225 batting average. We don’t notice many changes in his batted ball profile other than his BABIP dropping from .363 to .273. Meanwhile, Walsh’s barrel rate increased to 15% in June and July compared to an 11.8% barrel rate. Given the early success, Walsh is a hitter to hang onto in 12-15 team leagues.
Reid Detmers (P – LAA) Struggles in MLB Debut
The Angels called up their first-round pick from the 2020 MLB Draft in Reid Detmers, who recently moved up to Triple-A. Detmers debuted against the Athletics on Sunday and struggled after allowing six hits, six earned runs, and two walks with two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings pitched.
He threw 82 pitches with a 17% whiff rate and 20% CSW% overall, with the curveball performing decently. Per FanGraphs, Detmers boasts a plus-graded curveball, an average fastball, and below-average command. They have an opening in the rotation with Dylan Bundy in the bullpen and Alex Cobb in the IL, so let’s see how Detmers fares in his next appearance.
Jo Adell (OF – LAA) Makes His 2021 Debut
On Monday, the Angels called up Jo Adell. In July, Adell hit well with a .343 batting average, six home runs, and five stolen bases with a 1.001 OPS. He didn’t make a plate appearance on Monday, but we’ll need to monitor the strikeouts and contact rates.
Chris Rodriguez (P – LAA) Recalled
With Adell, the Angels also recalled Chris Rodriguez, who pitched as a reliever for the Angels prior to Monday. However, he started against the Rangers on Monday with a solid start.
He allowed four hits, four runs (three earned), and two walks with seven strikeouts in six innings pitched. Rodgriguez primarily relies on his sinker (67%) and curveball (19%) with a solid 38% CSW% overall on 86 pitches. He often battled injuries, and he is a name to monitor in deeper leagues if he earns more opportunities to start instead of coming out of the bullpen.
Kendall Graveman (RP – HOU) Traded to Astros
After the Mariners came back to win with four runs in the bottom of the eighth against the Astros, they traded away their top reliever in Kendall Graveman to the opposing team. Many Mariners fans weren’t happy, but it made sense from a real-life perspective to trade away their top reliever. In Graveman’s career outside of 2021, he had a 4.44 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, a 15.2% strikeout rate, and a 7% walk rate in 464 2/3 innings.
Then as the Mariners’ primary closer, Graveman boasted an ERA under 1.00 with ten saves in 12 chances with a career-best 28.1% strikeout rate and 6.6% walk rate. Unfortunately, Graveman likely won’t factor into saves unless Ryan Pressly receives a day off or misses time. However, Graveman could still provide quality ratios for an Astros bullpen that needed some help.
Update: With Ryan Pressly on the paternity list, Graveman could factor into some saves this week until Pressly returns.
Yimi Garcia (RP – HOU) Acquired By Astros
The Astros wanted to bolster their bullpen behind Ryan Pressly, and that is what they did in recent days. After acquiring Kendall Graveman, they went out and traded for former Marlins closer Yimi Garcia. Although Garcia had some rocky stretches like any other reliever, he earned 15 saves in 18 opportunities for the Marlins with a 3.47 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. Similar to Graveman, Garcia loses fantasy value in saves-only leagues.
Starling Marte (OF – OAK) Traded To the A’s
We expected the Marlins to trade Starling Marte, but what the Athletics gave up in return was quite interesting. Marte hit well with the Marlins, evidenced by his seven home runs, 52 runs, 25 RBI, and 22 stolen bases with a .305 batting average. He boasts a career-best 11.9% walk rate that helps his career-high .406 OBP.
From a team context standpoint, Marte’s run-scoring should continue with a better team around him. One area to monitor is the stolen bases for Marte, but we expect his fantasy value to increase slightly with his new team.
Update: With the A’s, Marte recorded a hit in three out of the four games with three stolen bases on Sunday. Wow. Talk about padding those stolen bases stats to bump him to No. 2 in steals behind Whit Merrifield.
Yan Gomes (C – OAK) & Josh Harrison (2B/3B – OAK) Traded to the A’s
The Nationals and the Cubs stood out as two teams that made an effort to trade away and retool. After the headliner trade sending Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers, the Nationals also sent Yan Gomes and Josh Harrison to the A’s. Both Gomes and Harrison have hit well in their respective roles relevant in deeper 15-team mixed leagues.
Gomes held deep league value as a catcher in two catcher leagues with his nine home runs and .271 batting average. However, the A’s also have Sean Murphy, so Gomes looks like he’ll serve in a backup role. Out of necessity, Josh Harrison needed to play almost every day in July and made it count with a .337 batting average and .977 OPS. However, the same situation applies with Harrison, as he’ll serve as bench depth for the A’s. Both players are borderline droppable in 15-team leagues or bench-able if the waiver wire lacks options.
Update: Gomes smacked a home run over the weekend, so maybe he will share more playing time than some would expect. Meanwhile, Harrison recorded a hit over the weekend, but with Tony Kemp and Jed Lowrie, Harrison’s value takes a hit.
James Kaprielian (SP – OAK) Heads to IL
The Athletics placed James Kaprielian on the 10-day injured list with shoulder inflammation. However, given Kaprielian’s injury history and lack of innings pitched, it sounds like this transaction may be a way to monitor his workload.
Bob Melvin described Kaprielian issue as "inflammation in the AC joint of his shoulder." Added: "We don’t feel like it’s anything significant. Trying to be cautious with it."
— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) July 31, 2021
Don’t panic with Kaprielian since he provides quality ratios with a 3.24 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. However, Daulton Jefferies should take his spot in the meantime. Jefferies struggled in Triple-A with a 5.19 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, but the 21.6% strikeout rate and 3.6% walk rate isn’t something to overlook. However, assuming Kaprielian’s injury isn’t long-term, then Jefferies may only have fantasy viability for a short time.
Daulton Jefferies recorded a ton of threes in hits, earned runs, walks, and strikeouts across five innings pitch with 73 pitches thrown. Jefferies finished with a 25% CSW%, but he isn’t someone to throw a ton of FAAB on right now.
Brad Hand (RP – TOR) Traded to Blue Jays
With the Blue Jays needing some pitching and bullpen help, they acquired Brad Hand from the Nationals. In July, Hand is struggling with a 7.88 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in eight innings pitched. However, the Nationals kept giving him save opportunities even during the rough patches. Hand earned 21 saves in 26 chances with a 3.59 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 23.1% strikeout rate, and 9.9% walk rate. Hand’s strikeout rate is the lowest of his career since 2015, which concerns us. However, Brad Hand should slot into some save opportunities along with Jordan Romano.
Alek Manoah (SP – TOR) Returns From IL
After slipping and hurting his back, Alek Manoah returned from the injured list on Saturday against the Royals. Manoah pitched efficiently with seven scoreless innings while allowing two hits and one walk with four strikeouts. That’s positive to see him fare well in his first start off of the IL after slipping on the steps.
José Berríos (SP – TOR) Traded to Blue Jays
For a while now, the Blue Jays needed starting pitching to make a playoff run. They have a solid core of hitters and boosted their starting rotation by acquiring José Berríos. So far this season, Berríos has a 3.48 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 25.7% strikeout rate, and 6.5% walk rate in 121 2/3 innings pitched.
From 2018-2020, Berríos boasted a 3.79 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 24.3% strikeout rate, and 7.2% walk rate in 455 2/3 innings pitched. Berríos goes from a league-average home ballpark in wOBA to a more hitter-friendly ballpark per EV Analytics. With Berríos moving to the AL East, he will pitch in more hitter-friendly ballparks, including Baltimore, New York, and Boston, compared to Kansas City, Minnesota, and Detroit. Hopefully, Berríos can keep his ratios in check with the Blue Jays.
Update: Granted that it’s the Royals, but with all the talk (including myself) surrounding the Blue Jays home ballpark, Berrios threw six scoreless innings with five hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts. That’s a positive first start with the new ball club.
Joakim Soria (RP – TOR) Acquired by Toronto
Another need for the Blue Jays involved bullpen help, and they addressed that need with Brad Hand and Joakim Soria. Hand and Soria may not look like the sexiest options, but they provide a veteran presence with some late-inning experience. Soria is droppable in saves only 15-team leagues.
Eddie Rosario (OF – ATL), Adam Duvall (OF – ATL), & Jorge Soler (OF – ATL) Traded to the Braves
After losing Ronald Acuña Jr. and Marcell Ozuna, the Brave had a hole or two in the outfield. Earlier in July, they acquired Joc Pederson, then added Adam Duvall (again), Eddie Rosario, and Jorge Soler. In July, Soler is heating up with seven home runs and a .867 OPS yet a .212 batting average. Duvall is crushing homers per usual with surprising some stolen bases with 22 home runs and five steals.
Soler and Duvall project to start in the Braves outfield per Roster Resource, but keep in mind Eddie Rosario is on the IL with an abdominal injury. Rosario provided a bit more speed with nine steals yet a slightly lower .254 batting average than his career .275 batting average. We’ll see how Rosario fits into the mix, but this dings his value in 2021 if he platoons once he is healthy.
Richard Rodriguez (RP – ATL) Heads to Atlanta
Many expected the Pirates to trade Richard Rodriguez, and they sent him to the Braves. In the past two seasons (2020-2021), Rodriguez has a 2.77 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 28.2% strikeout rate, and 4.2% walk rate with 18 saves in 22 chances. He loses value in saves-only leagues but could provide ratios and earn a save every once and a while. Don’t cut Rodriguez quite yet and hold for a week or so in 15-team leagues unless there is an obvious closer candidate on waivers.
With Rodriguez moved, it should open saves opportunities for David Bednar or Chris Stratton. Bednar boasts quality ratios with a 22% K-BB% and nine holds. Stratton has also pitched decently with a 3.19 ERA yet a 1.36 WHIP paired with a below-average 12.2% K-BB%.
Keston Hiura (2B – MIL) Optioned to Triple-A
With the addition of Eduardo Escobar, the Brewers sent down Keston Hiura after some struggles. Since returning in late June, Hiura hit .230 with three home runs yet a 39.4% strikeout rate. Hiura still crushed the ball with a 17.6% barrel rate during that stretch, which is higher than his season-long 13.5% barrel rate. However, the contact rates remain an issue with a 63.9% Z-Contact% and 54.5% Contact%.
Keston Hiura optioned once again.
😬Since returning (June 23) – .230 BA, 3 HR, 39.4% K%, 8.5% BB%
💪Hiura boasted a 17.6% barrel rate ⬆️ from season-long 13.5%
🥶But contact still remains an issue – 63.9% Z-Contact% & 54.5% Contact%
🤔Yet do I still want to acquire in dynasty pic.twitter.com/POZBbKJwWE
— Corbin (@corbin_young21) July 31, 2021
Eduardo Escobar (2B/3B – MIL) Acquired by Brewers
As a Diamondback, Eduardo Escobar hit 22 home runs with 50 runs scored, 65 RBI, and one steal. Although Escobar’s .246 batting average is lower than his career of .256, the power is positive. Part of the reason includes a career-best 9.8% barrel rate and .386 xwOBAcon. Escobar should play every day, given his positional flexibility in the infield.
Update: Escobar homered in his first game as a Brewer and went hitless in the next two games. His lineup spot hasn’t changed batting third or fourth, which we like to see.
J.A. Happ (SP – STL) Traded to Cardinals
Admittedly, I considered J.A. Happ as a late-round sleeper heading into 2021. However, Happ has pitched awful with a 6.77 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 17.3% strikeout rate, and 7% walk rate in 98 1/3 innings pitched. Happ ran into some misfortune with a .332 BABIP allowed and 64% LOB% compared to a .288 BABIP and 74.3% LOB% in his career. He is better left on the waiver wire even in 15-team leagues, given the lack of safety and upside.
Myles Straw (OF – CLE) Acquired by Cleveland
To say Cleveland made some odd trades is an understatement. Cleveland traded away Cesar Hernandez plus Eddie Rosario yet added Myles Straw. We’ll discuss Hernandez’s career-high 18 home runs later, but Straw is a stolen base guy with minimal to zero power. Straw should immediately patrol CF for Cleveland but takes a hit in terms of team context leaving the Astros.
Update: Straw hit a solo home run over the weekend with hits in both games with his new team.
Nick Madrigal (2B – CHC) Acquired by Cubs
Even though Nick Madrigal is out for the season with a hamstring tear, the Cubs acquired him when they sent away Craig Kimbrel. We know the profile of Madrigal that includes high contact and batting average with more real-life than fantasy value. Madrigal is only relevant in dynasty leagues and a name to monitor in 2022 redraft leagues.
Pete Crow-Armstrong (OF – CHC) Heads to Cubs
With the Cubs sending Javier Baez to the Mets, the Cubs acquired an exciting young outfielder in Pete Crow-Armstrong from the 2020 MLB Draft class. Like Madrigal, Crow-Armstrong is out for the season with an injury (shoulder) and more relevant in dynasty leagues. We’re noting Crow-Armstrong here because he is a fantasy-relevant name even if it’s not on our redraft league radars.
Carson Kelly (C – ARI) Returns From IL
Diamondbacks catcher Carson Kelly returned from the IL with a wrist injury. In his first two games back, Kelly went hitless in six at-bats with one run scored. Kelly’s return shouldn’t impact Daulton Varsho’s playing time too much because Varsho can play in the outfield as well.
Max Scherzer (SP – LAD) & Trea Turner (SS – WSH) Traded to Dodgers
The Dodgers acquired ace Max Scherzer and star shortstop Trea Turner from the Nationals. Both Scherzer and Turner have dominated this season, but Turner currently sits on the COVID-19 injured list. Overall, this lengthens the Dodgers lineup once Corey Seager returns while also adding another ace to their rotation paired with Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw. Stock up for both players.
Just spit-balling but …
RF Mookie Betts
2B Trea Turner
1B Max Muncy
3B Justin Turner
SS Corey Seager
C Will Smith
LF A.J. Pollock
CF Cody Bellinger
… and All-Star Chris Taylor goes to #Dodgers bench
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) July 30, 2021
It sounds like Trea Turner moves over to second base once Corey Seager returns. Or at least that’s the projection of beat writers and folks in the fantasy baseball community.
Danny Duffy (SP – LAD) Traded to Dodgers
With an earlier trade, the Dodgers acquired Danny Duffy from the Royals. However, Duffy’s acquisition quickly was overshadowed by the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner deal. Duffy currently sits on the injured list with a forearm issue but showed flashes of dominance early in 2021. From April to May, before hitting the IL, Duffy boasted a 1.94 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, a 28.2% strikeout rate, and a 7.1% walk rate in 41 2/3 innings pitched.
After missing over a month, Duffy returned in late June, only to struggle and pitch five innings once in five starts. Duffy’s 3.72 ERA wasn’t terrible, but the 1.40 WHIP, 20.7% strikeout rate, and 12.2% walk rate stood out. Part of Duffy’s success involved the increased four-seamer velocity up at 93.7 mph with the four-seamer (26.2%), slider (39.3%), and changeup (37.3%) eliciting high whiff rates. With the addition of Scherzer, Duffy may not earn many starts unless their starters suffer injuries.
Corey Seager (SS – LAD) Returns From IL
Corey Seager finally returns from the injured list after not playing since May 15. Through 169 plate appearances, Seager had four home runs, 20 runs, 22 RBI, and one stolen base with a .265 batting average and .783 OPS. Hopefully, Seager can provide a late-season boost for Dodgers and fantasy managers in 2021. He recorded three hits and one double in three games since returning, one of which Seager pinch-hit.
Tony Gonsolin (P – LAD) Hits the IL
Tony Gonsolin hits the injured list with shoulder inflammation. That worries us because he dealt with a shoulder issue to begin the 2021 season. Gonsolin struggled in his most recent start against the Diamondbacks with five walks in 1 2/3 innings pitched. He only reached 5 1/3 innings twice in his ten appearances in 2021, but the 2.78 ERA looked decent, yet it came with a 1.46 WHIP.
Given Gonsolin’s history of limiting walks, it seems that the shoulder issues have possibly negatively affected him. In 2021, he has a 16.5% walk rate, up from a career rate of 9.7% in the majors. Hold onto Gonsolin in deeper leagues, but have an insurance policy with another streamer on waivers or your bench.
Mookie Betts (OF – LAD) Activated & Played At 2B
Say what?! Mookie Betts was activated off of the injured list with a hip issue and starting at second base.
#Dodgers Mookie Betts said Dave Roberts has talked with him about possibly playing 2B after he returns to lessen the amount of running he has to do (like with Bellinger at 1B). Trea Turner's arrival will probably make that less likely
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) July 31, 2021
Now that’s something I didn’t realize could happen, but it makes sense from a health standpoint. After doing some research, the Red Sox drafted Betts as an infielder, so that should help. In Betts’ rookie season, he played at second base in 14 straight games back in 2014. Hopefully, Betts picks up where he left off in July with a .370 BA and 1.102 OPS. Adding second base eligibility would only boost his value.
Kris Bryant (3B/OF – SFG) Acquired by Giants
Like the Nationals, the Cubs made an effort to trade away their top players in Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Báez. Bryant is hitting well in 2021 with 18 home runs, 58 runs, 51 RBI, and four steals with a .267 batting average. His Baseball Savant data looks near some of his most productive seasons with a 10.1% barrel rate (66th-percentile), .369 wOBA, and .416 xwOBAcon. The Giants should boost Bryant’s fantasy value with an improved offense around him.
On the flip side, this transaction probably means Steven Duggar and Alex Dickerson lose playing time when Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria come off the IL. It’s likely that when Longoria returns, Kris Bryant will move to the outfield. Bryant started at third and batted second while hitting a solo home run with his new team. That’s quite a debut.
Abraham Toro (3B – SEA) Traded to Mariners
The Mariners acquired Abraham Toro when they traded away Kendall Graveman. Toro should provide the Mariners some flexibility in the field able to play the corners and second base. Although Toro’s eight home runs and four stolen bases with a .219 batting average aren’t flashy, he is a better real-life player. Toro could warrant some waiver wire interest in 15-team mixed leagues once again after cooling off.
Update: Although the Mariners lost a couple of games over the weekend after the Toro-Graveman trade, Toro hit two home runs with one stolen base and a .500 batting average.
Diego Castillo (RP – SEA) Acquired by Mariners
With the Rays, Diego Castillo served as their primary closer earning 14 saves in 16 chances. Castillo has a 2.72 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 33.8% strikeout rate, and 6.9% walk rate. He should slide into the Mariners’ primary closer role as a slight upgrade to Kendall Graveman.
Update: Let’s not overreact after Castillo took the loss and blew the save over the weekend against the Rangers in one appearance where he allowed a home run. However, Castillo also threw one scoreless inning in the game prior.
Tyler Anderson (SP – SEA) Sent to Seattle
After a fake-out where the Phillies supposedly acquired Tyler Anderson, news broke that the Mariners acquired Anderson. With the Pirates, Anderson had a 4.35 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 20% strikeout rate, and 5.8% walk rate in 103 1/3 innings pitched. Anderson holds the skill the Mariners value in limiting walks.
Part of Anderson’s success this season involved the increased cutter usage up to 29.1%, up from 18-19% in 2019 and 2020. He should slot into the Mariners rotation and could provide streamer value in 15-team leagues.
Update: Anderson fits the Mariners’ profile of controlling the strike zone and pitched well in his first game with the new ball club.
Tyler Anderson's first start as a Mariner – 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO. Fits the mold of Mariners pitchers controlling the strike zone.
28% CSW% overall on 87 pitches with Anderson's changeup eliciting a 46% whiff rate. #SeaUsRise pic.twitter.com/K7JKrqeis7
— Corbin (@corbin_young21) August 1, 2021
Jesús Luzardo (SP – MIA) Traded to Marlins
The Marlins appeared to make quite a trade acquiring Jesús Luzardo as a former top pitching prospect that struggled throughout his MLB career. In 109 innings pitched, Luzardo has a 4.79 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 24.6% strikeout rate, and 7.7% walk rate. However, it comes with a career of .302 BABIP and 73.6% LOB%.
I expect the Marlins to help Luzardo prove that he is still one of the better young pitchers. At this point, Luzardo is a pitcher to monitor or buy low in most dynasty leagues. In deep redraft leagues, fantasy managers may want to stash Luzardo if he receives the call.
Update: Luzardo made his Marlins debut, which was a bit lackluster. He allowed four hits, three earned runs, and three walks with five strikeouts in five innings of work. On 84 pitches, Luzardo finished with a 43% whiff rate and 29% CSW% overall. However, the changeup and curve both had high whiff rates, which we love to see.
Garrett Cooper (1B/OF – MIA) Heads For Season-Ending Surgery
The Marlins hard-hitting 1B/OF in Garrett Cooper heads for season-ending surgery. In 2021, Cooper boasted a 10.8% barrel rate, 114 maximum exit velocity, and a 52.7% hard-hit rate. Even Cooper’s .450 xwOBAcon almost finished as a career-high like his other batted ball metrics on Baseball Savant.
After getting multiple opinions on his elbow, Marlins 1B/OF Garrett Cooper has opted for season ending surgery per sources. MRI showed a partial tear to his UCL in his non throwing arm. Same surgery Phillies 1B Rhys Hoskins had in 2020. Recovery is 3-4 months.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) July 28, 2021
In redraft leagues, Cooper is droppable. However, in dynasty leagues, Cooper is a name to monitor in deeper formats.
Trevor Rogers (SP – MIA) Returns From IL
In Trevor Rogers’ first game back from the IL, he faced the rebuilt Yankees offense. He allowed five hits, two earned runs, and three walks with four strikeouts. Don’t overreact. Rogers is still a must-start pitcher in most formats.
Carlos Carrasco (SP – NYM) Activated From IL
Over the weekend, Carlos Carrasco finally made his 2021 MLB debut for the Mets. Carrasco threw 58 pitches across four innings pitched with three hits, one earned run, and one walk with four strikeouts. It’s safe to imagine the Mets will monitor Carrasco’s pitch count and workload as he missed several months with an injury.
Javier Báez (SS – NYM) Traded to Mets
Like Juan Soto, Willson Contreras will head to the Cubs dugout missing some familiar faces. Javier Báez moves to the Mets as they build a win-now team. Báez is doing Báez-like things with 22 home runs and 13 stolen bases. He crushes baseballs with a 13% barrel rate and 116.7 mph maximum exit velocity yet yields a 46.7% O-Swing% over 15% above the league average.
With Francisco Lindor injured, Báez should play at shortstop. When Lindor returns, either of them could move to third base or second base. This trade shouldn’t hurt Báez’s fantasy value since he should earn regular playing time, especially since the Mets gave up Pete Crow-Armstrong for him.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 1, 2021
Update: Báez smashed a home run against the Reds over the weekend in his first game with the Mets.
Jacob deGrom (SP – NYM) Suffers a Setback
After a flurry of trade deadline news, reports surfaced about Jacob deGrom suffering a setback. deGrom will not throw for at least two weeks before ramping up again. Per Mets beat writer Anthony DiComo, deGrom won’t return until September.
Jacob deGrom likely out until September following latest setback:https://t.co/m6D7n44RMc
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 30, 2021
Keibert Ruiz (C – WSH) & Josiah Gray (P – WSH) Acquired By Nationals
The two headliner prospects acquired by the Nationals in the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner deal included Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray.
Ruiz is crushing it in Triple-A with 16 home runs, a .311 batting average, and 1.012 OPS. He set a career-high in home runs already, but another positive is the increased walk rate at 10%. Since the Nationals moved Yan Gomes, Ruiz could make his Nationals debut in the coming weeks.
With Josiah Gray, he made his MLB debut with the Dodgers and flashed some upside with a 37.1% strikeout rate yet a 14.3% walk rate and 6.75 ERA. It’s a small sample, but Gray’s curveball and slider both elicit a whiff rate of 45% or more.
If he isn’t already, make sure Gray isn’t hanging around on the waiver wire in 15-team leagues. It’s not confirmed, but Gray should settle into the Nationals rotation right away.
No fantasy-relevant news and notes.
Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS – SD) Lands On IL
The Padres placed Fernando Tatis Jr. on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder subluxation. Chris Paddack also hit the injured list, but we’ll discuss that a bit later.
Prior to tonight’s game, the Padres placed SS Fernando Tatis Jr. (left shoulder inflammation) and RHP Chris Paddack (left oblique strain; retro to 7/28) on the 10-day IL.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) July 31, 2021
A report from Dennis Lin noted that the team plans to re-evaluate Tatis in ten days, which makes us think he will miss more than the minimum stay.
Fernando Tatis Jr.'s current focus is on returning to action this season. If Tatis doesn't make enough improvement in the next 10 days, however, season-ending shoulder surgery "would be on the table," Jayce Tingler said.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) August 1, 2021
Then Lin tweeted a note from Padres manager Jayce Tingler that season-ending surgery could be an option if Tatis isn’t making progress. Since Tatis injured his shoulder earlier in the season, it makes sense for the Padres to be cautious with handling their superstar shortstop.
Chris Paddack (SP – SD) Suffers Oblique Strain
After two decent starts from a ratio standpoint, Chris Paddack lands on the injured list. He allowed three earned runs in 11 innings pitched, but Paddack’s season-long 5.13 ERA and 1.32 WHIP don’t look great. Paddack ran into some misfortune with a 61.4% LOB%, so the ERA estimators give us hope with a 3.71 FIP and 3.72 xFIP, but the quality of contact allowed stinks given the 4.61 xERA.
Daniel Hudson (RP – SD) Acquired by Padres
After the Padres reportedly acquired Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, the Padres missed out and instead acquired reliever Daniel Hudson. He isn’t fantasy-relevant outside of deep saves plus holds leagues.
Kyle Gibson (SP – PHI) & Ian Kennedy (RP – PHI) Traded to Philadelphia
In an odd turn of events, the Phillies acquired Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy from the Rangers for Spencer Howard and a couple of unnamed prospects. The Phillies acquired two veteran pitchers and gave up one of their top young arms in Howard, who struggled recently.
After Gibson’s dominant stretch from April to June, he struggled in July. In the first few months, Gibson had a 2.00 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 20.9% strikeout rate, and 7.3% walk rate in 90 innings pitched. Gibson allowed a .240 BABIP with an 85.1% LOB%.
Through four starts in July, Gibson struggled with a 6.26 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, 18.9% strikeout rate, and 14.2% walk rate. The BABIP allowed jumped to .369, and LOB% fell to 68.6%. We’ll see if Gibson rights the ship and shouldn’t lose much fantasy value with the Phillies.
Update: Gibson threw a quality start against the Pirates after allowing five hits, two earned runs, and two walks with five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings pitched.
The formers Rangers closer in Ian Kennedy moves to the Phillies bullpen with some question marks. With the Rangers, Kennedy earned 16 saves in 17 chances with a 2.51 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 27.8% strikeout rate, and 5.6% walk rate. Kennedy likely factors into the saves mix along with Ranger Suárez.
Update: Kennedy labored in his Phillies debut with two hits, two earned runs, and two strikeouts in one inning of work.
No fantasy-relevant news and notes.
Spencer Howard (P – TEX) Acquired By Rangers
The Phillies shipped off former top prospect Spencer Howard to the Rangers, and it felt a bit like a similar move to acquiring Dane Dunning from the White Sox. Howard struggled in 2021 with a 5.72 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 24.4% strikeout rate, and 13.4% walk rate in 28 1/3 innings pitched.
He battled a back and finger injury, plus the Phillies kept calling up and sending him back throughout the season. It seems unlikely that Howard will provide any redraft value in 2021, but he is a name to monitor in 2022 and dynasty leagues as a potential buy-low option.
Don’t chase a Rays’ reliever with Diego Castillo out of town unless you like running on a hamster wheel. All kidding aside, it’s hard to identify that person at this point.
Kyle Schwarber (OF – BOS) Traded to Boston
The lefty slugger sits on the injured list with a hamstring injury since July 2, but Kyle Schwarber went on a home run binge in June. Schwarber dominated in June with 16 home runs paired with a .280 batting average and 1.122 OPS. Reports indicate that Schwarber will play at first base since they have other outfielders in Jarren Duran, Alex Verdugo, and Hunter Renfroe. He should earn everyday playing time once healthy and add first base eligibility.
Hansel Robles (RP – BOS) Acquired by Red Sox
In a small attempt to boost their bullpen, the Red Sox acquired Hansel Robles, who factored into the Twins saves conversation. Robles earned ten saves in 12 chances with a rough 4.91 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. Now on the Red Sox with Matt Barnes as their closer, Robles is cuttable in most formats.
Mychal Givens (RP – CIN) Traded to Reds
Interestingly, Mychal Givens pitched decently with the Rockies, evidenced by a 2.73 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 27.4% strikeout rate, and 11.3% walk rate. Givens earned eight holds with one blown save but could factor into the saves conversation with the Reds somewhere down the line. Heath Hembree and Amir Garrett have shared save opportunities in recent weeks, but keep an eye on Givens in deeper leagues.
Nope, Trevor Story didn’t change teams, and the Rockies did Rockies-type moves (or lack thereof). No fantasy-relevant news and notes.
Edward Olivares (OF – KC) Recalled
With Jorge Soler traded away, it opens up playing time for Edward Olivares. Unfortunately, the Royals keep doing burpees with Olivares. So we hesitate in thinking he will receive everyday playing time, but it seems likely with Soler out of the picture. Olivares went 2-for-4 on Sunday with a solo home run and should provide the power and speed we expect.
Edward Olivares – Kansas City Royals (2) Solo. pic.twitter.com/bqxTqOj2v8
— MLB HR Tracker (@hr_mlb) August 2, 2021
Michael Fulmer (RP – DET) Activated From IL
Since returning, Fulmer made three appearances with two hits, zero earned runs, zero walks, and five strikeouts. He didn’t factor into any save or hold chances, but the Tigers will probably use Fulmer, José Cisnero, and Gregory Soto. In deeper leagues, Fulmer is worth speculating on though saves split three ways on a weaker team isn’t that exciting.
Austin Martin (OF – MIN) & Simeon Woods-Richardson (P – MIN) Acquired in Berríos Trade
Although Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson aren’t relevant in redraft leagues, they both project as fantasy impact prospects down the line. Woods-Richardson is a name to monitor with a potential ETA of 2022. With the Twins giving up Jose Berríos, the starting rotation takes a hit.
Cesar Hernandez (2B – CHW) Acquired From Cleveland
Admittedly, Cesar Hernandez’s 18 home runs haven’t been on my radar. Outside of 2018 and 2019, Hernandez hadn’t provided more than nine home runs. However, in his prime, Hernandez racked up 15 plus stolen bases with a healthy batting average.
Hernandez seems to have traded batting average (.231) for power with a career .272 batting average. He is rocking a career-high 36.3% fly-ball rate with a career-best 9.4% barrel rate in the Statcast era. The White Sox needed a second baseman with Nick Madrigal’s injury, and Hernandez should help fill that hole with some surprising power in 2021.
Update: He has a hit in three straight games with the new ball club while batting second in all of those contests.
Craig Kimbrel (RP – CHW) Acquired By Crosstown Team
The Cubs traded away almost every valuable player on their team, including closer Craig Kimbrel. In 2021, Kimbrel has arguably performed as one of the better relievers with 23 saves in 25 chances paired with elite ratios in a 0.49 ERA and 0.71 WHIP.
One interesting question surrounds how the White Sox will use both their elite closers in Liam Hendriks and Kimbrel. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic seems to think Hendriks will share the closer role with Kimbrel. Hold onto Kimbrel in all leagues since he should still provide elite ratios, and he could sneak in some save chances.
White Sox plan to give both Kimbrel and Hendriks save opportunities. With short season last year, they believe this move will help them protect both their starters and relievers. Also have option to retain Kimbrel next season for $16M.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2021
Update: Kimbrel pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts over the weekend.
Joey Gallo (OF – NYY) Acquired By Yankees
Just what the Yankees needed, more sluggers who crush baseballs. All kidding aside, it just makes a friendlier hitting environment for Gallo even though he didn’t need it. Gallo sees a slight boost in value from a team context and home ballpark standpoint.
Update: Breaking news, Gallo did not hit a home run over the weekend. Instead, Gallo doubled in his most recent game with the Yankees while batting either second or third in the lineup.
Anthony Rizzo (1B – NYY) Traded to Yankees
With Luke Voit on and off the injured list, the Cubs acquired Anthony Rizzo. He’s having a solid 2021 season with 14 home runs, 41 runs, 40 RBI, and four steals with a .248 batting average. Rizzo’s 9.4% barrel rate is close to his 2016 and 2017 seasons, where he hit 32 home runs each.
When Voit returns, it’s unlikely that Rizzo loses playing time since Rizzo is the better defender and hitter with a longer track record. However, by that point, the situation may work itself out with other injuries. In the short term, Voit’s value drops in redraft leagues since he may lose playing time.
Anthony Rizzo 449 foot home run in his first game as a Yankee! pic.twitter.com/eZn8Bs9VfZ
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) July 31, 2021
Update: Contrary to Gallo, it looks like Rizzo is the lefty power bat they needed. Rizzo crushed a home run in back-to-back games as the Yankees’ first baseman. He batted fourth twice and led off in his most recent game. Cubs fans might be crying for the beloved Cubs player crushing it with his new team.
Andrew Heaney (SP – NYY) Traded to Yankees
The Yankees acquired Andrew Heaney from the Angels, who struggled in 94 innings pitched with a 5.27 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. However, Heaney’s 28.2% strikeout rate and 7.7% walk rate looks similar to his career numbers. Meanwhile, Heaney ran into some misfortune with a strand rate of 67.6%.
Heaney’s ERA estimators project his ratios to improve with a 4.05 FIP, 3.81 xFIP, and 4.22 xERA. We know Yankee stadium helps hitters, especially lefty bats, so maybe that’s in Heaney’s favor. This transaction should help Heaney’s chances of earning wins moving forward, but the environment and division make us concerned.
Update: Heaney started against the Orioles on Monday. He allowed four solo home runs with six hits in four innings pitched. The concern for Heaney pitching in Yankee stadium involved home runs, so tread cautiously with him in fantasy leagues.
Domingo Germán (SP – NYY) Placed on IL
The Yankees placed Domingo Germán on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. Outside of a dominant ten strikeout performance against a tough offense in the Red Sox, Germán struggled in recent weeks. The Yankees added Andrew Heaney and will probably fill Germán’s rotation spot with Nestor Cortes.
Gerrit Cole (SP – NYY) Tested Positive for COVID-19
Unfortunately, Yankees ace Gerrit Cole tested positive for COVID-19. Cole planned to start on Tuesday against the Orioles, but Nestor Cortes will take his place.
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