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When Ryan Schimpf was promoted from Triple-A, he was leading all players at the level with a .729 slugging percentage. He now leads the majors in slugging for July at .879. Schimpf has set the rookie team record with his ninth home run this month. He has 22 hits in the majors and 16 of them are for extra-bases. For the season, Schimpf is hitting .250/.368/.468 with nine home runs and 17 RBI in 31 games. While it seems like this is hard to sustain, Schimpf and the Padres will head to Rogers Centre for a three-game set the next three days.
With Melvin Upton Jr. on the trade block, there may be more playing time in the second half for Alex Dickerson and he is trying his best to make it happen. Dickerson had three-hits on Sunday, scored three runs with a double and a solo home run against the Nationals. He raised his slash line to .254/.303/.451 this year and has 11 runs along with 11 RBI in 28 games this year. With the team heading to Toronto, Dickerson may see time as the designated hitter as well.
It seems like a long time ago when Christian Friedrich fired six shutout innings at Coors Field with nine strikeouts. In the seven starts since, Friedrich has allowed at least three runs or more in every start and he has given up four runs or more in five of his last seven. Sunday was his shortest outing in the tough stretch and his ERA has now reached five on the season. Perhaps a home start against the Reds can get him back on track but due to his recent struggles, Friedrich will be difficult to trust in fantasy for the second half.
There may be more major league players looking into LASIK surgery after seeing the rebound by Wilson Ramos this year. He was quoted as seeing the ball much better in the spring and has carried it over to the season. Ramos launched his 14th home run on Sunday and raised his RBI total to 53. He also has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games and in 21 of his last 27. Ramos leads all major league catchers in all three categories of the slash line this year and is on track for a career year.
In an attempt to impress his manager, Trea Turner had a multi-hit game with his third triple in his last five games with two runs scored on Sunday. Turner’s roster spot could be at risk as Ryan Zimmerman will be activated on Tuesday and return to first base which has been filled by Daniel Murphy recently. This shifted Turner to second and now it will have to be seen if “Turner the burner” will get time in the outfield or return to Triple-A. He has hit safely in six of his last seven games with five runs and four stolen bases.
Closer Jonathan Papelbon had worked seven scoreless innings since his return from the disabled list with a 10:1 KBB rate in them. But he struggled on Sunday giving up four runs on four hits with a walk to take the loss as he entered a tie game in the ninth inning. Washington has been rumored to be trying to acquire a closer for the stretch run prior to the trade deadline and a performance like this only emboldens them. In this appearance, Papelbon’s ERA rose from 2.78 to 3.62 and his WHIP increased from 1.21 to 1.30 for the season.
Hyped rookie prospect Lucas Giolito has shown his warts at the major league level. He had another short outing and has only logged 11 innings in his three starts in the majors this year. On Sunday, he had three walks with no strikeouts and gave up two earned runs (four total) in 3.1 innings and his ERA is now 4.91 with a WHIP of 1.91 for the Nationals. He has done very well with a 6 - 3 record in the minors across three levels with a cumulative 3.08 ERA. But like many rookies, Giolito needs a bit more time of preparation in the minors before he is ready to be a fantasy contributor. Washington has his spot in the rotation listed as to-be-determined but if Joe Ross is ready to return, look for him to slot in at San Francisco next week.
Carpenter resumed some baseball activities on Friday and evidently has responded well. He shouldn't need too many rehab games before being activated, so a return within the next week or so would seem to be a possibility. Carpenter has missed the last two and a half weeks with a right oblique strain.
Stripling has appeared in nine games for the Dodgers in 2016, compiling a 4.53 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 34/18 K/BB ratio. He's expected to work in a long relief role for the Dodgers.