With 10 players on the disabled list, the Dodgers medical staff is busy. Andre Ethier had follow-up X-Rays on his fractured leg. He has been bearing weight for two weeks and seems to be progressing. But Ethier has yet to resume any baseball activities and is still a month out from his initial prognosis to return. Ethier will help the Dodger lineup upon his return as he slashed .294/.366/.486 last year with 14 home runs in 142 games. Monitor his progress but this is a positive step in his eventual return.
With Colorado needing a roster spot to activate Charlie Blackmon, a veteran outfielder was sent to Triple-A. Brandon Barnes was hitting .194/.242/.323 in 31 at bats to start 2016 and his slow start made him expendable. Especially with Ryan Raburn hitting well against left-handed starters. Due to his demotion, Barnes has no fantasy value.
On his first day back with the Rockies, their center fielder will return and hit first in Arizona. Charlie Blackmon was activated on Friday and will face Robbie Ray on Friday night. In previous match-ups, Blackmon is 5-for-8 against Ray with a 1.542 OPS against the southpaw.
With the return of Charlie Blackmon to the lineup and facing a tough south paw on the road, the Rockies will give a day off to one of their stars. Carlos Gonzalez will not play on Friday night in Arizona. Gonzalez has hit .250 with a .617 OPS in 32 at bats against left-handed pitching this year. This should be a temporary day off as Carlos Gonzalez is 10-for-28 against Saturday's starter Zack Greinke with a double, triple and four home runs along with a 1.293 OPS. For Friday night, make sure Gonzalez is out of your daily lineups.
Good news for fantasy owners who averted a disabled list stint for the Cubs third baseman. Kris Bryant did not have any ligament damage revealed in his MRI and is in line to return soon. Originally it was thought Bryant would miss the weekend but his ankle is improving so it may be sooner. With Julio Teheran on the mound Saturday and Bryant hitless in two previous at bats, the Cubs may start hot hitting Tommy La Stella due to Teheran's struggles on the road versus left-handed bats. But Bryant could play so monitor the lineups leading up to game time.
With Jose Berrios already filling in one of the vacated spots in the rotation, the Twins will debut another young right-handed starter on Tuesday. Alex Meyer is slated to start in Houston one day after Berrios. The key to his success will be throwing strikes as Meyer has a 19:4 K:BB in 17.1 IP at Triple-A this year with a 1.04 ERA. Meyer struggled in his limited use last year with Minnesota as he pitched 2.2 innings with three walks and three strikeouts along with a 16.88 ERA. Meyer has a high upside arm but with bouts of wildness. His debut as a starter will be against Houston on the road.