Girgensons had a very tough season, scoring just seven goals and 16 points in his fourth year in the league after scoring 52 points in his first two seasons. Girgensons spent much of the season toiling on the fourth line, and was deployed at center and on the wing in an effort to get him going, but usually to no avail. The 23-year-old enters a key stretch of his development, and the Sabres qualified him partly because they know he has much more to offer. It's likely that Girgensons settles for another short-term contract to prove himself, but will face competition in camp from Johan Larsson, who leapfrogged Girgensons on the depth chart this past season.
It was a relatively easy decision for the Sabres, who must be pleased with the progress Foligno has shown over the past two seasons. Labeled as a fourth-line winger with very little upside, Foligno has managed to score 10 goals and 20 points in each of his past two seasons, and remains one of the team's most physical players. Foligno will likely receive a contract with a similar worth to the $2.25 million he earned this past season, and barring any surprises should remain with the Sabres for the foreseeable future. His fantasy value, however, is still very limited because of his lack of high-end skill.
Larsson's season was cut short after a suffering a wrist injury, and he finished with 11 points in 36 games. He was just getting into a groove and had established himself as the team's No. 3 center when he injured his wrist, and the Sabres clearly liked enough of what they saw to bring him back for the 2017-18 season. He should be healthy when training camp rolls around, and he'll have to fend off the competition to regain his spot in the lineup.
Signed out of Boston University as an undrafted free agent, Rodrigues impressed the Sabres after scoring 30 points in 48 games with AHL Rochester and six points in 30 games with the big club. He's a versatile forward with a good scoring touch, even when he's not on the same line as former BU teammate Jack Eichel. Rodrigues is still a relatively unproven prospect, however, and will likely receive a short-term bridge deal from the Sabres. He's penciled in as a potential bottom-six forward for the 2017-18 season.
Signed as an undrafted free agent from the OHL, Dupuy never appeared in a game for the Sabres. Although he was named one of the alternate captains for AHL Rochester, his performance wasn't good enough to warrant a qualifying offer, making him a free agent July 1. He finishes his stint with AHL Rochester with 38 points in 120 games.
The Sabres envisioned Kea as a two-way center with size, but instead he spent parts of three seasons between AHL Rochester and ECHL Elmira. He showed improvement in the ECHL, but could never hold down a roster spot in the AHL, finishing with just four goals and three assists in 71 career AHL games.
Drafted in the seventh round in 2012, Austin was a stay-at-home defenseman who didn't improve much during his three years with AHL Rochester, finishing with 10, 11 and 12 points in each season. He appeared in five games with the Sabres this past season after injuries decimated the blue line, but did not register a point and averaged 16:05 per game. Austin is a big defenseman (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) who should be able to draw interest from other teams, but seems destined to be a minor-league player. His fantasy value is nil at this point.
Frazier now has six homers and 13 RBI through 22 June games, and he's improved his batting average and OPS by 33 and 99 points, respectively. Fantasy owners hope the momentum continues to build going forward because Frazier is well behind his 2016 pace. It's worth noting that his .220 BABIP is probably unsustainably low, so further positive regression is likely ahead.
Finnegan believes he could avoid the DL, but Reds management was less optimistic. His earlier departure taxed an already stressed bullpen Monday, and the team could need to bring in reinforcements as early as Tuesday.
The start was Hill's longest of the season, as he has a knack for running up late counts in part due to his excellent swing and miss ability. That ability was on display Monday night, as Hill racked up 15 swinging strikes in 99 pitches. Hill now has 15 strikeouts in 12 innings over his previous two starts. His ERA sits at a mediocre 4.60, but it's hard to ignore someone flashing stuff that nasty.
While this was a tough result for Holmberg, the lefty still sports a respectable 2.92 ERA and 1.14 WHIP through his six starts in the majors this season. However, with a 5.4 K/9 and 4.65 FIP, expectations should probably remain in check. Another high-powered offense is on deck for Holmberg, as his next start projects to be against Texas at hitter-friendly Guaranteed Rate Field.
Austin owns a solid .278/.357/.471 career slash line at the Triple-A level and will receive a fleeting opportunity at regular at-bats as New York's primary first baseman. Monday's bomb was an encouraging first step, and Austin is definitely worth considering as a speculative add and short-term fix.
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