MLB Closing Bell: June 17
Justin Vreeland talks about Michael A. Taylor's four steal game, recaps today's games, and more on tonight's Closing Bell.
Michael A. Taylor was running wild today as he stole FOUR bases. He finished the day 3-for-4 with two runs and the aforementioned four steals. He now leads MLB in steals with 21 and has his average up to .236. The looming return of Adam Eaton a few weeks back meant that Taylor would have to get hot in a hurry if he did not want to be riding the pine on a regular basis and he responded. His average has jumped from .181 to .236 since May 20 and he is 14-for-34 in the month of June (.412). With 21 steals in 229 at-bats this season he is averaging a steal nearly every nine at-bats. Taylor offers a blend of a little pop and a lot of speed, if he can hit around .250 he makes for a strong fantasy asset. The Nationals have four very talented outfielders which will cause some playing time issues in the short-term, but he is worth owning in all formats with his stolen base prowess. He is the most capable centerfielder on the Nats roster, which bodes well for him getting on the field.
That Just Happened
Shane Bieber was recalled by the Indians today to make his second start of the season for the big league club. He was able to work around 10 hits and a walk to pickup his first career win. He pitched 5.2 innings and gave up just one run while striking out seven. Despite now giving up 18 hits across 11.1 innings pitched, with Carlos Carrasco landing on the DL there is some short-term appeal for Bieber who should get at least one more turn through the rotation. If he is able to pitch well in that start he could potentially stick in the Indians rotation for good. While Bieber does not have elite stuff, he does have very good control and is worth a look is deeper leagues.
Justin Bour smashed two home runs today and drove in four. He finished with 44.4 points on FanDuel and now has twelve dingers on the year. Despite the huge day for Bour, who drove in all of the Marlins runs, his team fell to the Orioles 10-4 as none of his teammates showed up to play today.
Randal Grichuk stuffed the stat sheet on his way to a monster day for the Jays. He finished 3-for-3 with two home runs, four RBI, a walk, two runs, and a stolen base. The home runs were numbers six and seven while the bag swipe was just his second of the season. He led all hitters in scoring on FanDuel with 56.4 points and carried his team to an 8-6 win over the Nationals.
Julio Teherán made his return from the DL today and had his strongest outing of the year. He tossed six no-hit innings and struck out 11. He was up to 95 pitches and started to cramp in his right leg so his day was cut short, but needless to say it was a very nice return.
Colin Moran homered for the second straight day. He now has three dingers in June after hitting just two in both April and May. Still, seven home runs leaves a little to be desired for a third baseman in fantasy, but the young Pirate is hitting a solid .273 in his first full big league campaign and is a solid own in most leagues. If he figures out how to hit lefties (0 HRs and a .227 average against them) he will be a valuable asset.
Nicholas Castellanos blasted another home run a day after hitting two. With the three home runs in two games he now has nine on the year to go along with his .310 average. He also broke the 40 RBI mark with two today giving him 41 on the year.
Eric Thames had a huge day out of the leadoff spot (I don’t get it either, don’t worry) for the Brewers. He bashed two home runs and drove in four. His second home run can in the ninth inning with two outs and the Brewers down four, he crushed a three-run homer to pull them within one. Unfortunately for the Brew Crew that is where the comeback ended as Christian Yelich lined out on the very next pitch to end the game.
Jurickson Profar manned the cleanup spot in the Rangers lineup today and he did not disappoint. He finished 2-for-5 with a dinger, a double, four RBI, and a run scored. It was his eighth home run and nineteenth double of the year and he has his average up to .243. Profar has been the Rangers everyday shortstop with Elvin Andrus on the DL, but Andrus’ return is looming. Profar has done enough to warrant an everyday job with the Rangers at this point, expect him to see time at 2B, OF, DH, and 3B to gain extra position flexibility. The Rangers scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning off of Wade Davis to win the game 13-12.
The Mets rallied with two outs in the ninth to take down the Dbacks. New York was down two with no one on and two outs. José Reyes started things off with a bunt single, and then José Bautista doubled in Reyes to pull the score within one. Brandon Nimmo followed up the double by slugging a two-run homer to give the Mets the lead. Asdrubal Cabrera got in on the action as well, hitting a dinger of his own in back-to-back fashion with Nimmo. The final score was 5-3. Nimmo finished 3-for-5 with the home run, two RBI, two runs, and a double. Zack Wheeler started on the mound and pitched six strong innings giving up just two runs while striking out eight.
Billy Hamilton had a great day at the plate, on the bases, and in the field. He collected three hits, three runs, and stole two bases. That in itself is a really good day at the office, then you add in the below play he made and all you can say is WOW.
Whit Merrifield left today’s game with a knee bruise; will he miss further action?
Buster Posey sat out of today’s game with “soreness”; will he be back in action tomorrow?
Can Jack Flaherty quiet the Cubs bats tonight on Sunday Night Baseball? The Cubs have scored 19 runs in the first two games of the series.
When will Zach Britton convert his first save of 2018? Since returning from the DL the lefty has tossed three scoreless frames but has yet to have his first crack at a save.