Amidst an evening with two bench clearing incidents in Boston between the Yankees and the Red Sox, an injury involving a breakthrough player from last year happened in Texas. There’s no way to quantify intent, but the Angels and Rangers did supply some interesting events leading up to Elvis Andrus getting hit in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Robinson Chirinos (Rangers) hit by a pitch in the fourth inning.
René Rivera (Angels) hit by a pitch in the sixth inning.
Mike Trout hit by a pitch in the ninth inning.
Andrus hit by a pitch in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and two runners on base.
Erring on the side of not full intent, Keynan Middleton did appear to tire trying to save a game over 1.2 innings of work. But, working inside to the Rangers hitters did seem to be in the game plan. Andrus went down immediately after being hit in the elbow. Initial reports center on a fracture in his elbow and he will undergo further X-rays along with a CT scan on Thursday morning.
Fantasy owners need to get a Plan B immediately. If Chris Owings or Tim Anderson is sitting on the waiver wire in a shallow league, they make for nice pivots from Andrus, but fully replacing someone who scored 100 runs with 20 home runs and 25 stolen bases last year while hitting over .300 just does not happen. It’s another rough early-season loss for fantasy owners, especially since Andrus has never been on the disabled list. Health is a skill.
Those in deeper leagues can kick the tires on Asdrubal Cabrera , Dansby Swanson or Eduardo Escobar . If speed is the need, then José Peraza hit second last night and had a stolen base or Amed Rosario should be running more soon. It’s not ideal, but necessary to plan ahead if Andrus misses an extended period of time.
Price is wrong Wednesday night
Two starts versus the Rays provided hope for David Price owners on a nice return on investment for those speculating on the pitcher returning from an injury-limited season last year. However, Price lasted just one inning and gave up four earned runs on three hits and two walks with only one strikeout before leaving the game with a sensation in his left hand.
Not going to speculate what caused Price to lose feeling in his fingertips, but keep in mind, he missed time last year with elbow issues that limited him to less than 75 innings after reaching 200 in the previous six. He plans to throw Thursday morning, so his owners will need to monitor accordingly.
King-ery for one day
It’s been quite a week for Scott Kingery. On Monday, he hit his first home run of his career. Tuesday, Kingery launched a grand slam and last evening, his fly ball in the 12th inning resulted in his first walk-off RBI propelling the Phillies to its third straight win. As impressive as Kingery’s been with the bat the last three days, he played his fifth different position on Wednesday. He’s now appeared in left field, right field, second base, shortstop and third base already this year.
Multiple position eligibility along with Kingery’s upside in home runs and stolen bases could make for a tremendous speculative play in his rookie season. Plus, manager Gabe Kapler said he’s comfortable playing Kingery in center field if necessary as well.
Pitching duel in Miami?
Overlooking a pitching match-up between Zack Wheeler and Jarlin Garcia seems easy to do. Wheeler’s promotion did not cause much of a ripple in the fantasy community due to his prior disappointments, a high WHIP and injuries in the past. Garcia opened the season in the bullpen despite a strong spring, and Miami’s not built to win much this year.
However, Garcia hurled six no-hit innings and limited the Mets to two walks with three strikeouts on Wednesday. There’s not much strikeout upside in Garcia, which could limit his appeal in fantasy, but for those in deeper formats, he could be worth a look as a spot-starter with the right match-ups, especially at home.
As for Wheeler, his start marks the first time the Mets featured Noah Syndergaard , Jacob deGrom , Matt Harvey , Steven Matz and Wheeler for a full turn in the rotation, ever. Allow this to marinate along with noting they combined for 30 strikeouts in 29 innings with a 3.10 ERA and 1.14 WHIP after one turn. Wheeler also became the first Mets pitcher to finish seven innings this year striking out seven while allowing two hits, one earned run and one walk for the win.
Wheeler also noted he worked on getting a consistent release point during his time in Triple-A. He’s teased with upside in the past, and it could be nothing. Or, it could be something. Whatever Mickey Callaway’s doing, his team’s buying in.
That just happened
Javy Baez became the first Cub to hit two home runs in back-to-back games since Alfonso Soriano accomplished the feat in 2008. Streakiness comes with the territory with Baez, so his owners will welcome a power surge. Over the last two days he’s hit four home runs with six RBI and scored five runs. He’s also hitting .229 with a 1.086 OPS. Somewhere, Rick Wolf is smiling with the production as he awaits the average to improve.
Albert Almora Jr. racked up three hits, including a double, and scored two runs as the Cubs lead-off hitter on Wednesday night. Kris Bryant also finished with three hits, two doubles, a run and two RBI against the Pirates.
Within the Angels seven run game in Texas, Justin Upton swiped his first two bases of the year going 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Never bench studs. So many on Twitter’s timeline showed remorse for sitting Gary Sánchez in daily moves leagues. Sanchez launched two home runs and a double driving in four during the Yankees 10 - 7 win in Boston. He’s going to be fine everyone. Breathe.
Also off to a slow start, J.D. Martínez hit a grand slam marking the first time the Red Sox hit slams in back-to-back games against the Yankees since 1990. Martinez seems to be getting locked in, which will be scary to upcoming opponents.
Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood got shelled at home by Oakland. He’s been working with reduced velocities to open the season, but seven earned runs in 3.2 innings at home can be concerning. Here’s hoping he bounces back in his next outing.
Over the last two days, Khris Davis has five hits in 10 at-bats with a double, home run and two RBI. He’s streaky. Matt Chapman hit his third home run last night and pushed his OPS to 1.071 on the year. No one targets Jed Lowrie but he’s hitting .333 with three home runs and 11 RBI this year.
Lost within the Andrus injury, Keynan Middleton notched his second save of the season and seems to be emerging as the one Angels reliever Mike Scioscia trusts.
Nick Pivetta did not get the win, but struck out seven over seven innings giving up five hits and two earned runs. During his last two starts, he’s whiffed 16 in 12.2 innings. Of course, they’re against the Marlins and the Reds, but they still count.
Héctor Neris struggled again serving up three hits and a game tying run resulting in his first blown save, but second rough outing in his last three appearances.
Hopefully this catches you up to speed on last night’s tumultuous evening. Many will focus on the tension in Boston, keep your eye on the prize chasing fantasy greatness. Be sure to stop back later to read Howard Bender’s Closing Bell recapping the days events.