MLB Closing Bell: No More Freak in the Show
Greg Jewett reflects on Tim Lincecum's release from the Rangers, and potential departure from MLB. He also goes over several of Tuesday's roster moves and burning questions.
One of the best parts of baseball can be the allure of pulling for players who defied the odds to succeed. Tim Lincecum , affectionately referred to as “The Freak”, represents this as well as anyone. He won two Cy Young Awards in spite of his diminutive stature hurling fastballs and breaking down batters with his devastating split-fingered fastball. Lincecum won three world championships with the Giants and seems destined to be a player to live on in folklore.
But with a roster decision looming, the Rangers were forced to make a baseball decision. They took a calculated risk signing Lincecum to a one-year contract and needed to activate him by Wednesday, release him or ask him to accept a minor league designation. Texas has released Lincecum, who recorded a 5.68 ERA at Triple-A with 10 strikeouts and nine walks in 12.2 innings of work. As of this writing, Lincecum has headed out West, presumably to return home and away from baseball. If indeed this is the end for Tim Lincecum , thanks for the memories.
It seems like Tuesday evenings become dominated by a litany of roster moves. This one only reinforces the trend. In an effort to save some time, here’s the abridged version of the latest injury news.
- Jordan Montgomery will undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. New York, already rumored to be in the market for starting pitching, will become much more aggressive. Luckily, the team will have about $12 million dollars to work with before exceeding the luxury tax.
- Lingering wrist soreness caused Justin Turner to receive a stim treatment and he will not play on Tuesday. This will need to be closely monitored by his fantasy owners.
- Boston placed Drew Pomeranz on the 10-day disabled list due to left biceps tendinitis. There’s no official replacement slated yet for his start on Thursday, but many hope it will be Jalen Beeks , no not from Coming to America, to be promoted. Beeks is a crafty left-handed starter with three wins at Triple-A, a 2.56 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 80 strikeouts against 14 walks in 56.1 innings.
- Tampa Bay placed Chris Archer on the disabled list with an abdominal strain. He’s in danger of missing one or two starts, but the team feels it’s not serious. Matt Andriese will work the lion’s share of innings on Archer’s turn in the rotation. Of interest, the Rays promoted Diego Castillo to the bullpen. Castillo has four saves, in five chances, at Triple-A with a 1.03 ERA and 0.84 ERA. He can struggle with his control, but, Castillo’s upper 90’s fastball and plus-slider could work well in high leverage for a team needing a replacement for Álex Colomé .
- Both Yadier Molina and Carlos Martínez will be activated and start on Tuesday for the Cardinals. Teammate, Álex Reyes , will head to Philadelphia to see a specialist to determine how long he will miss going forward.
- Colorado promoted Mike Tauchman , the Pacific Coast League’s player of the month for May. Tauchman racked up 44 hits with eight home runs last month and over his 149 games in Triple-A, has 25 home runs and 23 stolen bases with a .345/.398/.587 slash line in 649 plate appearances. Plus, he’s whiffed 14.8 percent of the time compared to an 8.5 walk percentage. Power, speed and some plate discipline? Yes please.
- Toronto’s front office thinks a promotion could be in store for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in July. Of course, it’s only to Triple-A. Patience will be needed here no matter how ready Vlad Jr. looks, the team has zero to gain from calling him up prior to the Super 2 date or in a panic move. It stinks, but it’s the truth.
Did You Know?
Byron Buxton , still out on the disabled list, has a negative three weighted runs created plus metric? He’s played in 28 games with eight runs, four RBI, five stolen bases and a .156/.183/.200 slash line. His present replacement, Ryan LaMarre ’s hitting .310/.355/.362 with four runs, six RBI and a steal in 27 games. And, a weighted runs created plus of 97. Baseball.
Speaking of which, Adam Engel of the White Sox has hit .310/.341/.548 with nine runs, two home runs, five RBI and two stolen bases over the last two weeks. He’s not going to stay this hot due to his 31.8 strikeout percentage, but Engel will play and stay aggressive on the bases.
Last week, Matt Olson seemed due to turn around his slow start in the power department. This week, it could be Justin Bour ’s turn. He ranked tied for sixth in barrels last month with 12, his rest of the season Steamer projects him to hit 17 home runs over the last 88 games with a .254/.354/.461 slash line and 50 RBI. For a comparison, Justin Smoak ’s projected to hit 18 home runs the last 91 games with a .243/.341/.458 line. Only difference, name recognition.
Would the Dodgers really send Clay Bellinger back to the minors? Will Bryce Harper heat up soon? Who do the Yankees target as a starting pitcher if they do not prefer rentals? When does Manny Machado get traded to a contender?
Many more questions remain unanswered, but no worries, Justin Mason will recap the most pressing matters in Wednesday’s Round Up on Fantasy Alarm to keep you ahead of your competition.