MLB Summer Camp Snapshots: July 15 - Power Hitters, Bullpens, Injuries
Greg Jewett takes a look around today's MLB Summer camps and breaks down the top news stories of the day.
It’s been a whirlwind the last 24 hours since putting together the last snapshots with a potential injury to the two time defending National League Cy Young award winner, the Astros bullpen dwindling, and the impact Yasiel Puig could have on the Braves roster from more than a fantasy perspective. News changes quickly but Snapshots does its best to cover fantasy tidbits from each team in one place.
Toronto Blue Jays
Although Matt Shoemaker struggled with his release point during his outing, he threw 93 pitches allowing two home runs, four runs and two walks with six strikeouts lasting 4.2 innings. He hopes to be sharper against the Rays when he faces them on July 25th when games matter. Key point here, the amount of pitches he, Hyun-Jin Ryu , and Tanner Roark built up to entering the season.
As for the game action, this swing by Bo Bichette reminds us of his upside this season even though Toronto will face tough pitching in the East:
Plenty of injury updates on the Toronto roster as well from Tuesday:
- Chase Anderson (oblique) threw off flat ground but not on track to start the year in the rotation.
- Julian Merryweather (oblique) strained his as well while stretching out to work two to three inning piggy-back outings.
- Travis Shaw shifted back to third base but day-to-day right now with a sore groin.
- Wilmer Font landed on the injured list allowing Toronto fluidity with the 40-man roster.
Making his long-awaited return to camp, Baltimore welcomed back Anthony Santander . He hit 20 home runs with a .261 average in only 93 games last year. Also, of note Ryan Mountcastle took reps in left field adding perhaps another position to his already diverse background during his development with the Orioles.
Tampa Bay Rays
A much-awaited return to the mound for Tyler Glasnow . He fired 49 pitches lasting 3.1 innings giving up a hit and a walk with four strikeouts on Tuesday after missing time due to COVID-19.
How long he pitched provides optimism for his long-awaited breakout after starting last year 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA before being shut down with an arm strain.
New York Yankees
Giancarlo Stanton just took part in a slate of Yankees base running drills. Likely particularly encouraging: Seemed to have no trouble running from second, rounding third base and heading home.— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 14, 2020
At least one of the sluggers left the yard in Tuesday’s scrimmage:
Gary Goes Yard ???? pic.twitter.com/lma3dZ1ohk— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 14, 2020
Tuning up for the season, Shane Bieber looked ready on Tuesday:
Bieber worked six innings allowing one run and struck out 10 against his teammates. Domingo Santana hit a game turning grand slam in the fifth inning. Seeing a theme yet on power available late in drafts? Target your marks in pitching, saves, and steals then backfill power kids.
Kansas City Royals
Kansas City’s revolving door at catcher received a boost on Tuesday:
The Royals have activated Salvador Pérez from the IL.— Lynn Worthy (@LWorthySports) July 14, 2020
Perez singled in a run his first at-bat back making his presence known at camp. With Ryan O’Hearn still in quarantine, Ryan McBroom launched a two-run home run trending towards starting at first base in just over a week. Under the radar Maikel Franco cracked a grand slam in the scrimmage off Glenn Sparkman as well.
Also announced, Danny Duffy will make his third Opening Day start for the franchise. He logged 75 pitches on Monday.
On the outside looking in, perhaps a reliever can make the jump at a spot Detroit needs depth added. Shao-Ching Chiang hits 98 MPH with his fastball and features a plus breaking pitch. However, with his rise in strikeouts, he’s also issuing more walks. Chiang could be a work in progress, but his talent makes him one to watch going forward.
Following up yesterday’s update concerning Byron Buxton , perhaps some good news:
There’s a chance Buxton could be ready by Opening Day so stay tuned. However, with no Miguel Sanó yet in camp, Minnesota could be missing their newly anointed first baseman and his prolonged absence prevents him from learning a new position. A potential key to the Twins bullpen may be Zack Littell according to Rocco Baldelli. Littell’s posted an impressive 2.68 ERA in 29 appearances as a reliever and his ability to pitch more than an inning could be a key in the upcoming season.
Also, worth noting the power of the Twins shines in their scrimmages:
Chicago White Sox
The fantasy community continually focuses on Yasmani Grandal as a power hitter with tremendous patience. However, he is just as valuable to his new team in his ability to handle a pitching staff and this extended time to adjust may help him guide young pitchers like Reynaldo López and Dylan Cease through rough spots in games.
To no surprise, the White Sox announced the signing of first round pick Garrett Crochet and added him to the team’s player pool.
Los Angeles Angels
During a “B” game in camp, both Dylan Bundy and Griffin Canning pitched five innings recording eight strikeout each. Joe Adell stayed hot, tripling off Bundy and hitting an RBI double off of Keynan Middleton .
Confirming yesterday’s report, Shohei Ohtani will not be the designated hitter in the game before he starts.
Tuesday proved to be a rough day for news out of Houston. Before delving into all the details, here’s a look at Justin Verlander ’s revamped delivery:
Verlander rocks and fires pic.twitter.com/zHoWZ4IxY0— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) July 14, 2020
Verlander finished five scoreless innings allowing three hits and striking out six on 67 pitches (46 strikes). As for the bad news, George Springer sat out on Tuesday awaiting test results and a bevy of news about the Astros bullpen:
- Brad Peacock (right shoulder) day-to-day
- Ryan Pressly (right finger blister) day-to-day
- Austin Pruitt (right elbow inflammation) day-to-day
- Joe Smith placed on the restricted list. Yet to report to camp and may opt-out.
Another team with a quiet day on Tuesday but those in daily moves leagues could look into using Sean Murphy and Austin Allen to fill the catcher spot. Murphy flashed his upside last year and Allen’s been producing prodigious power in camp.
Keeping with yesterday’s announcement about this section being reserved for any Jarred Kelenic love, check out his sweet swing:
However, ignoring a player who will break camp with the team would be frivolous, so here’s starting first baseman Evan White also mashing a dinger from Tuesday:
Evan White is the latest #Mariners' prospect to show off at Summer Camp, going yard today in the first inning.— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 14, 2020
Keep track of all the best highlights from prospects around #MLB right here:: https://t.co/sgRnY1luLl pic.twitter.com/ekz4nSYbzl
An old name in a familiar place as Edinson Vólquez tries to win a spot in the Texas bullpen. He fired two scoreless innings on Monday giving up a walk with three strikeouts hitting 95 MPH on the radar gun. Mike Minor raved about his new ballpark and as a pending free agent, this could help bring him back.
In game action, Jonathan Hernández pitched three innings on 50 pitches giving up four hits and a walk with three strikeouts. With Willie Calhoun nursing a sore hip, off the radar prospect Adolis García homered off Derek Law . It also appears Robinson Chirinos being ready for Opening Day is in doubt after rolling his ankle early in the week.
On the heels of his strong outing on Monday, Atlanta announced Mike Soroka will be their Opening Day starter to no surprise and here’s an intriguing tidbit:
At 22 years & 355 days old on July 24, Mike Soroka will be the youngest Braves Opening Day starting pitcher in the Modern Era (since 1900).— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) July 14, 2020
Last pitcher *younger than Soroka* to start on Opening Day for the franchise? 22-year, 29-day old Tommy Bond in 1878.
In a bit of a shock, Yasiel Puig agreed to terms to a one-year deal with the Braves pending a physical and team announcement. For fantasy, this could yield a nice season for those who stood by Puig with his price plummeting in redraft leagues:
This also throws some water on the Austin Riley breakout party if Freddie Freeman returns soon but things remain fluid on every roster in baseball. There’s also some allusion to Puig being from Cuba affecting Ronald Acuña Jr. who hails from Venezuela in the clubhouse. It’s never easy kids, for now let’s see if the contract with Puig gets to the finish line.
Last, but not least, here’s a view of Max Fried flashing his arsenal:
On Tuesday, Miami announced Sandy Alcantara will be their Opening Day starter and he worked the equivalent of six innings in a scrimmage. In a potential battle for the fifth spot in the rotation or a job in the bullpen, both Nick Neidert and Robert Dugger tossed four scoreless innings each on Monday. Neidert allowed three hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Duggar yielded two hits and struck out two.
New York Mets
Sometimes the players make the game look so easy, many feel they could do it. As a reminder, check out this catch by Yoenis Céspedes and the joy he’s displaying right now:
It’s easy to forget and at age 34, Cespedes may not be the same player but in 59 games after joining the Mets in 2015, he hit 17 home runs with a robust .604 slugging percentage. In 308 games playing for New York, Cespedes has 74 home runs which in a 60-game season translates to 14-to-15 maintaining this pace. Again, it’s a reach but at his price point, teams looking for power could do worse in a fluid season.
On the other end of the spectrum, this news does not bode well for Mets fans or fantasy owners:
Here was Jake's reaction after leaving the mound in today's sim game: pic.twitter.com/Lf0k3w880F— SNY (@SNYtv) July 15, 2020
Sifting through the initial reports, Jacob deGrom left after an inning of work with “back stiffness”. Of course, more news will emerge so those targeting him in the first round need to heed the reports as they surface.
With players sidelined by Washington’s strict COVID-19 policies, perhaps a glimmer of hope for two-thirds of the Nationals outfield:
Vying for a spot in the rotation, Vince Velasquez impressed at camp on Tuesday:
Within the article, both Velasquez and Zack Wheeler threw 68 pitches in the scrimmage. Scott Kingery homered in his first live action in summer camp and will be a designated hitter again on Wednesday. Many teams feature late power and another name to keep in mind, Jay Bruce who will split time in the outfield, as the designated hitter and even some first base if Rhys Hoskins needs a day off his feet.
The Brewers were locked into a blue versus gold World Series in camp. After a player draft, the first game featured Brandon Woodruff working 4.1 innings with six strikeouts and his only blemish, a solo home run allowed to Justin Smoak . For the winners, both Jedd Gyorko and this camp standout hit two run home runs in the first inning:
Team Gold leads Team Blue after one game in the series designed to get each hitter 20-to-25 at-bats leading up to the season.
St. Louis Cardinals
One of the toughest things to do prior to the start of the season next week, stay ahead of the news trying to filter out the noise in reports. Yes, Jordan Hicks suffers from diabetes but this nugget one day after his opt-out clouds his return on time next season:
Manager Mike Shildt revealed that Jordan Hicks had a setback in Tommy John rehab, dealing with inflammation, and wouldn't have been available to pitch until September any way, which cemented his decision to opt out.— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) July 15, 2020
During a pitching duel in camp, Austin Gomber matched Jack Flaherty with four shutout frames. Gomber tossed 55 pitches retiring the first 11 hitters he faced and finished with four strikeouts. Flaherty also worked four innings throwing 75 pitches. On the injury front, Dexter Fowler (back) and Brad Miller (heel) should return to game action on Thursday.
Any injury news moves the needle in this compressed season, but this one dates back to prior seasons and seeing Anthony Rizzo heading for an MRI cannot be a great sign:
Cubs' Rizzo getting MRI https://t.co/v6CSfH2XBi— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) July 14, 2020
News should come available later on Wednesday but noting Rizzo’s missed a week of workouts needs to be accounted for. From the good news department, it appears Javier Báez found his groove on Tuesday:
Javy doing Javy things. ???? pic.twitter.com/GYZ8em20LF— MLB (@MLB) July 15, 2020
In this truncated season, a healthy and motivated Baez could be a steal after the first tier of shortstops fly off the board.
With eyes on the regular season, here’s an update on the plan for one of the pitchers:
Joe Musgrove says he’s scheduled to go six innings against the Indians on Saturday.— Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) July 14, 2020
Otherwise, a very quiet day on the Pirates news front.
Although most of the news focuses on Trevor Bauer needing to sit out awaiting his COVID-19 test results, some young players continue to shine at camp. Tejay Antone keeps surfacing in both MLB.com articles and on The Athletic. Antone’s on the 40-man roster and could be filling in innings at some point if needed this year. Shortstop Jose Garcia turns heads with his defense and power at the age of 22. Jonathan Indian homered in each of his last two scrimmage appearances and Tyler Stephenson benefits from working out with the regulars and catching major league pitching.
A welcome return to the bullpen also occurred on Tuesday as well:
One day after announcing Christian Walker ’s injury, he insists he’s on track for Opening Day. Some camp highlights can be seen here:
For the Cliff Notes version, Ketel Marte continues to rake in camp flashing his power. Both Eduardo Escobar and Idemaro Vargas are hitting the ball with authority. Robbie Ray logged 70 pitches sitting mid-90’s MPH with his fastball and Luke Weaver popped 97 MPH so far in camp. Keep tabs on Taylor Widener as a reliever or multi-inning arm with upside this year.
Los Angeles Dodgers
While starting pitching flies off the boards in redraft leagues, could Walker Buehler be worth more later in the year than early on?
Dave Roberts said Walker Buehler is “a little bit behind the other guys, but once the season starts whatever he can give us will be sufficient.”— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) July 14, 2020
Buehler pitched a simulated inning Sunday, will throw another 2+ simulated innings next before game action.
Buehler’s a stud but this does not provide any warm and fuzzies once the season goes green next week. Last year, he went 14-4 with a 3.26 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 215 strikeouts in 182.1 innings. As of this writing, Clayton Kershaw , Ross Stripling , and Alex Wood have thrown five innings each on track for the season. Julio Urías lasted three innings his last time out.
As for game action, on Tuesday both Mookie Betts and Joc Pederson homered. Max Muncy returned going 2-for-3 with a double and Kenley Jansen retired all four hitters he faced including a strikeout of Corey Seager .
San Francisco Giants
With Puig off the board, San Francisco will need to look internally to fill its outfield spots. If this player can stay healthy, he’s another sneaky play in deeper formats, especially when streaming hitters in advantageous match ups:
Cueto pitched well but allowed two runs on a triple to Steven Duggar in the scrimmage.
San Diego Padres
While fawning over the talent laden farm system in San Diego, two veterans could determine how 2020 goes for the team. Garrett Richards looks to regain his old form when he recorded a 3.54 ERA over eight seasons with the Angels. In this sprint, he could do well with his high-octane arsenal.
From the old news department, Wil Myers went 3-for-3 with two home runs during an intrasquad scrimmage on Monday and seems poised for a rebound season in 2020. If he does, it will be at a very cheap price in redraft leagues.
One of the most tenuous holds on a closer job lies in the hands of Wade Davis . Colorado remains steadfast in its support for the veteran reliever, but he coughed up back-to-back home runs against Raimel Tapia and Trevor Story in Monday night’s simulated contest. Yes, Davis pitched through an oblique injury last year adding to his poor performance but with Scott Oberg lying in wait with much better underlying data plus rave reviews from camp regarding Jairo Diaz and Carlos Estévez , can Davis stay in the ninth inning all 60 games?
More news will emerge after this publishes so be sure to stay with Fantasy Alarm to remain ahead of the competition.