Monday provided a busy day with eight exhibition games providing box scores, lineups and plenty of information to mine. It also provided a tremendous moment during the Giants game in Oakland:
Congratulations to Alyssa Nakken and all the future women you inspire. With so much to process leading up to Thursday and Friday, today’s Snapshots comes flush with results and tidbits for the 60-game sprint.
Toronto Blue Jays
Morphing into a soap opera, where will Toronto play home games in 2020?? It remains unresolved with constant speculation. Maybe Pittsburgh as often as possible?
As for Tuesday, fantasy speculators get to see Nate Pearson pitch in Boston at 7:30 this evening if interested in seeing what the hype is all about along with this teaser:
In the bullpen, Jordan Romero focused on conditioning over the time off along with narrowing his arsenal to a fastball and slider combination. He’s been lights out in summer camp and if the team decides to trade Ken Giles , could be in line for save chances in August. Although Rafael Dolis will open the year on the injured list, his name also appears in high leverage talk with this quote from teammate Giles:
“I’ve watched every one of his outings and his bullpens since we got him here,” Giles said. “His stuff is just electric. It’s stuff that I haven’t seen in a long time. It’s going to be a great tool for our team to have someone like that in the back end of our bullpen.”
A late scratch, Austin Hays sat out Monday’s game. Also worth noting, John Means did not throw on Monday so Tuesday will mark one week since he last worked putting his Opening Day status in the air. Manager Brandon Hyde said the team will be “conservative” handling Means so this remains very fluid. Here’s a full injury update with eyes on Hunter Harvey also suffering from a dead arm:
Updating #Orioles injury situation:— Joe Trezza (@JoeTrezz) July 21, 2020
Questionable for OD:
John Means (arm)
Hunter Harvey (arm)
Chance Sisco (triceps)
Dwight Smith Jr. (COVID IL)
Trey Mancini (colon cancer)
Richie Martin (wrist fracture)
Stevie Wilkerson (finger fracture)
Ty Blach (TJ) https://t.co/F3NYSCeK1u
Maybe Baltimore will hit the waiver wire with a player like Derek Dietrich opting out of his contract in Cincinnati and more players about to land there with rosters locking on Thursday. As for the game action, good news with Anthony Santander going 2-for-2 with a double and Renato Núñez also racking up two hits in four at-bats driving in one.
Tampa Bay Rays
During their last intrasquad scrimmage, Ryan Yarbrough worked 4.1 innings throwing 87 pitches in preparation for his start on Saturday against Toronto. Within the notes, Andrew Kittredge , Anthony Banda , Jalen Beeks and Trevor Richards can work two-to-four innings once the season ensues providing Tampa Bay a very pliable staff.
Also a strong performance by a prospect catcher highlighted from the scrimmage:
Boston Red Sox
Leading up to exhibition games, it appears against right-handed pitching Boston will hit Anthony Benintendi leadoff with Rafael Devers second. Versus southpaws, it could shift José Peraza atop the lineup with his fantasy stock on the rise in an off the radar fashion. Remember he qualifies at second base, shortstop and outfield when lineup versatility will be a must.
After the first three spots in the rotation, while Eduardo Rodríguez catches up to speed, Boston will use Nathan Eovaldi , Martín Pérez then Ryan Weber . After this, it could be openers, Brian Johnson or other options which will emerge. Yikes, this team will need to hit to win.
New York Yankees
With eyes on Opening Day on Thursday in Washington, this nugget may provide clarity on the lineup for the Yankees facing Max Scherzer :
Aaron Boone said "there's a good chance" this will be the #Yankees' Opening Day lineup:— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 21, 2020
Working in a simulated game rather than the exhibition, James Paxton threw prior to the contest:
James Paxton threw five innings, 84 pitches in a sim game today. The Yanks didn't want him to face the Phillies today because he'll see them early in the regular season.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 20, 2020
"Overall, I thought he held his stuff well," Aaron Boone said.
It’s encouraging to see the pitch count, but his velocity remains in the 92-to-94 range which could be worth noting early in the season.
From Monday’s action, Mike Clevinger worked some struggles giving up two home runs but finished five innings allowing four hits, three earned runs and one walk with five strikeouts. He produced nine swinging strikes (six with his slider) and 16 called strikes for a 39 percent called plus swinging strike (CSW) rate. Also encouraging from Clevinger, hitting 94 MPH in the first inning after struggling to reach this velocity his last scrimmage outing. Brad Hand coughed up a solo shot to Josh Bell and James Karinchak dazzled retiring the side in the ninth striking out the side on 16 pitches:
Love his arm. Also looking ready for the season, Francisco Lindor :
Lindor liftoff. ???? pic.twitter.com/AH2DcFyLIX— MLB (@MLB) July 21, 2020
Here’s the hitter highlights for Cleveland last night:
- César Hernández tallied two hits in three at-bats plus stole a base. Fantasy asset at a cheap price
- José Ramírez recorded a hit, scored a run and walked in three plate appearances
- Francisco Lindor launched a three-run home run, drove in four and finished 2-for-3 hitting third
- Jordan Luplow homered in two at-bats cementing his spot on the 30-man roster
- Bradley Zimmer continues his push for the roster going 2-for-3 with a run, a double and an RBI batting ninth
Kansas City Royals
Late news on Monday afternoon, but Jakob Junis also landed on the injured list clouding the Royals starting pitcher situation. This adds fuel to the fire of Brady Singer breaking camp with Kansas City.
During a loss to Houston on Monday, two bright spots emerged including Salvador Pérez :
Salvador Pérez turned on one from McCullers for a solo homer down the LF line. Royals trail 5-1— Lynn Worthy (@LWorthySports) July 21, 2020
Part of the intrigue for 2020, how prospects emerge. Detroit added Zack Hess to the 60-man roster and he could appear in the bullpen during this truncated season:
Zack Hess topped out at 97 mph while retiring Tigers in order. Fanned Jake Rogers on a slider, then Jorge Bonifacio on a 96 mph fastball.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) July 20, 2020
Hess pitched at @wmwhitecaps last year after being drafted in 7th round:https://t.co/Bwq3OC7BoC
Tigers GM Al Avila on Daniel Norris : "Norris is getting tested all the time. We do feel it's kinda weird that he's not ready yet, but we do feel that he's close. I wouldn't be surprised over the next few days that we hear something positive, or I should say negative."— Jason Beck (@beckjason) July 20, 2020
A scary moment from summer camp on Monday:
Kenta Maeda , on hitting Josh Donaldson in the forearm with a pitch during Monday's intrasquad game: "I thought that was the end of the world for me, really. I couldn’t have done anything worse." Fortunately, Donaldson was OK.— Phil Miller (@MillerStrib) July 20, 2020
Maeda finished his outing throwing 84 pitches and could be stretched out to 90-to-95 when he faces the White Sox this weekend. While accounting for the addition of Josh Donaldson , keep this nugget in mind when setting DFS lineups or doing any late redraft leagues:
Barrel up. pic.twitter.com/PcO5aXPXZ9— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) July 20, 2020
Two updates, Miguel Sanó may or may not be ready, his at-bats leading up to Opening Day may determine his status. Byron Buxton ran the bases but Rocco Baldelli would not commit to him being ready for Friday. Stay tuned.
Chicago White Sox
It’s apparent the White Sox will mash this year and things started off in grand fashion on Monday:
Even better news with Dallas Keuchel firing five shutout innings on 55 pitches allowing one hit and striking out two. As for the hitters:
- Tim Anderson went 2-for-3 with a double and scored a run
- Yoán Moncada made nice defensive plays while going 1-for-3 and a run scored
- Eloy Jiménez cracked the grand slam highlighted above
- Nick Madrigal went hitless in three at-bats batting ninth
Los Angeles Angels
Late camp soft tissue injuries remain less than optimal:
Good news arrived in the form of Griffin Canning tossing six shutout frames yielding only three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He threw 76 pitches inducing eight swinging strikes and recorded 15 called ones for a 30.3 CSW percentage. David Fletcher led off tallying two hits and scoring the game's only run on a Mike Trout double. With no Rendon in the lineup, Tommy La Stella hit third.
Previously reported, Lance McCullers Jr. preached about using his changeup more and featured it against Kansas City on Monday looking filthy at times. McCullers Jr. pitched five innings yielding four hits, one earned run and struck out six.
Lance McCullers, Disgusting 95mph Two Seamer. ????— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 21, 2020
And, he knows it: "That's F'n Nasty" pic.twitter.com/MLdwuJc4vU
At his price point, McCullers Jr. remains a steal in drafts leading up to Opening Day. Of his 76 pitches, he generated 14 swinging strikes (six with the change) and 12 called for a robust 34.2 CSW percentage. Now, for the change-up video:
Lance McCullers, Two Wicked Changeups...and a Filthy 95mph Two Seamer. ????— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 21, 2020
Welcome back to PitchingNinja! ????
[BTW, expect to see a lot of that Changeup.] pic.twitter.com/EEwyp7fNEG
Here’s how the bats fared:
- George Springer finished 1-for-1 with a run and two walks
- Alex Bregman doubled in a run in three at-bats
- Josh Reddick hit a two run home run over three at-bats
Last, but certainly not least, after prodding one of the Houston beat writers on Twitter, two put out articles about Ryan Pressly closing out games while Roberto Osuna ramps up his conditioning in preparation for the season. Pressly started last year with a 1.42 ERA his first 44 appearances.
A tough day for the Oakland rotation. First, this announcement:
A's pitcher A.J. Puk (shoulder strain) is meeting with Dr. ElAttrache in LA. He'll start season on DL and Bob Melvin says there's no timetable for his return. "It's frustrating,'' Melvin acknowledged.— Daniel Brown (@BrownieAthletic) July 20, 2020
During their game with San Francisco, reports speculate the gun at the stadium can be slow, but:
Final line for Sean Manaea vs Giants: 5IP, 4H, 3ER, 0BB, 4K. 65 pitches, 44 strikes. Fastball touched 89 in the first and averaged 87.6 MPH.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) July 21, 2020
At least the closer looked ready with a clean inning and two strikeouts plus this play:
With the start of the season on the horizon, keep an eye on Dan Altavilla in the Seattle bullpen. Already an announced closer by committee approach suits manager Scott Servais well and he could call upon the improved and healthy Altavilla this season in high leverage spots including the ninth inning. Here’s a snippet from a column on MLB.com by Greg Johns:
The work apparently paid off, as Altavilla has been consistently throwing his fastball in the high-90s and showing a harder, sharper slider that has proven particularly effective.
“After September last year and into my bullpens this offseason, I went from more of a sweeping slider and took more of a fastball mentality with it,” Altavilla said. “I’m starting to see consistency with it. There’s not a big velo difference and it's staying 88-93 [mph]. It’s been really good, and I’m just looking to stay right there with it.”
Also in the team notes, Mallex Smith seems on track to start in Houston when the team leaves on Thursday. So, this puts him in center with Kyle Lewis in right field and Jake Fraley in left. However, Fraley’s not hit well in summer camp fueling speculation Jarred Kelenic could be promoted at some point this season. Not planning on it, but hoping it comes to fruition.
Putting a bow on a strong summer camp, Corey Kluber worked six innings on Monday allowing three hits, two runs and no walks with eight strikeouts. He finishes camp with a 2.38 ERA in 22.2 innings with a tidy 28:4 K:BB in them. He faces Colorado this Sunday.
Willie Calhoun played in Monday’s simulated game getting five at-bats. He may not start on Opening Day but could be in the lineup in left field or designated hitter on Saturday or Sunday.
Before delving into how the rotation may be taking shape, here’s footage of Freddie Freeman from Monday:
Freeman just added an opposite-field HR against Newcomb. He’s gotten about 20 PA the past three nights. Might get another 10 PA over the next two nights. He’ll be ready for Opening Day. https://t.co/a1DD7HnsKZ— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 21, 2020
As for the rotation, it appears to be lining up as such:
The Braves will start Newcomb tonight, Folty tomorrow and Wright on Wednesday. Sets them up to have two lefties (Newcomb and Fried) face the Mets and two righties (Folty and possibly Wright) face the Rays.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 20, 2020
Manager Brian Snitker confirmed Sean Newcomb third in the rotation and Mike Foltynewicz fourth with a chance Kyle Wright gets the start after against Tampa Bay next week. With Freeman back in the fold, Austin Riley moves back to third base where he’s most comfortable and how he fared will be determined by his plate discipline. With a hat tip to Mark Bowman, check out how Riley started with 14 home runs his first 42 games last year prior to his collapse:
Part of Miami’s success with Jonathan Villar will be keeping him on the field. Back spasms limited him last week but he’s on track to start in center field and hit leadoff. Last year, Villar slashed .277/.339/.453 as the Orioles first batter with 73 RBI and 111 runs. Of course, this comes with a caveat of how strong of a summer camp Monte Harrison turned in. If anything happened to Villar, Harrison seems primed to take over. Especially if Miami can flip Villar at the trade deadline for more prospects.
With Opening Day closer, the rotation appears to be taking shape without any official announcement by Don Mattingly. As of now, it’s Sandy Alcantara then Caleb Smith , José Ureña , Pablo Lopez and Elieser Hernandez . The first three face the Phillies while Lopez and Hernandez debut against the Orioles.
Last but not least, news of Harrison heading to the satellite camp after exhibition games disappoints fans and another interesting tidbit about Lewin Diaz also surfaced:
If Lewin Díaz doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, it will be interesting to see if #Marlins work him some at a corner outfield spot while he is in Jupiter. There’s been some club discussion on this. Lewin is terrific at first and versatility never hurts.— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) July 21, 2020
New York Mets
And a collective sigh of relief could be heard from the fantasy community:
Jacob deGrom threw a side session today, as scheduled, and all went well. If there was any remaining doubt as to his Opening Day readiness, it's gone.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 21, 2020
He'll be on the mound Friday at 4:10 p.m. ET against the Braves.
While seeing Yoenis Céspedes run does not illicit enthusiasm he could man the outfield, he does not need to do so with the universal designated hitter. In other injury news, here’s the latest updates on the Mets:
Recapping Mets' injury situation:— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 20, 2020
-RPs Brach, Hughes on IL (undisclosed reason)
-IF Jed Lowrie on IL (left knee discomfort)
-C Wilson Ramos is away from the team (personal issue)
-RP Robert Gsellman has right triceps tightness
-OF Jake Marisnick has left hamstring tightness
In the team’s last tuneup prior to Opening Day, Stephen Strasburg appears ready to start the season:
Strasburg allowed one earned run on six hits and struck out six on Monday. He tossed 81 pitches producing seven swinging strikes and 15 called for a 27.2 CSW percentage. Once again, Howie Kendrick fueled the offense with three hits in four at-bats including a two run home run off Alex Cobb . Juan Soto added a double and a walk scoring two runs in four plate appearances. Both Will Harris (two innings, two hits, two strikeouts) and Erick Fedde (two innings, save, two hits, one earned run, two strikeouts) worked in relief. Does this mean Austin Voth won the fifth spot? Stay tuned.
Aaron Nola will make his third straight Opening Day start but more importantly, Vince Velasquez staked a claim to a spot in the rotation firing five innings giving up four hits, one earned run and a walk with six strikeouts against the Yankees regulars. His only run occurred on a home run by Aaron Judge after three outs getting in more work to increase his pitch count. Velasquez logged 76 pitches recording 10 swinging strikes and 14 called for a 31.6 CSW percentage:
There’s a strong chance Velasquez makes his first start at home against Miami for those streaming starting pitchers.
On offense, both Roman Quinn and J.T. Realmuto went 1-for-3 with an RBI during the 2-2 tie. Last, Jean Segura left the game after being hit by a pitch in the left hand by a 91 MPH fastball. He will be day-to-day unless more news emerges.
Burnes pitching line: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 20, 2020
Burnes logged 55 pitches in this outing and brings his arsenal into the rotation for now. With Anderson receiving a status update, still no word about Ryan Braun trying to overcome an oblique issue to prepare for Opening Day. Good news at least for the bullpen with Corey Knebel progressing well in camp which could unlock Josh Hader . Plus, this rookie could help in high leverage:
St. Louis Cardinals
Leading up to Opening Day, never a dull moment trying to figure out the rotation and closer situations in St. Louis. Technically, there’s no clarity with Mike Schildt saying Kwang-Hyun Kim “could” close out games but now his name gets thrown into the ring. Kim did save two games in the KBO during the last game of their championship series, here’s a look at him in action in 2018:
Otherwise, Kim has made 276 starts in the KBO meaning this will be an adjustment for him despite his strong outings in intrasquad contests. Carlos Martínez heads into the starting rotation but his stay there could be tenuous based on performance and health.
Also worth noting, Tyler O’Neill should start in left field based on comments by his manager so those searching for power upside can keep him in mind leading into this weekend’s waiver wire period.
A less than auspicious outing for Yu Darvish on Monday giving up five earned runs in the first inning then settling down with three scoreless frames after. On offense, Kyle Schwarber went 2-for-3 with an RBI as the designated hitter but Chicago fell 5-3 to the crosstown rival White Sox.
Craig Kimbrel topped out at 96.2 MPH with his fastball working around a walk and a hit with one strikeout in a scoreless eighth inning. This bullpen needs a healthy and productive Kimbrel to survive this sprint.
Less than one week from saying Cole Tucker would not play outfield:
CoTuck in RF for #Pirates.— RobBiertempfel (@RobBiertempfel) July 21, 2020
A late entry into the exhibition game, Tucker played in right field and center field. Here’s the deal, Tucker provides a blend of speed with some pop for a team lacking in upside in the lineup, especially with Gregory Polanco out. Deep league players should stash Tucker just in case.
Also, in the event Nick Burdi remains on a waiver wire:
Nick Castellanos did not play on Monday but:
Nick Castellanos : "I'm ready today"— C. ???????????? (@ctrent) July 20, 2020
Otherwise, a very quiet day on the Reds newsfront.
Arizona cannot love the results of their exhibition games against the Dodgers, but they did not throw their starters either. It may take a week or two, but this player showed up throughout the summer camp reports and tallied the only run on Monday:
A concern from the lopsided loss, how Andrew Chafin (one inning, five hits, six earned runs, one walk) and Kevin Ginkel (one inning, three hits, one run) performed as the high leverage bridge to closer Archie Bradley .
Los Angeles Dodgers
It feels like every year the soft underbelly of Los Angeles continues to be the bullpen. In an effort to reinforce it, the team added two pitchers to the high leverage bridge with each throwing well on Monday. First, Brusdar Graterol in two parts:
And, for the visual crowd:
Graterol only needed nine pitchers to record a clean inning with a strikeout. Meet your closer of the future. Blake Treinen allowed a hit and a walk but turned in a scoreless inning with a strikeout as well during a rout of Arizona.
As for the starter, Julio Urías worked five innings allowing four hits, one earned run and a walk with three strikeouts. He tossed 73 pitches with nine swinging strikes and 12 called for a 28.8 CSW percentage. Also in the box score, the hitters who shined on Monday:
- Mookie Betts launched a three-run home run
- Corey Seager went 3-for-3 with two runs and a double
- Joc Pederson jot a two run home run during a 2-for-3 contest with a double and four RBI
- Chris Taylor finished 2-for-3 with four RBI, homered and walked
Of the most concern for fantasy owners drafting Gavin Lux as the starting second baseman:
Gavin Lux , late to Summer Camp, hasn't been in the starting lineup either of the two exhibition games. Although he's the NL ROY pick of many, he doesn't appear to be the Dodgers starting second baseman at the moment.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) July 20, 2020
Lux arrived late to camp and now could fall victim to the sprint of a season along with some service time manipulation. Stay tuned.
San Francisco Giants
In preparation for the season, San Francisco loaded the lineup with right-handed hitters against Sean Manaea on Monday. Austin Slater who owned a .838 on-base plus slugging percentage versus southpaws last year went 3-for-4 with five RBI. Both Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly got work in throwing scoreless innings:
Gausman had a really good inning there. Constantly pumping 94-95, including a strikeout of Olson on a 95.2 MPH fastball.— Electro (@ImNotHuman123) July 21, 2020
Not involved in the game on Monday, these two veterans will start the year on the injured list:
San Diego Padres
Confirming what most assumed, Chris Paddack will take the mound on Opening Day for the Padres. In last night’s game, Garrett Richards flashed some of the form which makes him an intriguing pitcher this season:
Richards lasted 4.2 innings giving up five hits, one run (unearned) and a walk with five strikeouts. He generated 10 swinging strikes (six with slider) and 15 called for an impressive 31.6 CSW percentage.
By the way, my man Edward Olivares started going 1-for-3 with a double and two strikeouts.
Saving money on travel, Colorado heads to Texas to play two exhibition games then open the season there on Friday. German Márquez will start on Opening Day. With this in mind, summer camp closed for the Rockies:
SUMMER CAMP: ???????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/vddJPFfBP2— Colorado Rockies ???? (@Rockies) July 20, 2020
Now it’s time to figure out the batting order along with if Charlie Blackmon plays on Friday. He’s on track to but no official word one way or the other exists as of this writing.
Games ramp up again on Tuesday and if there’s enough information, another Snapshots will fire up on Wednesday but it remains to be seen. As always, be sure to stay with Fantasy Alarm to remain ahead of the competition across all fantasy formats. Be safe and be well.