Things That Make You Go “Hmmmm…”

According to Jason Linden, Nick Senzel is expected back next week. Senzel is the top prospect in the Reds system and one of the top fantasy prospects in the game, but he has been struggling with vertigo symptoms which ended his season early last year. Hopefully they have gotten this issue properly medicated, but we now have a pattern that is very concerning.

Carlos Martínez will undergo an MRI on his injured lat. It is never good for a pitcher to undergo testing like this, but it is being characterized as way to see how the injury has improved. Keep an eye on this.

According to Tom Haudricourt, Jimmy Nelson is scheduled to see a doctor this week for a progress report on his shoulder. This is more procedural than anything else, but it appears like we should be getting a status update soon. Nelson has been on a late June season debut trajectory.

Nick Pivetta threw seven innings of one-run ball with 11 strikeouts vs the Orioles. He threw over two-thirds of his pitches for strikes. Pivetta has been fantastic as of late and is starting to push his way towards the top 40 of starting pitches in fantasy.

Michael Brantley hit his sixth home run of the season on Tuesday versus the Tigers. Brantley is quietly putting together a fantastic season. He is hitting .338/.376/.596 in 32 games played. Brantley has always had the skills, but has not been able to stay healthy, but right now he is, so ride the hot streak.

Starling Marte stated that he was dealing with an oblique injury. Marte kind of played down the issue, stating that he didn’t believe that he would end up on the DL because of it, but it is worth monitoring. Marte has quietly been fantastic this year hitting 10 homers and six stolen bases with a .308/.363/.509 slash line so far this season.

According to manager Bob Melvin, Bruce Maxwell will not be able to travel with the team when they head to Toronto due to pending legal trouble from the offseason. He will be placed on the restricted list.

While being interviewed by reporters yesterday, Joey Gallo made it clear that he has no interest in playing third base. He was very clear to illustrate that he was not joking by saying that even though that he will do what is requested of him, he hates playing the position and does not want to do so. With Beltre on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, this gives added playing time for Jurickson Profar and Isiah Kiner-Falefa , with Drew Robinson on the DL.

Brandon Belt hit his ninth home run of the season on Wednesday. Belt made a swing change in the offseason to make his motion more compact and already had an elite eye and it has really paid off. He is currently hitting .301/.405/.562 with 23 RBI and 24 runs scored.


What We’ll Be Watching Today

When will Chris Archer turn it around? His underlying metrics are much better than his surface numbers, but they aren’t great either. His swinging strike rate is actually the best of his career and he still is getting batters swinging out of the strike zone, so one has to believe the strikeout rate will rebound. The main problem is the home run rate and amount of hard contact he is giving up. The homer rate should stabilize at some point, so I am not bailing yet.

On the flip side of Archer is Jon Lester . His underlying numbers are not good. His FIP and xFIP are both close to two full runs above his ERA. He is walking four per nine and he is getting very lucky in the BABIP and strand rate departments. Lester looks like a sell high, especially if he pitches well today.

Will Ryan Braun hit the DL? He has missed the last three games with a back injury and stated to reporters that he feels it is likely that he will hit the DL because of it.

Luke Weaver vs Vince Velásquez . Both have high ceilings, but we have seen a ton of downside this year as well. Both will have pressure to stay in the rotation if they continue to struggle.

How long can Caleb Smith keep up what he is doing? His home road splits are indicative of how the vastness of Marlins Park covers his flaws. He gets a struggling Dodgers team today at home, but astute fantasy owners may want to consider selling after this game.


Baseball. Lots of baseball.