Player Blurbs

C. J. Cron:  C. J. Cron had himself a day Sunday going 2-4 with two dingers, two runs and seven RBI.  That is a good week!  On the year Cron, who has battled the injury bug, has 18 dingers, 59 RBI and a .360+ OBP in fewer than 300 AB.  Not too shabby.  Cron has been hot for a while as his 1,000+ OPS over the last three weeks shows. 

For the Week That Will Be: A hot Colorado hitter in August?  Hmm, what to do?  Keep sending him up!

Myles Straw:  The speedster went 2-5 Sunday with a run scored.  A nice day for sure but hardly world-beating.  So, why write about this?  Well, Straw is hitting leadoff for the soon to be Guardians, has hit over .300 in the last week and stolen two bases.  Anyone in a fantasy pennant race need a .300 hitter who might steal another 15 bags before the end of the year?  Of course, you do.   [Note, his .281 over the last 21 days says the last week is not a fluke]. 

For the Week That Will Be:  Plug and play for the full 7 game schedule this week.

Taylor Jones:  With Yuli Gurriel on the shelf, Taylor Jones played 1B Sunday and produced, going 2-4 with an RBI.  Surely, his sub .200 average in the show so far is hardly impressive.  However, this is a guy who was hitting over .320 with an over .400 OBP in AAA and hit .314 in his AA season back in 2018.  His 70+% contact rate is fine for a young player and the fact that he is not pull happy indicates a mature approach.  Oh, and in most leagues, he qualifies at 1B, 3B and OF – very useful this time of year.  

For the Week That Will Be:   Houston hits and he should be in the lineup this week so he will be in mine as well.  

Jo AdellJo Adell went 2-4 with an RBI Sunday to push his average over .300.  Obviously, this is one of the most hyped young players in the league so even a good game will get attention.  However, Adell is 7-25 with 4 RBI, a swipe and .360 OBP since his most recent call up.  I think he has arrived. 

For the Week That Will Be:  Adell should be playing almost every day and should do so even if Mike Trout returns.  No real decision here – he plays for the Angels; he plays for you.

Zach Wheeler:  Wheeler was wheeling and dealing (groan I know) Sunday pitching a complete game shutout while giving up just two hits, one walk and striking out 11.  Hard to do it much better than that.  With a 2.42 ERA and WHIP under 1.00, Wheeler has just been great.  With the Phils fighting for a playoff slot, they will not take their foot off the gas here.    

For the Week That Will Be:  Plug and play.

What to do if your FAAB bids did not go as planned:

If you did not get the pitchers you want, consider these middle relievers on teams with weak or unsettled closing situations or potential openings in the rotation:  Drew Steckenrider and his two inning save against the Yankees (Diego Castillo while good is hardly Mariano Rivera) or Joe Barlow in Texas and his 50% ground ball and 16% swinging strike rate.

If you are in the mood to gamble, how about Andrés Giménez back in the bigs after flopping this spring?

And Last But Not Least:

The moment you have been waiting for (just play along) -- Schultz says: “There’s an old and oft-repeated adage that closers need to have short memories. It serves no purpose to let the disaster of the day before prevent you from achieving success today. It’s not a bad maxim for roto-owners to keep in mind as the 2021 season enters the homestretch. In Mike Trout’s first stint with the Angels, the once and future savior of fantasy baseball hit .220 with 5 homers and 4 steals in a quarter of a season. Similarly, Alex Rodriguez’ career got off a .224 start with 5 homers and 7 steals in a third of a season. Granted, both of them were teenagers at the time, but neither hit the ground running.  

Jo Adell, one of the prizes toiling in the Angels’ minor league system, had an extended tryout with the big-league team in 2020. It did not go swimmingly and his .161 3 HR, 7 RBI, 9 R stat line failed to support the hype. A little further east, Edward Olivares, one of the building blocks of the Royals future, had a similarly disappointing 2020 debut, hitting .240 with 3 HR, 10 RBI. In 2021, Adell has torched the minor leagues, hitting .289 with 23 HRs and 69 RBIs in 73 games and Olivares has done the same, hitting .322 with 13 homers in just 52 games. Both have recently returned to the majors and seem like they are here to stay. With the post-season not in the Angels or Royals’ foreseeable future, Adell and Olivares are going get significant playing time and could pay serious roto-dividends for those in need of outfield production.  

It would also serve roto-folk well to forget Jorge Soler’s last year and a half. After flirting with the Mendoza line and showing quite little of the power that led to his league-leading 48 home runs in 2019, Soler appears to have a new lease on life since being traded to the Atlanta. (In truth, he was showing signs of life before the trade). In his first week back in the senior circuit, Soler hit .360 and slugged 3 home runs, making the Braves seem like prescient geniuses for acquiring him for a mid-range pitching prospect. He may not be a sufficient replacement for Ronald Acuna but the 2019 version of Soler is nothing to let sit on your waiver wire.  

So, forget the past, look onward and seek the success that lies on the horizon.”

Response:   As loyal readers know, Schultz is a real person, does exist and writes his portion independently.  That we both focus on Jo Adell is all the more reason to grab the Angel OF if he is somehow still on your waiver wire.  [Note – loyal readers also know I am a big Soler fan].