Trying to stay up to date in an ever-changing world amidst a pandemic proves to be challenging for fantasy baseball players and fans alike. As this tweet addresses the fluid nature of return to play protocol and how it affects teams going forward:

Gallagher homered in the scrimmage for the Royals then his results came back positive. There’s no league wide stance on when a player can start working out when arriving at camp. This underscores the challenges facing teams like the Astros who shut down workouts on Saturday to clean their facilities to ensure safety going forward, what could be the ripple effect if this occurs during the 60-game season? 

In an effort to surmise the tangible information across the league during summer camp, our snapshots series does its best to keep you informed. Here are some highlights from Saturday across the major leagues. 

American League

Toronto Blue Jays

Siphoning as much information as possible from all the summer camp contests can be important. Spring training games often provide insight as to where a batter could hit in the lineup or be used in the season ahead. So, tweets like this one which may foreshadow the batting order help:

This backs up reports about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. shifting to first base, it also shows Travis Shaw hitting cleanup and Rowdy Tellez at designated hitter. However, spring training star Joe Panik making an appearance in left field should not be overlooked either. He’s trying to add to his versatility in order to make the 30-man in-season roster and if he adapts well to the outfield, it only enhances his chances. This lineup also highlights no Lourdes Gurriel Jr. at camp since the restart. Toronto will not comment about his absence but with each passing day, it’s likely he’s not ready for the start of the season on July 24th. 

Last, for the Nate Pearson truthers:

Again, it’s fairly certain Toronto will keep him down at least seven days in order to gain service time for another season, but at some point Pearson will debut this season and fantasy owners await his arrival. 

Baltimore Orioles

First the Orioles named Ryan Mountcastle to the 60-man roster then they toss out this teaser for the prospect chasers:

There’s no truth to the rumor Matt Selz will make this his phone’s wallpaper, but his love for the talented catcher knows no bounds. This will be a lost season for Baltimore but the future shines brightly for prospects like Adley Rutschman and others. 

Tampa Bay Rays

Building on yesterday’s tidbit on Tampa Bay, neither Yonny Chirinos nor Tyler Glasnow have appeared at summer camp yet clouding their status for Opening Day. Joining Jalen Beeks and Trevor Richards in stretching out is Anthony Banda . It’s going to take pitching depth to survive the sprint and Tampa’s ability to be innovative should help them overcome it in the long run. However, as days pass for Glasnow, losing starts could be an issue when viewing him as a longshot for the Cy Young Award. 

Boston Red Sox

Manager Ron Roenicke will not rule out Eduardo Rodríguez for Opening Day but his positive test for COVID-19 keeps him in Miami and not working out with the team. Nathan Eovaldi continues to prepare for the start if Rodriguez cannot take the mound in Boston’s opener. As for the rotation, it’s wide open. Four to five could fill the roles in the rotation including Ryan Weber , Brian Johnson , Chris Mazza , Jeffrey Springs , and Matt Hall . Wait, who? 

Veteran Collin McHugh suffered a slight setback, so his Opening Day status remains in the air, but it sounds like he’s not on track to be ready in less than two weeks. In case one wonders how to handle this rotation, it’s likely to be one we target with streaming hitters or in DFS at the onset of the season. 

Some good news from camp regarding Jonathan Lucroy . He’s racking up hits and feeling good recovering from a neck surgery which affected his performance last season. A name to keep tucked away for in deep leagues with two catchers. 

New York Yankees

Almost one hour after yesterday’s column was published, the reports of Aroldis Chapman testing positive for COVID-19 appeared on the Twitter timeline. It’s the nature of things in major league baseball but here’s the fantasy fallout from it: 

With so many teams deploying a fluid high leverage model this preseason, at least New York provided a clear backup for saves when the season starts. This also moves up Tommy Kahnle and Adam Ottavino in the pecking order for holds along with a possible save if the team does not overuse Britton going forward. 

As for the intrasquad scrimmage, Aaron Judge received the night off waking up with stiffness in his neck. It’s not reported as serious, but the list continues to grow of his ailments. Rain cut the contest short but both J.A. Happ and Clarke Schmidt toed the rubber:

Cleveland Indians

Beneath the radar in summer camp, Cleveland prospect Yu Chang continues to flash power in their games and hitting home runs against top pitchers:

Kansas City Royals

As noted in the introduction above, Kansas City catcher Cam Gallagher tested positive for COVID-19 further depleting the position with projected starter Salvador Pérez also sidelined by the virus. Less than optimal with Opening Day fast approaching. 

During Saturday’s scrimmage, Bobby Witt Jr. continues to impress by making a highlight reel play on a backhand stab with a 360 throw to first. First, his prolonged at-bat earlier in the week and this play makes Royals hopeful for the future with Witt Jr. and the starting pitching prospects on tap in the years ahead. 

Detroit Tigers 

From the “music to my ears” department, this nugget about Detroit’s scrimmage makes all the C.J. Cron shares owned feel warranted:

With a grain of salt, it’s an intrasquad scrimmage but one way to mitigate his new home ballpark which depresses power will be pulling the ball. If Cron adapts to this, it could unlock his power potential in a shortened season making him a nice first base target or corner infielder later in drafts. 

Minnesota Twins

Late season nagging injuries harpooned the production of Eddie Rosario but makes for a unique buy low to an integral part of the Twins high powered offense. Plus:

During Minnesota’s intrasquad scrimmage, Homer Bailey opposed Rich Hill on the mound. Bailey worked 3.2 innings giving up two hits and two walks with three strikeouts on 70 pitches. Hill only needed 60 pitches to navigate 5.1 innings allowing two hits and striking out five. Efficiency will be a key to performance this year for starters in fantasy. 

Chicago White Sox

While trying to garner all the tangible information on the timeline, it’s funny how information evolves. For instance, this seemed pretty innocent: 

Until this video of the home run by talented rookie Luis Robert emerged:

Chicago’s game featured many home runs including a shot by Nomar Mazara . If the White Sox hope to contend in the Central, they will need production throughout the lineup and its pitching to hold up. 

Los Angeles Angels

One day following his pitching debut in camp, Shohei Ohtani experienced back stiffness but remains hopeful to make his next scheduled start on the mound in camp. Ohtani looked alright in this video:

Jo Adell continues to impress in big league camp following up his home run on Thursday with a single and a triple in Saturday’s contest. In the bullpen, Mike Mayers could break camp with the team and the expanded roster along with Jacob Barnes making good impressions with Joe Maddon. 

Houston Astros

Not much to report here since Houston shut down workouts on Saturday but they will return to action on Sunday after meeting protocol on cleaning up: 

Oakland Athletics

Fantasy tease Franklin Barreto continues to mash in summer camp and playing his way into the lineup for Oakland:

It’s also nice to see Stephen Piscotty listed as a top performer of late. Many seek out Mark Canha late in drafts but a healthy and productive Piscotty could provide more batting average insulation in the 60-game sprint. In an effort to cheer up Howard Bender, here’s a look at his prodigy at first base, Matt Olson :

Seattle Mariners

How Seattle’s bullpen performs could determine how its season goes. Although he’s underperformed to this point, take note of this nugget on Dan Altavilla :

Another arm of intrigue for the Mariners will be Logan Gilbert. As the article suggest, he might have been making his debut in the majors around this time in a normal season but his outing on Saturday could push up his timetable in the shortened season on tap: 

Texas Rangers

With many players on the roster playing catch up due to late arrivals, Jordan Lyles worked five innings throwing 80 pitches but allowed five runs on five hits and two walks with only one strikeout. Due to a scheduling wrinkle, Texas gets three off days in their first 11 days so Lyles could be skipped providing more time to get ready. 

Joey Gallo looks to get as many swings as possible after his late arrival. Rougned Odor continues to stand out in summer camp homering off Lyles in the scrimmage and homering in three straight games. Trying to win the center field job, Danny Santana snapped out of a slump with a home run and a triple on Saturday after starting camp hitless in his first 13 at-bats. Without a position as of yet, Nick Solak tallied two more hits on Saturday and he’s nine for his last 19 in camp. 

Kolby Allard turned around his camp tossing four innings with five strikeouts allowing an unearned run. He could be a valuable piggy-back option if needed for Lyles in early contests. 

National League 

Atlanta Braves

Hits to the rotation keep coming for Atlanta with their latest casualty:

A reminder, the bevy of arms in the system could buoy the team so how Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson perform at the start of the year could determine how the Braves weather the storm. This also could expedite the promotion of Ian Anderson if the team needs his arm after the seven-day period to protect service time lapse. 

Miami Marlins

During a zoom interview, manager Don Mattingly said any player on the Marlins 60-man roster could play this season. This proves intriguing with no minor league games and Miami teeming with young talent like Jazz Chisholm, J.J. Bleday, Lewin Diaz, Max Meyer, Edward Cabrera and Jorge Guzman could all make a debut at some point after the first seven days lapse to protect service time. Stay tuned. 

New York Mets

Straight shooting from the horse’s mouth, here’s how Yoenis Céspedes feels about his health entering this truncated season: 

Within this Twitter thread, Cespedes said hitting major league pitching to him is akin to “riding a bike”. 

Washington Nationals

Almost an afterthought in most drafts, Eric Thames appears to be the last man standing at first base for Washington with Ryan Zimmerman opting out and Howie Kendrick yet to be cleared to participate in summer camp. Lest we forget, Thames launched 23 home runs against right-handed pitching last year with a .529 slugging percentage against them. 

Philadelphia Phillies

Not to bemoan the fact, but Scott Kingery continues to work his way back after suffering from COVID-19 in June: 

It’s apparent the disease affects many differently and while the team hopes Kingery can be ready on Opening Day, it’s tenable at this point. 

Milwaukee Brewers

One day after Eric Lauer reported to camp, he landed on the injured list (COVID-19). This reopens the door for one of Corbin Burnes or Freddy Peralta to win the last spot in the rotation. Due to Milwaukee’s predicted usage of their starters, the more valuable pitcher of the two could be the piggy-back option. No matter how it shakes out, this shot of Peralta yesterday stood out on Twitter:

St. Louis Cardinals

Paths to playing time come in many forms, but early camp injury issues cloud the future for others such as:

It’s been a difficult transition to St. Louis for Dexter Fowler since joining via free agency and many hope Dylan Carlson gets at-bats sooner rather than later for the team. Stay tuned to how all of this evolves. 

Chicago Cubs

Although it’s from Friday’s scrimmage, perhaps a sneak preview of “air” high fives this year when watching games: 

Kyle Schwarber could benefit from the amount of right-handed pitching he and the Cubs will face in the Central contests. Keep tabs on Nico Hoerner vying for the second base job in camp for those in deeper formats. 

Pittsburgh Pirates

Fantasy owners may be intrigued to know the new Pirates pitching coach Ocar Marin continues to draw rave reviews from the staff. Bringing a mix of analytics and a personable approach, one can see a difference with Mitch Keller working at the top of the strike zone: 

Keller brings his prospect status to the forefront this year and the shortened season may allow his breakout. Stay tuned. 

Cincinnati Reds

During an interview, at least one player on the Reds understands what type of impact the shortened season feels like due to his past:

Anchoring a deep bullpen, Raisel Iglesias will be a key member of the Reds in their attempt to win the division. He spoke out about his usage in 2019 then backed it up with an improved performance but his pitching coach, Derek Johnson, preferred fluid high leverage usage during his time in Milwaukee. 

While trying to figure out how Cincinnati will deploy its outfield depth with time shared at designated hitter, could Joey Votto be on the precipice of a bounce back:

One cannot be sure, but it feels like Votto’s locked in right now during intrasquad scrimmages and in on-base leagues he’s a bargain at his present price point. 

Arizona Diamondbacks

While focus on players and performance moves to the forefront, remembering the human aspect of them provides perspective. Starling Marte arrived at Arizona’s camp and after an interview with local reporters via zoom, he revealed thoughts of retirement after the death of his wife this past May. Support from his children and former teammate Gregory Polanco helped Marte find his way back to baseball. Here’s hoping he finds solace in the game like many of us do. 

Teammate Kole Calhoun also made his first appearance at camp. Reliever Kevin Ginkel will throw for the first time on Sunday with Arizona ramping up for the start of the season. 

Los Angeles Dodgers

This could come back to haunt me but trying to target Dustin May in any redraft going forward remains a focus. Los Angeles projects to win more games than anyone else in the National League and needs his arm to accomplish this. Plus, just look at the filth:

Also, of note from Saturday Josiah Gray looked good as well for the Dodgers:

Getting used to no fans will be tough, but the sound of a mitt popping warms the soul. 

San Francisco Giants

One way to handle the fluidity of the upcoming season for fantasy can be targeting players with multi-positional eligibility to overcome constant injury list stints. One name to keep in mind later in drafts, Mauricio Dubon :

His manager, Gabe Kapler, raves about his work ethic and being a sponge learning how to handle the outfield along with being able to play all over the infield. Dubon made quite a favorable impression last year during his debut after a trade from Milwaukee hitting .279/.312/.442 with four home runs and three stolen bases in 28 games. 

Following up early reports about how Kapler will use the bullpen, Tyler Rogers notes he’s open to any high leverage work and looks forward to trying to procure any future save chances:

Colorado Rockies

Falling in love with Rockies rookies leads to broken hearts. However, with the fluidity of Colorado’s outfield, keep Garrett Hampson in mind during drafts, especially if searching for speed upside. He hit a hustle double on Saturday then scored on a single by Daniel Murphy . According to reports, Murphy  is healthy and spraying the ball all over the field. Plus, noted southpaw killers Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado went back-to-back against Tim Hill

Last, but not least, Sam Hilliard looked good in this at-bat against left-handed Jake McGee

With an eye on the days ahead, be sure to stay with Fantasy Alarm to remain ahead of the competition. And to end on positivity, check out these two tweets. First: 

Baseball needs to bring about more diversity and even though this only happened in a scrimmage, it’s progress. 

And if anyone can get me one of these Twins summer camp shirts, sign me up: 

Until next time, be well. 

Statistical Credits: