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Happy Friday! It was an excitingly eventful Thursday, unless of course you had Luis Castillo in your lineup, which you shouldn't have. You can read more about him below but man, I wish he would have showed us the slightest bit of optimism. Logan Gilbert and Jarred Kelenic weren't great in their debuts but hey, it happens. The real story of that game was the pitcher opposing them in Zach Plesac, who's now had four strong starts in a row.

Outside of those names, I thought Patrick Corbin was very impressive. We basically left him for dead but he showed us he still might have something left in the tank. He limited the Phillies to just one run over seven innings while striking out nine. His four-seam fastball averaged 92.7 mph on Thursday, his highest in a start since September 28, 2019! If you can sell-high then sure, but I doubt many people are looking to acquire Corbin right now. I'd be comfortable holding to see if he builds on this performance. 

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Is Castillo now droppable?

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Reds SP Luis Castillo had another rough outing on Thursday, this time at Coors Field. Castillo lasted just 3 2/3 innings and allowed eight earned runs on 10 hits. His ERA has now ballooned to 7.71 with a 1.79 WHIP. In this disappointing performance, Castillo threw his changeup 13% of the time (the lowest percentage of changeups he's ever had in a start) and it had a average exit velocity of 96.3 mph against it. That's the scariest part with Castillo -- it's almost as if he's totally lost his changeup. In this game alone, he allowed nine hard-hit balls. It's possible the changeup having no movement is due to him pitching at Coors, but this isn't a brand new issue.

Chris is not coming off his take -- Castillo remains a buy-low trade option he would pursue. I'm not as sold, but after this outing, the price has never been cheaper. Scott agreed that the concerning thing here is how much confidence he's lost in the changeup, but the question is when and if he's going to get this changeup back. If he gets a feel for it, things can turn fast for Castillo -- and he could be fine for the rest of the season.

In shallower leagues, Scott suggested that if he's still struggling at the end of May, it could be time to move on from him by dropping him to the waiver wire.

Mariners top prospects struggle in debut

On Thursday, we saw the debut of two of the MLB's top prospects on the same team when the Mariners called up SP Logan Gilbert and OF Jarred Kelenic. Although Kelenic's debut was more hyped, as we pointed to on yesterday's show, Gilbert is expected to be one of the most ready-now pitching prospects we'll see this season. Both should be rostered in 100% of leagues, but their debuts didn't go according to plan.

Gilbert lasted four innings (71 pitches) and allowed four earned runs on five hits. The home runs killed the prospect in his debut as he allowed two of them. The good news is that Gilbert had his trademark command and walked zero batters. He also struck out five batters with 10 swinging strikes on 71 pitches. The underlying numbers are solid and the command was strong. That's an encouraging sign moving forward.

Chris was encouraged by the velocity on Gilbert's fastball, which averaged 94.7 mph and reached 97 mph. We only saw three of his pitches in this start. 

I felt the biggest issue for Gilbert was that he left too many fastballs in the strike zone.

Kelenic had an incredibly exciting first at-bat even though it resulted in an out, but his final three weren't as interesting. He finished 0 for 4 in his debut. There wasn't too much to take away from Kelenic's debut, but he did hit one ball with an exit velocity over 100 mph.

More news and notes

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  • Braves OF Ronald Acuna left Thursday's game with a left ankle injury after hitting his 12th home run. The Fantasy community all took a collective deep breath immediately as the injury ultimately looked a lot worse than it was. Acuna underwent X-rays and they came back negative.
  • Yankees SS Gleyber Torres has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be out at least the next 10 days. Miguel Andujar was recalled.
  • Brewers OF Christian Yelich will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville on Friday. It still feels like they're rushing him back.
  • Phillies C J.T. Realmuto was placed on the COVID IL due to an abundance of caution regarding what appears to be a non-COVID illness.
  • Astros SP Framber Valdez will throw a bullpen session Friday and head out on a minor-league rehab assignment next week. We could see him before the end of May.
  • Yankees SP Luis Severino threw live batting practice Thursday. This was the first time he faced hitters since he underwent Tommy John surgery back in February of 2020.
  • Tigers SP Casey Mize will begin to have his workload managed over the summer, which will substantially diminish his value.
  • Braves OF Christian Pache will be placed on the IL with right hamstring tightness.
  • Rangers SP Lance Lynn was hit by a comebacker on Thursday. He underwent X-rays on his right hand/forearm after that came back negative.
  • Cardinals SS Paul DeJong could require an IL stint as he's dealing with a rib contusion on his left side.
  • Rockies 2B Brendan Rodgers began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday. He's 27% rostered. Scott's advice is that in any league where 350 players or more are rostered, you should be taking a flier on Rodgers, who could be a five-category contributor if he plays every day and stays healthy.
  • Yankees OF Aaron Hicks didn't start Thursday due to wrist soreness.
  • Giants 1B Brandon Belt was scratched Thursday with tightness in his left side.
  • Reds OF Nick Senzel left with a heel contusion while 2B/3B Mike Moustakas left with an apparent injury.

Sleeper hitters

Rostered in fewer than 75% of leagues

Best hitter matchups next week

  1. Dodgers: ARI4, @SF3
  2. Braves: NYM3, PIT4
  3. Nationals: @CHC4, BAL3
  4. Reds: SF4, MIL3
  5. Angels: CLE3, MIN2, OAK3 

Worst hitter matchups next week

  1. Pirates: @STL2, @ATL4
  2. Royals: MIL2, DET3
  3. Rangers: NYY4, HOU3
  4. Brewers: @KC2, @CIN3
  5. Athletics: HOU3, @LAA3

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