Frank is on a well-earned vacation, so this is Dan Schneier handling the newsletter this week. One of the biggest busts of the 2021 Fantasy Baseball season has been Angels 3B Anthony Rendon, and unfortunately he was one of Scott's favorite players to grab after a two-pitcher start in snake drafts. Of course, no one could have predicted this injury-riddled season for Rendon that will come to an end with season-ending surgery, but more on that below. We'll dive into one hitter who has caught fire and one pitcher who has drastically flipped the narrative on his season, plus a lot more.

Of course, as always, you can subscribe to make sure you get the latest episodes of Fantasy Baseball Today right when they drop on Apple and Spotify.

Rendon's season comes to an end

Angels 3B Anthony Rendon was expected to be an excellent bat in any Fantasy lineup and was routinely selected in the top-36 picks this offseason, but he has been anything but the consistent hitter we've grown accustomed to. Instead of reaping the benefits of playing with likely future MVP Shohei Ohtani and alongside Mike Trout (who also got injured), it has been one injury after another for Rendon -- and his season comes to an end on Wednesday. Rendon will undergo season-ending hip surgery. This comes after Rendon has also had hamstring, knee, groin and triceps injuries this season. It's been a nightmare season for Rendon, and maybe this leads to him as a value in drafts next season, but keep in mind he'll also be entering his age-32 season.

He hit .240 with a .712 OPS this season. Now, heading into next season, Scott will have him as a top-10 3B but in the back end of the group. He views him as a mid-round pick that he's going to ultimately once again have a lot of shares of if he falls into that ADP range. This is only going to lead to the narrative that has already been floated that Rendon is an injury-prone player. That should also lead to a bigger draft day discount next year. Even if his best days are behind him, he's likely to be a very good hitter next season (with great plate discipline) and he'll get to play with Ohtani and Trout. Chris can see a J.D. Martinez-esque bounceback for Rendon in 2022.

Arozarena's absolute tear

Rays OF Randy Arozarena was one of the most fun stories last postseason and he's starting to feel it with the bat again. On Wednesday, he went 2-for-4 with a double and triple. He's been absolutely mashing the ball as of late with a .354 average and 12 extra base hits in his 16 games since the All Star break. When we talk about second-half breakouts, he is fitting the bill perfectly so far. 

Last season he proved that when he gets hot, he can get ridiculously hot. Scott has him ranked just outside the top-20. With 16 homers and 11 steals, a second-half tear could take him into the next tier of outfielders.

More news and notes

  • The Dodgers signed Cole Hamels to a $1 million contract with $200k bonuses for each start.
  • Reds OF Nick Castellanos could return from the IL Thursday.
  • Red Sox OF Kyle Schwarber ran the bases and could be headed for his rehab assignment next.
  • Cardinals SP Jack Flaherty will make his third (and final?) rehab start Friday at Triple-A Memphis.
  • Marlins 2B Jazz Chisholm was activated from the COVID IL.
  • Red Sox RP Matt Barnes was activated from the COVID IL and got the save.
  • Giants SP Anthony DeSclafani was placed on the IL with shoulder fatigue but is only expected to miss one start
  • Giants OF Mike Yastrzemski was scratched with hamstring tightness.
  • Dodgers placed RP Jimmy Nelson on the 10-day injured list with right-elbow inflammation.
  • Blue Jays RP Nate Pearson (groin) threw a sim game, will have one more before rehab assignment.
  • Dodgers SPs Tony Gonsolin (shoulder) and Clayton Kershaw (forearm) aren't throwing yet.
  • Rangers SP Dane Dunning (ankle) was placed on IL, hoping for minimum stay.
  • Astros RP Ryan Pressly was activated from the paternity leave list.
  • Rays announced Tyler Glasnow's Tommy John surgery was successful.
  • Royals OF Andrew Benintendi was out of the lineup, but not on IL.
  • Rays SP Collin McHugh threw a 21-pitch bullpen session.

Garcia belongs on your MI radar

Nationals 2B Luis Garcia should be on your radar now if you have an injury or your plan at 2B hasn't been working out. The 21-year-old prospect was absolutely thrashing the ball at Triple-A before the Nationals gave him another shot and called him up. On Wednesday, he ripped a pair of solo home runs. Garcia now has three homers in just 28 at bats since rejoining the Nationals and is expected to be an everyday player. The window to scoop him up cheap is closing fast.

Castillo's tale of two seasons

Remember just a short while ago when Fantasy managers were debating dropping Reds SP Luis Castillo? Chris was adamant about how big of a mistake that would be and about how hanging on to him was the best course of action. Thankfully, this worked out better than betting on Rendon. Castillo has been lights out in the second half of his 2021 season.

What we're seeing now from Castillo might be the best stretch of his career. Hopefully you bought low or held on to all of your Castillo stock. On Wednesday, Castillo got the win with six innings of one-run ball to go along with seven strikeouts. He generated 12 swinging strikes and brought his ERA down to 4.09,  which is a massive accomplishment considering what it fell to at one point. It truly has been a tale of two seasons. In his first 11 games, Castillo had a 7.22 ERA, 19.3% K, 9.2% BB rate. In his past 12: 1.91 ERA, 26.5% K, 10.2% BB.