Happy Wednesday, everyone! It was a big night in baseball on Tuesday after Monday's postponed games were in the books and there's a lot to get to today. Of course, there's no lead that makes sense to recap Tuesday other than Yankees SP Gerrit Cole failing to escape the second inning against the Detroit Tigers considering his early-season struggles. Now, please play the world's thinnest violin for me as I complain about having two key shares of Cole after not managing to draft him in any season prior.
We'll dig much deeper into Cole's struggles below, but I also wanted to give a nod to two pitchers who were borderline aces last season and could be on their way to emerging as SP1s if they pitch like they did on Tuesday -- Padres SP Joe Musgrove and Braves SP Max Fried. We also had a disappointing injury to Giants SP Alex Cobb midway through his start against the Mets, which is a difficult development as he had seemed to be settling in nicely to his new home, but more on that below as well.
We'll talk about a pitcher you should look to claim off waivers who stood out on Tuesday and one you should look to stash on your benches if you have the roster space. We'll also get to some standout hitters and more. But first, make sure you're all caught up on everything that's coming from the Fantasy Baseball Today team. On Tuesday, Scott White profiled bullpens and took the pulse of closer situations in his bullpen report and went under the hood to figure out why these aces are struggling. Chris Towers dropped three more names to target on your waiver wire that you might not be thinking of and also what to make of 10 struggling hitters so far -- in other words how worried should we actually be?
What's going on with Cole?
It was another disaster outing for Cole. It was also a night of firsts for him. This was the shortest outing of his career and he walked in a run for the first time in his career. Cole lasted just 1 2/3 innings and allowed two earned with five walks and three strikeouts on 68 total pitches. It was a weird night for Cole, who opened the game by striking out the side in the first inning. Cole now has a 6.35 ERA and 1.41 WHIP on the season.
Some of the issues for Cole in the early going include his command, allowing too many home runs and allowing a bunch of hard contact. Chris weighed in on the podcast and expressed his lack of concern and Scott was on the same page, even pointing to the varied spring build up and the weather factor on Tuesday. I'm in agreement -- the sample size is still way too small to panic on Cole.
This is why you drafted Perez
Royals C Salvador Perez socked another two home runs on Tuesday to bring his total to a very healthy four -- lapping the position as expected -- and it was great to see him DH. Long-term speaking, the more starts he gets at DH the better. The where do you value Salvador Perez debate was a fun one this draft offseason. I was on team draft Perez, nearing the extent of Scott White (I landed him in most of my fourth rounds). The case against Perez was either a knock on his age or just the "when's the last time you've been happy drafting a catcher high" argument. The case for was that his power was very real -- and backed up by the advanced metrics and the difference in his production vs. not only the field but the very low-end starting catchers makes up for anything he loses in the counting stats, stolen base department or average. Drawing a parallel, the Perez debate reminds me a lot of the Travis Kelce debate in Fantasy Football only you only had to invest a pick more than three full rounds later.
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Other standout hitters from Tuesday
Manny Machado, 3B, Padres: Machado will keep making this list if he keeps on raking, and that's exactly what he's doing. He went 2 for 4 with a two-run homer. It's really early in the season but Machado has been one of the most valuable players in Fantasy Baseball with a .365/.411/.635 slash, three homers, three stolen bases and 10 RBI.
Eric Hosmer, 1B, Padres: I'm sure it's hard to trust, but Hosmer has low-key gotten off to a scorching start this season. He went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run. Here's his slash: .390/.419/.512 -- with five RBI and four runs scored in just 41 at-bats. He's 30% rostered.
Fried freezes the Dodgers
Walker Buehler on the mound and the Dodgers were only -150 favorites at home against the Braves?!? That's what I thought to myself when I saw it. Instead of saying what I should have -- Vegas always knows -- I said here's my edge! Of course, SP Max Fried spun a gem shutting down the Los Angeles lineup and Atlanta picked up the road upset. Fried tossed a seven-inning shutout and allowed just two hits and no walks. He struck out eight and needed just 93 pitches to get through seven, one of the most efficient games of the young season. Fried was a popular breakout pick for some, and when he's pitching like this it's easy to see why. This was a great bounceback from his opening start.
One pitcher to claim
Don't look now, but Nationals SP Josiah Gray has strung together two impressive starts. On Tuesday, he went 5 1/3 innings and allowed just three hits, two walks and one earned run while striking out a very healthy eight batters on route to his first win. Gray is just 68% rostered and his two starts next week cme against the Diamondbacks team he limited on Tuesday and the Giants.
One pitcher to stash
Pirates SP Roansy Contreras is a Frank Stampfl favorite to stash, and I'm digging it. Contreras delivered another electric relief appearance against the Brewers on Tuesday -- three innings, one hit, one run and five strikeouts. He has a 59% groundball rate and is averaging 97 MPH on his fastball. He might be the best pitcher on the Pirates roster right now and is just 18% rostered.
News and lineup notes from Tuesday
Every night the Fantasy Baseball Today team dives into all of the happenings around the MLB from top performers to injuries, trades and more. The podcast is a must listen for any diehard, if I do say so myself. Tune into the podcast to hear the FBT crew expand on the news and notes below.
- Padres SS Fernando Tatis Jr. simulated fielding ground balls and made throws on the infield Monday. He'll first be eligible to return in early June.
- Angels OF Mike Trout has now missed two straight games with that left hand injury.
- Braves OF Ronald Acuna went 1-3 with a double in his first rehab game.
- Astros 2B Jose Altuve was out of the lineup Tuesday and will not play Wednesday either with that hamstring injury.
- Twins OF Byron Buxton remained out of the lineup with that knee injury Tuesday.
- Both Reds 2B Jonathan India and Mike Moustakas were placed on the IL for the Reds. India is retroactive to April 16 so we could be back by early next week.
- White Sox SP Lucas Giolito could be activated to start Sunday against the Twins.
- Royals C Salvador Perez was at DH Tuesday due to an eye issue. He's dealt with that same issue each of the past two seasons and it clearly hasn't affected his production.
- Reds SP Luis Castillo is on track to begin a rehab assignment Sunday. He's on the IL with right shoulder soreness.
- Giants SP Alex Cobb left Tuesday's start with a right groin injury and was later placed on the IL.
- Rays SS/3B Wander Franco was back in the lineup Tuesday and good thing he was -- he went 3-5 with his first homer of the season.
- Reds C Tyler Stephenson left Tuesday's game after a collision with Luke Voit at home plate.
- Dodgers 2B Gavin Lux was scratched due to back tightness.
- Bunch of Tigers pitcher news...
- Michael Pineda's first start is likely for Thursday against the Yankees.
- Matt Manning is unlikely to make his next start Saturday because of right shoulder discomfort.
- Casey Mize is considered day-to-day but remains without an official timeline to begin a throwing program. He's on the IL with a medial elbow sprain.
- RP Aaron Ashby is not scheduled to start this week for the Brewers.
- White Sox OF AJ Pollock should return from the IL Friday.
- Red Sox C Christian Vazquez was placed on the COVID IL.
- Royals RP Greg Holland was designated for assignment by the Rangers.
- Kyle Freeland signed a five-year, $64.5 million contract with the Rockies.
- Braves SP Huascar Ynoa was optioned to Triple-A after his rough start Monday
- Prospect note: Cardinals prospect Nolan Gorman has homered in five straight and he now has seven homers in seven games. Consider stashing him!
- The Padres' Trent Grisham and CJ Abrams sat the past two games going up against LHP
- Zack Collins has started four straight games for the Blue Jays and hit a homer Tuesday if you need a second catcher somewhere.
- SS Jeremy Peña led off with no Jose Altuve and going up against a left-handed pitcher and went 1 for 3 with a homer.