Happy Friday, everyone! Thursday's action in the Fantasy Baseball world featured some pitchers making debuts with their brand new teams following the MLB trade deadline. We also saw the prolonged suffering of a couple pitchers who are no longer on our radar and should likely be moved out of your lineups for the stretch run. We'll dive into some of the key action from Thursday below.

New team debuts

Jack Flaherty: The Orioles' new acquisition, Flaherty, made a strong debut against the Blue Jays, showing his prowess on the mound. Flaherty threw six impressive innings, allowing only one earned run while striking out eight. His pitch mix showed some interesting changes, with his fastball gaining velocity and his cutter usage increasing. Flaherty's performance raises questions about consistent success, but his potential is undeniable. With a 4.28 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over 115 2/3 innings, he's still available in 82% of leagues.

Michael Lorenzen: Phillies fans had reason to cheer as Lorenzen delivered an outstanding debut against the Marlins. With eight solid innings, Lorenzen allowed just two earned runs and struck out five. His slider was particularly effective, generating six whiffs and a 38% CSW rate. He's maintained a 3.48 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 113 2/3 innings, making him a tempting option at 66% rostered, especially with a matchup against WAS on the horizon.

Max Scherzer: Scherzer's Rangers debut began rocky, surrendering three runs in the first inning against the White Sox. However, he settled down, finishing with six innings, three earned runs, and an impressive nine strikeouts. It's worth noting that the White Sox lineup was missing key players. Scherzer's overall performance showcases his potential, but his 4.04 ERA and 1.21 WHIP might warrant cautious consideration.

What's wrong with Keller?

Rough times continue for Mitch Keller, who endured a rough outing against the Brewers. In five innings, he conceded eight earned runs, signaling ongoing struggles. His recent performances contrast starkly with his initial success, raising concerns about his 4.35 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and decreasing consistency. Despite this slump, he remains rostered in 95% of leagues. It might be time to move on from Keller or at the very least move him to your benches.

Pitcher injuries to be concerned with

In unfortunate news, several pitchers faced health challenges this week:

  • Shane McClanahan left a start due to forearm tightness and was promptly placed on the IL. Further updates are awaited from the Rays.
  • Joe Ryan, dealing with a left groin strain, was also placed on the IL. His recent performance slump raises questions about the impact of this setback on his game.
  • Shohei Ohtani faced cramping during a start but still managed to impress as a hitter, slamming his 40th home run.
  • Marcus Stroman's move to the IL and Joe Musgrove's minor shoulder soreness highlight the challenges that pitchers are currently facing.

News and notes

  • Clayton Kershaw faced live hitters in a sim game Thursday and is on track to return next week.
  • JD Martinez is expected to return to the Dodgers lineup Saturday. He's missed three straight with left hamstring tightness.
  • Walker Buehler is on the verge of beginning a rehab assignment. Dave Roberts said they're expecting Buehler back as a starting pitcher in the early part of September. He had Tommy John surgery last August. He's 42% rostered.
  • Max Muncy left Thursday's game after taking a pitch off his left forearm/wrist.
  • Brandon Woodruff is scheduled to return Sunday against the Pirates. He posted a 3.09 ERA with 11 K across three minor-league rehab outings (11 2/3 IP). He's been out since April with a Grade 2 subscapular strain.
  • Mike Trout will soon advance to contact swings. He's been doing dry swings since Monday without any issues. Trout could rejoin the Angels in mid August.
  • Justin Verlander is lined up to start Saturday for the Astros when they face the Yankees
  • Anthony Rizzo was placed on the IL with post-concussion syndrome, and which event did he reference? The collision with Fernando Tatis back in late May.
  • Nestor Cortes is set to rejoin the Yankees and start Saturday against the Astros. 
  • Starling Marte is expected to be activated Friday. He's been out since mid-July with migraine headaches. 
  • Rich Hill is scheduled to make his Padres debut Sunday against the Dodgers.
  • Brandon Drury will play at least two more minor-league rehab games before rejoining the Angels. He's 70% rostered.
  • Jose Urquidy is likely to return Sunday against the Yankees. He's 55% rostered if you're looking for a high-floor streamer.