Happy Wednesday, everyone! Let's make that three games in a row now for Pirates SS and phenom prospect Oneil Cruz in the RBI department. He's had at least one in every game in four in one of them. Cruz has been every bit as advertised since being called up and he's one of now several new hopes to buck the trend of early struggles for top prospects on the hitter side. Remember last year when essentially Wander Franco was the only top prospect call up who went off as we watched the Jarred Kelenics of the world struggle to reach the Mendoza line? Cruz wants no part of that group.
And if you're in a league where your weekly waivers were processed before the news broke that Cruz was going to be called up -- well you might want to drop anywhere up to 60% of your FAAB budget on him now. Cruz also added his first stolen base on Tuesday and he's going to be a surprising source of speed to go along with the power.
We'll dive into all of the action from Tuesday, but first, make sure you're all caught up with everything going on from the Fantasy Baseball Today team over at CBSSports.com/Fantasy/Baseball. Scott White broke down his top 40 IL stashes here. Chris Towers featured several players you should look to scoop up now off your waiver wire here.
Gorman goes off
Cardinals 3B Nolan Gorman is just like Cruz in the sense that he has no interest in following the Kelenic footsteps (man, that's two Kelenic references in the first few graphs and if it feels like I'm picking on him -- just know that it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a Mets fan!) Anyway, back to Gorman. He was outstanding on Tuesday. Gorman racked up two homers while going 4 for 4. He's now up to six homers and had a 14% barrel rate entering this game. He's currently 75% rostered in CBS leagues.
Perez keeps getting the job done
Many have counted out Rangers SP Martin Perez, but he just keeps on delivering (with the exception of that one outing). Perez was shutdown again on Tuesday night throwing six innings of shutout ball. He allowed six hits, three walks and struck out six. After this quality start, Perez has found a way to rack up 11 quality starts in his first 14 outings this season. His ERA is down to 1.96 and his groundball rate -- 53% -- is his best since 2016.
Speaking of getting the job done
The Fantasy Baseball Today crew has mentioned multiple times that it might be time to sell high on Diamondbacks SP Zac Gallen, but at what point do we stop and say: Maybe this is vintage Gallen, the one who broke out two years ago. On Tuesday, Gallen posted a career-high 11 strikeouts against a talented Padres team. He allowed two runs, five hits and three walks, but this outing now brings him to a strikeout per on the season. His velocity is up, the swinging strikes are up and at this point, he feels like a hold more than anything else.
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And the duds ...
It wasn't great for every pitcher on Tuesday. Here are a few pitchers who struggled and sparked a little worry in me.
Jack Flaherty went just three innings despite the expectation that he would be stretched out more in this outing. He's now failed to go more than three innings in either of his first two starts. In this one, Flaherty threw three innings of two-run ball and allowed three hits with a whopping five walks. He struck out just one. The swing-and-miss (just four swinging strikes on 71 pitches) isn't there and the command is nowhere near where it needs to be. He's racked up seven walks in his first two starts and his velocity is down.
Nestor Cortes is the best story in baseball after Perez -- on the pitching side -- but his past three starts have been terrible. On Tuesday, Cortes lasted just 4 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on six hits with three strikeouts. Over his past three starts, he has a 5.79 ERA and he's allowed five long balls.
News and lineup notes
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 in to the podcast to hear the FBT crew expand on the news and notes below.
- Paul Goldschmidt was held out of the lineup Tuesday due to back tightness.
- Manny Machado is out of the lineup again Tuesday, as expected, with that ankle injury.
- Yordan Alvarez returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing Sunday's game with a hand injury.
- Ketel Marte returned to the D-Backs lineup as the DH after missing four straight games.
- George Springer left Tuesday's game due to right elbow discomfort.
- Salvador Perez was removed from his game with an apparent injury in the hand area.
- Wander Franco is set to move his rehab assignment to Triple-A on Wednesday.
- Joe Musgrove will return Thursday and start against the Phillies.
- Chris Sale is expected to make his next rehab start Saturday for the Red Sox's complex level affiliate. Sale felt fine after tossing a 22-pitch inning in his first rehab appearance.
- Walker Buehler was moved to the 60-day IL Tuesday. He's likely out until September with a flexor strain in his right elbow.
- Dany Jimenez was placed on the IL with a right shoulder strain.
- Two Rays outfielders were placed on the IL: Manny Margot with a right knee sprain and Kevin Kiermaier with left hip inflammation.
- Jonathan Aranda was called up by the Rays. He was batting .310 with 11 homers and three steals in the minors. He's 3% rostered.
- Edward Cabrera is scheduled to make a rehab appearance Wednesday at Triple-A. He was placed on the IL last week with right elbow tightness.
- Max Meyer will be activated from Triple-A Jacksonville's IL Wednesday. He's been out since mid-May with a sore right elbow.
- Mitch Garver returned from the COVID IL Tuesday and was batting fifth in the Rangers lineup.
- Franmil Reyes was indeed activated Tuesday and batted sixth in the Guardians lineup.
- Isaiah Kiner-Falefa has missed three straight as he battles a sore hamstring.
- Rockies third base prospect Elehuris Montero was recalled but not in the lineup Tuesday.
- Ezequiel Duran is out of the lineup for the second time in the past three games against right-handed pitching. He could move into a platoon role with fellow rookie Josh Smith back from the IL.