There was no shortage of interesting starting pitchers from Shane McClanahan (more on him below) to a veteran like Kyle Gibson. We spoke about each extensively on the podcast but the one I wanted to focus on here at the top was Carlos Rodon. He kept it rolling against the Tigers, allowing just one run while striking out 12 over six innings of work. He finished with 23 swinging strikes on 96 pitches. That is not a typo; those are Jacob deGrom/Shane Bieber level numbers.
The question is what now? As great as Rodon has looked, he's had some very favorable matchups plus he hasn't pitched more than 160 innings since 2016. Given his extensive injury track record, I have to imagine the White Sox will be cautious with him at some point throughout the season. They clearly have talented depth they can throw in the rotation with Michael Kopech if need be. Scott White and I both agreed that if you can sell-high on Rodon, you should. The key word there is "high." Do not just sell Rodon for the sake of it, but if you can get a top-15 starting pitcher or top-40 hitter overall for him, you should do it. A listener emailed in and said they traded Rodon away for Lance Lynn in a H2H points league. That's a trade I would accept as well.
Corbin Burnes heads to IL
Corbin Burnes was placed on the injured list for unspecified reasons Thursday, which sounds like it could be a COVID-19 related situation. If he himself tested positive he'll likely be out at least two weeks. First and foremost, I hope he's alright. However, this IL stint might allow Burnes to be more available deeper into the season as we had innings concerns for him coming in. I'd rather have Burnes in September than 2-3 weeks in May.
OMGG players from Thursday
Scott White's pick: Rays SP Shane McClanahan
McClanahan made his regular-season debut against the A's and he was electric! He finished with this line: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, with a whopping 15 swinging strikes on 59 pitches. His fastball averaged 97 mph and hit 100.5 at one point. He's 20% rostered and should be added in deeper leagues for now but certainly in any keeper or dynasty context.
My pick: Cubs SP Adbert Alzolay
Alzolay finished with six strikeouts over six innings of two-run ball against the Braves. He had 14 swinging strikes on 94 pitches and threw his slider 54% in this start. I'm not sure if he can succeed long term relying on the slider that much but can he be a Dinelson Lamet lite from last year? I think so. He's 21% rostered and I'm more likely to add him than McClanahan due to projected workloads.
More news and notes
- Tigers SP Matthew Boyd left Thursday's start against the White Sox with left knee tendinitis.
- Braves SP Max Fried impressed during his live BP session. He could be back early next week.
- Mariners SP Marco Gonzales was placed on the IL with a mild forearm strain.
- Astros DH Yordan Alvarez underwent tests Thursday and could return to the team for Friday.
- Blue Jays SP prospect Nate Pearson was reinstated from the 10-day injured list and optioned to the alternate training site. He will travel with the Triple-A team to Trenton.
- Both Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain participated in a simulated game Thursday.
- White Sox OF Luis Robert was reinstated from the COVID IL.
- Cubs SS Javier Baez was back in the lineup Thursday after missing two days with a hamstring issue.
- Athletics SP Mike Fiers will return to the A's rotation for at least one start on Friday.
- Athletics 1B Matt Olson was out of the lineup due to an eye injury.
- Mariners OF Mitch Haniger was not in the lineup for a second straight day with either an illness or fatigue.
- Yankees 1B Luke Voit took live at-bats Thursday. His timeline remains mid-May.
- Yankees OF Aaron Judge was out for a second straight day with lower body soreness.
- Diamondbacks RP Chris Devenski was activated off the restricted list.
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