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We already knew 2021 was "The Year of The Injury," but we were dealt two more huge blows on Monday when Shane Bieber randomly landed on the IL and Tyler Glasnow was removed from his start. And just like that, two more top-10 starting pitchers go down. More could be on the way, too, as MLB announced their foreign substance policy, which will go into effect Monday, June 21. You can read all about it below.

In more positive news, the Reds have a few hitters you can add off waivers. Let's start with Jonathan India, who has consistently led off for the Reds over the past few weeks. India went 3 for 4 Monday with his fourth steal of the season. He also has five home runs. India has this interesting combination of plate discipline plus modest power and speed, and he's 51% rostered with second base and third base eligibility. The other Reds hitter to add is Joey Votto. He hit another home run Monday and now has three in seven games since returning from the IL. Votto made a swing change late last season, which seemed to unlock more power, and it looks like it's carrying over. You can drop names like Josh Bell and Eric Hosmer to get Votto on your team.

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Bieber lands on IL

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Injuries have been the theme of the 2021 Fantasy season, and that's where we start today. We now have at least somewhat of an explanation for why Scott White favorite and Cleveland SP Shane Bieber saw his spin rates plummet in his most recent start. On Monday, Cleveland placed Bieber on the IL with a right shoulder strain. This one sounds a bit serious as Bieber will be shut down and not allowed to throw for two full weeks before being re-evaluated.

The All-Star break is about a month away and it wouldn't be surprising if we don't see Bieber again until after it. 

Glasnow removed with elbow inflammation

Rays SP Tyler Glasnow has been one of the best value picks in all of Fantasy, but now his breakout 2021 could be put on hold. Glasnow left Monday's start with right shoulder inflammation -- not a diagnosis you typically want to hear. If you remember, Glasnow was limited to just 12 starts back in 2019 (before the pandemic-shortened season) due to a forearm injury. 

Glasnow will undergo an MRI today, so keep looking for updates, and hopefully it's nothing. Prior to the injury, Glasnow holds a 2.66 ERA with 123 strikeouts and just 27 walks over 88 innings this season.

If you remember back to the preseason, we discussed at length how we felt there would be a slew of additional injuries due to the shortened 2020 season and what impact that would have on players. We never expected to see this level of injuries.

Starting pitchers to add

If you're looking for an immediate replacement for Bieber or Glasnow or both, it might be worth taking a look at these streamers, ranked in order of Scott's preference:

  1. Tigers SP Tarik Skubal
  2. Mariners SP Logan Gilbert
  3. Royals SP Mike Minor

Other options:

  • Rockies SP/RP Austin Gomber, who has a 2.20 ERA in his last nine starts with 52 strikeouts to just four walks.
  • Reds SP Vladimir Gutierrez, who retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced vs. Brewers. I really like what I saw. Just 42% rostered for deeper leagues.

Suspensions coming?

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the MLB is expected to announce Tuesday it will suspend players caught with any foreign substance for 10 days with pay. That includes everything from the widely-used sunscreen-and-rosin combination to Spider Tack. This will officially begin next Monday, June 21.

How will this affect things?

Since June 3, the league-wide batting average has jumped to .247, up from .236 to that point in the season. Pitching has declined as well. Here are the league-average splits:

  • From April 1-June 2: 4.06 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 9.2 K/9
  • From June 3 on: 4.38 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 8.98 K/9

What's most interesting is what kind of stigma will get attached to pitchers who are ultimately busted and suspended for this. Will it impede pitchers' chances of getting into the Hall of Fame like steroids? We suspect not, but for some reason in baseball, these things seem to get blown out of proportion.

More news and notes

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  • Nationals SP Max Scherzer's groin injury is improving but he will not start Wednesday.
  • Tigers SP Matthew Boyd exited Monday with left arm discomfort. If anybody is wondering about Tigers pitching prospect Matt Manning, he currently has an 8.07 ERA over seven starts at Triple-A.
  • Both 1B/OF Rob Refsnyder and SP Michael Pineda went to the IL for the Twins.
  • After another examination, the Angels believe OF Mike Trout is about one month away from a return.
  • Blue Jays OF George Springer started a rehab assignment at Triple-A Monday.
  • White Sox OF Eloy Jimenez was cleared for baseball activities. He had surgery on his torn pectoral back in March. If all goes well, Eloy could be back by August.
  • Royals OF Andrew Benintendi was placed on the IL with a right rib fracture. Edward Olivares was recalled. 
  • Dodgers 1B/OF Cody Bellinger will not return before Wednesday, and there's a chance he goes back on the IL.
  • Reds 1B/2B/3B Mike Moustakas will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tuesday.
  • Yankees SP Luis Severino is scheduled to meet with team doctors Monday to receive further evaluation on his right groin.
  • Blue Jays SP Steven Matz tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss at least the next two weeks.
  • The Braves are optimistic SP Mike Soroka could return in late August. He had a second procedure on his Achilles tendon in May.
  • Mets updates! OF Michael Conforto is expected to start a rehab assignment by the end of the week. 2B/OF Jeff McNeil started his rehab on Sunday. OF Brandon Nimmo took batting practice Monday and could begin rehab soon.
  • Tigers RP/SP Michael Fulmer was activated from IL. He could get their next save chance.
  • Mariners OF Mitch Haniger and Cubs SS Javier Baez remained out of their respective lineups Monday. Baez is expected back Tuesday.
  • Dodgers 1B/2B/3B Max Muncy's IL stint is expected to be the minimum 10 days.
  • Rays 1B Ji Man Choi was reinstated from the IL.
  • Tigers 1B/2B Jonathan Schoop returned to the lineup Monday.
  • Marlins 3B Brian Anderson was transferred to the 60-day IL.

Prospect updates

  • Red Sox SS Jeter Downs hit two homers on Sunday, while OF Jarren Duran added a homer himself.
  • Rays 2B Vidal Brujan is batting .200 with a .629 OPS in June.
  • Marlins OF Jesus Sanchez is batting .239 with a .740 OPS in June.
  • Why do the Rays love the last name Lowe? They have an outfield prospect in Josh Lowe who is batting .307 with nine homers and six bags at Triple-A
  • Ask and ye shall receive: Nationals SP Cade Cavalli was promoted to Double-A after three straight double-digit strikeout performances.

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