With only three games on the schedule, it was our opportunity to get creative ... and then Jarred Kelenic was sent down. It's hard to argue with the Mariners' decision as Kelenic was 0 for 37 over his last 11 games, which included a 41% strikeout rate. He isn't the first high-profile prospect to struggle his first stint in the majors and he certainly won't be the last. If he takes a page out of Mike Trout or Alex Bregman's book, he'll be just fine.
We decided to redraft the first two rounds on the podcast, which is always a fun exercise on recency bias. For the most part, I think we did a good job including superstars that are off to slow starts, with the hope that they'll turn it around. We also did the opposite by including Vladimir Guerrero, Rafael Devers, and Shohei Ohtani in the first round! Will this be the case come March 2022? Well, we still have another 100 games to play out this season, but thus far each of those hitters has earned that right.
Mariners send Kelenic down; now what?
When Mariners OF Jared Kelenic was finally called up, the expectation was he would immediately be a Fantasy contributor and potentially a top-30 OF. It wasn't about how much FAB to use on him, because if you were in a league with people paying attention, he was likely selected in the draft. However, after going hitless in his last 37 at-bats, Seattle decided to send him back down to the minors. He also had a 41% strikeout rate over his last 11 games.
Obviously, you shouldn't do anything rash with Kelenic in Dynasty leagues, and it's important to note the reasons we thought Kelenic would be a future star haven't gone away. As Chris broke down, we're talking about barely a 20-plus game sample size. However, for redraft leagues, the question becomes whether or not the Mariners believe Kelenic can give them anything this season and when. What makes this tricky is that service time questions come into play. On the positive side, we can look to Mike Trout, who was sent down early and then ultimately was called up just a few weeks later and hit better immediately. It's entirely possible Kelenic goes down for just a few weeks, gets his confidence back, and can be a Fantasy contributor the rest of the way. This is probably the first time Kelenic has failed playing baseball in his entire life if you just look back to his minor league and college numbers, so it could be as simple as sorting things out and getting his confidence back.
Andrea (@scoutgirlreport) -- who has a lot of experience evaluating prospects -- was a guest on FBT and doesn't think it's crazy to drop him because we might not see him for quite a few weeks. If your roster is dealing with multiple injuries, it might make sense to move on.
I would hold Kelenic in all redraft leagues -- specifically leagues that start five outfielders.
More news and notes
- Twins OF Byron Buxton will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday at Triple-A. His teammate SP Kenta Maeda will make a rehab start on Wednesday.
- Cubs OF Joc Pederson and SS Javier Baez remained out of the lineup on Monday.
- Red Sox OF J.D. Martinez remains out for the Red Sox with a sore wrist.
- The Mets do not have a timetable on when SP Carlos Carrasco will be able to go on a rehab assignment.
- Angels OF prospect Brandon Marsh is out with shoulder inflammation, though the issue is not considered serious.
- The Yankees promoted infield prospect Oswald Peraza to Double-A. He was batting .306 with five homers and 16 steals across 28 games at High-A.
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Pivetta continues to surprise
Red Sox SP Nick Pivetta has drastically improved the spin efficiency on his curveball -- the pitch is moving more in both directions and now mirroring his four-seam fastball. In other words, it's a lot harder for hitters to diagnose curveball vs. fastball. He is harder to read and now he has two pitches that work well for him plus a slider that has been his most effective by the advanced metrics. The last part of Pivetta's game he needs to get under control is his command.
His curveball has just a .170 BAA with a .340 SLG against on the season. He has been one of Fantasy's most pleasant surprises with a 3.78 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 74 strikeouts across 64.1 IP.
Comparing key 2020 stats to 2021
League averages for pitchers
- 2020: 4.45 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 9.07 K/9, 3.54 BB/9, 1.34 HR/9, .291 BABIP, 23.4 K%, 9.2 BB%, 4.78 IP/GS
- 2021: 4.07 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 9.23 K/9, 3.39 BB/9, 1.18 HR/9, .286 BABIP, 24.1 K%, 8.9 BB%, 5.12 IP/GS
League averages for hitters
- 2020: .245/.322/.418, 9.2 BB%, 23.4 K%, 14.8% HR/FB, 7.6% Barrels, 88.4 mph EV, 12.7 LA, 37.4 Hard-hit%, 75.2% SB
- 2021: .240/.316/.403, 9.0 BB%, 23.5 K%, 13.4% HR/FB, 8.2% Barrels, 89.0 mph EV, 12.4 LA, 39.5 Hard-hit%, 75.7% SB
Redrafting the first two rounds
1.01 Andrea: Braves OF Ronald Acuna
1.02 Chris: Padres SS Fernando Tatis
1.03 Frank: Nationals SS Trea Turner
1.04 Andrea: Mets SP Jacob deGrom
1.05 Chris: Nationals OF Juan Soto
1.06 Frank: Dodgers OF Mookie Betts
1.07 Andrea: Blue Jays 1B Vlad Guerrero Jr.
1.08 Chris: Yankees SP Gerrit Cole
1.09 Frank: Indians 3B Jose Ramirez
1.10 Andrea: Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers
1.11 Chris: Indians SP Shane Bieber
1.12 Frank: Angles DH/SP Shohei Ohtani
2.01 Andrea: Padres SP Yu Darvish
2.02 Chris: Phillies OF Bryce Harper
2.03 Frank: Blue Jays SS Bo Bichette
2.04 Andrea: Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts
2.05 Chris: Dodgers SP Trevor Bauer
2.06 Frank: Nationals SP Max Scherzer
2.07 Andrea: Dodgers 1B/OF Cody Bellinger
2.08 Chris: Braves 1B Freddie Freeman
2.09 Frank: Royals 2B/OF Whit Merrifield
2.10 Andrea: Brewers OF Christian Yelich
2.11 Chris: Brewers SP Brandon Woodruff
2.12 Frank: Reds OF Nick Castellanos