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Enjoy the day off if you've got one, but before you do, here are the names you need to know on the waiver wire.
We haven't seen a ton of Joe Musgrove in the majors, but what we had seen in his first 49 appearance (25 starts) wasn't something Fantasy players were terribly excited for. Musgrove's stuff played up in relief, where he had a 1.26 ERA and a 28.9 percent strikeout rate, but he looked more like a back-end rotation starter in his first 25 starts. Armed with a low-90s fastball, he was your prototypical back-end starter, capable of throwing plenty of strikes and hopefully of eating a lot of innings, but not really someone you could expect much more than that from.
So, what he did Friday came as a pretty major surprise. Making his first start of the season after overcoming shoulder issues, Musgrove averaged 95.7 mph with his fastball, per BrooksBaseball.com. That's the 11th-highest average fastball velocity Musgrove has ever managed in a major-league appearance, but here's the thing: he hadn't thrown more than 26 pitches in any of the 10 higher than that. The last time we saw Musgrove starting an MLB game – July 15, 2017 – he averaged 92.8 mph with his fastball. This was a big leap forward.
It didn't lead to a ton of swinging strikes – seven on 67 pitches – but Musgrove was dominant despite that. He needed just those 67 pitches to get through seven innings against the Cardinals. Musgrove is always going to live in the strike zone, so he'll work quickly if he can get strikeouts and limit hard contact, and we saw a master class in that discipline Friday.
Of course, throwing a ton of strikes isn't always a good thing, if you're too hittable. In the past, that was Musgrove's problem. However, if Friday represents the new normal for him as far as stuff goes, that might not be a problem anymore. Musgrove was already a must-own pitcher before Friday in all leagues with SPARP – starting pitcher as relief pitcher -- eligibility, but he put himself squarely into consideration for all other leagues Friday.
It's not yet clear whether Felipe Vazquez's forearm injury is a big deal, but Fantasy players need to be proactive. Maybe it's nothing – Vazquez told reporters he wasn't concerned Monday – and he'll be back after just a few days off … or maybe this explains why he's blown three straight saves. Either way, if you want to take precautions, this is the time to do it. It's not clear who will likely step into the ninth-inning role if Vazquez has to miss some time, but if prior usage tells us anything, it could be Kyle Crick. Crick has largely split the eighth-inning duties recently with Michael Feliz, but Crick has been the far more effective pitcher to date, sporting a 1.76 ERA, to Feliz's 5.32 mark. Edgar Santana may also get a shot, but he's been more of a seventh-inning guy. If I'm speculating, it's on Crick right now.
Speaking of SPARPs, we may have another very good one on our hands in Ross Stripling. He's made four starts in a row, and has struck out at least one batter per inning in each. In fact, he's just gotten more dominant as he has gone on, culminating in a 10-strikeout performance Friday against the Padres. Who knows whether he can keep it up, but you must be impressed by what Stripling has done lately. With that SPARP eligibility, he's a must-own pitcher in points leagues.
Since the start of 2017, Jesus Aguilar has come to the plate 453 times – about three-quarters of a full season – and all he's done is hit. He is hitting .281/.347/.525 in that span, with 24 homers, 22 doubles, and 78 RBI. His success this season isn't just some small-sample size flukiness, is what I'm trying to say. Aguilar is for real, and he's pretty much an everyday player at this point, starting 20 of the Brewers' 23 games in the month of May so far. He went 5 for 8 with two homers, seven RBI, and four runs scored between Saturday and Sunday, and it's getting harder and harder to justify skepticism.
Miles Mikolas has gotten a lot of praise for his start to the season, and deservedly so. He's been masterful at avoiding walks and inducing weak contact, and has pushed his way all the way to 96 percent ownership in CBS Fantasy leagues. Daniel Mengden has been doing similar things out in Oakland, to much less fanfare, which means Fantasy players still have a chance to take advantage.
Mengden put together the best outing of his career this weekend, as he limited the Diamondbacks to just two hits in a complete game shutout. He has now allowed two or fewer runs in seven of his last eight starts, and has a 2.96 ERA in 18 starts going back to 2017. He might not be able to sustain this level of greatness, but a 3.65 FIP going back to last season suggests he's better than the perception.
Look past the .236 batting average if you can. Bour got off to a miserable start to the season, going 6 for 37 in the first 10 games, with no homers. Then he went yard twice on April 10, and has been a top-12 first baseman in Roto leagues ever since. He even went deep against a lefty for the first time Sunday, a key to his breakout last season. If Bour is finding his way against left-handed pitchers, we saw how good he can be last season. He's already been about that good since his slow start, so if he's out there, you can probably use Bour in a corner infield or utility spot.