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Thursday was a pretty sleepy day on the field around the majors, but plenty happened off it. Specifically in training rooms across the league, as we found out about plenty of players either coming back from injuries in the coming days, or heading to the IL.
We'll start with the bad news first, along with some of the fallout:
- Clint Frazier (ankle) goes to IL — Frazier suffered the injury Monday, and an MRI Wednesday showed a small tear. The hope is he can return in two weeks, giving Mike Tauchman an opportunity to play every day. His hit tool and speed make him an interesting option.
- Joey Wendle (wrist) goes to IL — Wendle suffered a fractured wrist when hit by a pitch Wednesday and can be safely dropped in most formats. Wendle's absence should lead to more opportunities for Ji-Man Choi, who has been solid when given the chance so far, hitting .269/.365/.490 since the start of 2018.
- Zack Cozart (neck) goes to IL — Cozart has been awful this season, but was still playing pretty much every day. Hopefully his absence will give David Fletcher and Luis Rengifo (two of our waiver adds for today) a chance to lock down roles for the rest of the season. They're much more interesting at this point than Cozart.
Alright, now that that's out of the way, a quick recap of the players we actually got some good news about yesterday:
- Rougned Odor (knee) — Will return to the team Friday
- Jean Segura (hamstring) — Expected back Saturday
- Tyler Skaggs (ankle) — Will start for the Angels Friday
- Miguel Andujar (shoulder) — Expected to play third base in extended spring training Friday
- Andrew Heaney (elbow) — Will throw another bullpen session Saturday
Five to add on the waiver wire
- Michael Chavis (30%) — Six games, two homers. The power was the calling card here all along, and Chavis has delivered. There's a path to a full-time role here if Chavis keeps hitting, and there's a pretty good chance he keeps hitting.
- Luis Rengifo (2%) — You can find homers anywhere. Rengifo brings the potential for a lot of stolen bases, and we're never going to ignore that. In 144 games going back to the start of last season, Rengifo has swiped 43 bases. But this isn't just an empty speed profile, as Rengifo has also walked 80 times in that span, to just 94 strikeouts — with 55 extra-base hits. And, we all know the Angels need offense in any form it comes. Rengifo has a chance to stick.
- David Fletcher (11%) — The Angels have another intriguing young player in David Fletcher, who had five RBI Thursday. You'll never get much power from Fletcher, but he's started to challenge Willians Astudillo for the throne as King of Contact. Okay, his 4.5% strikeout rate is more than double Astudillo's, but it's still really good! Fletcher has a little bit of speed, and he could have a Joey Wendle-esque rookie season. That plays.
- Sergio Romo (19%) — Look, the Marlins only have five saves this season, but Romo has four of them. Including three in the last six games. You're not going to get a ton here, but they'll come more often moving forward than they have so far. Hey, it's better than nothing.
- Jarrod Dyson (7%) — Like I said, it was a pretty sleepy day around baseball. I don't totally buy into what Dyson is doing, but he had another three hits Thursday, bringing his average to .333. He won't keep this up, but he's doing a good job keeping the ball on the ground and drawing walks, and all he needs to do is get on first base to provide some value thanks to his speed. Look for him in deeper category leagues.
Winners and losers
- Caleb Smith — We have talked about the Marlins' pitchers an unexpected amount this season, but how can I ignore what Smith continues to do. He was electric again Thursday against the Phillies, striking out eight and allowing just three hits and one walk in six innings. He now has a 2.17 ERA that is largely backed up by a 2.63 FIP. He's change his approach, throwing more sliders and more changeups, and it's led to a ton of swings and misses. Maybe he can keep this up.
- Carter Kieboom — The Nationals don't mess around with their prospects. If you're ready, they'll call you up, as they showed with Juan Soto last year and Kieboom this year. , but the cliff notes version is: Go grab him if he's available.
- Zack Greinke — Remember being worried about Zack Greinke? Those were wild times, four weeks ago. He was brilliant Thursday night, and is now 4-0 with a 2.20 ERA over his last five starts, while racking up 36 strikeouts and just five walks. I humbly suggest a moratorium on freaking out about Greinke in March until he retires.
- A.J. Pollock — I had high hopes for Pollock coming into the season, and the Dodgers surely did too. Unfortunately, his 2019 has been a dud so far, as Pollock hasn't sustained any of the power gains he made last season. Here's hoping he breaks out of this soon.
- Brian Dozier — Kieboom's callup could eventually lead the Nationals to a tough decision. If Kieboom hits and Dozier continues to struggle, could Trea Turner's eventual return from injury cost Dozier his job? The pressure is building.
- Ross Stripling — Stripling hasn't been bad this season, and Thursday was a typically solid performance, but it was likely his last start for a while, with Rich Hill set to rejoin the rotation. He's worth stashing, but Stripling won't be usable for at least a little while.