Well, he's back and better than ever!
OK ... so that's not saying much. But his 2021 debut Tuesday in which he went 3 for 4 with a double, a walk and a stolen base was arguably the best of his now 39 games in the majors so far. The only other one in the discussion was a two-homer performance last August.
And it's instructive to point out that as bad as Adell was last year, he was still capable of a game like that. A single game can only tell us so much, after all. Wander Franco looked like he was going to take the league by storm in his first game for the Rays this year. Ditto Jarred Kelenic in his second game for the Mariners. It, uh ... it hasn't turned out that way.
But Tuesday's performance was still exactly what you hoped to see from Adell in his first game back in the big leagues, and of course, every breakout begins with that one big game.
As it turns out, he wasn't the only call-up to impress in his 2021 debut Tuesday ...
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Jo Adell LF
LAA L.A. Angels • #7 • Age: 22
A little more on Adell before we move on. His strikeout rate was up near 30 percent for most of his time at Triple-A this year, which I think is why the Angels hesitated to bring him up even with his strong production. It dropped to 24.5 percent over his final 25 games, during which he hit .363 (37 for 102) with seven homers, five steals and a 1.066 OPS, which I think is why the Angels moved to call him up. He's a must-add in five-outfielder leaguers, and of course, it's never wrong to add a player with his kind of upside in any format. The failure rate of incoming prospects this year might give me some pause in shallower leagues, though.
Luis Gil SP
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #81 • Age: 23
Luis Gil's major-league debut couldn't have gone much better, and he showed plenty of ability on the way to these results, namely a high-spin fastball that peaked at 98.5 mph. He was a prospect of some renown coming into the season, too, with Baseball America ranking him fourth in the Yankees organization. I stop short of calling him a must-add, though, because of his inconsistent performance in the minors, where he had a 4.13 ERA and 1.34 WHIP this year. He's also likely looking at a short-term stay, his promotion having been necessitated by Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery going on the COVID-19 IL.
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #40 • Age: 27
The hype for Chris Sale's return from Tommy John surgery has swelled to the point there's just no adding him anymore, but there may still be an opportunity to pick up Luis Severino, who was on the verge of returning from the same procedure before straining his groin during his first rehab stint in June. He was back on the bump at Double-A Tuesday, throwing 48 pitches, and may not need so long to build up given that he got part of the way there last time. While he wasn't quite of the same stature as Sale before undergoing Tommy John surgery, he was an ace in his own right.
SEA Seattle • #13 • Age: 24
The mashing continued Tuesday for Abraham Toro-Hernandez, who homered for the third time in seven games since joining the Mariners and the fifth time in nine games overall. Hard contact is what he lacked during his previous stints with the Astros, but he showed plenty of ability to put the bat on the ball, hitting well over .300 his past few years in the minors. I don't know that this power surge is sustainable, but I've always found him interesting. Now that he's eligible at second base and playing every day, it may be time to take a flier.
ARI Arizona • #36 • Age: 36
We haven't had much reason to care about who was closing for the Diamondbacks this year. They've been bad and so have all their relievers. But at least the latter is no longer so with Tyler Clippard healthy and pitching again. He appeared to claim the closer job even before Joakim Soria was dealt to the Blue Jays and just recorded his second save Tuesday. Having compiled a 2.86 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 9.2 K/9 during the past two years of what has been an illustrious career, he seems fully capable of getting the job done.
Dylan Floro RP
MIA Miami • #36 • Age: 30
Dylan Floro picked up his second save in as many days Tuesday, which would seem to suggest he's taking over the closer gig vacated by Yimi Garcia's departure. It's bad news for those who pinned their hopes to the more talented Anthony Bender, but Floro had been capably handling the eighth-inning role. He keeps the ball on the ground and generally limits damage, so like Brandon Kintzler for the Marlins last year, he might just stick.