Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Struggling Mariners, Khris Davis injury plus Tuesday's winners and losers
Heath Cummings takes a look at what's wrong with the Mariners, three players you should add plus winners and losers from Tuesday's games.
Remember when the Mariners were one of the biggest surprises of April? When they led the American League West? When Dee Gordon was running, Marco Gonzales was dealing and Domingo Santana was mashing? It seems like forever ago. On Tuesday they lost to fall five games below .500 (and into last place in the West). Their Fantasy fall has been just as noticeable.
Gordon is on the injured list with a wrist injury that sapped every ounce of pop he had in his bat. Gonzales has allowed 17 runs over his past four starts and has 11 strikeouts and nine walks over that stretch. Santana hasn't homered since May 9, and his strikeout rate has crept back up to 28.1%. Mitch Haniger has seen his average fall to .232, Jay Bruce is hitting .183 and Mallex Smith can't stay in the lineup. Everything has gone south for the Mariners.
What do we do with them in Fantasy?
I still expect Haniger to hit, and I'm encouraged by what Dan Vogelbach has done lately. Edwin Encarnacion may just be the next Mariner traded, but he's a starting first baseman. I wouldn't want to drop Santana or Smith in a five-outfielder league but find it hard to argue for them in a three-outfielder points league. Gordon is a must-stash in any categories league, but you only hold him in points if you have an IL spot. I'm trying to hold on to Gonzales, but I couldn't consider starting him right now.
The Mariners were never as good as they showed in April, and they aren't as bad as they look right now.
Four to add from Tuesday
Clint Frazier (62%) -- Frazier was one of my favorite adds this week because of his schedule, and it paid off on Tuesday with a double dong at Camden Yards. Now you can't go add every hitter who has a big night against the Orioles, but this could be Frazier snapping out of his funk. He now has an .818 OPS for the season and could easily be a must-start outfielder until Aaron Judge returns.
Sonny Gray (63%) -- Gray has had a confusing season, but a few things should be clear by now. He's striking hitters out at his highest rate ever, and his problems from New York are mostly behind him. In fact, his SIERA is his lowest since 2014. I wouldn't call him must-start, but I do believe he should be almost universally owned.
Nicky Lopez (38%) -- Lopez hasn't played in two days, but if you're looking for a Gordon replacement, he's the best widely available option. He has 23 walks and eight strikeouts in 37 games between Triple-A and the majors, and he's slotted into the two-hole in the Royals lineup between Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi. With his plate discipline, he may just be better than Gordon in points leagues.
Rowdy Tellez (15%) -- Tellez doesn't need to be universally owned, but his double dong on Tuesday was a good reminder he needs to be owned in more than 15% of leagues. In 64 major-league games he owns an .828 OPS and has slugged to a 30-homer pace. In any league where you start a corner infielder and need power, he should be owned.
Tuesday's Winners and Losers
German Marquez -- Marquez is really settling into an ace on the road and a low-end starter at home. it was nice to see him follow up his one bad road start against Boston with a dominant performance against the Pirates.
Juan Soto -- It looks like Soto is breaking out of his funk. On Tuesday he hit his first home run since April 28, and he now has eight hits (five for extra bases) in his past five games. I still expect Soto to be a top-12 outfielder rest of season.
Marwin Gonzalez -- I'm not ready to call Gonzalez an 'add' yet, but he's definitely a "watch." Since May 2 he's slashing .381/.451/.587 and hit his third home run of the past two weeks on Tuesday. But there's a roster crunch in Minnesota with Miguel Sano and Willians Astudillo back. Monitor the situation.
Lance Lynn -- I don't think Lance Lynn is good. I'm not adding him. But he did whiff 11 on Tuesday night, and he's gone seven innings in four of his past five starts. I'll be watching his next start.
Khris Davis -- Davis is done trying to play through his hip injury and will head to the disabled list. We don't have a timetable, but Davis mentioned his oblique had been bothering him as well, so it may not be a short trip.
Chris Bassitt -- Bassitt is one of many surprisingly interesting pitchers from the start of the season, but he may have turned back into a pumpkin on Tuesday. He walked six Indians and couldn't get out of the fourth inning. If you added him, I'd at least hold on until his next start.
Eduardo Rodriguez -- I'm just about to the point of throwing my hands up and giving up trying to figure out Rodriguez. He has now allowed 15 hits and 11 runs in his past two starts against the Rockies (away from Coors) and the Blue Jays. You can't cut him and you certainly can't start him.
Eloy Jimenez -- The break on the disabled list did not help Jimenez find himself at the plate. He's now hitless in two games and struck out in all three plate appearances on Tuesday. I don't know how much more patience the White Sox will show, but I'll likely hold him even if he's sent down.
Luke Jackson -- Does anyone want to Braves' closer job? Jackson blew his second consecutive save opportunity (and fourth of the season), allowing three runs at San Francisco on Tuesday night. I'd still say he's the favorite to get the next save, but Sean Newcomb or Anthony Swarzak could be nipping at his heels soon.
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