See, this is why I have a rocky relationship with Trevor Bauer. He wasn't even bad on Monday night, but the fact that he tinkered with his pitch mix grinds my gears. Look, Bauer is a professional baseball and I am merely somebody who writes about him. I'm sure he's actually much smarter than I am, too. However, he's always had this propensity to tinker with his pitch mix, and sometimes it's not for the better.
Bauer turned in his worst start of the season Monday, allowing four earned runs over 6.1 innings against the Brewers. He still had 17 swinging strikes on 109 pitches, but his fastball usage was down 21% even though his velocity was a season-high 94.8 MPH. I don't think he's somebody you need to trade away in Fantasy, but just know there will be a few more starts like this over the next month.
On to the rest of Monday's action:
THE LATEST IN THE WORLD OF FANTASY BASEBALL
- Charlie Blackmon was scratched Monday due to left quad tightness. He's day-to-day.
- Merrill Kelly was also scratched from Monday's start and then placed on the IL with a right shoulder nerve impingement. There is no timetable for his return.
- Randal Grichuk left Monday's game with lower back tightness, which is unfortunate because he went 2-4 with his seventh home run of the season before he left. Apparently, he only left as a precaution.
- Kevin Kiermaier left Monday's game with right foot discomfort. X-Rays came back negative so it looks like he's avoided anything major.
- Justin Verlander threw 20 pitches Sunday and felt good afterward. Verlander made one start this season before being shut down with a forearm injury.
- Jose Quintana will be activated off the IL on Tuesday and will first be used out of the bullpen for the Cubs.
- Tyler Chatwood will also be activated Tuesday and will start against the Tigers, which is a pretty solid matchup if you want get him in there in a daily lineup league.
- The Indians have yet to announce their starter for Wednesday. Sandy Alomar Jr. did say he hopes the team can move past the Clevinger/Plesac situation. "We'd love to have one of those guys pitch if we could, but that's a decision the (front office/team) has to make."
- The Pirates are expected to promote top prospect Ke'Bryan Hayes from their alternate training site in the coming days, Stephen J. Nesbitt of The Athletic reports. The former first round pick in 2015 hit .265 with 10 HR and 12 steals in 110 games at Triple-A last season. He's only worth a look in deeper leagues for now.
- Speaking of prospects, Braves top pitching prospect Ian Anderson could make his debut Tuesday against the Yankees. Anderson is also a former first round pick in 2016. Last season he owned a 3.38 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP with 172 K in 135.2 IP across Double-A and Triple-A. I'm more inclined to add Anderson over Hayes in a vacuum.
- Leody Taveras was recalled and led off for the Rangers Monday He went 1-for-3 with a walk. This is another prospect, more so known for his speed. He hit .279 with 32 steals between High-A and Double-A last season. If you're desperate for speed in a Roto or H2H categories league, Taveras probably makes sense for you.
Monday's Biggest Winners
- You don't need me to tell you Juan Soto is good, but maybe you need to just how good he's been. Soto added another four hits Monday, including two doubles. He's now slugging .815 this season. In fact, he's first in xwOBA, xSLG, and fourth in xBA. I think if the season ended today, you can make a pretty good case he's a top five next year behind Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Fernando Tatis.
- Javier Baez launched two homers Monday and boy did he need it. He finished with three hits, raising his batting average to .219. The key for Baez the rest of the season should be focusing on hitting line drives. His 57% ground ball rate would be a career-high. While Baez is also striking out a ton, he's actually swinging at less pitches outside of the strike zone this season. I think this is the start of more to come for Baez.
- Entering Monday, the Rockies hadn't had a save opportunity in eight days. That makes sense considering they were on a seven-game losing streak. Anywho, we didn't know would earn the next save opportunity… until Monday. Daniel Bard pitched a clean inning with a strikeout, earning his second save of the season. He's owned in a mere 6% of CBS leagues if you're in need of saves.
Monday's Biggest Losers
- Look, I hate to keep bashing these rookies but if all they're going to do is hurt us in Fantasy, we have to either bench them or drop them. I'm still excited about Casey Mize's long-term future. I think he has an advanced arsenal, equipped with a deadly splitter. Mize allowed four runs Monday (three earned runs) in just 3.1 innings pitched. I would drop him for either of Sixto Sanchez or Justus Sheffield in re-draft leagues.
- Speaking of drops, how about Bad Keller? Sorry, I meant Brad. This is my bad. I should have seen this one coming. Equipped with a career 4.61 xFIP, it was only a matter of time. Keller allowed five runs over four innings on Monday. If you picked him up for the two-start week, feel free to drop him.
- Let's make it a trifecta! On paper, it seemed like Austin Voth had a nice matchup on Monday against the Marlins. Guess again! He was chased in the fourth inning after allowed six runs on six hits and three walks. Voth is currently owned in 51% of leagues and that should be closer to zero.