Tuesday was one of the most eventful days of the season. From trades (and almost trades) to this majestic blast by Eloy Jimenez, there was something for everyone! There was especially something for Braves fans who saw their team put up 12 runs against the division-leading New York Mets, thanks in large part to Austin Riley. Riley hit two more home runs on Tuesday, including a grand slam. In 23 July games, he's batting .313 with six homers. Outside of a bad June, Riley has looked like a breakout star.
How about his teammate, Dansby Swanson? It was a slow start to the season but since May 1, Swanson is batting .259 with 15 home runs and five steals. That's a 30-homer, 10-steal pace over 150 games, which would be great if he gets there! If you've kept the faith, you're being rewarded now by both of these young Braves hitters.
Bader continues to be a plus batter
It's time to seriously consider adding Cardinals OF Harrison Bader to all rosters. On Tuesday, Bader went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and a steal. In his 20 games since coming off the IL, Bader has batted .384 with five homers and three steals. It was another monster game on Tuesday and it has been a monster month for him. He has a 16% strikeout rate that has come down from a 29% rate for his career -- his improved plate discipline is the biggest difference. He's also in the 97th percentile in sprint speed.
Bader is only 35% rostered and Scott White has declared him the most under-rostered player in all of Fantasy Baseball. That number needs to double immediately. Scott pointed to Bader's offseason surgery on his eyes that has arguably made a massive difference in helping him see the baseball better -- hence the massively improved strikeout rate. How Bader looks right now is how Andrew Benintendi looked when he first broke out with the Red Sox and what we were hoping he would become. Bader may not lead the league in anything, but his across-the-board production in all five categories is incredibly significant.
Scott and I would both go as far as dropping Adolis Garcia for Bader -- and certainly players less consistent than Garcia.
The Votto bounceback season rolls on
Scott White absolutely nailed it with Reds 1B Joey Votto who he had been preaching about adding to all rosters all season long even as his roster percentage only slightly grew. Votto hit another double dong on Tuesday and has now homered in four straight games with five home runs in that stretch -- the veteran is up to 17 home runs on the season. He is now 75% rostered but that number needs to be 100%. He is must start at this point. Scott would take him over a player like Anthony Rizzo.
If Votto hadn't slumped to start the season, his overall numbers would look unbelievable right now. Typically, Votto was not generating much pop in recent seasons, but that has not been the case this year. Early on the Statcast underlying numbers looked great, but they weren't translating. He was batting .226 when he went on the IL and since coming off he is batting .297 with a .957 OPS in 42 games entering Tuesday.
I've moved Votto ahead of Trey Mancini and all the way up to the 12th-best 1B in my rankings for the rest of season. Scott agrees that's the correct range for him.
More hitters we can't stop talking about
- Twins C Mitch Garver hit a grand slam on Tuesday. It was his 11th homer and he is still just 63% rostered.
- Tigers C Eric Haase rocked a grand slam on Tuesday and it was his 17th homer. He is 58% rostered.
- Tigers OF Akil Baddoo went 2-for-4 with a double and his 10th homer on Tuesday. He also adds speed. He is 73% rostered.
More news and notes
- The trade: Astros acquired relievers Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero from the Mariners (who they're currently playing against) for INF Abraham Toro and reliever Joe Smith. It was a strange move but apparently Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto said it will make sense once they make other moves. That's why I'm hesitant to say Paul Sewald will definitely be their closer. Other moves could be coming.
- Then SP Tyler Anderson almost went from the Pirates to the Phillies but instead went to the... Mariners who are wheelin and dealin. Anderson has a 4.35 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Don't rush to the waivers for him!
- Nationals SS Trea Turner was pulled from the game and everybody is thinking it must be a trade! Turned out he tested positive for Covid.
- Mariners OF Christian Yelich also tested positive for Covid. Jace Peterson also went to the IL because of contact tracing. Lorenzo Cain was reinstated as a result and went 2-for-5 with an RBI on Tuesday.
- Nationals SP Stephen Strasburg will undergo thoracic outlet surgery Wednesday and will not pitch again this season.
- Nationals SP Max Scherzer has been medically cleared to make his next start Thursday but I seriously doubt that happens given all the trade interest.
- Cardinals SP Jack Flaherty rehab start at Triple-A: Two scoreless with three strikeouts.
- SP Carlos Carrasco is expected to make his Mets debut Friday against the Reds. I moved him up to SP51 just behind Luis Garcia and ahead of Frankie Montas.
- Dodgers SP Trevor Bauer had his administrative leave extended until August 6. The civil hearing for the temporary restraining order obtained against Bauer will take place Monday and Tuesday next week in L.A. and is expected to last 2-3 days. Day 3 of that hearing, however, won't take place until Aug. 19.
- The Twins placed RP Taylor Rogers on the IL with a left middle finger sprain. Hansel Robles is 24% rostered if you want a bad closer for saves (gave up a game-tying grand slam in the 9th on Tuesday.
- Dodgers OF Mookie Betts could be activated when first eligible on Sunday.
- 2B Adam Frazier led off in his Padres debut against a righty in James Kaprielian. Trent Grisham was dropped to seventh in the order.
- Angels 1B Jared Walsh was not in the lineup Tuesday. He left Monday's game with right abdominal soreness.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore expressed confidence in SP Danny Duffy's ability to pitch again this season and estimated he'll return within 3-4 weeks.
- Nick Anderson (elbow) fired a perfect inning for the Rays' rookie-level Florida Complex League affiliate on Monday,
- Tigers SP Michael Fulmer was reinstated.
- Marlins SP Trevor Rogers is scheduled to throw a bullpen Wednesday. He went on the IL over the weekend.
- Marlins SP Pablo Lopez will start throwing off flat ground later this week. He went on the IL last week with a shoulder strain.
- Marlins OF Jesus Sanchez is gearing up for a return from the COVID IL.
- The Giants are reportedly talking to the Cubs about trading for 3B Kris Bryant. The Cubs have been scouting Joey Bart apparently.
- Angels OF Jo Adell had a sock and a shoe Monday -- his 20th homers and eighth steal -- he has just a 25% strikeout rate in July.
- Kumar Rocker and the Mets are currently in a stalemate over his contract due to elbow concerns.
- Check in on Rays SS Wander Franco: In his first stint in the majors, he has a .225 batting average, 8% walk rate, 20% strikeout rate, and the batted ball data is not exciting (.972 OPS vs. LHP, .428 OPS vs. RHP). He is 93% rostered.