Some weeks the Stash List is a re-shuffle of the previous version, a low-key graduation or two. This is not one of those weeks.
This is it for Urias, who will pitch tonight and stay with the big league club for good. He threw 14 innings over three starts at Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowing three earned runs and posting a 15-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. I expect the Dodgers to continue to be cautious with Urias’ innings and pitch counts, which could limit his potential for wins. His teammate Bellinger got the call Tuesday and surprisingly led off Wednesday night. He might only be up for as long as it takes Joc Pederson’s groin to heal, but I’m not ruling out the possibility that Bellinger thumps his way to a permanent job.
Conforto has started the past four games, homering from the leadoff spot in two of them. Yoenis Cespedes is ready to go after taking the past three contests off to rest a balky hamstring. Lucas Duda reportedly will be ready to go when he’s eligible to come off the disabled list this weekend, which should push Jay Bruce back out to right field. What this means for Conforto, I do not know.
I’m jumping the gun a little with Mesoraco, whose 20 days of rehab are up and should be called up prior to Friday. His .170/.291/.255 line in 55 plate appearances at Double-A doesn’t inspire much confidence in his potential for fantasy impact.
Altherr’s started five in a row and was slotted in the second spot in the order for four of them. He should be a regular while Howie Kendrick is out with an oblique injury. With power and speed and, most importantly, a significantly improved contact rate to date, Altherr might not give up the job after Kendrick's oblique injury heals.
Vogelbach was called up over the weekend and looks to be the heavy side of a first-base platoon. I’m not nearly as optimistic as most of the folk around here, but I do think he’ll hit well enough to keep a job. Vargas also got the call in time for Sunday’s action and has started two of three. With an outfield full of young guys that need something close to everyday at-bats and Robbie Grossman mashing out of the DH spot, Vargas’ path to regular playing time is not entirely clear.
Bradley has whiffed only five in his past eight innings, which is a bit of a disappointment after watching him strike out out 7-of-14 batters faced in his season debut. He was passed over for a rotation job when Shelby Miller hit the disabled list this week, and it’s unclear if he or J.J. Hoover is in line for the closer’s gig if the Diamondbacks decide to sack Fernando Rodney.
Crawford always has been a guy with a better-in-real-life tag, and opening the season in a 5-for-56 slump temporarily dulls whatever excitement there was for his major-league debut. The Phillies have no reason to rush him, and it’s hard to make the case for near-term fantasy utility given his minor-league stat line at the upper levels.
Tapia and Winker get pushed out by the new blood. They’ll be back soon. In Winker’s case, he now might be behind Phil Ervin, whom the Reds called up after a hot start at Triple A. I’ve never been a Winker fan and now that the Reds have accelerated Ervin’s timeline, I prefer his power-speed combination to Winker’s empty batting average.
Moncada was primed to take over the top spot regardless of what happened with Urias. He’s up to .292/.370/.523 with four homers and four steals. There’s not much left to say here except that Moncada is much, much better than Yolmer Sanchez, who is presently drawing the occasional start at the keystone for the White Sox.
Soler’s smacked a pair of homers during his five game rehab stint at Triple-A Omaha. No official word yet on when we can expect him back in Kansas City. I’m interested to see how the Royals handle Jorge Bonifacio when Soler is ready. Gregorius is also out on a rehab assignment. He’s 6 for 14 in four games at High-A Tampa and will take over starting shortstop duties in the Bronx in a week or so.
After slow playing Bellinger because I thought he’d be up mid-to-late summer, I’m getting aggressive with these three high-upside outfielders. Brinson is on a tear after missing a week with a minor finger injury. You should take numbers from Colorado Springs with a grain of salt, but Brinson’s 1.079 OPS is absurd, and he’s stolen three bases in twelve games to boot. To say Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana have been underwhelming so far would be putting it mildly. Lonnie Chisenhall is still starting in center field for the Indians, which is to say that I expect to see Zimmer soon. Meadows has been solid after opening the year with one hit in his first 24 at-bats. Jose Osuna is filling in admirably in Starling Marte’s stead, but let’s be honest. He’s just keeping the seat warm for Meadows.
Ramos has begun taking dry swings. He’s not eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list until June, and I suspect he’ll be out longer than that. There’s not much of an update on Murphy and Tony Wolters is hitting .366/.422/.439 while splitting catching duties almost down the middle with Dustin Garneau. It’ll be hard for Murphy to be relevant in a half-time role. This ranking assumes Wolters will back up and Murphy will grab the larger side of that timeshare.
Mancini hasn’t started since Seth Smith shook the minor hamstring injury that kept him out of the lineup for nearly a week. Hyun Soo Kim also has started three in a row after playing sparingly in the first three weeks. Mancini appears to be the short side of a platoon at the moment, even though he hit same-side pitching very well throughout his minor-league career.
Berrios struck out 10 over six frames in his most recent start at Triple-A Rochester. I’m circling next a week from Saturday for his 2017 major league debut. It’s the next game for which the Twins need a fifth starter, and Adalberto Mejia was optioned after his previous outing.
12. Jacob Barnes (RHP)—Milwaukee Brewers (Previous Rank: Unranked)
Aaaaaand we’ve reached the point of the season where I’ll start speculating on a few end-game situations we all thought were solid a month ago. K-Rod has kept a clean sheet in only three of his eight appearances to date, and his fastball velocity is not quite 88 mph. Wilson hasn’t allowed a hit, much less a run. The Tigers probably are considering Joe Jimenez to be their closer of the future, but Wilson could fill in capably if the Tigers decide to move on from Rodriguez. Barnes has filthy stuff and has also yet to allow an earned run, while Brewers free-agent acquisition Neftali Feliz owns a 5.19 ERA. Most of that damage came in one ugly outing, so I don’t think his seat is too hot just yet. Miller Park isn’t an ideal setting for a fly-ball pitcher though, and it wouldn’t shock me if Feliz loses his grip with a rough stretch.
13. Matt Duffy (SS)—Tampa Bay Rays (Previous Rank: Honorable Mention)
14. Lucas Duda (1B)—New York Mets (Previous Rank: Unranked)
Duffy is taking batting practice but not yet running the bases. Rays shortstops are hitting .240/.277/.365. As mentioned above, Duda is expected back when eligible. Before hyper-extending his elbow, he showed that his power stroke was back after missing much of 2016 with a back issue. No update on Finnegan since his placement on the 10-day disabled list a week ago. Expect him to be out another couple of weeks at minimum.
Alfaro’s never been known for his patience, but he could probably stand to walk more than once in 63 plate appearances. He’s going to strike out a ton early in his major-league career. He’s also going to hit some balls very, very far.
17. Reynaldo Lopez (RHP)—Chicago White Sox (Previous Rank: 15)
18. Mike Clevinger (RHP)—Cleveland Indians (Previous Rank: Honorable Mention)
Aside from one dominant performance, Lopez’s strikeout stuff just hasn’t been there this month. His walk stuff has. Clevinger hasn’t allowed more than one run in any of his four turns, and he’s struck out eight or more in three of the four. Josh Tomlin has a 9.31 ERA. Just sayin’.
Marte is demolishing Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .438/.471/.525 triple-slash, with three swipes in four tries and an equal number of walks and strikeouts. It doesn’t much matter how well Marte plays, as long as Chris Owings keeps doing what he’s doing in Arizona.
Swihart doesn’t have a hit since the previous Stash List. He has thrown out 6-of-10 would-be base stealers this season, though. Perhaps the outfield experiment is dead and buried.
21. Rhys Hoskins (1B)—Philadelphia Phillies (Previous Rank: Unranked)
Tommy Joseph is struggling badly and Hoskins continues to lay waste to the minors. Yuli Gurriel is some kinda hot, which means Reed is some kinda blocked.
23. Amed Rosario (SS)—New York Mets (Previous Rank: Unranked)
25. Raul Mondesi (SS)—Kansas City Royals (Previous Rank: Unranked)
I get that people are excited about Rosario, and so am I. I just don’t think it makes sense to bring him up now. The only place where he can crack the lineup is third base, a spot at which he has all of one game of professional experience. Mondesi was demoted after posting a brutal .103/.167/.179 line in Kansas City. He did tally five steals, which is kind of incredible considering he was only on base seven times in 14 games. I’m not sure he ever hits enough to get the most out of his wheels.