Zimmer made his major-league debut Tuesday and struck out three times in three plate appearances. He’s gonna have more games like that. He’ll also chip in some power and speed, and should hold down at least the strong side of a platoon for the duration.
Berrios made his 2017 major-league debut this past week after six dominant Triple-A starts and turned in his best effort as a big leaguer. His 38.3 percent zone rate and 55.2 percent first-pitch strike rate were fifth- and 14th-worst among starters in 2016 with at least 50 innings pitched. It was encouraging, then, to see Berrios pound the zone Saturday, resulting in one just one walk over 7 2/3 innings of work.
Beef Welington and Duda were both activated from the disabled list since appearing last week on the list. Garrett pitched two innings while in Triple A and struck out all six batters he faced. That’s good for a -2.73 FIP. He’s on tap to start today for the Reds. It sure feels like Tapia is going to bounce back and forth between Albuquerque and Denver a bunch this season. He’s in Denver for now, albeit without a place to play. That problem isn’t going to get any better whenever David Dahl is ready to go.
I’m a little nervous about Duffy, who has taken a couple of days off from his rehab assignment because of soreness in his injured heel. Finnegan hit the 60-day disabled list this week and isn’t eligible to return until mid-June. He’s hasn’t pitched from a mound since April 15, though he is throwing.
Moncada is up to .331/.401/.504 with six bombs and 10 steals. He’s headed to the disabled list to rest a sore thumb, which will push back his timeline a bit. This sounds like nothing more than maintenance.
4. Carlos Rodon (LHP)—Chicago White Sox (Previous Rank: 4)
Snell was optioned to Triple-A Durham on Saturday after a rough start to his 2017 season. In 42 innings, Snell struck out 34 (7.3 K/9) and walked 25 (5.4 BB/9), posting a 4.71 ERA and brutal 1.62 WHIP. I still believe in him as an SP3 because of the strikeout stuff he showed throughout his minor-league career and during his 2016 major-league debut (9.9 K/9). To get there, his fastball command will need to get much better. A continued absence of information might drop Rodon’s ranking next week.
5. Wilson Ramos (C)—Tampa Bay Rays (Previous Rank: 7)
7. Travis d’Arnaud (C)—New York Mets (Previous Rank: 9)
Finally, some positive news for Ramos and Murphy, two mainstays of the Stash List through the first month and a half. Ramos caught a bullpen session Tuesday, a big step as he recovers from a torn ACL. Murphy is close to taking batting practice.
Fernando Rodney hasn’t given up an earned run since Archie Bradley made it back to the Stash List. Isn’t save speculation fun?
10. Amed Rosario (SS)—New York Mets (Previous Rank: 19)
The Mets and Pirates are the two worst teams in the National League by third-order win percentage, and they aren’t much better by actual win percentage. Within that context, I’m not sure the point of rushing either of these guys to the majors. Meadows is heating up at Triple-A Indianapolis, but his slow start and organizational discipline will probably keep him down for a while, despite multiple injuries in the Pirates outfield. Rosario’s monster numbers could force the issue in Queens sooner rather than later.
Cotton was demoted to Triple-A Nashville after surrendering six home runs in seven starts, which led to a bloated 5.68 ERA. Three of those homers came off Cotton’s vaunted changeup, part of a .297 batting average and .568 slugging against on that pitch. As a Cotton supporter this preseason, I’m searching for silver linings from his early season performance. Here’s one: His in-zone contact rate would be a top-10 mark if he had the innings to qualify, and given that he fills up the zone at an above-average rate, Cotton seems primed for improvement with better sequencing or better results off the plate.
15. Ketel Marte (SS)—Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous Rank: 18)
16. Franklin Barreto (SS)—Oakland Athletics (Previous Rank: 20)
Reed’s dwindling power numbers are a little concerning, as his .439 slugging percentage would be his lowest as a professional. For what it’s worth, he started slowly last season too; his triple-slash was .255/.352/.467 at the end of May. I’m not a Mondesi fan, but it’s worth reminding ourselves periodically that he’s still 21 years old and has game-changing speed. Mondesi hasn’t been caught in seven steal attempts at Triple A. I’m not sure he can hit enough at the major-league level to get utility out of those wheels. There’s plenty of time for him to prove me wrong yet.
18. Jose De Leon (RHP)—Tampa Bay Rays (Previous Rank: Honorable Mention)
20. Jacob Faria (RHP)—Tampa Bay Rays (Previous Rank: 13)
21. Reynaldo Lopez (RHP)—Chicago White Sox (Previous Rank: 22)
De Leon’s first two rehab appearances have come at High-A Charlotte, which really isn’t fair. He threw five no-hit innings in his most recent outing. Lopez continues to strike out more than one batter per inning while running a double-digit walk rate. The only International League pitcher with more walks is Henry Owens. That’s not really the company you want to keep.
24. Derek Fisher (OF)—Houston Astros (Previous Rank: Honorable Mention)
Bader got passed over by Magneuris Sierra because the latter is on the 40-man roster. Sierra has more than held his own, but with Stephen Piscotty primed for an activation, he’s likely headed back to the minors. If the Cardinals find themselves with an outfield need for an extended period later this season, I expect them to find room on the 40-man for Bader. With Steve Pearce hitting the disabled list this week, I thought this might be Smith’s time. Wrong. The Blue Jays went with a two-man bench for a couple of days then called up Darrell Cecilliani. It could take a trade for either of Fisher or Fowler to get playing time. Each has a chance for power-speed impact.
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