The Graduates: Javier Baez (1), Wilmer Flores (10), Trevor May (12), Tommy Milone (15)
Considering it was a regular week, it was a pretty popular one to ascend from the Stash List. We all know how Baez has spent his first week in the majors, and it’s been almost exactly as we would have thought—three homers, 12 strikeouts, and no walks sounds pretty indicative of what to expect the rest of the way. If you need power, make sure he’s not available on the waiver wire.
Flores may only have a .557 OPS, but he’s certainly the best offensive option the Mets have at shortstop in the medium-term, and will now give him every chance to prove he’s as terrible at the position as his scouting report says.
On second thought, maybe it wasn’t the best idea in the world to get May his first major league start against the Athletics. His low-command approach wasn’t exactly the antidote to Oakland’s highly patient offensive attack. He’ll get another turn or two, but his next outing (Friday vs. Kansas City) is going to have to be significantly different.
Milone finally gets his place back in an MLB rotation, as the Twins finally moved on from Kevin Correia. He’ll pitch the rest of August in pitchers’ parks, so he makes for a pretty good pickup in medium-sized and deeper leagues right now.
The Departed: Jonathan Gray (24), Dylan Bundy (HM), Jesus Montero (HM)
The Gray thing just isn’t happening this year. Hope you enjoy your Yohan Flande. Same with Bundy, though at least the Orioles have actual pitchers ahead of him on the depth chart. Plus, he hasn’t looked all the way back from Tommy John yet. There’s still plenty of time for him to get there in 2015. Finally, despite a stolen base this week (his first in over five years), Montero falls off here—and likely for good. All the hot hitting in the world won’t get him a real shot in Seattle this year, so here’s to a change of scenery in the off-season.
And the ones who are still left waiting:
1) Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners (Previous Rank: 3)
THAT is more like it. Walker absolutely shoved against Fresno on Sunday, allowing just one run and three base runners over seven innings while striking out 13 batters. The knock on Walker this summer has been that he hasn’t been putting away hitters—whether it’s because of continued shoulder woes or not—but this was an important step in showing the Mariners that if they want to contend for a Wild Card spot, they’re going to need the good Walker in the majors down the stretch.
2) Dexter Fowler, OF, Houston Astros (Previous Rank: 2)
Right now it’s looking like Thursday that Fowler will finally return to Houston after missing nearly seven weeks with a strained intercostal muscle. There’s nothing super exciting about Fowler in shallower mixed leagues, but with Houston’s offense showing some real signs of life (including Chris Carter apparently having an out-of-body experience), he could score more runs than anticipated the last month and a half of the season. Even more so if George Springer is nearing a return as well.
3) Mookie Betts, OF, Boston Red Sox (Previous Rank: 7)
With Jackie Bradley’s Invisible Man act at the plate and Allen Craig’s injury, you’d think there would be a spot open for Betts to get some playing time in preparation for either a potential role in 2015 or off-season trade. However, this past week Betts was sent back to the minors in order to make room for Kelly Johnson. It would be very surprising to see him down for long, but then again, it was surprising to see him sent down in the first place.
4) Michael Pineda, RHP, New York Yankees (Previous Rank: 9)
Right now, Pineda is lined up to make his fifth start since coming over to New York in the much-maligned (from both sides) trade with the Mariners in January 2012. Yes, it was actually over two-and-a-half years ago. Who knows how long he’ll hold up this time, but if you need short-term strikeouts with a chance at some wins, he’s well worth a pickup in most leagues.
5) Derek Holland, LHP, Texas Rangers (Previous Rank: 6)
Holland moved his rehab back from Triple-A to Double-A this week, and had another very strong outing, pitching three scoreless innings and striking out four. It’s been pretty painful to wait on him this season, and we’re still looking at a few more rehab starts, but at least there’s some light at the end of the tunnel now. He should be back before the end of the month.
6) Rafael Montero, RHP, New York Mets (Previous Rank: NR)
Jacob deGrom’s pain is Montero’s gain. The right-hander will be back in the Mets’ rotation on Tuesday, and should remain there for at least a few turns. Frankly, given how good deGrom has been and the fact that the Mets want to limit his overall workload, I’d be surprised to see him back in the majors for any significant piece of 2014. Montero has been throwing really well of late in Triple-A, with a 2.28 ERA and 26 strikeouts in four starts since returning from injury in mid-July. Sunday’s start against the Cubs should be a very nice one to stream.
7) A.J. Pollock, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous Rank: NR)
The important part is that Pollock is on a rehab assignment. Unfortunately, with the combination of injury and time off, to say he looks a little rusty would be an understatement. In 21 at-bats, he’s been so bad that .279 isn’t his batting average, nor his on-base percentage, but his OPS. Ouch.
8) Matt Lindstrom, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Previous Rank: 17)
It’s not that Jacob Petricka can’t hold onto the role, it’s just that there’s probably not a better stash right now if you’re desperate for saves. Lindstrom is not a good pitcher, but that didn’t stop him from racking up six saves in the role before his injury.
9) Jorge Soler, OF, Chicago Cubs (Previous Rank: 20)
With Soler now hitting .309 with five homers in 18 games at Triple-A (after destroying Double-A pitching for a few weeks), we now just sit and wait until he gets his call up in September. There’s a chance he could get it sooner, but it appears unlikely at this point.
10) Chris Owings, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous Rank: 8)
He’s behind his teammate, but Owings shouldn’t be back that much later than A.J. Pollock. If all goes well, he’ll be playing in simulated games this week and start a rehab assignment next week. He should be back for your September run.
11) Nick Franklin, 2B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays (Previous Rank: 13)
Things were a little more exciting in the #FreeNickFranklin movement a week and a half ago. Since the trade, he’s hit .194/.265/.355 in 31 at bats in Durham—and though he’s likely to see major league time in September, this season may just continue to push him further and further into 2015 sleeper status.
12) Andrew Heaney, LHP, Miami Marlins (Previous Rank: 4)
13) Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians (Previous Rank: 18)
14) Ken Giles, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (Previous Rank: 14)
15) Erasmo Ramirez, RHP, Seattle Mariners (Previous Rank: NR)
16) Matt Wisler, RHP, San Diego Padres (Previous Rank: 11)
17) Michael Taylor, OF, Washington Nationals (Previous Rank: NR)
The Nationals called up the potentially dynamic Taylor this week to fill in while their regular starters are on the mend. Unfortunately for the 23-year old, there’s just no room for him to get the playing time he’d need right now to be fantasy relevant. However, as you can certainly tell by his .315 average, 22 homers, and 35 steals in the minors this year, playing time would make him a pretty interesting flier in most leagues.
18) Dan Straily, RHP, Chicago Cubs (Previous Rank: 25)
“A struggling starter from the West Coast gets traded to Chicago and meets a wise master named Chris Bosio. He is slow to receive the wisdom, but in his fifth and sixth starts under his tutelage, he allows zero earned runs, one walk, and 14 strikeouts in 13 innings. Has he become an instant ace or is it just an Enigma of the Mystical?”
19) Maikel Franco, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies (Previous Rank: 22)
20) Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs (Previous Rank: 23)
The chances are awfully small at this point, but this is how good Bryant is. Even a tiny chance still warrants stashing him.