You are invited by anyone to do anything. You are invited to stash these guys.
Maybe it was luck, or maybe it was the Phillies' plan all along, but having Franco called up in time to face a brutal Diamondbacks' pitching staff for three days at home before heading out for a series at Coors Field is a nice way to get some initial confidence at the plate. With Cody Asche now completely in the rearview mirror, the third base job should belong to Franco for the remainder of the season, and there's a very real possibility he could hit upwards of .270 with 12-15 homers and as many RBI as one can reasonably provide while in that lineup. It was a rough return for Alvarez from the disabled list on Sunday, but it shouldn't have been terribly shocking that he was a bit rusty considering the Marlins jumped him back to the majors after just one rehab start. He'll try to get back into form Friday night against the Orioles, and there's really not much reason to expect anything different from him than we did coming into the year (good ERA, good win potential, low strikeouts). When Franklin went down with his oblique injury this spring, he was the heavy favorite for all of the playing time at either second base or shortstop this year. However, with Logan Forsythe coming alive, it's not nearly as much of a lock now. I'd still expect Franklin to see about 300-350 at-bats the rest of the way, but more pressure will be on his short-term performance.
The Dropouts: None
Reports surfacing in Boston are saying that Castillo could be promoted as soon as he returns from his paternity leave later this week. Of course, it’s since been denied, but where there’s smoke, there’s often fire. With Shane Victorino replicating the slash line of a, well, terrible version of Shane Victorino and Allen Craig falling off the 40-man roster (after falling off the face of the earth), this job should be all Castillo going forward—as expected. He's also been hitting quite well at Triple-A recently with a near .350 average, two homers and four steals in his last 10 games.
Another week, another six shutout innings for Heaney, who just continues to bide his time in Triple-A until the shine has completely worn off Matt Shoemaker or the velocity has completely worn off Jered Weaver. The odds of the Angels maintaining this current five-man rotation for the full season, let alone the next month or two, is not high, so grab Heaney while you still can.
This is the week we finally got the really good Olivera news we've been waiting for. His physical has been passed and his contract with the Dodgers is finalized—which means there's at least a good chance his UCL isn't torn. Olivera maintains that he needs about a month to be major league ready, but the Dodgers are unlikely to rush him given their extreme depth. That said, he's ranked this high because I like his chances of forcing his way in there with the bat.
Rehabilitation from anything is rarely a straight line, and it is especially rare when it comes to Tommy John. So when Corbin goes out and sees a velocity dip, followed by getting a few days off, it’s nothing to be overly concerned about. Early June was always a lofty goal, but there’s no reason to think a June return is not in Corbin’s future.
After shifting his rehab from Triple-A to Double-A early this week, Hamilton is hitting a cool .563 in four games, and popped his first homer of his 2015 season on Wednesday night. It looks like we may see the beleaguered former star back in a Rangers uniform as early as Monday—and with little in the way of real competition for at bats, he could still return a fair amount of value despite his flaws.
6) Jaime Garcia, LHP, St Louis Cardinals (Last week: 15)
Thursday night is going to be the night for Garcia, as he'll make his long-awaited season debut. The problem with the talented left-hander has never been about his fantasy potential, but just about his ability to stay upright long enough for it to matter. Let's hope this time is different, as he remains one of my favorite pitchers to watch. While healthy, he should be owned in nearly all leagues.
This is me starting to cry “Uncle”—but not about Correa’s talent or major-league readiness. It’s about the Astros, who right now have the best record in baseball and show no signs of slowing down. Jonathan Villar has filled in more admirably for Jed Lowrie than Marwin Gonzalez has, but interjecting arguably the game’s top prospect into the lineup on a daily basis may just be too much to pass up, even for the cost-sensitive Astros (see: Springer, George, 2013).
Because you can never have too much Jason Marquis in the rotation. For some reason, it’s going to come down to Iglesias versus Michael Lorenzen for the final spot in the Reds’ rotation—once they’re done with these off days—and the Cuban right-hander carries the upside of the two. He could end up being the second-best starter for Cincinnati this season if things break right. Or the first, if Johnny Cueto gets traded.
It took an injury for the Orioles to finally move Gausman out of the bullpen, and it will take another for him to end up where he belongs. If he’s moved behind Mike Wright on the depth chart after one outing, I am very much willing to throw things.
10) Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Houston Astros (Last week: 11)
It’s been a fun ride for Singleton lately, as he’s hitting .319/.419/.722 with eight homers and 31 RBI through 19 games since the calendar flipped to May. And no, that’s not a transposition. Singleton’s best chance to get back to Houston in short order was for Chris Carter to keep struggling, but with two homers in his last five games, Carter isn’t helping matters.
11) Jake Lamb, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks (Last week: 14)
The next week should be an important one for the injured Diamondbacks’ third baseman, as he will look to start playing in games before the next iteration of this list runs. If only the Diamondbacks could take all of their reasonably pedestrian players and make a few Voltron-style super players out of them—though I’m not convinced that isn’t why Paul Goldschmidt exists.
A hip injury can be a difficult one to deal with for a would-be slugger, but Arcia appears to be approaching a rehab stint. He’s shown more of a propensity for contact so far this year, but since it will never likely be a big part of his game, the power numbers are going to have to follow if he’s going to be mixed league relevant in any meaningful way.
14) Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 13)
Seager’s stock may be more affected by what Hector Olivera does over the next month than anything that he does himself. After all, there’s infield depth and then there’s what the Dodgers have.
15) Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers (Last week: 25)
As opposed to Pompey, who has struggled following his demotion earlier this month, Odor has responded by crushing everything in sight at Round Rock. In seven games, he is hitting .318/.464/.818 with three homers and two strikeouts. Those are just stupid numbers, and with all due respect to Tommy Field, he needs to be back up shortly.
Maybe he’ll pitch again this year, maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll pitch again ever, maybe he won’t. Hold and hope. Rinse and repeat.
18) Daniel Norris, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays (Last week: 17)
18) Marco Gonzales, LHP, St Louis Cardinals (Last week: 19)
21) Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Boston Red Sox (Last week: 22)
23) Stephen Piscotty, OF, St Louis Cardinals (Last week: HM)
24) Josh Johnson, RHP, San Diego Padres (Last week: HM)
See Morrow, Brandon.
With a highly questionable Chris Capuano ahead of him, Nova will begin his rehab assignment as soon as this weekend. However, guessing which version of Nova will show up post-surgery is not something I have a high level of confidence in until we start seeing him in minor-league games.