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This week marks the final edition of The Stash List this season and I just wanted to say that it’s been a blast being able to pinch-hit for Bret Sayre over the last few months. Doing this has certainly given me a new appreciation for all of the hard work that Bret puts into this list each week, and I also want to take a moment to thank everybody who offered both praise and constructive criticism; I truly enjoyed hearing both.

Now, on to the last installment of the 2015 season …….

The Graduates: (2) Drew Smyly, (5) Byron Buxton, (7) John Lamb, (13) Nick Tropeano, (14) Aaron Altherr, (24) Bruce Rondon, (HM) Tyler Duffey

Smyly made his return to the Tampa Bay rotation on Sunday against the Rangers, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in four innings and striking out four. Smyly needed 95 pitches to complete his four innings of work but pitched with the same velocity as he did early in the season prior to his shoulder injury—certainly a good sign for his future value.

Buxton was recalled to the big-league club in place of Aaron Hicks, whose hamstring injury will require a trip to the disabled list. Buxton hit .412/.444/.549 in his 12 games of Triple-A action and hopefully will be given a chance to play every day, but this is an organization that saw fit to give Shane Robinson outfield starts in five of the last 10 games while Buxton was healthy and in the minors—despite being within shouting distance of a playoff spot.

In last week’s edition, Michael Lorenzen’s recent struggles were discussed and his demotion led to an opportunity for Lamb in Cincinnati’s rotation. Lamb lasted six innings in his major-league debut Friday against the Dodgers, allowed five earned runs on eight hits, and showed his strikeout potential with seven punchouts. Lamb looks to have locked up a spot in the Reds rotation for the rest of the year.

Matt Shoemaker’s inability to duplicate his magical 2014 campaign has led to his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake, and the Angels have called upon Tropeano—who owns a 4.19 FIP in 15 Pacific Coast League starts—to take his place in the rotation and make the start today at home against the White Sox. Tropeano’s strikeout numbers (9.84 K/9 in 82 1/3 IP) and ability to keep the ball in the ballpark (0.98 HR/9) in the PCL make him a solid back-end option in deeper leagues and an enticing streaming option in standard mixed leagues while pitching in cavernous AL West parks over the rest of the season.

Maikel Franco’s fractured left wrist, which sent him to the disabled list and will likely end his season, has cleared a roster spot for Altherr in Philadelphia. The right-handed-hitting Altherr appeared in left field in each of his first two games since his call-up and earned his first major-league start on Wednesday against Mark Buehrle and Blue Jays. He then hit a double and a two-run homer in his first three at-bats of the night. The 24-year-old Altherr is certainly an interesting fantasy prospect, as his combination of 14 home runs and 16 steals in 111 games split between the two highest minor-league levels this season makes him a leading candidate for one of the two likely openings in Philly’s 2016 outfield.

Rondon was given the closer role by Brad Ausmus over the weekend and has earned saves in two of his last four appearances.

Duffey pitched much better in his second start of the season against the Indians on Saturday (6 IP, 1H, 5BB, 7K) and earned himself another turn in the Minnesota rotation today in Baltimore.

The Dropouts: (17) Dalton Pompey, (18) Oswaldo Arcia, (23) Blaine Hardy, (25) Rafael Betancourt

The Ben Revere trade effectively ended Pompey’s chance for fantasy relevance this season and Ezequiel Carrera’s recall on Monday likely closed the door for him to appear in a part-time role as well.

Arcia has compiled an ugly .067/.140/.133 line in 14 games this month at Triple-A Rochester and Paul Molitor’s continued insistence on giving Shane Robinson starts in left field would seem to strongly indicate that Arcia is not a part of Minnesota’s plans this season. As with Arismendy Alcantara, who fell off the list last week, Arcia is a prime buy-low candidate this offseason in dynasty and keeper leagues as his bat is too potent to sit in the minors for another season. If the Twins don’t plan to give him an opportunity next season, it’s likely that another American League team could find a way to give him regular at-bats should Minnesota make him available. However, with Arcia’s questionable defensive skills, those may have to come in a designated hitter role.

Hardy moves off the list with the emergence of Rondon as the Tigers closer, but remains a late-inning option for holds and could sneak his way to a save or two should Brad Ausmus give him the nod late in matchups against lefties.

Betancourt drops off as John Axford was returned to the glamorous role known as Rockies closer.

1) Hector Olivera, 2B/3B, Atlanta Braves (Last week: 1)

Olivera has appeared in four rehab games with the Braves and should be ready for action in Atlanta in “about a week.” As we touched on last week, the Braves are being understandably cautious with Olivera because they intend to pencil him into the middle of their lineup and play him regularly down the stretch (something not likely to happen for anybody else on this list), giving him a great chance to make a fantasy contribution over the rest of the season.

2) Kevin Jepsen, RHP, Minnesota Twins (Last week: NR)

Glen Perkins had an MRI on his ailing neck on Wednesday and if he finds himself out for any period of time, Jepsen will reportedly be the Twins closer in his absence. Casey Fien could also find himself in the mix as well.

3) Kris Medlen, RHP, Kansas City Royals (Last week: 8)

Medlen hasn’t allowed a run since his first appearance back from his second Tommy John surgery, working eight consecutive scoreless relief innings over five outings and earning the win against the Reds on Tuesday. The continued struggles of Jeremy Guthrie (6.02 DRA) and Danny Duffy (5.21 DRA), or the inconsistency of Yordano Ventura (4.80 DRA), could lead to Ned Yost fulfilling Rany Jazayerli’s dream.

4) Javier Baez, INF, Chicago Cubs (Last week: 3)

Baez continues to work almost exclusively at shortstop at Triple-A Iowa—seeing only two games at second base, his only action at any other position since his return from a finger injury on July 23rd—making it unclear how the Cubs intend to use Baez (if at all) in September.

5) Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 4)

The Dodgers seem intent on making any move to improve their infield other than calling upon Seager to replace Jimmy Rollins. After struggling in July (.203/.274/.419) at Triple-A Oklahoma City, Seager has regained his stroke in August, hitting .328 and getting on base at a .373 clip. However, Seager has seen only one ball leave the yard in 26 games since the All-Star break, something to keep in mind if/when he gets the call in September.

6) Robert Stephenson, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 6)

Stephenson was placed on the seven-day minor-league disabled list on Tuesday with a forearm strain, but Delino DeShields, his manager at Triple-A Louisville (which makes me feel ancient), said that Stephenson will be back in the rotation “the next time around.”

7) Joey Gallo, 3B/OF, Texas Rangers (Last week: 9)

Gallo’s .205 batting average and .304 on-base percentage in 42 games at Triple-A Round Rock have not earned him another chance this season in Texas to this point. The Rangers have understandably chosen to keep playing Gallo every day instead of giving him part-time duty at the major-league level, and the power has been there as expected for Gallo in his first taste of Triple-A, as he’s hit 13 home runs over his 184 plate appearances. However, his lack of contact while at Round Rock this year—which will always be part of the package with Gallo—indicates that he may need more time at the level to start next season as well.

8) Trevor Story, INF, Colorado Rockies (Last week: 10)

9) Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Last week: 11)

Glasnow, who by no means is anywhere close to being a finished product, has pitched very effectively over his first four starts at Triple-A Indianapolis, striking out 25 over 21 innings of work. Glasnow unquestionably needs to better harness his control as he’s also issued 13 walks during that timeframe and only threw 48 of his 89 pitches for strikes in his most recent start on Sunday, despite working five scoreless innings and striking out seven.

He appears on this list not because he’s fully ready, but because of the chance that the Pirates choose to insert him into their rotation to provide a spark if A.J. Burnett is unable to come back; Glasnow possesses significant strikeout potential if they do. There may not be a strong likelihood that the Pirates will summon Glasnow this season, but he could certainly make a fantasy impact if it does come to fruition, which is what you’re looking for this time of year.

10) Zach Davies, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers (Last week: 12)

Davies has walked nine in his first 16 innings of action in the Pacific Coast League, giving up eight earned runs and striking out 13, good for a 4.48 FIP. Tyler Cravy, who has looked horrific in each of his last three starts (14 ER in 12 IP), was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday, which could lead to an opportunity for Davies down the stretch. Tyler Wagner, who received a spot start earlier in the year and is currently at Double-A, also could be an option if they choose not to take a look at Davies.

11) James Paxton, LHP, Seattle Mariners (Last week: NR)

Paxton, out of action since straining a tendon in his finger on May 28th, threw a simulated game on Tuesday and is scheduled to make a rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday.

12) Adam Duvall, OF, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 15)

Duvall is up to 30 home runs in 116 Triple-A contests this season, but the longer Cincinnati insists upon holding on to Marlon Byrd, the longer he’ll remain in Louisville instead of getting at-bats with the Reds. That said, a near-term call-up is presumably what they had in mind when they acquired Duvall from the Giants as part of the Mike Leake deal.

13) Jose Berrios, P, Minnesota Twins (Last week: 16)

If the Twins truly are interested in putting their best roster on the field and making a playoff push, it will be interesting to see if they call upon Berrios, who owns a 3.38 ERA and a strikeout rate of better than a batter-per-inning in eight Triple-A starts. Berrios surpassed his innings total of 140 from last season in his last start, meaning there are only so many more bullets left in his arm this season, and the Twins could decide to deploy them at the major-league level, where he could almost certainly help in a long-man role or as back-end rotation option.

14) Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP, Texas Rangers (Last week: NR)

Gonzalez finds himself here again after being sent down to Oklahoma City after his last start against the Mariners on Tuesday, where he gave up three earned runs over six innings and struck out a career-high seven hitters. He should return in September and could have a spot in the rotation if Derek Holland or Martin Perez struggles.

15) Nomar Mazara, OF, Texas Rangers (Last week: 19)

Mazara, who doesn’t turn 21 until April, was promoted to Triple-A Round Rock on Monday, which will likely serve to continue his development rather than prepare him for a further promotion to the big-league squad this season. However, if Mazara continues to impress (as he has all season) while at Round Rock, it’s not inconceivable that they could choose to bypass Joey Gallo if they need an (actual) outfielder should an injury occur to Delino DeShields or Josh Hamilton.

16) Kennys Vargas, DH, Minnesota Twins (Last week: 20)

17) Sean Nolin, LHP, Oakland A’s (Last week: HM)

Nolin made his first appearance at Triple-A Nashville since injuring his shoulder on June 27th on Saturday, striking out two in his two innings of work and allowing no runs. With the strong likelihood of Jesse Hahn’s season being over, Nolin could emerge as a fifth-starter option in lieu of Aaron Brooks down the stretch if he is able to stretch his arm back out over the next few weeks.

18) Trea Turner, INF, Washington Nationals (Last week: NR)

Turner, who still has to be added to the 40-man roster, has been seeing action at second base recently at Triple-A Syracuse. Mike Rizzo insisted that Turner playing second for the first time in his professional career was just in an effort “to get him some versatility” and that the Nationals are “just trying to get him some exposure” at the position, and also indicated that he’s not sure whether or not they will call up Turner when rosters expand in September. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that with the Nationals’ continued struggles, there is a slight chance they could look to Turner to provide a spark over the final month. If Turner were to get playing time, he would certainly be able to help in steals, at the very least.

It’s a long shot to be sure, but it’s worth monitoring over the next week or so.

19) Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers (Last week: 21)
20) Fernando Rodriguez, RHP, Oakland A’s (Last week: 22)

Honorable Mention: Sean Manaea, Aaron Blair, Mark Appel, Rafael Montero, Jose De Leon, Aaron Judge, Marcus Stroman

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j1vrieze
8/20
As the guys on the Raw Projection Podcast pointed out, Stephenson isn't on the 40-man and the Reds aren't pushing for the playoffs. Doesn't that drastically reduce the likelihood that he gets promoted?
seanqueue
8/21
I just wanted to come back and say thank you for all the great info this year. I am in a couple of very deep and very competitive leagues and this column has been my secret weapon to jump on free agents before they hit the collective radar.
jonjacoby
8/21
What about Jon Jay?