For a refresher on the four types of players that are eligible for inclusion on this list, please see the first edition of the year to find out why players like Devon Travis and Ender Inciarte are not listed below. Last week’s Stash List, can be found here.
The Graduates: (1) Javier Baez
Baez and his new teal glove made their first appearance of the year on Saturday, with the 23-year-old swatting a double among his two hits in four at-bats (with two strikeouts) against the Rockies. Baez has started three times, once at second base and twice at shortstop, and has appeared in all of Chicago’s five games since being activated from the disabled list. Joe Maddon has stated his wishes to get Baez in the lineup for two or three starts a week at different spots across the diamond, and with the club especially cognizant about developing his bat, it stands to reason that he could see 350-400 plate appearances over the rest of the season. Baez and Jorge Soler (and Matt Szczur to a much lesser extent) figure to be the main beneficiaries of Kyle Schwarber’s knee injury and the early indications are that Baez will indeed receive the playing time necessary to make a fantasy impact in standard mixed leagues. An average in the .260-.270 range with double digit home run and steal totals should be within Baez’s reach if he is able to stay on the field, and he could gain in-season eligibility at every non-battery position if Maddon chooses to deploy him “all over the place and all over the map,” as planned. Most importantly, Baez’s return to the majors should lead to more clubhouse hijinks that will also hopefully be captured on his wonderful Instagram account.
Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson notched his fifth save on Wednesday against the Astros and has allowed just one earned run in his seven appearances of the year aside from his meltdown on April 6th against the Mariners, where he gave up five earned runs and failed to record an out. Dyson relieved Cole Hamels in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s game, and Kela (7.11 ERA) has allowed multiple runs in two of his seven appearances on the season. Tolleson’s job appears safe—for the time being.
With Baez’s graduation from The Stash, let’s take a look at who sits atop of the third edition:
DeSclafani completed a two-inning live batting practice session on Monday, and is slated to make his first of two rehab starts at Double-A Pensacola on Saturday before jumping into a crowded Reds rotation, which also should feature Homer Bailey and possibly John Lamb within the next month.
Skaggs struck out five and allowed just two hits with no walks in three innings of work in his second rehab start of the year last Friday at Triple-A Salt Lake. He threw 67 pitches in his third start Wednesday night at Fresno, giving up two hits while striking out four in 3 2/3 innings of work. He issued three walks and allowed two earned runs while taking the loss. Skaggs is scheduled to pitch five innings in each of his next two starts as he ramps up his workload in coming back from Tommy John surgery.
Turner had five hits in Wednesday’s double dip against Triple-A Lehigh Valley, stealing a base in each game and upping his average to an even .400 on the year, and seeing his OBP climb to .474. Turner now has six steals (and has yet to be caught) in 13 games and five of his 20 hits on the year have gone for extra bases.
Current Natinals shortstop Danny Espinosa’s OBP was bumped up to .286 on the year after a 1-for-3 performance Wednesday against the Marlins. Espinosa—currently slugging .195—has just one extra-base hit in Washington’s first 14 games.
After striking out nine in his second start of the year at Triple-A Indianapolis, Glasnow now has 15 strikeouts against just three walks on the year in 10 innings of work. After Jeff Locke’s masterful performance on Wednesday night (3 IP, 11H, 8ER, 4BB, 2K) in San Diego, his ERA currently sits at 7.24.
The good: Berrios has allowed six hits and two earned runs in his first 10 innings of work, striking out 13.
The bad: Berrios has walked seven batters (in addition to hitting two batters) in those 10 IP, leading to a less-than-ideal 1.30 WHIP to start the year
Reed has smacked three home runs and slugged .523 in his first 11 games of Pacific Coast League action, but is also hitting for a .227 AVG with a .314 OBP as he gets his first look at Triple-A pitching. No one doubts his power, but his work against lefties (three hits in 15 AB to start the year) at the level will likely go a long way in determining whether or not Reed is platooned when he reaches Minute Maid this season.
The Santa lookalike made his third rehab start on Wednesday against Triple-A Indianapolis, working four innings and allowing five earned runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out six. Norris will likely need one or two more rehab starts before rejoining the Tigers, and current fifth starter Shane Greene (7.15 ERA in two starts) hasn’t exactly taken his opportunity and ran with it in Norris’ absence.
10) Caleb Cotham, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: NR)
As Mike Gianella pointed out on Twitter, this is the current status of the Reds bullpen, which opens the door for Cotham to join longtime bullpen stalwarts Tony Cingrani and Blake Wood in the hunt for saves. J.J. Hoover’s general awfulness (15.19 ERA, 2.25 WHIP) to begin the year has forced Bryan Price to implement everybody’s favorite committee situation in Cincinnati, and with Jumbo Diaz’s demotion taking him out of the picture, Cotham, he of the eight scoreless appearances (albeit with a strikeout rate of 16 percent and a walk rate of just over nine percent), looks to be squarely in the late-inning picture. The 28-year old Cotham (2.21 ERA and 9.6 K/9 in the minors in 2015) doesn’t light up the radar gun, but neither does Hoover, and he still found his way into Price’s high-leverage plans. Wood and Cingrani joined forces to blow Raisel Iglesias’ win on Wednesday, with Cingrani officially getting the blown save while pitching the eighth inning and seeing his ERA rise to 4.05.
Cotham (who came over from Gotham, er the Yankees, in the Aroldis Chapman deal) is the guy that I’m grabbing in place of Hoover, as I get the impression that Price wants to use Cingrani, his only lefty in the bullpen, earlier than the ninth for matchup purposes.
Bradley remains a work in progress for the Diamondbacks, as he made his first big league start of the year on Monday at San Francisco, allowing five runs in 4 1/3 innings, walking four, and striking out two before being demoted after the game back to Triple-A Reno. An encouraging sign for Bradley was that his fastball averaged 95 MPH against the Giants, and he appears to be the next man up in Arizona should the D’Backs need another starter, which based upon Rubby de la Rosa’s exploits could be very soon.
Adrian Beltre received a two-year contract extension on Friday, which likely ends Gallo’s chances of manning the hot corner regularly for the Rangers in the foreseeable future. Gallo obviously still has third base eligibility this season when he is called upon, but with “The Big Chill” certainly not looking overmatched at the big-league level, Shin-Soo Choo reportedly ahead of schedule in his rehab and expected back in early-May, and Josh Hamilton set to begin his rehab by the end of the month, it’s hard to see Gallo cracking the big league lineup at either third base or left field anytime soon. A trade (San Diego?) or a move across the diamond appear to be Gallo’s best chances of making an impact in 2016 at the major-league level.
13) Homer Bailey, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: HM)
Bailey is slated to make his first (of likely three) rehab start of the year today at Triple-A Louisville as he works his way towards an early-to-mid May return to the Cincinnati rotation.
Ryu’s potential return to the Dodger rotation, originally slated for mid-to-late May, is now up in the air after Dave Roberts announced on Saturday that the left-hander suffered a groin strain that forced him to cancel his most recent bullpen session.
17) Blake Snell, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Last week: 18)
18) Cody Reed, LHP, Cincinnati Reds (Last week: 19)
19) Sean Manaea, LHP, Oakland Athletics (Last week: 20)
20) Julio Urias, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 21)
The Pirates are understandably being cautious with the 24-year old Taillon, who made his second start of the year at Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday. Pitching against Toledo again in his second outing, Taillon failed to get out of the fifth inning, allowing two earned runs on seven hits and striking out four, but the former second-overall pick has yet to walk a batter.
22) Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers (Last week: 17)
Nick Williams 2016 Walk Watch: One walk since last week’s list, giving him a total of three on the season in 41 plate appearances (with 11 strikeouts) and a .233 OBP as the 22-year-old adjusts to Triple-A pitching.
Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):
Mark Appel, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
Orlando Arcia, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies
Jose De Leon, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Ben Gamel, OF, New York Yankees
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
Mike Minor, LHP, Kansas City Royals
Tom Murphy, C, Colorado Rockies
Jose Peraza, UT, Cincinnati Reds
Dalton Pompey, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
Roman Quinn, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
Michael Reed, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees
Richie Shaffer, 1B/3B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Jake Thompson, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies