NL Week 14 Strategy-July 2, 2022
In The Field
SS Brandon Crawford (knee) is hoping to be out just the minimum and return to the starting lineup on Tuesday. OF Mookie Betts (ribs) faced live pitching on Saturday which is a major step in his recovery. He is expected to be activated on Sunday or Monday. C Tyler Stephenson (thumb) is going to start a rehab assignment on Monday with Triple-A Louisville. 3B Nolan Gorman (hand) was not in the starting lineup for the Cardinals Tuesday through Friday. He was day-to-day for the Cardinals before returning on Saturday. He has been productive at the plate (.254 AVG with 6 HR, 20 R, 17 RBI, and 0 SB) due to good quality of contact (13% Barrels). OF Jorge Soler was placed on the 10-day IL with a back injury. Jon Berti figures to see the majority of the starts in his absence with the return of 3B Joey Wendle. 2B David Bote is dealing with shoulder soreness after colliding with Nico Hoerner. OF Ronald Acuna Jr. returned to the lineup on Friday and looks to be fine going forward. OF Jason Heyward was placed on the 10-day IL with knee inflammation. He is expected to miss the minimum. 1B Frank Schwindel (back) is slowly getting back into baseball activities. He and the Cubs are taking the cautious approach in order to make sure that he is healthy before returning. OF Bryce Harper (thumb) had surgery on his fractured thumb and has been given a 6-8 week timeline for recovery. In re-draft format, this is a tricky scenario because keeping him on your roster depends on whether you have IL slots or deep enough benches to stash him. OF Tyler Naquin (quad) started a rehab assignment on Thursday. He is expected back at some time next week. He will need multiple rehab games to get his timing down as he has been out for a while. 2B Jazz Chisholm has been placed on the 10-day IL with a lower back strain. The hope is that he can return when first eligible. OF Seiya Suzuki (finger) started a rehab assignment on Thursday and is expected back on Monday. The Cubs are going to have a playing time issue when Jason Heyward and Suzuki return. They will have Ortega, Heyward, Happ, Morel, and Suzuki fighting for three outfield spots and the DH spot. This also affects the catcher’s position because C Willson Contreras has been used as the DH but will likely be used primarily as a catcher which means that C Yan Gomes is going to lose playing time. The Phillies placed 3B Johan Camargo on the 10-day IL retroactive to June 26. The Phillies called up DH Darick Hall in a corresponding move. Hall hit cleanup for the Phillies in his first three games and then found himself on the bench on Saturday because the Phillies were facing a left-hander. This makes it hard to roster Hall outside of deep mixed leagues because it is likely that he gets platooned. Hall has legitimate power but it remains to be seen if he will be able to hit for average at the major league level. OF Lamonte Wade Jr. was activated on Wednesday and has been the Giants leadoff hitter against RHP. He has value in daily moves leagues and as a streamer in deeper mixed leagues when the Giants are facing all right-handers. The Giants are going to have an interesting playing time crunch when OF Luis Gonzalez comes back. They are currently playing LaMonte Wade Jr., Joc Pederson, and Mike Yastrzemski in the outfield with 2B Tommy La Stella serving as the DH when they are facing a right-hander. SS Fernando Tatis Jr. received good news at his latest doctor’s appointment and is expected to start swinging a bat and be at full speed swings over the next two weeks. SS Kyle Farmer left the Reds game early when he got hit on the hand by a pitch from Spencer Strider. The x-rays were negative so he is considered day-to-day. OF Adam Duvall was hit on the hand by a pitch on Saturday and was forced to leave the game early. OF Hunter Renfroe (calf) was expected to be reinstated on Sunday but that isn’t going to be the case. SS Miguel Rojas left the Marlins game early after colliding with Joey Wendle. OF Chris Taylor was forced to leave the Dodgers game early due to a left foot contusion.
On The Mound
Jack Flaherty left his start early on Sunday and was placed on the 15-day IL. He is going to go 2-3 weeks without throwing. Fantasy managers should not count on any meaningful production from Flaherty this year. Anthony DeSclafani (ankle) was once again placed on the 15-day IL. This is the same issue that forced him to miss two months earlier in the year. This is not good news for the right-hander. Nick Lodolo (shoulder) is expected to be activated off the 60-day IL on Tuesday. He hasn’t pitched much at the major league level but he is someone to pick up if still available. Lodolo has more upside than just about any pitcher that is on waivers at this point in the year. Max Scherzer (oblique) is going to be activated and start on Tuesday against the Reds. Chris Bassitt was scratched from his start on Friday and was placed on the 15-day IL. Drew Smyly (oblique) threw a bullpen session on Friday and is progressing towards facing live hitters. Marcus Stroman (shoulder) completed a bullpen session Friday and will throw one more before a possible rehab assignment. Adrian Houser was placed on the 15-day IL with an elbow injury. Antonio Senzatela left his start early on Friday with right shoulder inflammation. Aaron Ashby (forearm) returned from the 15-day IL to start on Saturday. Despite a 4.25 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, Ashby has a very high ceiling as a starter in fantasy leagues. He has the ability to miss bats (28% K and 34% CSW) and gets a ton of ground balls (62% GB). German Marquez left his start early on Wednesday due to a cut on his right thumb. He is a likely trade candidate for the Rockies but has had a very disappointing season so far (5.89 ERA and 1.54 WHIP). Jakob Junis (hamstring) is going to throw 2-3 more bullpens before progressing to live BP. His current timeline puts him in line to return after the All-Star break. Zach Davies (shoulder) was placed on the 15-day IL with right shoulder inflammation. Andrew Heaney (shoulder) has not been able to throw yet which means that he isn’t going to return when first eligible. Mitch White will continue to be in the Dodgers rotation until Heaney is recovered. Zach Eflin (knee) was placed on the 15-day IL on Tuesday and hopes to miss just the minimum. Alec Mills left the Cubs game with lower back pain. Zach Thompson (forearm) is going to be activated on Sunday and will start against the Brewers. David Peterson was placed on the paternity list on Saturday. Jacob deGrom is going to start a rehab assignment on Sunday.
In The Bullpen
Lucas Sims is going to have season-ending back surgery. Alexis Diaz (biceps) is going to throw a bullpen Saturday and then face live hitters on Monday. There was some hope that he would have been activated this weekend but he will be available next week if everything goes well. Hunter Strickland is the guy to own in Cincinnati (4 SV). David Bednar picked up the save for the Pirates on Saturday which is good news after he missed time this week with a back injury.
Players to add this week:
DH Darick Hall (PHI)-Darick Hall has started three out of the Phillies four games since being called up with all of them being against right-handers. Hall was hitting .269 with 20 HR, 47 R, 67 RBI, and 5 SB at Triple-A. The power is legit but the batting average is a risk at the major league level. He is worth picking up based on his power upside.
OF Andrew McCutchen (MIL)- Andrew McCutchen is hitting .258 with 7 HR, 33 R, 32 RBI, and 5 SB in 64 GP for the Brewers. He has good plate skills (18% K and 8% BB) and makes enough hard contact (8% Barrels and 40% Hardhit) to be a five-category contributor. The Brewers are committed to playing him every day and batting him in the middle of the order.
SP Mitch White (LAD)- Mitch White is going to remain in the Dodgers rotation as long as Andrew Heaney is out. Pitching for the Dodgers is a great situation to be in. They put their pitchers in the best position to succeed and are a great team, increasing their chances of picking up wins. White has a 3.93 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 34.1 IP. He carries a 3.83 SIERA backing up what he has done so far.
SP Braxton Garrett (MIA)- Braxton Garrett gets two starts next week (@WSH and @NYM). Barrett has a 5.24 ERA and 1.70 WHIP which doesn’t inspire confidence but most of his poor performance is due to a .411 BABIP. His 3.82 SIERA gives a better understanding of what he is capable of.
SP Keegan Thompson (CHC)- Keegan Thompson has a 3.34 ERA and 1.16 WHIP through 67.1 IP. He has very solid underlying skills (23% K and 8% BB) to back up his 3.77 SIERA. The strikeouts have been increasing lately and he has a solid pitch mix (FB, CT, CB and CH). This is more of a long-term move because he gets a tough matchup against the Dodgers.
RP Will Smith (ATL)- Kenley Jansen has been placed on the 15-day IL with an irregular heartbeat. Will Smith figures to step in as the Braves closer while Jansen is out. The length of Jansen’s absence is unknown, making it worth it to pick up Smith.
OF Juan Yepez (STL)- Juan Yepez has found regular playing time now that OF Tyler O’Neill was placed on the 10-day IL. Yepez is hitting .281 with 10 HR, 22 R, 25 RBI, and 0 SB on the year. He has shown the ability to make contact (23% K) with a minor league track record of power. This is a short-term play because as soon as everyone’s healthy he is going to lose playing time.
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