Weekly Dynasty Roundup
Welcome to another weekly roundup here at The Dynasty Guru. If there is anything that you think should be covered, please post it in the comments!
Justin Verlander goes on the IL “low-grade teres major strain” (Link)
The teres major strikes for the second time in a week, with Verlander joining Triston McKenzie. Tylor Megill entered the rotation and fired five innings of two-run ball with seven strikeouts in his place. If the Mets suffer additional injuries, one name to keep in mind is Dylan Bundy, who is on a minor league deal. Bundy was rosterable as recently as 2020.
Guardians Lock up Two Players—Andrés Giménez (7 years) and Trevor Stephan (4 years) (Link)
Let’s start with Trevor Stephan—he was awesome in relief last year. He also has two pitchers ahead of him on the closer carousel. Managers in Holds leagues can be pleased that Stephan is in line to receive high-leverage innings in a nasty Cleveland bullpen for a long time.
In bigger news to the dynasty world, Giménez is going to stick in Cleveland for a long time. Giménez was dynamic for managers last year hitting 17 homers and stealing 20 bags while playing both SS and 2B. Cleveland has hit him mostly seventh so far in 2023 so that is something to pay attention to.
Ryan Pepiot to IL; Grove Called Up (Link)
After discussing Pepiot on the last Roundup, he now hits the IL and it is Grove’s chance. Grove was a surprisingly high draft pick of the Dodgers and his rise through the system has been consistent. Grove pitched at the majors last year to a 4.60 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 24 Ks in 29.1 IP. His best start was on September 20 where he pitched 5.0 IP with 7 Ks giving up one ER. Now Grove has a chance to prove himself at the MLB level.
Max Fried to the IL for Hamstring Strain (Link)
Kyle Wright Likely to Debut in Mid-April (Link)
The Braves starting pitching depth is being challenged early with both Fried and Wright on the IL. It has been suggested that Bryce Elder or Ian Anderson will take the fifth spot until Wright returns. Considering that spot is set to pitch on April 5th against the Cardinals, I would not consider starting either. This also means that both Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd should remain in the rotation as long as they are healthy and passable.
Daniel Bard to IL (Anxiety) (Link)
Dynasty managers hope for many saves from Daniel Bard this season and through his extension. A trip to the IL is not ideal; for Daniel Bard most of all. We hope he is back on the mound soon. In the meantime, Pierce Johnson got the first save opportunity in Bard’s absence. Johnson had good seasons for San Diego in 2020 and 2021, but only pitched 14 innings in 2022 because of an elbow injury.
JT Brubaker to 60 Day IL (Link)
This is unfortunate news to those in deeper leagues hoping that Brubaker and his nasty slider would eat up innings this year. Brubaker has elbow discomfort, so it may also lead to future issues. He will be replaced by Johan Oviedo, who was acquired by the Buccos at the 2022 trade deadline. Oviedo impressed down the stretch and will now have a chance to stick in the rotation. At 25 years old, dynasty managers can take a chance on a young arm with a full-time job who has the stuff to stick in the rotation if he can command it.
Trevor Story Progresses to Fielding Grounders and Will Begin Throwing in Two Weeks (Link)
Story still has a sky-high ceiling and news that Story is on track for a return this season should uplift dynasty managers’ spirits. Due to health concerns and his departure from Coors, the dynasty world seems down on Story; savvy managers may want to inquire to see if the price is reasonable. As evidenced by his 2021 season, even when his bat grades out as league average, he has a 20/20 season. That is a high floor.
Giants Sign Gary Sánchez (Link)
With Joey Bart getting called out by his organization and then going on the IL, Sánchez is an interesting flier for the Giants. Sánchez brings rare power from the catcher position, but has not batted better than .232 since 2018. Even if he makes the Giants, I can see him being platooned regularly. At this point, he seems destined for NL-only leagues and two-catcher leagues.
Robbie Ray to the IL After Suffering from Left Flexor Strain (Link)
This is a hit for dynasty managers who were counting on Ray to rack up strikeouts for their squad. He is expected to be out 4-6 weeks. In the meantime, dynasty managers can turn their attention to Chris Flexen as a quick replacement, who should provide wins/quality starts and decent ERA, but not much in the strikeout department. Long term, this should not affect Ray’s value, but allows the Mariners to showcase Flexen for the trade market.
Garrett Whitlock Makes Rehab Start (Link)
Whitlock will make one more rehab before being activated by the Red Sox. He will be taking regular turns in the rotation and dynasty managers have to hope that his health holds up over the entire season. Whitlock’s plus command makes him valuable in all formats and he has averaged a strikeout per inning for his career. Whitlock showed himself a relief ace in 2021, so even if he does not work out as a full-time starter, he will provide value. This is an arm that I am targeting.
Tony Gonsolin Throws Successful Bullpen Session (Link)
For a guy who has never had an ERA over 3.23 in his career, Gonsolin remains an underrated arm in dynasty circles. Dynasty owners can hope that he builds off of a career-high 130.1 IP last season. If he sniffs 180 IP, Gonsolin could break into the next tier of starters. His numbers were absurdly good last year and it seems that most managers are expecting regression. Under the right circumstances, I would buy high in wins leagues, but would not pay the price in quality-starts leagues because he averaged less than six innings per start last season.
Jake Cronenworth Signs Seven-Year Extension (Link)
Cronenworth will be staying in San Diego for a while. The versatile infielder has hit been worth 4.1 WAR in each of the last two seasons. Notably, Cronenworth has played all four games at first base in 2023. His value decreases as a first-base-only player. Cronenworth does not provide that top-end power that managers like out of the first-base slot, but he is a good hitter in a lineup that should be good for a while. Managers can count on a lot of counting stats from the Padre and hope that he raises his .239 batting average from 2022.
Luis Urías Heads to IL (Link)
Urías is looking at 6-8 weeks on the IL. Highly regarded outfield prospect Joey Wiemer was called up. Wiemer hit 21 home runs and stole 31 bags across two levels in 2022, so he brings power/speed potential to the table. Dynasty managers can activate Wiemer in the hopes that he produces right out of the chute. Since his call up, he has batted ninth in both games for the Brewers. Additionally, Brian Anderson should not take over regular starts at third base with Brice Turang starting at second. Anderson is interesting in that he had been fairly productive for the Marlins while playing in a pitcher’s park; Miller Park should unlock a little more pop in that bat.
Liam Hendriks Purposely Kept off 60-Day IL (Link)
Hendriks appears to be ahead of schedule. Hendriks remains one of the most reliable and dominant closers in the game, so this is great news.
Cardinals Decide to Start Tyler O’Neill in Center Field (Link)
O’Neill’s starting in center field pushes Dylan Carlson to the bench. O’Neill is a major power threat who can also run. He had a down year in 2022, but clearly the Cardinals believe that he is one their three best outfielders to start the year. Dynasty managers who took advantage of the dip in O’Neill’s price after last season could be heavily rewarded as the Cardinals offense looks elite and there will be plenty of counting numbers for those who are in it. O’Neill batted sixth in his two starts this season.