Weekly Dynasty Roundup
Thank you for reading and please feel free to put anything that I missed in the comments!
Jorge Polanco to Injured List (Link)
Byron Buxton Suffers Knee Tightness (Link)
The Twins depth is once again being tested. With Polanco’s trip to the IL, Edouard Julien was recalled and was inserted into the lineup. Julien’s results in Triple A have been strong, with a 142 wRC+ and walking almost 20% of the time. With more exposure to major league hitters, Julien’s walk rate should hover in the high teens, which will makes him a strong OBP target for dynasty managers. With Polanco and Buxton both dinged up, Julien should get plenty of opportunities to produce.
Also, don’t look now, but Royce Lewis is making his way back and will be eligible for activation at the end of May. Lewis has not missed a beat during his rehab stint. However, the Twins appear hesitant to bring him up without the opportunity for full-time at bats. If Buxton’s knee issue is serious enough to justify an IL trip, then Lewis will have a clear path to Minnesota. Otherwise, it appears that he may spend a little time at Triple A. Lewis is the type of talent that should force his way onto the Twins roster. At only 23 years old and with a future 70 grade raw power, Lewis should be a target while the Twins are figuring out his playing time.
Bobby Miller Promoted to Los Angeles (Link)
Julio Urías to the IL (Link)
Yesterday, Miller made his much-anticipated debut. He picked up a win against Atlanta, pitching five innings and giving up one earned run with five strikeouts and one walk. That will play. Miller struggled over his four starts at Triple A this season, but if he can pitch like he did last year, where he showed a power arsenal, then he should provide good value this year and great value over the next few seasons. Last year, he struck out over 11 batters per nine, while posting respectable walk rates. At this point in the season, Miller would be able to pitch a normal workload down the stretch, assuming approximately 20 starts at approximately five innings per start. This would allow Miller to increase his inning count through the postseason and still fall within a reasonable increase from last year’s 111.1 IP. Like with any rookie pitcher, we should expect some ups and downs and he may be pulled early preventing some wins and quality starts, but he could provide a boost in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. With Gavin Stone struggling at the major league level, Miller may end up being the choice to replace Dustin May over the course of May’s injury, which would give him a couple of months in the rotation without a clear replacement.
Garrett Whitlock Will Start Saturday (Link)
Nick Pivetta to Bullpen (Link)
I have long been a fan of Whitlock, and the Red Sox seconded that by relegating Pivetta to the bullpen. Whitlock will likely start Saturday after a successful rehab stint in Triple A Worcester (last start was 4 2/3 IP, 4 hits, 1 BB, 4 K). He threw 79 pitches, so he should be able to go 5+ innings without restriction. Importantly, Pivetta’s move to the bullpen cements Tanner Houck’s role as a starter, where he has been serviceable (4.99 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 46 Ks). Houck’s season was discussed on Fangraphs, where it was highlighted that Houck makes it through the first three innings with a 0.75 ERA and after that, he sports a 11.57 ERA. It appears that the Red Sox will give him a chance to figure out how to make it through the order multiple times.
Clint Frazier Called up to White Sox (Link)
It has been three seasons since Clint Frazier’s 150 wRC+ with the Yankees over 39 games. In that time, he has bounced to the Cubs, Rangers, and now the White Sox. The White Sox promoted Frazier after he slugged seven homers in 15 games at Triple A. Per this report, Frazier underwent a swing change and we should pay attention to see if results follow. At 28 years old, Frazier is a watch list candidate for deep mixed leagues and worth a flier in AL-only.
Jared Walsh Activated (Link)
After battling injuries, Jared Walsh was finally activated from the IL. Walsh was a valuable contributor in 2020 and 2021 and is still only 29 years old. In his three games back, he has batted fifth twice and sixth once. I will be watching his strikeout rate closely, as he had a 13.6% strikeout rate in 2020 when he had a 150 wRC+ and a 26.0% strikeout rate in 2021 when he had a 126 wRC+. Walsh has not shown patience at the major league level (6.9% walk rate over 1246 ABs), so he will need to keep his strikeout rate manageable to produce. He is worth a pickup as long as he is batting in the middle of the Angels order. We will see what happens to his position in the batting order once Anthony Rendon returns from injury.
Drew Rucinski to IL; James Kaprielian Recalled (Link)
Kaprielian was demoted to Triple A on April 25. Since that initial demotion, he has made two starts at the major league level: 7 innings with two earned runs and seven Ks versus the Rangers and five innings with one earned run and five Ks versus the Astros. Those are impressive numbers and the Athletics believe that Kaprielian will get stronger as he continues to separate himself from offseason shoulder surgery. While Kaprielian will not be a good source of wins, he could end up being a sneakhy quality-start contributor for deep leagues. And who knows, maybe the A’s will trade him at the trade deadline.
Tyler Glasnow Set to be Activated (Link)
Glasnow pitched six innings in his final rehab start, striking out six. He is set to return to the mound this weekend. Glasnow was 22nd in our offseason rankings—an ace when he pitches. He has only pitched 115 innings since the start of 2021 (including minors). As far as strategy, I can see win-now teams trying to trade for Glasnow and getting what they can. I can also see managers selling Glasnow with his injury risk. I am in the former category, where I would be looking to buy Glasnow where I can. With the way pitching has been this year, any ace-like performance is worth buying, even if a future IL trip is anticipated.
José Quintana to Begin Mound Work (Link)
Quintana injured his ribs in Spring Training. Quintana rebounded last year and put up strong numbers for the Pirates and the Cardinals. He was signed by the Mets and once healthy, should be a contributor in deeper leagues for managers that are starving for wins. Quintana’s advanced metrics tend to show that he underperformed his 2.93 ERA last year. I think he settles in at about 3.75 ERA, but that is playable in deep leagues if he is winning games.
Seth Lugo to IL; Ryan Weathers Recalled (Link)
Lugo’s return to the rotation had been success, as he sported a 3.18 ERA and 1.29 WHIP prior to his May 16th start when he got injured. It seems like Lugo’s stay on the IL should be short. The 23 year old Weathers will take his place. Weathers has started four games this year to good results, including strong starts against the Mets and Braves. After pitching in Single A prior to the 2020 season, Weathers was advanced aggressively to the majors in 2021 and has been going back and forth between the majors and Triple A for the past couple of seasons. Weathers did change his windup in an attempt for more consistency, especially with his offspeed pitches. At 23 years old, I think dynasty managers can hope for improvement from Weathers, but in the short term, he may not get an extended shot with the Padres if Lugo is back quickly.
Manny Machado to the IL (Link)
Machado was diagnosed with a small fracture in his hand. Machado has struggled this year, hitting .231/.282/.372. Viewed as a second-round talent going into this season, Machado has certainly not lived up to the draft position. Hand injuries for hitters are a little worrisome if it affects his ability to grip the bat. Perhaps Machado does not produce at his career levels for this season because of the injury, but there is no reason to think that he would not bounce back in future seasons. With the uncertainty of Machado’s return and a down 2023 thus far, there may be an opportunity to buy low here.