Happy Wednesday, everyone! We are truly watching a special season from Aaron Judge in a contract year and that continued on Tuesday evening. Judge grabbed another double dong night -- two homers -- and it brought his total to 57 on the season. Judge is now four home runs shy of Roger Maris' single-season Yankees record (61) and he still has 20 games to get there. But that doesn't even tell the story of why this has been arguably the most impressive individual season we've ever watched.
What stands out most to me is that this hasn't been a homer-heavy year across the MLB. After Judge's 57 homers, Kyle Schwarber has the second-most homers at just 37 overall -- 20 fewer! Judge stole the show Tuesday night as has been common this season, but let's dive into more of the key Fantasy takeaways from Tuesday's action. First, let's make sure you're all caught up with everything Scott White has been cooking up over at CBSSports.com/Fantasy. Scott did a deep dive into what the 2023 MLB rule changes will mean for your Fantasy Baseball leagues and you can find that here. This is not one you'll want to miss.
The most notable change that Scott expects is one that I would welcome more than any other in Fantasy -- a whole lot more stolen bases are coming -- music to my ears. I love steals! And there simply aren't enough of them to go around before these rule changes.
"So how big of an effect could this have? Well, let's start with what we've seen in the minors, where stolen base attempts have risen from 2.23 per game in 2019, the last full year without the pickoff rule, to 2.83 per game in 2022," Scott said. "Success rate during that same time has also improved from 68 percent to 77 percent.
"If you impute this type of increase to the major-league level, what this would get us back to is sort of roughly where we were in the early 2000s," said MLB executive vice president Morgan Sword.
"So where were we in the early 2000s? That's around the time I first started playing Fantasy Baseball, so I remember it fondly. Let's look at 2000 itself, comparing it to 2021 since that's the last completed season.
- In 2000, Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo led the major leagues with 62 steals, and three players had more than 50. In 2021, Starling Marte led the majors with 47, and only one other player had even 40.
- In 2000, 42 players stole 20 bases or more. In 2021, only 19 did.
- In 2000, there were 2,924 stolen bases in all, 51 percent of the number of home runs hit. In 2021, there were 2,213 stolen bases, 37 percent of the number of home runs hit.
"It's the second stat, the number of 20-steal players, that has me most excited."
Joe Ryan nearly gets the no-no
Ryan was brilliant on Tuesday night when he threw seven no-hit innings with 106 pitches (110 is his career-high thus far) and allowed just two walks with nine strikeouts. The fastball velocity was up and he tripled his curveball usage in this one. Ryan now has a 3.83 ERA and he has racked up 133 strikeouts in 129 1/3 innings but you have to wonder what could've been if they let him reach his career-high in pitches and go for the no-hitter.
Framber at it again
Make that 24 quality starts in a row for Framber Valdez! He threw a six-hit shutout with one walk and eight strikeouts on Tuesday night that included 16 induced swinging strikes. As Frank Stampfl brought up on FBT, there's really no good reason Valdez shouldn't be in AL Cy Young discussions right now.
Offense way up in September
- 11.4% HR/FB ratio behind both June and July
- .411 SLG is the highest of any month
- 1.24 HR/9 highest of any month
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Trevor Rogers is looking like one of the best late-season adds and he was on point against the Rangers on Tuesday. Rogers threw 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball and allowed four hits and two walks while striking out nine and inducing 18 swinging strikes. His average exit velocity against was 92.5 mph. In his three starts since returning, Rogers has allowed just a 2.93 ERA with 22 strikeouts over 18 1/3 innings pitched. He is 74% rostered. We broke down Rogers on the FBT in 5 Podcast.
Fantasy news, injuries and notes
For a complete recap of every injury, update and more, make sure you're locked into the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast where Frank, Scott and Chris dive deep into every player note. For the CliffsNotes version, we'll recap the biggest news and notes you need to know right here:
- Justin Verlander played catch Monday and is eyeing a return this weekend against the A's.
- Shane McClanahan is indeed likely to return Thursday against the Blue Jays.
- Zack Wheeler threw a bullpen session Tuesday and will throw again Friday. He could rejoin the rotation next week. It seems like Bailey Falter's two-start week will be safe.
- Max Scherzer is targeting a return when first eligible on September 19, which is next Monday.
- Tony Gonsolin wasn't able to throw at full intensity during his bullpen session Sunday, but he'll try again Wednesday. The Dodgers still think Gonsolin will return this season.
- Ozzie Albies went 5-5 with a walk-off HR in a rehab game at Triple-A Tuesday night.
- David Bednar began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tuesday.
- Tim Anderson is resuming baseball activities and could return at some point during next week's homestand if all goes well.
- Brandon Lowe was placed on the IL again with lower-back discomfort.
- Anthony Rizzo will not play until this weekend in Milwaukee at the earliest.
- Mitch Haniger may be out until Friday due to a back issue.
- Tyler Glasnow allowed one run over 1.1 IP in his second rehab appearance with Triple-A. He got up to 31 pitches.
- MacKenzie Gore is scheduled to make his next rehab start Friday at Triple-A. He threw 36 pitches in his last outing.
- Jake Fraley was hit on the head with a pitch Tuesday but thankfully is not experiencing any concussion symptoms.
- Anthony Rendon took batting practice Monday and continues to target a return from the 60-day IL before the end of the season. He's 24% rostered
- Hunter Greene is on track to return this weekend at St. Louis.
- Avisail Garcia was placed on the IL with a hamstring strain.
- Both Aroldis Chapman and Harrison Bader started their rehab assignments on Sunday
- Willie Calhoun was promoted by the Giants and started for them on Monday. The dream will always live. He's 2% rostered