A bad night for the Diamondbacks may have taken a turn for the disastrous late Thursday night, and Fantasy Baseball players can only hold their breath for now.
I'm Chris Towers, here with a preview of this weekend's action for the FBT Newsletter, but first, let's talk about that Corbin Carroll injury. Down 9-0 in the seventh inning, Carroll took a big hack at a Carlos Carrasco pitch and immediately grabbed at his right shoulder. Yep, the shoulder he had a minor issue with last week – the same one he had surgery on a couple years earlier. Carroll came right out of the game with trainers, holding his right arm, which he couldn't move as he came out of the game.
As of early Friday morning, we don't have many details, but obviously, it didn't look good. For what it's worth, manager Torey Lovullo expressed some optimism about Carroll, saying the initial prognosis wasn't as bad as they feared, though he'll obviously need to undergo an MRI to determine the full extent of the injury.
The good news, as of now, is that the All-Star break starts Monday, so if it's a relatively minor issue, he might end up missing minimal time. Of course, if it's a serious injury, then it doesn't really matter when in the schedule it happened – but let's hope it wasn't that for now.
The Diamondbacks do have decent outfield depth, at least, with the recently recalled Dominic Fletcher and Kyle Lewis carrying some intriguing skill sets. Of course, neither is in Carroll's galaxy, but Fletcher hit over .300 with decent on-base skills in Triple-A, albeit with little over the fence power or speed – maybe he could be an Alex Verdugo-type if given an opportunity. Lewis has had trouble staying healthy over the past few seasons, but was a useful fantasy option a few years back for the Mariners.
Hopefully, neither ends up playing enough to matter because this ends up being just another little scare for Carroll. But we'll have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best right now. We talked in depth about Carroll and much more on the FBT in 5 podcast here.
Today's newsletter has a handful of outfield targets to consider on waivers, along with some waiver-wire/streamer starting pitchers, and the latest news and notes you need to know about heading into the last weekend of the first half.
Waiver wire starting pitchers to watch
These players are listed roughly in order of how interested I am in adding them. They're also (mostly) viable streamers this weekend:
Like last weekend, there aren't a ton of pitchers I'm particularly interested in adding right now, either to stream or with an eye on the long term. There are two, in particular, I think stand out for long-term upside, and then three I like a bit for streaming. But overall, this is a shorter list than we usually have on Fridays, at least in part because there are a bunch of relatively high profile pitchers getting skipped in the rotation to give them a bit of extra rest before the break.
Alek Manoah @DET (Friday) – Look, the likeliest outcome is, Manoah is still going to struggle. He was so dreadful to start this season that it's fair to be skeptical that a few weeks down at the spring complex and a single Double-A start means he's fixed. But you have to give him a chance. I'm almost certainly not starting him, even against a pretty great matchup, but if he's out there on waivers in my leagues, go ahead and add him, just in case. If Manoah can rediscover the form that made him a top-three Cy Young finisher last season, you aren't going to find a higher-impact player at this point in the season. He's still available in 21% of CBS Fantasy leagues, so make sure you're not in one of them. There's precedent for this kind of turnaround, too – in 2007, Cliff Lee was sent back to the minors, and he wound up winning the Cy Young award the following season.
Fantasy Baseball Today Newsletter
Your Cheat Code To Fantasy Baseball
You're destined to gain an edge over your friends with advice from the award-winning FBT crew.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Tarik Skubal vs. TOR (Sunday – Skubal took a big step forward last season, and when he came back from flexor tendon surgery for his season debut Tuesday, he looked like he might be even better now. The biggest difference came with the added fastball velocity, as he was up over two mph, however he also made some changes to his slider, as Lance Brozdowski noted on Twitter, adding four inches of drop and a bit of horizontal movement, while the velocity held steady. Skubal was already good with a 24.5% strikeout rate last season, backing up his 3.52 ERA with a 3.34 xERA. These changes might help him unlock even more. I think he's a must-roster player for the second half.
Aaron Civale vs. KC (Friday) And now, the streamers. Despite the solid results to date, I'm not really a believer in Civale, who has not been able to sustain the gains he made in strikeouts last season. However, that's less of a concern against the Royals, who just look overmatched right now. They have the fourth-highest strikeout rate and the second-lowest team OPS against right-handed pitching, and have been even worse since the start of June, sporting a league-worst .637 mark against them. There aren't many starters I would avoid against the Royals right now.
Kyle Hendricks @NYY (Sunday) – The results have resembled peak Kyle Hendricks so far, and his quality-of-contact and elite control seem to have returned after a couple of lost seasons (and shoulder surgery). I don't think Hendricks is actually back to his peak self, what with a strikeout rate all the way down to 14.4%, compared to being in the 20% range for most of his best seasons. That being said, Hendricks is doing enough well that I don't mind starting him, even in Yankee Stadium – mostly because the Yankees rank 26th in OPS against RHP since June 1.
Waiver-wire hitters to watch
Mitch Garver, C, Rangers – Staying healthy remains a struggle for Garver, but he's still a pretty good hitter when he's out there, sporting a .256/.340/.453 line this season. He doesn't play every day, but that doesn't matter nearly as much at catcher, where playing 19 of 30 games, as Garver has since coming back from the IL, isn't as much of a limitation. I think his roster rate is probably a bit too low.
Joey Votto, 1B, Reds – We may be at the "selling out for power" phase of Votto's career, but I think he's shown enough to be worth taking a flier on here. The strikeout rate, at 32.1%, is probably too high, but he's geared his swing more toward hitting the ball in the air and to the pull side, and his 48.1% hard-hit rate is a sign that Votto still has some life in that bat.
Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Tigers – Torkelson just seems to live on the fringe of figuring things out, and it may never all come together. However, the underlying stats still suggest he has better days ahead, with an xBA of .256 and a swing that should still produce more power than we've seen.
Brandon Lowe, 2B, Rays – The Rays are probably going to limit Lowe's playing time for the time being to try to keep him fresh after more back injuries landed him on the IL. But he says he's healthy right now, and Lowe has been an impact bat when healthy, even hitting .238/.333/.536 with seven homers in April.
Jordan Westburg, SS, Orioles – We're still waiting for Westburg's first home run, but he certainly hasn't looked overmatched in his first taste of the majors, with just two strikeouts in eight games entering play Thursday. That Westburg doesn't look overmatched is a good sign, given how good he was at Triple-A before the promotion. He's at 57% rostered right now; let's get that to 100%.
Riley Greene, OF, Tigers – Greene could be activated from the IL this weekend, and his roster rate dipped to 70% in the time since he's been out. Greene wasn't dominating with counting stats, but he had clearly taken a step forward before the injury, hitting .296/.362/.443 with underlying numbers that largely backed it up. He has the raw pop and speed to push for a 20-20 pace with a good batting average, and is a must-roster player in my eyes.
Jack Suwinski, OF, Pirates – I'm at the point with Suwinski where I think we just ride the roller coaster. There are going to be stretches where he's frustrating to roster, especially with his batting average. But I think the power is too valuable to ignore. If the batting average is hard to stomach for a stretch, sit him, but Suwinski has to be rostered.
Oscar Colas, OF, White Sox – Colas hasn't looked great at the major-league level, but I still think the upside here is worth chasing. We haven't seen enough of it yet, but he hit .293/.359/.508 in Triple-A, so I'm willing to give him another chance.
Jo Adell, OF, Angels – Speaking of guys who haven't done it in the majors … Adell has the looks of a Quad-A player at this point, but I'm not quite ready to write him off entirely as a 24-year-old who has hit .271/.349/.554 in Triple-A. There's probably too much swing-and-miss here for him to thrive in the majors, but the power upside is worth a look with Mike Trout on the IL.
Injuries, news & notes
Jose Altuve was placed on the IL with left oblique discomfort. MRI results showed just a minor issue, thankfully, and Altuve expressed some optimism about coming back shortly after the All-Star break. This injury has lingered for Altuve, so I'd rather see them err on the side of caution so it doesn't creep back up again.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said he's very confident Shane McClanahan will start next Sunday against the Royals. He's on the IL with mid-back tightness, but should be good to go for the second-half. Hopefully this injury doesn't linger, after he tried and failed to pitch through it.
Framber Valdez has been cleared to make his next start Saturday against the Mariners. He missed his previous turn with a sprained ankle.
Ketel Marte was back in the lineup after missing two games with lower-back discomfort.
Matthew Liberatore was optioned back to Triple-A. He had a 6.75 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP in his time in the majors, despite showing some signs of growth in Triple-A (along with increased velocity). He just hasn't had the command so far in his MLB career.
Tommy Edman has missed the past two games with pain in his wrist, but an MRI showed no structural damage. Hopefully the break gets him right.
Triston McKenzie was transferred to the 60-day IL, which ensures he'll be out until at least mid-August, though with a UCL sprain, I wouldn't be surprised if he was out the rest of the season.
Daniel Hudson suffered a sprained MCL Wednesday night and will be out "quite some time", one night after getting his first save in his third appearance of the season. It's an MCL sprain in the other knee than the one he had surgery on, which is just brutal luck. Evan Phillips is back in the driver's seat for saves for the Dodgers.
Martin Perez will have his next turn in the rotation skipped. He currently has a 4.81 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP, and is droppable in most leagues.
Brett Baty was out of the lineup due to hamstring soreness Thursday.