Happy Friday, everyone! Hopefully you have notifications on for Frank Stampfl's Twitter and saw the bat call last night to go scoop up Cardinals 3B/OF Jordan Walker as St. Louis has been left with no choice but to call him back up to the majors after what he's done down in the minors since being sent down. Oh, and by the way, it's not like he wasn't producing back in April when he was on their MLB roster! We'll dive into more of what his return means for Fantasy Baseball below. We'll also jump into a deeper dive on some of the struggling starting pitchers you've counted on to man your SP3 roles, more recap from Thursday's action and a bit of a preview of what's ahead next week in Fantasy. Let's dive right in.
After a stint in Triple-A, Walker clearly showed the Cardinals the necessary improvements to his game that they felt they needed to see to bring him back up. We're just happy that we'll get to see him back at the MLB level -- Walker remains one of the most promising Fantasy prospects with a fun blend of power and speed.
Over his last 15 games at Triple-A, Walker has been on a tear. Here's the slash line of .311/.403/.541. During this stretch, he's plastered three home runs, five doubles, and he stole a base for good measure. What's more intriguing is his improved plate discipline -- that's what St. Louis needed to see. Walker's 11% walk rate and a reduced strikeout rate of 23.6% are the big numbers here. But that's not all that has Frank, myself and the entire FBT team excited about what the next four months hold for him.
One of the primary reasons Walker was sent down to the minors in addition to improving his plate discipline was to increase his launch angle, aiming to reduce the number of ground balls in his hitting profile. It appears that the work has paid off, at least in the minors (now let's hope it translates). According to an article on MLB Trade Rumors, Walker managed to lower his ground ball rate significantly, dropping it to 44% during his time in the minors. The hope is that this will lead to more fly balls, home runs and extra base hits. We're excited to see how it plays out.
Where to rank Walker now
Walker's Fantasy value has skyrocketed. In various rankings, he has climbed to the 13th spot among third basemen, surpassing established veterans such as Justin Turner and emerging prospects like Gunnar Henderson. In terms of outfielders, Walker now occupies the 44th position, edging out notable names such as Andrew Vaughn and Bryan De La Cruz, and closely trailing Giancarlo Stanton and Christopher Morel. This is where the FBT team sees him so you can use these rankings to your advantage in trade discussions. Walker is 70% rostered in CBS leagues prior to the news -- needless to say you should add him right away right now in any league he may have been dropped it.
Morel cools off
We tried making it abundantly clear that Christopher Morel was a screaming sell high candidate, so hopefully you made the decision to trade him at his peak and scoop up a valuable asset or two elsewhere on your roster. If you hadn't, don't worry because it's not too late. Sell now! After one of the most scorchingly hot starts imagineable, Morel has predictably cooled off and there are some major underlying concerns in his profile moving forward. No concern is greater than his rising 42% strikeout rate. If you can trade Morel for Jordan Walker right now, that's a win. And you might even be able to package together more assets in return at this point.
Scare for Sale
The month of May was very kind to Red Sox SP Chris Sale as he seemed to completely turn things around and perform like the pitcher you drafted him to be, but his first outing in June was the worst case scenario. Sale left his recent start due to left shoulder soreness. Oh boy. In watching back noticed a drop in his fastball velocity during his final inning of work. An MRI is scheduled for today to assess the extent of his injury. This news is disheartening for Fantasy managers who were relying on Sale's return to form and we'll monitor where it goes from here.
Week 11 mini preview
Start or sit these fringe two-start pitchers
Two-start pitchers to add and stream
- Rowdy Tellez @CIN1, BAL3, OAK3 (best matchups, only one lefty)
- Matt McLain MIL1, LAD3, @STL3 (hot, seven games)
- Spencer Steer MIL1, LAD3, @STL3 (hot, seven games)
- Bryan De La Cruz KC3, @CHW3 (hot, good matchups even if not top five)
- Jake McCarthy @WAS3, @DET3 (running wild, good matchups)
- LaMonte Wade @COL3, CHC3 (great matchups, all righties)
- Randal Grichuk SF3, SD3 (full week at home, where he's great)
- Mike Yastrzemski @COL3, CHC3 (six righties, great numbers against)
- Jack Suwinski OAK3, NYM3 (heating up, good matchups)
- Andrew McCutchen OAK3, NYM3 (good matchups, been pretty good lately)
Best hitter matchups
Worst hitter matchups
News and notes
- Carlos Correa left early as he aggravated the plantar fasciitis in his left heel, which doesn't sound good, either.
- Triston McKenzie will make his season debut Sunday at the Twins. Cal Quantrill will be placed on the IL with right shoulder inflammation.
- Kris Bryant was placed on the IL with a left heel bruise, retroactive to May 31.
- Alec Bohm was placed on the IL with a strained left hamstring.
- Nick Lodolo will remain in a walking boot for the next two weeks. He's dealing with a stress reaction in his left tibia.
- Edwin Diaz believes he can join the Mets before the end of the season. "If everything keeps going how it's going, we've got a chance to pitch". Diaz suffered a torn patellar tendon in his right knee during the WBC and initially they said he'd miss eight months.
- Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson will both return Friday against the Dodgers. Oswald Cabrera and Franchy Cordero were both sent back to Triple-A.
- Jose Alvarado will begin a minor-league rehab assignment Saturday at Triple-A.
- Anthony Rendon took batting practice and fielded grounders Thursday. The hope is that he will return at some point next week.
- Jorge Polanco hit leadoff in his return to the Twins lineup.
- Luis Arraez was pulled early Thursday due to a leg injury.
- Mike Clevinger is expected to return and start Friday against the Tigers.
- Frankie Montas began a throwing program Tuesday. He underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery back in February and could return late in the season.
- We're still about two months out from the trade deadline but there was a report Thursday that multiple GMs expect Shane Bieber to be moved before the deadline.