Saturday, May 21, 2022

Fantasy Baseball Today: Running Royals, Connor Joe keeps mashing, Steven Kwan, more from Monday

Happy Tuesday! Monday’s slate of baseball games are always a fun action-packed way to get a week started and last night was no different. We had 22 teams in play and with the Athletics topping the Rays by a score of 13-2, there are no longer any undefeated teams in MLB — and it’s only the fifth day of the 2022 season.

In case you missed it, on Monday Scott White pinpointed waiver wire targets, and while he did include Guardians OF Steven Kwan, he also went over 10 more waiver wire options with a rostership ranging from 70% to 11%. Chris Towers took a deeper dive into Kwan’s hot start with the Guardians and how much you should prioritize acquiring him. Chris also broke down what not to overreact to and what matters from the first few days of the season from closer shuffles to dips in velocity and more. Check back later on CBSSports.com/Fantasy/Baseball for a bullpen report and more from Scott.

And of course, as always, you can follow to make sure you get the latest episodes of Fantasy Baseball Today right when they drop on Apple and Spotify

Introducing ‘Surprise Bags’

Ok, I’m going to try something here, so hang in there with me. One of my favorite things growing up playing alongside my dad in his AL-only Roto league was whenever a player not exactly known for stealing bases would show up in the box score with a stolen base. Surprise bag! So as a new segment, I’m going to recap every player who stole a base the night before. Stolen bases are a scarce category in Roto leagues, so I’m hoping this will give a good look at which players are stealing bases, consistently and/or by surprise.

Joe and Kwan keep good times rolling

  • Guardians OF Steven Kwan has been the underdog story of the early season after his scorching hot start to the season, and he kept it going on Monday. He delivered a three-run triple in Cleveland’s 10-7 win and also walked twice. Kwan is now batting .692 in the early going.
  • Rockies OF Connor Joe was one of Frank Stampfl’s favorite breakout hitters, and so it’s great to see the prospect find his groove in the early going. On Monday, Joe provided the finishing touch and breathing room for the bottom of the 10th inning when his solo home run put the Rockies up 6-4 in the top of the tenth inning. Last Saturday, Joe’s two-run shot against the Dodgers served as the go-ahead runs in a 3-2 win. He’s developing a reputation for this.

Jesus Sanchez goes yard twice

Marlins OF Jesus Sanchez got lost in the late-drafts hype shuffle that propelled Julio Rodriguez and Spencer Torkelson, but his upside was never denied and he delivered two home runs on Monday. Both home runs were equally impressive in their own ways. The first went an estimated 439 feet and the second came of one the MLB’s shutdown closers from the 2021 season — Raisel Iglesias.

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Adell answers

As a collective, I’ve never seen Scott, Chris and Frank get together and feel as strongly about the same player as a screaming draft day value as they did with Angels OF Jo Adell these past few months. So it pained us all to see Adell not playing in two of the Angels early games. Even today, he wasn’t supposed to play until Mike Trout was a late scratch with a stomach bug. Adell responded to all of that by homering, doubling and racking up two RBI and a run. 

If someone in your league dropped him, Adell should be scooped as an upside bench stash.

Blackburn surprises

Raise your hand if you had Athletics SP Paul Blackburn delivering one of the best pitching performances on Monday. Better yet, show me your bet slips. For five innings, Blackburn was nasty against the previously undefeated Rays. He allowed just three hits, one walk, no earned runs and struck out seven. Blackburn came out throwing five different pitches and each of them at least 15% of his offerings and this kept batters fooled to the tune of a 16.9% swinging strike rate. He should at the very least be on the radar.

Manoah shines

One of the more popular mid-round pitcher targets in drafts had an excellent debut against the Yankees. Blue Jays SP Alek Manoah pitched six shutout innings with seven strikeouts. He only allowed one hit through six, but on the flip side, walked four. Walks aside, this was the debut Manoah managers were looking for. Manoah found success with a pitch that eluded him all throughout 2021 — his changeup — and even with that weighing him down, he posted a 3.22 ERA with 127 strikeouts in 116 2/3 innings. If his changeup is here to stay, Manoah could be in for a massive breakout season.

News and lineup notes from Frank Stampfl

Every night the Fantasy Baseball Today team dives into all of the happenings around the MLB from top performers, to injuries, trades and more. The podcast is a must listen for any diehard, if I do say so myself. But part of what makes the show special is Frank’s comprehensive news and notes taking. So here’s everything else going on in the MLB now:

  • Padres SS/OF Fernando Tatis said this weekend that he expects to resume swinging a bat in around three weeks. He’s on the 60-day IL, which means the earliest date he could actually play in a game is June 7.
  • Rays SP Luis Patiño left his start Monday after recording just two outs. He was later diagnosed with a strained left oblique.
  • Instead of going to the IL, Padres SP Blake Snell plans to play catch Tuesday and throw a bullpen session Wednesday ahead of his scheduled start Friday. I guess we have to slow it down on MacKenzie Gore.
  • Red Sox SS Trevor Story was out again Monday due to illness but could be back Tuesday.
  • Diamondbacks SP Zac Gallen was pushed back in the rotation due to a small cut on his thumb.
  • Mets SP Taijuan Walker exited Monday’s start and will undergo an MRI on his right shoulder.
  • Phillies SP Zack Wheeler will apparently be limited to 70 or 75 pitches on Tuesday, which is actually more than I thought.
  • Cardinals SP Jack Flaherty has been cleared to play catch up to 90 feet. He received a PRP injection in his shoulder three weeks ago.
  • Blue Jays C Danny Jansen is dealing with some soreness on his left side and was not in the lineup Monday. Could mean more playing time for Alejandro Kirk.
  • Yankees SP Jordan Montgomery should be able to make his next scheduled start this weekend in Baltimore of being hit by a comebacker Sunday night.

Lineup notes

  • Padres SS CJ Abrams was out again Monday night against lefty Alex Wood.
  • Giants prospect OF Heliot Ramos made his debut Sunday and went 2-3. He was then benched Monday night against righty Nick Martinez.
  • Mariners OF Jarred Kelenic was not in the lineup and we haven’t talked about his slow start. He’s 1-for-11 with five strikeouts thus far.
  • Phillies SS (until he gains 3B eligibility) Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm have alternated starts at third base through the Phillies’ first four games… Bohm 1-1 with two walks Monday but also had three throwing errors. The throwing errors are the concerning thing here if you’re still hanging on to Bohm.

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