Friday, August 19, 2022

Fantasy Baseball Today: Pablo Lopez sharp before trade deadline, Mike Clevinger booming and more from Tuesday

Happy Wednesday, everyone! And it’s an especially delightful one for this editor right here. If you’ve been following along at home to the Fantasy Baseball Today newsletter all season, you probably are well aware of my allegiances, so let’s talk Subway Series! I know, I know — there are other teams — areas of the country outside of the Metropolitan — but these are two of the best teams in baseball squaring off. Speaking of those Mets, they kicked off this Subway Series with a banger. The Yankees were the ones who actually got things kicked off — with solo blasts from Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo right away in the first inning. But it didn’t take long for the Mets to fire back — led by a Starling Marte homer and a big-time clutch hit from Pete Alonso. A four-strikeout and four-out save by Edwin Diaz closed the books, and now we get appointment television when Max Scherzer takes the mound in prime time for the next game in the series.

It’s a good time to be a baseball fan for sure.

Below, we’ll break down some key takeaways from Tuesday’s action. But first, make sure you’re all caught up with everything going down at CBSSports.com/Fantasy. Scott White broke down eight second-half breakout players you should look to trade for now, and you can find that here. Scott also dove deep into innings limit concerns with pitchers like Shane McClanahan and why you should maybe look to trade some of them now. You’ll find that here.

Lopez shines in trade deadline showcase

Pablo Lopez has been one of the hottest names you’ll keep hearing around the coming trade deadline — and if he wants a change of scenery, he sure put on a fun showcase Tuesday night. Lopez racked up a career-high 11 strikeouts and he was absolutely delivering it — especially with his curveball that he threw a season-high 14% of the time. This pitch has treated him very well, albeit over a limited sample size.

Lopez finished the outing with seven innings of two-hit ball and allowed just one earned run and zero walks. He induced 18 swinging strikes — seven on the fastball, six on the changeup and three on the curveball. Pretty nasty stuff. 

Lopez also looked jacked up for this one on the mound and the velocity was up on the fastball, curveball and on the cutter. Is it possible the budding young ace is looking for a change of scenery and maybe a little more run support? And an organization that will spend to build around him? Lopez had delivered a 4.60 ERA in his eight starts coming into this one but hopefully has now righted the ship. He stands strong on the season overall after his torrid start — with a 3.03 ERA.

Clever outing indeed

Mike Clevinger could very well be primed for a breakout second half if what he delivered on the mound Tuesday is a sign of things to come. Clevinger threw seven innings of two-run ball and allowed just six hits and one walk while striking out five. Clevinger could very well be gearing up for a big second half with a good Padres team behind him and a lineup that will only get better as the season moves forward. He now has totaled a 3.38 ERA with 53 strikeouts over 53 1/3 innings. Perhaps most importantly for Clevinger, it’s a contract year.

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Other quick hitters from Tuesday

Hunter Greene looked good on Tuesday — 6.1 innings with two earned runs allowed and six strikeouts. His velocity was up, but his ERA is still at 5.59 for the season. He feels like a potential post-hype sleeper down the line in 2023.

Jose Miranda continues to sneakily produce. He racked up three hits, two doubles and two RBI on Tuesday. After struggling with the Mendoza line for parts of the beginning of this season, he has brought his average all the way up to .271.

Ramon Urias continues to get on base with his 11th homer on Tuesday. For those counting at home, that marks 11 homers in 66 games — a 25 homer pace over 150 games. His on-fire July consists of a .397 average, five homers and 18 RBI. He’s 41% rostered with eligibility at 2B, 3B and SS.

Is April hero Steven Kwan back? He racked up three hits and his seventh stolen base on Tuesday. He has batted .330 since the start of June — the 10th-best batting average in the MLB. He’s 49% rostered.

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:

  • Fernando Tatis took batting practice with his teammates Tuesday, the first time he’s done so since injuring his wrist. He could face live pitching a couple of times next week before going on a rehab assignment. 
  • Julio Rodriguez did indeed make his return to the Mariners lineup on Tuesday, and looked fine with his 17th HR of the season
  • Manny Machado tweaked his ankle a little bit in extra innings Tuesday
  • Kris Bryant, who missed Monday’s game due to a foot injury, returned Tuesday as the DH. Turns out he’s dealing with plantar fasciitis
  • Giancarlo Stanton was placed on the IL with left Achilles tendonitis, retroactive to Sunday. 
  • Bobby Witt Jr. has missed two straight due to right hamstring tightness. 
  • Mitch Haniger moved his rehab assignment to Triple-A Tuesday. He should be back soon. 
  • George Kirby was recalled by the Mariners and Matt Brash was optioned back to Triple-A. 
  • Jesus Luzardo will make his third minor league rehab start Wednesday at Triple-A. He’s 72% rostered and could be out there in some shallower leagues. 
  • MacKenzie Gore was placed on the IL with left elbow soreness. It’s not yet clear what the exact injury is. 
  • Garrett Cooper was placed on the IL with a right wrist contusion. Lewin Diaz was recalled by the Marlins
  • Max Kepler has been diagnosed with a “mildly displaced fracture” of his right pinkie toe. There’s a chance he’ll be able to avoid the IL. 
  • Francisco Mejia was placed on the IL with a right shoulder impingement. 
  • Reportedly, the Tigers are shopping everybody, including Tarik Skubal, which comes as a bit of a surprise. 
  • Speaking of trade rumors, the Mets and Cubs have talked about a deal including both Willson Contreras and reliever David Robertson. Also, Josh Bell is a priority for the Houston Astros
  • Diamondbacks‘ first-round pick Druw Jones suffered a shoulder injury during his first batting practice with the team Monday. It sounds like he might not play any pro ball this season.
  • More first-round pick news: Pitcher Kumar Rocker has officially signed with the Texas Rangers, one year after he was not offered a contract by the Mets, who drafted him.

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