MLB Closing Bell: Kershaw's Back Clouds Future
Greg Jewett discusses Clayton Kershaw's injury amongst many other injured players, Yairo Munoz the next Albert Pujols? and much more on Friday Night's Closing Bell.
Investing in a pitcher for fantasy comes with inherent risk. Targeting a pitcher entering his 30’s with lingering back issues increases incrementally. Clayton Kershaw will return to the disabled list after making one start returning from biceps tendinitis. Kershaw missed six weeks with a back strain in 2014, two-and-a-half months with a herniated disk in 2016 and five weeks with the same back strain diagnosis last year. This accounts for a tremendous chunk of production from one of baseball’s best pitchers.
As for the most recent injury to Kershaw, a back strain, heed his past timetables for a return which translates to him missing four-to-six weeks as a result putting his return at or after the All-Star break. Add this to Rich Hill still sidelined with finger and blister issues, Kenta Maeda out with a strained hip and Hyun-Jin Ryu not slated to return until the second half and the Dodgers will need everything they can squeeze out of Ross Stripling , Walker Buehler and whoever else fills in with the rotation.
Friday Night at the Transactions
Due to the influx of roster moves leading up to post time of the Closing Bell, here’s an abridged version of the latest disabled list casualties and graduates:
Going to the disabled list:
David Dahl , Colorado (broken foot) out six-to-eight weeks
Josh Donaldson , Toronto (calf)
Mookie Betts , Boston (abdominal strain)
Clayton Kershaw , Los Angeles Dodgers (strained back)
Zach Davies , Milwaukee (rotator cuff inflammation)
Not in lineups:
Dustin Pedroia , Boston
Tommy Pham , St. Louis
Gary Sánchez , New York - second straight game
Josh Harrison , Pittsburgh - flu-like symptoms
Cody Bellinger , Los Angeles Dodgers
Activated by teams:
Joe Panik , San Francisco - hitting leadoff
Mark Melancon , San Francisco
DJ LeMahieu , Colorado - hitting leadoff
Miguel Cabrera , Detroit
Bradley Zimmer , Cleveland
Add in Madison Bumgarner will return to the mound for the Giants on Tuesday and things will get very interesting in the National League West and in fantasy leagues.
Did you know?
Yairo Munoz , at 23 years and 128 days, became the youngest player in Cardinals history to record five RBI since Albert Pujols (21 years, 248 days) in 2001 and first rookie to do so since Stephen Piscotty (2015)? Munoz carries an eight-game hit streak into Friday night’s game and his 14-for-30 (.467) in it.
Boston released Hanley Ramírez on Friday making him a free agent. Any team who signs him will give him a prorated minimum salary for the remainder of the season. The Red Sox will pay just under $30 million dollars for Rusney Castillo , Pablo Sandoval and Ramirez not to play for them.
Jacob deGrom ’s the first pitcher since 1995 to make at least five starts in May with an ERA under 0.70 for the month. deGrom only allowed two earned runs in 26 innings with 37 strikeouts against eight walks. His reward? One win. But the 0.69 ERA’s always a crowd pleaser.
Atlanta’s Sean Newcomb won all five of his decisions in May with a 1.54 ERA and yielded no home runs in his six outings.
While there’s no clear closer in Philadelphia, Seranthony Dominguez should not be on waiver wires. He threw two clean innings with two strikeouts for his second save on Thursday night and has yet to allow a run in his first 13.2 innings in the majors. Plus, Dominguez has whiffed 15 of the 43 total batters he’s faced (34.9 strikeout percentage) with zero walks. It’s like he’s the anti-Neris.
There’s rumors circling about Manny Machado ’s most likely landing spot being Philadelphia. While this may not inherently change his fantasy outlook since Camden Yards also grades out as a positive hitters park, here’s a look at Machado’s spray chart so far this year with Citizens Bank Park as the backdrop, courtesy of BaseballSavant.com:
It could be nothing or it could be something with a couple more of those doubles above leaving the yard. Yum.
With Adam Eaton due back soon and playing center field during his rehab, what happens to Juan Soto ? Which pitcher wins the duel in Houston, Chris Sale or Gerrit Cole ? Is Matt Olson about to go on a power surge? Does regression come for Jaime Barria ? Will Sergio Romo start 40 games this season?
Be sure to check back in the morning at Fantasy Alarm for the Round Up to catch up on all of Friday night’s action to stay ahead of your competition.