MLB Closing Bell: A Ray of Hope?
Greg Jewett rings the closing bell with a look at plans for a new stadium in Tampa Bay as well as what to watch for in tonight's MLB action.
Could a new ballpark invigorate a franchise? Tampa Bay’s willing to find out releasing plans today on social media including this tweet with fantastic pictures:
Playing in a division with the Yankees and the Red Sox makes things tough on the Rays, but could an attractive venue along with no personal income tax in their home state entice future free agents? It cannot hurt. Being able to lure players to the franchise becomes much more intriguing with the stadium above and the built in incentive of more take home pay for its athletes. It remains to be seen if all of this comes to fruition, but it’s a much more daring move than the “starter” concept Tampa Bay’s made popular by necessity this season.
It’s been a frustrating season with players landing on the disabled list after lineups lock in weekly formats. Add Sean Doolittle to the list. He will be sidelined by a pinched nerve in his foot and was seen in a walking boot in the clubhouse. With the built in break provided for by the All-Star game, it could be a minimal stay for Doolittle. For those desperate for saves, adding Kelvin Herrera or Brandon Kintzler makes sense, however, not at the expense of a player of value to do so. This may not be a prolonged absence.
Masahiro Tanaka will return to the mound in Baltimore. He reached 69 pitches during his rehab outing and could be stretched out to 85-to-90 tonight if possible. Not so good news for the Mariners with Félix Hernández heading to the disabled list due to his back.
Back to the disabled list for Avisail García with a strained right hamstring. This injury already sidelined him for 55 games this year and sets him to miss at least 2-for-4 weeks with a chance of 4-to-8 if he does not progress well. Welcome back to relevancy Daniel Palka . Cleveland’s Lonnie Chisenhall ’s slated to miss the next eight-to-10 weeks with a calf injury. Paging Greg Allen , start stealing bases please.
Reports confirm both the Rangers and Mets scouts watched Justus Sheffield’s last start. Of course, there’s still grumblings about the Yankees pursuing Manny Machado as well. It seems like New York’s casting a wide net on the trade front, so letting things percolate makes sense.
With Josh Donaldson still out due to his calf injury and Vlad Guerrero Jr. nearing a return, Guerrero will be promoted, but only to Triple-A when activated. On the surface, it’s frustrating for Guerrero Jr. owners, but, it does signal his moving closer to joining the majors on the heels of the success demonstrated by 19 year old Juan Soto with the Nationals. Guerrero Jr. hit a robust .407/.457/.667 with 11 home runs and 55 RBI in only 53 games. If he plays well with Buffalo, he could kick the door down with the Blue Jays. By the way, Donaldson resumed baseball activities this afternoon.
What To Watch For
For those wondering about seeing Jesus Aguilar ’s name in the All-Star final vote, but he’s been very good dating back to last year. As a Brewer, Aguilar’s accrued 593 plate appearances with 86 runs, 39 home runs, 116 RBI and a .284/.349/.568 slash line. This year, Aguilar has a .333 isolated power, raised his home run per fly ball percentage to 28.4 despite hitting over seven percent more fly balls, owns a 47.2 hard hit rate while cutting down his swinging strike percentage. He’s come a long way from his release by the Indians.
Knowing Joc Pederson ’s the streaky type for fantasy, could Andrew Toles make an impact with the Dodgers while Yasiel Puig ’s on the disabled list? Toles hit well in spring training and was hitting .326/.363/.500 at Triple-A prior to his promotion. Add in a career 125 stolen bases in 340 games during his minor league career at a time when steals are in decline and Toles seems more intriguing in deep formats. Keep tabs on him this week.
Shin-Soo Choo built the drama getting last night off and will attempt to extend his on-base streak to 48 games against the Red Sox in Fenway. Choo’s hitting .339/.464/.600 within the streak.
Not sure where Manny Machado will end up as trade talks heat up, but his insistence of remaining at shortstop makes things interesting for the Yankees. Would they move Didi Gregorius to third base if they add Machado? Does this make sense in the long run? With this in mind, here’s Machado’s spray chart with all hits and field outs on line drives along with fly balls in the Bronx:
- Can Tyler Anderson maintain his hot pitching facing the Diamondbacks at Coors Field?
- Which young starter pitches better with Enyel De Los Santos facing Drew Gagnon in New York?
- Will Marcus Stroman bounce back or struggle in Atlanta? Same for Julio Teherán .
- How many innings does Rich Hill last?
- Be sure to check back in the morning for Fantasy Alarm’s Round Up covering the latest fantasy tidbits and trends to keep you ahead of your competition.