In the midst of a pennant chase and trying to make the playoffs, maximizing every win will matter for the Rockies. Following a team best ERA in home games by its starting pitching, can Colorado afford to keep Wade Davis as the closer?

It’s not like he’s been terrible. Entering game action in St. Louis, Davis had converted his last 11 saves dating back to June 20th. But Davis blew his fifth save and incurred his fourth loss this afternoon allowing three hits and two earned runs while recording only one out. This balloons his ERA to 4.57 and WHIP to 1.19 on the season. He’s lost twice as many games as a reliever this year as any in the past. Meanwhile, Adam Ottavino ’s recorded 23 holds with no earned runs over the last 13 games since July seventh and a 1.53 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 52.1 innings this year toiling in a setup role.

There’s no word of an imminent change, but Colorado may be forced to switch the roles of their two most prominent relievers in the heat of a pennant chase. Stay tuned.

Daily Transactions

To the chagrin of fantasy owners, Mike Trout received the day off this afternoon in Tampa Bay. He’s experiencing pain in his wrist, detailed below:


It remains to be seen if this injury lingers, so take note. Shohei Ohtani also did not start for the Angels. He’s two for his last 20 and probably needed a mental day off.

Colorado activated D.J. LeMahieu from the disabled list and returned Garrett Hampson to Triple-A.

Oakland demoted Dustin Fowler and it’s rumored they will call up Ramon Laureano . Through 64 games in Triple-A, Laureano’s hitting .297/.380/.534 with 44 runs, 14 home runs, 35 RBI and 11 stolen bases. He could platoon with Nick Martini going forward if he hits well. American League only players should take note of a chance to add some cheap stolen bases.

It appears the Rays will welcome back Blake Snell to the rotation on Saturday. He’s tentatively slated to return against the White Sox at home. A soft landing for the talented southpaw. Keep tabs on his velocities and how his shoulder responds after the start.

Lots of action with the Mets roster. First, they will activate Todd Frazier and place him into an already crowded infield. Good luck getting consistent Jeff McNeil at-bats. Also, New York promoted Bobby Wahl to take a spot in the bullpen. He’s one of the players received in the Jeurys Familia deal and arrives after recording eight strikeouts in 5.1 innings in Las Vegas since the trade. Last, Steven Matz ’s MRI did not reveal any structural damage, but he will land on the disabled list to provide some rest for his forearm.

As for the Yankees, J.A. Happ was placed on the disabled list ahead of a big series in Boston. Part of the reason for his trade, was to face the Red Sox due to his career 2.98 ERA in 105.2 innings against them with 82 strikeouts. Wash your hands kids. And throw strikes, Sonny Gray will be demoted to the bullpen with Lance Lynn taking his spot in the rotation. This is not a test.

Meanwhile in Seattle, the Blue Jays will open their series in Seattle with Tyler Clippard starting tonight. This will mark Clippard’s first start since June 14th, 2008. They also will activate Ken Giles to the active roster. He should figure in the saves mix over the last two months of the season.

Both Tommy Pham and Marcell Ozuna left their respective games early due to injury. Pham was hit by a pitch on his right foot. His X-rays were negative and he’s day-to-day going forward. Ozuna had discomfort in a toe in his left foot and was removed from the game. Since the Cardinals lineups remain fluid, perhaps this opens the door for Jose Martinez to log some at-bats if Ozuna misses time over the weekend.

Good news for Arizona and the Dodgers. David Peralta returns to the lineup as does Justin Turner . Not so good news for Chris Taylor owners. He could be shifting to a super-utility role with all the recent additions. Tonight, Turner’s back at third and hitting in the same spot in the order. Cody Bellinger will play center, Joc Pederson in left and Max Muncy at first base. Taylor’s not in the lineup. Adjust accordingly going forward.

That Just Happened

The Beeks crop report yields a first career win. Jalen Beeks pitched five innings of relief giving up two hits, two earned runs and a walk with four strikeouts. He generated 11 swinging strikes and 11 called in the outing, his second with Tampa Bay. Sergio Romo notched his 13th save with a clean ninth and two strikeouts. Over his last 29 appearances, Romo has a 1.29 ERA with nine of his last 10 being scoreless. Carrying the offense, C.J. Cron drove in two runs with a single in four at-bats and he’s hit .329 since the start of July along with six home runs his last 19 games.

Thursday afternoon was a banner one for pinch hitters:

  • Jose Martinez fueled the Cardinals comeback with his first walk-off hit driving in two runs. Despite losing playing time due to his defensive ineptitude, he still leads the team with a .296 batting average and 61 RBI.

  • Kansas City moved ahead with a three run pinch hit home run by Whit Merrifield . He’s reached base in 27 of his last 29 appearances, hitting .342 (40-for-117) since June 27th and leads the majors with seven stolen bases since the All-Star break.

  • Chicago took back the lead with Daniel Palka ’s three-run shot in the eighth inning, his 16th home run of the season and third as a pinch hitter. Palka’s also hot with 11 runs, three doubles, five home runs and 13 RBI his last 13 games.

Brad Keller turned in a quality outing giving up five hits, two earned runs and three walks with nine strikeouts in a no-decision against the White Sox. Keller generated 15 swinging strikes and 17 called of his 104 pitches. If he’s going to continue his recent success as a starter, Keller will need to maintain his 55 percent ground ball rate.

Not only did Palka do well, but José Abreu and Omar Narváez stayed hot. Abreu went 2-for-4 with two runs, a double, his 17th home run and an RBI. He’s hitting .385 the last 10 games with 12 runs, four home runs and eight RBI. Fantasy owners desperate for a second catcher who will not kill batting average should take note of Narvaez. He’s hitting .407 (35-for-86) his last 27 games with six doubles, four home runs and 17 RBI. He walked twice, singled, drove in one and scored twice on Thursday.

While saves speculators raced to add Jace Fry after the Joakim Soria trade, the first save since the trade goes to, Luis Avilán ? In a match-up based approach the last two innings, Fry, Juan Minaya , Jeanmar Gómez and Avilan all pitched during the final two frames. Enjoy trying to mine this bullpen for saves. It could be volatile the last two months.

What to Watch For

Will Bryce Harper and Trea Turner stay hot against the Reds this weekend?

Philadelphia stuck with Nick Pivetta , can he reward the faith versus the Marlins at home?

Boston and the Yankees will face off this weekend in a four game set with the two best records in baseball. And they will start C.C. Sabathia and Brian Johnson . Intriguing. When Andrew Cashner is facing off against Yovani Gallardo in Texas, it makes sense.

Zack Greinke won the National League pitcher of the month and will take the mound at home against Madison Bumgarner . Will the humidor be in play?

Be sure to check back in the morning for the latest news in Fantasy Alarm’s Round Up to stay ahead of the competition.


Statistical Credits: