Happy birthday to Manny Machado! One can assume that he will have a double layer cake with double frosting. He likes his doubles.
On today’s agenda:
1. Derek Jeter begins his rehab assignment
2. The return of Carl Crawford
3. Tyler Skaggs‘ excellent start
Derek Jeter begins his rehab assignment
Today marks the first day of Derek Jeter‘s minor league rehab process. He is schedule start at shortstop and play five innings at Triple-A. The New York Yankees have struggled on offense this year as they rank 25th in wOBA and 27th in wRC+ and getting a healthy Jeter back atop the lineup is sure to be a welcome sight for Yankees fans. Jeter can spend up to 20 days in the minor leagues rehabbing however it would be wise to grab him now. He is currently available in 75% of ESPN leagues, 45% of Yahoo! leagues, and 41% of CBS formats.
The return of Carl Crawford
The Los Angeles Dodgers activated Carl Crawford from the 15-day disabled list yesterday, though he wasn’t slated to start. With uber-prospect Yasiel Puig lighting the world on fire, Matt Kemp having eight hits — including two home runs — in his past seven games, and Andre Ethier in the lineup to face the opposing right-handed starter, Crawford found himself the odd man out. Kemp had to leave the game early as he is suffering from irritation in his left shoulder and Crawford was inserted in his place. The club announced that it was pain in Kemp’s AC joint and not specifically where he had surgery, however any shoulder flare ups should scare the pants off of any Kemp owner. If Kemp has to miss time again then an outfield starting spot will be open for Crawford.
Until injury or ineffectiveness opens up an outfield position for him, Crawford seems ready to adjust as a part time player. He isn’t particularly thrilled with the prospect o being a platoon type player, but he admits that “I have to do what I’ve got to do.” Given that both Crawford and Ethier are left-handed hitters, how a platoon situation shakes out will be difficult to say. Crawford has a career .306 wOBA against left-handed pitchers and Ethier has an even worse .285 wOBA mark. For now it seems as though Kemp’s shoulder and Puig’s sore leg there appears to be room in the lineup for everyone, at least in the short term.
Prior to his injury Crawford was hitting .301/.358/.470 against Ethier’s .261/.339/.380 line. If push comes to shove in the outfield, expect Crawford, Kemp, and Puig to be receive the majority of the playing time. Ethier isn’t a bad player at all, but for the moment he seems to be the fourth best option.
Tyler Skaggs‘ excellent start
In just his forth start of the year, Tyler Skaggs tossed eight innings of shut out ball at home against the Colorado Rockies. Of his 103 pitches on the night, 65 were strikes and 16 of those were of the swinging variety. Skaggs posted five strikeouts on the day and allowed just three hits and one walk. Yesterday’s strong outing lowered his numbers to a 3.65 ERA and a 3.62 xFIP. He is receiving some luck in the batted ball department as his .239 BABIP won’t last forever, though that isn’t a huge concern. With a a strikeout to walk ratio above 3:1 and a swinging strike rate approaching double digits — in addition to his excellent minor league strikeout numbers — Skaggs should be able to pitch around a few base runners and strikeout the man at the plate.
With Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy on the 15-day DL and Daniel Hudson the the 60-day DL, Skaggs is an incredibly valuable asset to the club and fantasy managers alike. Skaggs’ time in the Diamondbacks’ rotation could be limited due to Cahill and McCarthy’s pending returns or Skaggs could be involved in a trade. If he sticks in the rotation, Skaggs would line up to start on Wednesday against the Dodgers. Skaggs is owned in less than 10% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues and 28% of CBS leagues.
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