Happy 31st birthday to Adrian Gonzalez! The present author will always fondly remember Gonzalez for being an amazing keeper following the 2006 season.
On today’s agenda
1. Evan Gattis, outfielder?
2. Tommy Milone: more than a streamer
3. The return of Matt Adams
4. James McDonald to the disabled list
Evan Gattis, outfielder?
Yesterday, and for the second straight day, Evan Gattis started in left field. With Jason Heyward still on the disabled list, Gattis has played in left, Justin Upton in right, and B.J. Upton stayed in center. According to Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, Gattis will probably get the start in left field today as well. Keep a close on eye on Gattis’ eligibility as he has received three starts at first and now at least two starts in the outfield. Catcher is still the most beneficial spot to play Gattis, but lineup flexibility is never a bad thing. If he shows an ability to play left field to a decent degree, Gattis may be a super sub all over the field for the Braves and for fantasy managers.
The author has previously cited concerns regarding playing time for him, but Gattis has seemingly caught the eye of the manager. As long as his bat is in the lineup, Gattis is worth owning. He is owned in just 40% of Yahoo! leagues but is owned in 60% of ESPN leagues and 80% of CBS leagues.
Tommy Milone: more than a streamer
Despite going largely undrafted in mixed leagues, Tommy Milone has been brilliant thus far. Through seven starts he now owns a 3.13 ERA/ 3.38 FIP/3.61 xFIP and has 41 strikeouts against six walks. Milone’s SwStr% is elevated against his career average and his .289 BABIP isn’t out of line. With a weak fly ball inducing pitching style, Milone will never post a solid ground ball rate, but the fly balls should help depress his BABIP. That being said, his pitching tendency is a double edged sword. Milone will give up more than an average raw number of home runs, even if his HR/FB rate is league average. For now, Milone is getting fly balls and not allowing too many home runs. His home park will help suppress the long ball and his outfield defense, especially when Coco Crisp is back, will help turn those lazy fly balls into outs. Milone is sitting on just three wins, with the Oakland Athletics leading the league in runs, expect the wins to come.
The return of Matt Adams
The St. Louis Cardinals reinstated Matt Adams from the 15-day disabled list yesterday. Though he will return in a back up role, add Adams to your watch list. He currently has three home runs and three walks in 28 plate appearances against starting first baseman Allen Craig‘s two homers and four walks in 128 PA’s. Adams doesn’t have any minor league fielding experience other than at first, so his defensive flexibility is in question. Regardless, keep an eye on Adams’ playing time, as he may begin to see starts at first base if Craig gives Carlos Beltran a rest once or twice a week in the outfield.
James McDonald to the disabled list
After missing his previous start with shoulder discomfort, the Pittsburgh Pirates have placed James McDonald on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder discomfort. McDonald has struggled with his control thus far — so sayeth his 6.07 BB/9 — and his fastball velocity has been down since last year. There is no timetable for his return just yet, but in non-keeper leagues, feel free to drop him. Shoulder injuries, or even fatigue and soreness, at any age are never a good sign.
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