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One day after perhaps the best slate of action this season – with a Reid Detmers no-hitter, Aaron Judge walk-off homer and Mike Trout two-homer evening among the many highlights from Tuesday’s action – Wednesday offered a slight chance to catch our breath. One player who has had us holding our breath until blue this season has been Gleyber Torres, who has begun to show some slight signs of emerging from his season-long slumber.
We’ll stress, slight signs. While Torres has stolen the spotlight a couple of times this month, cracking a walk-off homer against the Rangers which led to Chris Woodward calling Yankee Stadium a “Little League park” and coming through with five RBI against the Blue Jays on Wednesday, those shiny moments have masked the fact that Torres has actually been hitting worse by degrees in May (.194/.219/.484 in nine games) than he did in April (.237/.277/.424 in 19 games). The difference is production. With just nine May games in the books, Torres has already hit more homers (3 to 2) and driven in as many runs (nine) as he did for the whole of April.
Fantasy managers looking to cash in on Torres’ recent heroics via trade should certainly do their due diligence – you never know when you’ll get a bigger offer than expected – while also keeping in mind that the talent is there for a really nice summer if things keep breaking the way they have in recent games.
Hitters with an EDGE
Gleyber Torres – 2-for-4, HR, 5 RBI
Torres is still hitting a little inconsistently – coming into Wednesday morning’s contest, he had been in an 0-for-10 skid over his prior three games – but his big moments are starting to become slightly bigger and slightly more consequential. Against the Blue Jays, Torres drove home all five runs for the rolling Bombers, smacking a three-run homer and a two-run single.
Christian Yelich – 4-for-5, 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
As you might gather from our helpful ordering of knocks above, Yelich went for the cycle on Wednesday, doubling in the first inning, homering in the third inning, singling in the fifth inning and capping it all off with a triple in the ninth inning. This was Yelich’s third career cycle, all of which have come against the Reds. Somewhat lost in the noisy spectacle of statistic, the Reds just took 2-of-3 from the Brew Crew.
Tyler Stephenson – 3-for-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Cincinnati had multiple hitting heroes on Wednesday – TJ Friedl and Tommy Pham also collected three hits, while Colin Moran and Tyler Naquin each finished with three RBI – but it was Stephenson who came through with the biggest all-around game. He has tormented Milwaukee throughout the series, having collected six hits in 14 at-bats with two doubles and five RBI across the three game weekday set. Stephenson is now up to a hearty .322/.397/.559 batting line with three homers and 18 RBI across 20 games played.
Rhys Hoskins – 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI
Hoskins drove in all four of his runs with one swing of the bat, swatting a fourth-inning grand slam off Logan Gilbert. The veteran first baseman has now homered in three straight games while picking up seven hits over his last 17 at-bats.
Luke Voit – 3-for-5, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R
Voit powered up for solo home runs in the second and seventh innings. The former Yankee and technical home run leader for the 2020 pandemic-shortened season had been held homer-less over his first 14 games this season prior to busting out with the two big shots on Wednesday.
Orlando Arcia – 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
Arcia brought Atlanta all the way back from an early 3-0 deficit, swatting a walk-off two-run homer off Ryan Brasier to deliver the Braves to a 5-3 victory. The homer was Arcia’s first of the season. This big effort bumped Arcia up to a .355/.432/.516 triple-slash through 11 games played.
Pitchers with an EDGE
Shane McClanahan – 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 11 K, 1 BB
This was McClanahan’s second 11-strikeout effort in his last three starts. He owns a stellar 2.52 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 58/10 K/BB ratio in seven starts covering 39 1/3 innings this season.
Zach Logue – 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 6 K, 0 BB
Logue needed 97 pitches (64 strikes) to get through his seven sterling innings of work. This was a strong starting step forward after the swingman gave up a pair of homers to the Twins last time out.
Miles Mikolas – 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 K, 1 BB
Mikolas nearly had himself seven shutout innings, but Robinson Chirinos broke up the SO with an RBI double in the sixth inning. He has yet to allow more than two runs in a start and beyond that has held the opposition to fewer than two runs in five trips to the mound.
EDGE Priority Pickup – Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Brewers; Available in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues
Still available in almost a quarter of leagues on Yahoo, Tellez ranks third in the majors with his 27 RBI and owns a .245/.304/.528 triple-slash to go with seven homers in 106 at-bats. While Tellez has gone seven straight games without a home run, he has remained a consistent run-producer in that space, accounting for six RBI. Tellez received a major ownership bump after his eight RBI dance on the grave of the Reds a week ago, but he remains an available option on the wire in many formats. Remedy that.
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Aroldis Chapman complicated New York’s win with a stressful ninth, entering the frame up 5-2 only to allow the first two runners to reach – while uncorking a wild pitch in-between — ahead of George Springer, who had homered earlier in the contest. Springer inflicted a touch more damage late by lofting a sacrifice fly off Chapman, but the out seemed to settle the Yankees’ closer down and he subsequently retired Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. without issue. Chapman will occasionally lose the strike zone, but has been on-the-whole fantastic this season, going 8-of-8 in save chances.
David Bednar struck out three over two perfect innings while picking up his fifth save of the season. With Chris Stratton allowing runs in four of his last six appearances – including three more (two earned) on Wednesday – Bednar looks to have essentially locked down the ninth inning gig at this point. He has struck out at least three batters in three of his last four trips to the mound.
Oh goodness, Diamondbacks, oh dear. Complete bullpen meltdown on Wednesday, with Mark Melancon and J.B. Wendleken combining to allow eight (!) earned runs in the top of the ninth inning. This Chernobyl showing took the game from a tight 3-3 tie to an incredibly lopsided 11-3 win by the Marlins. Melancon has now been touched up for three or more runs in two of his last three appearances. With just four strikeouts in 11 outings, he’s about as low-grade a save option as can be imagined for fantasy managers at this juncture.
Corey Knebel was in fine form on Wednesday, striking out two across 1 1/3 innings without allowing a hit, walk or run. He improved to 6-of-7 in save chances this season.
Rowan Wick recorded his second save of the season, striking out two over two scoreless frames while allowing two hits in Wednesday’s 7-5 win over the Padres. The reliever has not allowed a run in any of his 10 appearances since the opener. He received the opportunity against San Diego due to David Robertson’s COVID-19-related absence, but has limited season-long value so long as Robertson remains with the team.
Thursday’s Matchup of the Day
It’s a light day of matchups on Thursday, but this one has a little spice and intrigue. Dylan Cease has struck out at least eight batters in five-of-six starts this season, while Gil will his first taste of starting action on the season after showing out respectfully (if not spectacularly) in six starts last year. Zooming out a little, this matchup intrigues on the team level, as the Yankees have established themselves as a potential juggernaut in the American League while the White Sox are still trying to find their groove for the campaign. These two squads could certainly meet up again come October.
AL Quick Hits: Bobby Witt Jr. picked up three RBI. … Corey Seager hit his seventh homer of the season. … Trevor Story finally snapped his homerless drought to open the season. … Shohei Ohtani pitched six innings of one-run ball and also stole his fifth base. … Wednesday’s matchup between the Astros and Twins was suspended in the fourth and will resume on Thursday. … Kevin Plawecki was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. … Logan Gilbert fanned nine but allowed four runs vs. the Phillies. … Dylan Bundy could return to the Twins from COVID-19 protocols without making a rehab start. … Ryan Mountcastle is working through a sore left wrist. … Byron Buxton (hip) returned to the lineup on Wednesday … The White Sox and Guardians had their game postponed due to a possible COVID-19 outbreak.
NL Quick Hits: Tylor Megill was dragged for eight runs by the Nationals. … Pete Alonso now has eight homers. … Willson Contreras homered and scored three runs. … Padres manager Bob Melvin underwent successful prostate surgery. … Brandon Crawford clubbed a three-run homer as he tries to get his season on track. … Joe Ross and Stephen Strasburg both tossed two innings of simulated ball while continuing rehab. … Alek Thomas hit his first MLB homer. … Colin Moran homered for the fourth time in his last four games. … Joey Wendle was removed from action due to a hamstring issue. … Hunter Renfroe rocked two solo homers. … Manny Piña is scheduled to undergo season-ending wrist surgery. … Edwin Rios hit a bases-clearing double vs. the Pirates. … Jack Flaherty (shoulder) threw a bullpen session. … Evan Longoria (finger) is off the 10-day injured list. … Zack Wheeler (COVID-19) is expected to rejoin the rotation on Thursday.