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The hits just keep on coming. If it feels like the injuries just won't stop, it's because they haven't. The Rockies placed shortstop Trevor Story on the injured list on Saturday with right elbow inflammation. Story was removed from the second game of a doubleheader against the Mets on Thursday with elbow tightness. He remained out of the lineup through Saturday and was eventually placed on the injured list while he receives treatment and undergoes further testing. The 28-year-old star had a similar injury near the end of the 2018 season, so it's a little worrisome that the issue has resurfaced.
Story was off to a bit of a slow start, slashing .255/.322/.424 with five home runs and eight steals over 205 plate appearances. Some of it was bad luck mixed with early cold weather in Colorado. The impending free agent has been at the center of trade speculation since the team shipped off Nolan Arenado in the offseason. As long as the elbow issue isn't serious and he can recover relatively quickly, there's no doubt contending teams will be calling for his services before the trade deadline.
Injuries have seemed to be a major theme of the 2021 season so far. About half of the top 15 players that were selected in the first round of fantasy drafts have already spent time on the injured list or missed games due to some ailment, including Fernando Tatis Jr., Ronald Acuna Jr., Mookie Betts, Juan Soto, Mike Trout, Jacob deGrom, Christian Yelich, Trevor Story, and Cody Bellinger. The list goes on and on. For fantasy managers, depth and positional flexibility have been as important as ever in this war of attrition.
Wheeler Has Career-High 14 Strikeouts
Zack Wheeler had one of the best starts of his career on Saturday, striking out a career-high 14 batters against the Rays. After underwhelming in the strikeout department last season, they're coming in bunches this year. The 14 strikeout game comes after he struck out 12 against the Red Sox in the previous start and 10 against the Marlins on May 18. The 31-year-old right-hander is off to a phenomenal start, posting a 2.52 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 92 strikeouts over 75 innings. Wheeler has it all going right now, pitching at least seven innings in six of his last seven starts. The success has come with more usage of his slider, seeing a career-high 25 percent usage that has helped increase his swinging-strike rate. With the innings, strikeouts, and excellent ratios, we're looking at an ace in the making that could put his name into the Cy Young mix.
Starting Pitchers with an EDGE
Freddy Peralta -- 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 SO against Washington
Peralta had another excellent outing on Saturday, holding the Nationals to one run over seven innings as he pitched a complete game in the first contest of a doubleheader. For all the talk of his lack of a third pitch, it's not what has stopped him from going long into games this season. Peralta has a 1.29 ERA when he pitches the third time through an order. If he fails to pitch deep into games, it's usually because he's walked too many batters. That didn't happen on Saturday, as he issued just one free pass and tossed 67-of-100 pitches for strikes. Peralta's ERA now sits a 1.29 with 83 strikeouts over 56 2/3 innings. He'll get the Diamondbacks in Milwaukee his next time out.
Alex Cobb -- 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 SO against Oakland
Cobb was stellar on Saturday in Oakland, shutting out the A's over seven innings. He generated 12 swinging strikes to whiff eight batters on the day. The biggest threat would come in the fifth inning after he walked Matt Chapman to lead off the inning. Mitch Moreland followed with a base hit to put Chapman in scoring position. It would be the only base-runner to reach scoring position over the seven frames against Cobb. The 33-year-old right-hander will take a 3.78 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, and 43 strikeouts over 33 1/3 innings into his next start against the Mariners in Anaheim.
Hitters with an EDGE
Jose Abreu -- 4-for-6, HR, 2B, 2 R, 5 RBI
Abreu had a big day at the plate, collecting four hits, a home run, double, two runs, and five RBI over both games of a doubleheader against the Orioles on Saturday. The four-hit day brings his average up to .271 with 11 home runs and 45 RBI.
James McCann -- 4-for-5, HR, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI
McCann's four-hit day brings his batting average over the Mendoza line on the season. Entering Saturday's action, he was hitting .197. He goes into Sunday with a .221 batting average. McCann showed off some power as well, hammering a ball over the right-field fence off of Ian Anderson in the first inning. He added a double off Anderson in the third.
Willy Adames -- SS, Milwaukee Brewers (available in 83 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Getting out of Tampa Bay was the best thing that could happen for Adames, who struggled throughout his career at Tropicana Field. As a member of the Rays, Adames hit just .219 at home with a 76 WRC+. Away from Tampa Bay, he was essentially an All-Star hitter with a .291 batting average and 130 WRC+. The 25-year-old shortstop is heating up at the plate for the Brewers, going 2-for-7 over Saturday's double-header after going 4-for-5 on Friday. He's hit out of the second spot in the order in the last two days and could be there to stay.
Matt Barnes recorded his 12th save of the season for the Red Sox on Saturday against the Marlins. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out one batter.
Miguel Diaz recorded the save for the Padres in the 12th inning against the Astros. Mark Melancon had blown the save chance in the tenth inning after San Diego took a one-run lead. The Padres would score three runs in the 12th to give Diaz some insurance runs.
Liam Hendriks had an excellent day, recording a save in each game of the double-header today. He struck out five batters and did not allow a hit or walk in two innings. Hendriks is now up to 12 saves on the year.
J.P. Feyereisen struck out one batter in a perfect inning to secure the save for the Rays on Saturday. Diego Castillo pitched the eighth in a tie game and earned the win after the Rays took the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Rafael Montero narrowly escaped with the save on Saturday, allowing one run to score on two hits and striking out one to hold the lead for the Mariners. It was the seventh save of the season for Montero, who has taken a back seat in recent weeks with the emergence of Kendall Graveman. Graveman is on the injured list with no designation but should assume his role as closer upon his return.
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Matchup of the Day
Sunday should bring some good baseball. There were multiple matchups we could have gone with here, including Brandon Woodruff and the Brewers taking on Max Scherzer in Washington. But, we're going with the divisional matchup out west. The Giants will look to complete the sweep of the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Kevin Gausman has yet to take a loss this season with a 5-0 record and a 1.53 ERA. Clayton Kershaw will look to get his eighth win of the season and brings a 2.94 ERA.
American League Quick Hits: Yordan Alvarez remained out of the lineup with a wrist issue ... Max Kepler was back in the Twins' starting lineup on Saturday but exited with an injury ... Jesus Luzardo will come off the injured list on Sunday ... Jake Odorizzi was activated from the 10-day injured list ... Chris Archer is hoping to return to the Rays rotation in early July ... Deivi Garcia was recalled from Triple-A ... Zack Britton began a minor-league rehab assignment on Saturday ... Jose Urena was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right forearm strain ... Victor Reyes remained out of the lineup with pectoral stiffness ... Shed Long Jr. (shin) began a minor-league rehab assignment on Friday ... The Astros placed Kent Emanuel on the 10-day injured list with left elbow soreness ... Enoli Paredes was optioned to Triple-A ... The Yankees optioned Albert Abreu to Triple-A ... Shaun Anderson began a minor-league rehab assignment ... The Tigers recalled Zack Short from Triple-A ... The Twins purchased the contract of RHP Juan Minaya ... Justin Wilson was placed on the 10-day injured list ... Cleveland signed Heath Fillmyer.
National League Quick Hits: Cody Bellinger was activated from the 10-day injured list ... J.T. Realmuto was activated from the 10-day injured list on Saturday ... X-rays on Eric Hosmer's right forearm were negative ... Anthony Rizzo missed his fourth straight game with a back issue ... Jazz Chisholm missed his fourth straight game but could return to the Marlins' lineup on Sunday ... Christian Walker was activated off the 10-day injured list ... Seth Lugo is expected to be activated from the 60-day injured list on Monday ... Mike Soroka will be re-evaluated in two weeks before a decision on his season is made ... Nick Senzel underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery and could return by August ... Vladimir Gutierrez will remain in the Reds' starting rotation ... The Dodgers activated Zach McKinstry from the injured list ... Sheldon Neuse and DJ Peters were optioned to Triple-A ... Matt Adams was activated from the 10-day injured list ... Brusdar Graterol threw 15 to 20 pitches in a live batting practice session ... The Pirates activated Ka'ai Tom from the 10-day injured list ... Rafael Marchan was optioned to Triple-A ... The Giants optioned Jason Vosler to Triple-A.