Monday, February 6, 2023

FBT: Add Joey Bart if you need a boost at catcher, Braves offensive outburst and more from Monday’s action

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Monday’s action was supposed to feature a game between two of the best teams in the National League, but it instead turned into an immediate blowout. The Braves dismantled the Mets and flashed why a case can be made that they’re the deepest lineup in baseball right now. The Braves tagged the Mets for 13 runs on 15 hits in the first game of what promises to be a defining series. Ronald Acuna Jr. cracked three doubles, three RBI and two runs. Dansby Swanson added three hits with three RBI and his 15th stolen base. Williams Contreras hit his 16th, Travis d’Arnaud his 12th and Eddie Rosario his fourth homer run. Top prospect Vaughn Grissom went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs (he’s now 70% rostered). It was a great start to the series for Atlanta.

We’ll dive into key takeaways from Monday’s action, but first, make sure you’re all caught up on everything going on over at Right now, you can find Scott’s waiver wire on the site. You can also find his top-30 IL stashes and his latest bullpen report.

In Scott’s bullpen report, he provided some interesting insight on the Yankees bullpen:

“I’m not ready to cut Clay Holmes loose in Fantasy given that he was one of the most reliable relievers in the first half and that manager Aaron Boone hasn’t been totally clear about his plans for him moving forward. But certainly, the right-hander has put himself on thin ice with three blown saves in his past five appearances.

“You’d think if the Yankees were going to make a move, it would be back to one of the all-time great closers, Aroldis Chapman, who has gotten back on track with nine straight scoreless appearances. But the team’s most recent save chance actually went to Scott Effross, with Chapman working the eighth. I’d say Effross is a distant third choice in Fantasy still, but it doesn’t sound like we’ll have a clear answer here anytime soon.”

You can find the rest of his analysis on other closer situations in the bullpen report here.

Bart continues to collect hits

If you need help at catcher, Joey Bart might be someone to consider scooping up for the stretch run. Bart racked up three hits on Monday night and has done a solid job getting on base since returning to the major leagues. In 28 games since he returned, Bart is batting .318 with five homers. He’s still just 31% rostered.

A surprising pitcher’s duel

No one went into Monday expecting a pitcher’s duel to unfold between Johnny Cueto and Jose Urquidy but that’s exactly what happened. Cueto was at his best for Chicago at Houston and he delivered eight innings of two-run ball (one earned). He allowed just six hits and one walk despite striking out just three Astros batters and allowing 11 hard hits. Cueto has now gone at least six innings deep in 15 of his 16 starts. He’s down to a 2.78 ERA and he’s 74% rostered.

On the flip side, Urquidy was nearly as dominant. He threw 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball and didn’t walk a single batter while allowing just six hits. Urquidy struck out four batters with nine hard-hit balls allowed. He lowers his ERA to 3.69 with this one in the books.

Four hitters who didn’t live up to ADP

The following four hitters were drafted several rounds ahead of where their production has been in 2022. We’ll take a look under the hood and see what went wrong for these ADP busts.

Bo Bichette:

Preseason ADP 5.0. Currently the 52nd-best player in Roto

Strikeouts have been the biggest issue for Bichette as he’s seen his strikeout rate rise from 19.9% in 2021 to 24.6% in 2022. It also doesn’t help that he’s been caught stealing on half (14) of his stolen base attempts. Bichette’s splits vs. left-handed pitchers tell the ugliest story. Just one season after batting .340 with a .950 OPS against lefties, Bichette is batting .197 with a .604 OPS in 2022.

Nick Castellanos

Preseason ADP 48.0. Currently the 151st-best player in Roto

The biggest difference for Castellanos is how he’s hitting at home this season vs. last season. He’s batting .238 with a .651 OPS in 2022 vs. his dominant .359 batting average and 1.109 OPS in  2021. It also doesn’t help that his home run to fly ball ratio went from 22.8% in 2021 to 8.3% in 2022. A hitter known for making quality contact on a consistent basis is what Castellanos is known for, but that’s not what he’s been this year. He’ll likely be a popular bounceback candidate in preseason breakout articles this coming March.

Tyler O’Neill

Preseason ADP 60.0. Currently the 260th-best player in Roto

O’Neill was an obvious regression candidate, but it’s hard to not call his bust season in part a product of injuries. He’s been on and off the IL. His groundball rate is up and home run to fly ball rate is down. That’s not a great combo.

Jesse Winker

Preseason ADP 107.4. Currently the 311th-best player in Roto

Winker’s move to the AL and a new ballpark has worked out even worse than expected. He batted .295 at home in 2021 but he’s batting just .197 at home this year. It also hurts that his home run to fly ball rate is down from 20.7% to 9.6% this season. At least, Winker did hit a homer on Monday.

Who’s hot

Sandy Alcantara continued on his Cy Young hopeful season with another dominant Monday outing — this time against what should be one of the toughest lineups to face in baseball. He threw seven shutout innings and allowed just four hits and two walks. He also struck out seven batters. Alcantara is now behind only Framber Valdez for the most quality starts (18) this season. His ERA drops down to a paltry 1.92 overall after this one.

Fantasy news, injuries and notes

For a complete recap of every injury, update and more, make sure you’re locked into the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast where Frank, Scott and Chris dive deep into every player note. For the CliffsNotes version, we’ll recap the biggest news and notes you need to know right here:

  • Walker Buehler will undergo season-ending elbow surgery on August 23, though they haven’t announced if it’s Tommy John or not. 
  • Bryce Harper took 60 swings Monday. He’s scheduled to get in a similar session Wednesday and, barring any setbacks, could be ready for a rehab assignment shortly after.
  • Max Fried is expected to return from the 7-day IL this week, though they haven’t announced what day yet. 
  • Kyle Wright is expected to start later this week, either Thursday against the Mets or Friday against the Astros. He was skipped in the rotation because of arm fatigue. 
  • George Springer was reinstated and batting leadoff for the Blue Jays Monday.
  • Wander Franco could return from the IL as early as this weekend. He’s starting rehab early this week. 
  • Giancarlo Stanton went through a full workout Monday and could go on a rehab assignment in a few days.
  • Carlos Carrasco was removed from Monday’s start against the Braves due to left side tightness.
  • We had a few Braves hitters return Monday. Ronald Acuña was back in there, which was great to see. Travis d’Arnaud also returned for the first time since August 6
  • Eduardo Rodriguez will make one more rehab start at Triple-A Tuesday before likely rejoining the Tigers
  • Eddie Rosario left Monday because of left hamstring tightness.
  • Kyle Hendricks has been cleared to resume throwing. He’s been out since July 5 with a shoulder injury.
  • Luis Guillorme was placed on the IL with a left groin strain. Apparently, the Mets have discussed promoting Brett Baty to the Majors, though he was just promoted to Triple-A recently. 
  • Luis Robert was out on Monday with a sprained left wrist.
  • Kyle Schwarber was out on Monday with the calf day.
  • DJ LeMahieu was out with inflammation in his toe.
  • Ketel Marte was out with a hamstring injury.
  • Jeremy Peña was out with neck stiffness.
  • Jonathan India was in the lineup and then scratched with a lower leg injury.
  • Ramon Laureano was out with side soreness.

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