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Joaquin Benoit ((USATSI))
Which relievers are one trade away from assuming the closer's role for their teams? Michael Hurcomb speaks to that and helps prioritize your waiver claims. Full story
Related Links:
• Scott White chat transcript (7/21)
• Today's Probables | Two-start SPs
• Player Rankings | Roster Trends
• Hurcomb: Vogt, Gillaspie good adds?
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Most Added Players
Player% ±
1Jacob deGrom, NYM, SP22
2Danny Salazar, CLE, SP22
3Joaquin Benoit, SD, RP21
4Brandon McCarthy, NYY, SP14
5Chris Johnson, ATL, 3B14
6Odrisamer Despaigne, SD, SP13
7Chase Headley, NYY, 3B12
8Shane Greene, NYY, SP12
9Wade Miley, ARI, SP11
10Jake Odorizzi, TB, SP10
Most Dropped Players
Player% ±
1C.J. Cron, LAA, DH-21
2Joe Smith, LAA, RP-18
3Mookie Betts, BOS, CF-16
4Shelby Miller, STL, SP-10
5Marco Estrada, MIL, SP-9
6CC Sabathia, NYY, SP-9
7Drew Pomeranz, OAK, SP-8
8Sergio Romo, SF, RP-7
9Nathan Eovaldi, MIA, SP-7
10Carlos Martinez, STL, RP-7
Average Draft Position
 
 
Player News
Starling Marte placed on seven-day disabled list
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:06 pm ET) The Pirates placed outfielder Starling Marte on the seven-day concussion disabled list Wednesday.

Marte initially suffered a head injury over the weekend but returned to the lineup Monday. However, further tests deemed that he required a stint on the disabled list. Marte has hit .255/.328/.385 with five home runs, 34 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 314 at-bats.


Didi Gregorius homers, steals base Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:02 pm ET) Diamondbacks shortstop Didi Gregorius went 2 for 4 with a two-run homer and a stolen base in his team's 11-5 loss to the Tigers Wednesday.

Gregorius was 0 for 8 in his prebious three games before coming up big Wednesday, notching his first home run and steal in over a month. He has hit .232/.330/.404 with three home runs, 11 RBI and two stolen bases in 99 at-bats.


Jenrry Mejia records 13th save Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:56 pm ET) Mets closer Jenrry Mejia secured his 13th save Wednesday, giving up two hits and striking out two in a scoreless ninth inning to finish off his team's 3-2 win over the Mariners.

Mejia earned his second save in as many days despite putting multiple men on base for the first time in four appearances. He owns a 3.74 ERA and 68:32 K:BB ratio in 67 1/3 innings.


Danny Salazar's return a mixed bag
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6:56 pm ET) Remember those reports coming out of Triple-A Columbus about Danny Salazar being back to form and as good as he was last year? After his first start back in the majors Thursday, the jury's still out.

He didn't pitch poorly, but any transformation he may have undergone in his 10 starts at Columbus wasn't immediately evident in the results or on the radar gun. He still struggled with his command, walking three in an inefficient five innings, and he still averaged 1-2 mph less on his fastball than he did for most of his stay last year.

And it's not like the results were radically different at Triple-A. His strikeout rate did improve during his stay there, but he still issued 14 walks in 17 2/3 innings over his final three starts. The red flags remained even amid the glowing reports.

So ... were they all a bunch of hooey? Hard to say. The talent is evident. Even with reduced velocity, Salazar is among the hardest throwers in the game and should at least deliver a high strikeout rate. But with his control issues, will he accumulate enough innings for it to matter in Fantasy?

I already ranked him a conservative 77th at starting pitcher before this start, so I didn't feel the need to move him in response. In most leagues, he's worth owning, but in a what-do-you-have-to-lose sort of way.


Anibal Sanchez roughed up against Arizona
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(6:54 pm ET) Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez had a tough start Wednesday against the Diamondbacks.

Sanchez allowed five runs on 11 hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one during the appearance. Sanchez had no issues early, cruising through the first four innings. Things got tough late. After Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado led off the fifth inning with back-to-back doubles, plating a run for Arizona. Didi Gregorius followed that up with a two-run home run. 

Parra struck again in the sixth inning, singling in a run. Sanchez ran into similar issues in the seventh. After a run scored on three straight singles, Sanchez was pulled from the contest. He was replaced by Joba Chamberlain. Sanchez threw 104 pitches.

Opposing starter Trevor Cahill struggled quite a bit Wednesday, which led Sanchez to pick up a win. With the win, he improves to 7-4 on the year. His next start will come against the White Sox.


Taijuan Walker struggles with control Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(6:53 pm ET) Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker struggled with his control Wednesday against the Mets.

Walker allowed two runs on two hits over five innings. He struck out five and walked six. Walker tossed 94 pitches during the outing. The Mets struck early, as Daniel Murphy doubled in a run in the first inning, but were kept quiet after that. Walker was able to pitch around three walks the next four innings. Things fell apart in the sixth, though. After giving up a leadoff single to start things off, Walker loaded the bases by walking the next two hitters. He was removed from the game in favor of Dominic Leone. Leone allowed just one run to score, which was credited to Walker.

With the loss, Walker fell to 1-2 on the year. Should he remain in the team’s rotation, his next start would come against the Indians.


Trevor Cahill gives up seven runs in loss vs. Tigers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:52 pm ET) Diamondbacks pitcher Trevor Cahill took a loss Wednesday, giving up seven runs (three earned) on eight hits in four innings and striking out three in his team's 11-5 defeat against the Tigers.

Cahill (1-7) gave up a two-run double in the second inning and completely came apart during a five-run fifth, though a one-out error loaded the bases and allowed the Tigers to score four runs with two outs in the inning. He owns a 5.72 ERA and 50:27 K:BB ratio in 50 1/3 innings. Cahill is scheduled to face the Reds Tuesday.


Bartolo Colon takes perfect game into seventh inning
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:48 pm ET) Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon took a perfect game into the seventh inning Wednesday before eventually picking up a win after giving up two earned runs on three hits and one walk in 7 1/3 innings while striking out five in his team's 3-2 victory over the Mariners.

Colon (9-8) retired the first 20 batters he faced Wednesday before giving up a two-out single in the seventh inning. The trouble came in the eighth, when he walked a batter and gave up two one-out hits before being removed. Colon owns a 4.03 ERA and 100:19 K:BB ratio in 134 innings. He's scheduled to face the Phillies Monday.


Ryan Zimmerman dealing with 'pretty substantial' strain
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:45 pm ET) Nationals manager Matt Williams said Wednesday that the hamstring strain suffered by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was "pretty substantial," masnsports.com reports.

Zimmerman is set to be re-evaluated after a couple weeks, and he'll almost assuredly be on the disabled list for longer than the 15-day minimum. He has hit .282/.345/.456 with five home runs and 36 RBI in 195 at-bats.


Cliff Lee not a sure thing
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6:39 pm ET) Before I say anything else, I want to point out that I currently rank Cliff Lee 23rd among starting pitchers, which means I would trade anyone ranked 24th or higher straight-up for him, including Jeff Samardzija, Anibal Sanchez, Alex Cobb and Jered Weaver. So when I say he's not a sure thing, understand I'm not saying he's washed up and doesn't deserve a spot on your roster. I'm simply noting that those who stuck with him throughout his two-month DL stint hoping he'd be an ace when he returned have reason to be concerned now.

On Tuesday's Fantasy Baseball Today, Al Melchior picked Lee as one of the starting pitchers who worry him in the second half, and though I didn't do the same, I certainly could have. I'm just not totally confident in the condition of his elbow.

It's probably an overreaction. You might even say a bad start after an extended layoff is to be expected, and if Lee dominates over eight innings next time out, all the hand-wringing we're doing now will seem like wasted energy. But for now, the doubts linger. Because the injury was a strain and not a sprain, Tommy John surgery should be off the table, but how do we know nothing else is going on in there? Can we be sure the injury had enough time to heal completely, or, as Al suggested, might the Phillies have rushed him back to market him at the trade deadline?

It all remains to be seen, but whether you own Cliff Lee or are looking to trade for him, you shouldn't be counting on him to save your season. 


 
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