Ryan Tepera (RP, Elbow Inflammation), the league leader in blown saves finds himself on the DL after blowing the save in his last two appearances. All ribbing aside, since Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna was placed on administrative leave after allegations of assaulting a woman, Tepera has been pretty reliable with 7 ERs allowed over 22.2 IP and those two recent blown saves were the only two he’s suffered. Stash or Trash: Tepera wasn’t a top flight closing option and he doesn’t really have a timetable so you can trash him. Replacement: Diego Castillo (1.0%.) I know you’re expecting Tyler Clippard or Seung-hwan Oh, but the Blue Jays closing gig seems to be snake-bit this year and I’m sure as soon as Tepera went down people gobbled up Tyler Clippard in your league. So, Diego Castillo: he’s made 12 appearances for the Rays this season and has only allowed 3 ERs with 19 Ks. In AAA this year he also made 19 appearances and also only allowed 3 ERs. Castillo has a stereotypical lights out closer pitch selection of a high-90s fastball and a slider. He has multiple varieties of slider that he can mix in different situations. The Rays current closer, Sergio Romo, has had mixed results since Alex Colome was traded to the Mariners. In his first three appearances after the trade he let up 5 ERs in 3 IP. After that he has settled down a bit allowing only 3 ERs in 14 IP. However with Romo being 35 years old and clearly not part of the Rays long term future — they could turn to Castillo to see if he can live up to the title of closer-of-the-future.
- Carlos Correa, SS, Back Soreness: I tried to call out of work for the next 10 days because my back was sore and I’ve been tuning up my resume ever since. Stash or Trash: Luckily, this doesn’t seem like too major of an injury so we shouldn’t be without Correa for too long. Stash. Correa is currently behind only Manny Machado in All-Star voting at shortstop even though Francisco Lindor is more deserving. As a Correa owner, I hope he rests that back during the break so he and I can win some fantasy games in September. It’s really important to both of us. Fill In: Jorge Polanco (5.1%.) ‘Member him? You ‘member! Polanco’s suspension is up and he’s back hitting 5th for the Twins. Polanco went 8 for 19 in his minor league “rehab” games so it seems like his timing isn’t too messed up. If first half/second half splits are to be believed than you could be in store for a fantastic buy low opportunity in Polanco. In the first half of 2017 he hit .224 with 3 HRs and 6 SBs while in the second half he hit .293 with 10 HRs and 7 SBs. In 2016, Polanco only played in 13 games in the first half of the season so I won’t count it, but again, in the second half he hit .288.
- Shane Greene, RP, Shoulder Strain: Future trade candidate Shane Greene should be out until after the All-Star Break with an injury to his throwing shoulder, however, I haven’t been able to find a timetable confirming this anywhere. Just trust me. Stash or Trash: Stash, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if he’s traded to be a set-up guy for a contender somewhere else. Also, if closer-in-waiting Joe Jimenez is successful in his interim role, it might be increasingly likely that Greene finds himself on the Mariners. Fill In: Lou Trivino (10.1%.) Trivino has been one of the best non-closer relievers in baseball. In 34+ innings he’s only allowed 6 ERs and has 39 Ks. The 1.56 ERA vs 3.11 FIP is a little concerning, but if his 10.13 K/9 should help wipe out the base runners he’s been allowing himself (3.38 BB/9.) Oakland A’s closer Blake Treinen probably isn’t going anywhere, but Trivino still deserves to be owned due to his performance so far this year.
- Leonys Martin, OF, Strained Hamstring: The fact that this injury went from just a precautionary game removal cramp to a DL stint in less than two hours should have you a bit concerned. No word on a timetable yet, but I could see the Tigers taking advantage of the All-Star Break to give Leonys more time to recover. Stash or Trash: Leonys is in the midst of an okay season. Hitting atop the Tigers lineup with the best walk rate of his career (8.8%) has netted him 44 runs scored which ranks top-30 among OFs. Martin has an outside chance to finish with 20 HRs and 20 SBs as he has 9 HRs and 7 SBs now. Fill In: Jesse Winker (9.5%.) Winker needs to be owned on more teams. Especially if you’re in an OBP league. Among OFs he is tied for first in BB/K with Mookie Betts and only Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, Aaron Judge and Michael Conforto have better walk rates. Unfortunately, the last time Winker hit over 10 HRs at any levels was in 2015 in AA. Before June 1st Winker only had a slugging percentage of .325, but since has hit 5 of his 6 HRs with a .506 SLG. We’d all like to see more than 10 doubles and 6 HRs, but if he can continue making hard contact on 42.8% of his balls and can continue to bring down that 41% ground ball rate the extra base hits could come.
- Vince Velasquez, SP, Bruised Forearm: Velasquez was hit by a comebacker on June 30th, but had no break and no structural damage which is great news for the Phils. He’s just getting a little rest and should return when first eligible. Stash or Trash: Stash. If you take away VV’s disastrous 3.2 inning, 10 ER performance against Milwaukee in early June his ERA is actually a respectable 3.83. Fill In: Mike Minor (9.7%.) Heading into June Minor’s ERA was an awful 5.76. His four June starts have seen his drop over a full run to 4.64 including 7 one-hit, shutout innings in his most recent start against the Padres. Admittedly, Minor’s next two starts are two you should avoid (vs. HOU; @ BOS) but after that he’s lined up to face the Orioles right before the ASB.