Mets 1B Mark Vientos was recalled this morning, and while it’s not easy to see where he’ll play, Vientos has real reason to be in the minors. He’s hitting .333 with 13 homers and has cut his K-rate by 8.8 percent between last year and this one. He slashed .280/.358/.519 with 24 home runs in 101 Triple-A games last year even with the 29.3 percent strikeout rate. Strong-side designated hitter Dan Vogelbach hasn’t been a power threat this year, but his 119 wRC+ and .376 on base percentage might make him difficult for the rookie to displace. 

If he hits at all, Reds SS Matt McLain will stick for the season. As I said in the latest stash list, this team could have a whole new infield around India tomorrow if it wanted to. One of McLain or Elly De La Cruz will have to play third base, or they could just move India back to his original position and have McLain play second base, clearing the way for De La Cruz. 

For his part, Elly De La Cruz is forcing the issue, turning up the walk rate while producing big time power. In 13 May games, EDLC has 11 walks (17.2%) and 11 strikeouts, slashing .365/.484/.731 with five home runs and three stolen bases. 

Rangers RHP Kumar Rocker was having a strong season but will now miss most of next year after having Tommy John surgery. MLB pipeline had just used Rocker to promote their new top 100 list when the injury news came across the wire. The site dropped him out of the 100 less than an hour later. Kind of surprised me for whatever reason. Like, they ranked him without accounting for the injury history, and then rather than just waiting until the next list to move him down, they had to do it instantly and tweet about, promoting the list again off the Rocker news. I don’t know. Maybe this is perfectly normal stuff in the year 2023. Just feels like a weird world we’re living in sometimes. People throughout the fantasy prospect world (not pipeline) took odd little shots at Rocker yesterday. There’s a lot of Nelson Muntz going around, and I guess it’s hard to know when that kind of “ha ha!” is going to read as appropriate. 

Cubs 1B Matt Mervis hit his first career home runs Tuesday night. The club has started him almost every day since his recall. Nice to see Mervis and Christopher Morel taking the decision out of the manager’s hands by playing too well to send to the bench. 

Royals C Freddy Fermin has hit well when called up on this season and should probably be in a DH rotation with Sal Perez. Leave it to the Royals to have three power-hitting catchers and nobody to throw it to them. Fermin turned 28 yesterday and has eight home runs in 26 games across two levels. He’s slashing .310/.394/.690 with a 12.1-to-18.2 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 33 big league plate appearances. 

Cubs RHP Ben Brown had been cruising through the season but got lit up last night by the Triple-A Pirates, allowing three home runs and seven earned runs total in four innings. He walked three and struck out two but still has a 2.34 ERA and 1.12 WHIP and 25.2 K-BB% in 34.2 innings pitched across two levels. At 6’6” 210 lbs, Brown gets solid extension and looks the part of an innings-eating starter, wielding a plus fastball and two above average benders. Hayden Wesneski was optioned earlier in the day, so this start could’ve been a big opportunity for Brown, and there’s a chance he felt that. 

Cubs RHP Jeremiah Estrada was promoted in Wesneski’s stead. With Brad Boxberger on the IL and Michael Fulmer struggling, Estrada could quickly enter the ninth inning picture alongside Adbert Alzolay and Mark Leiter Jr. 

Athletics SS Darrell Hernaiz came back from Baltimore in the Cole Irvin trade and feels like a steal for the organization at this point. The 21-year-old is slashing .349/.390/.541 with four home runs and five steals through 27 Double-A games. 

I don’t understand what the Pirates are doing with Henry Davis, who has a 202 wRC+ in his return to Double-A. He played just 31 games there last year and 26 this year, so it’s not really a true repeat of the level, but it’s curious nonetheless. He homered and walked on Tuesday, his ninth bomb on the season. I get the desire to slow play him, but the team is (was) winning, and knees don’t last forever. 

Thanks for reading!