Please see our player page for Adam Plutko to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

After blowing the game in epic fashion Thursday night and then blowing another game same-day, hours later even epicly-er the Philadelphia Phillies have finally said enough is enough. Their relievers are rocking a icy 8.07 ERA, with an even more inflated 10.93 ERA in the ninth inning. Wow. That’s like Red Sox-relievers-bad. So who did they reach out to? Who else but the awful reliever experts, the Boston Red Sox, and Philly acquired Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree Friday night in hopes of bring some stability to the late inning relief. In return they send RHPs Connor Seabold and Nick Pivetta to Boston. Pivetta, a sabremetrics darling, will likely slot into the starting rotation immediately despite his ugly 15.88 ERA, 1.94 WHIP. He’s given up 10 runs in just three games this year so he should fit right in with this pitching staff. Still, dude strikes out everyone. A 10.32 K/9 in 2018 shows flashes of what could be a valuable starter some day. I have streamed him many times in the past and he’s burned me even more times, and I look forward to this happening again real soon. Connor Seabold (2.24 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 58/11 K/BB in the minors), could also likely find his way into the rotation at some point this year, given the lack of competition at the big league level. Back to Phillies, Workman should immediately take over as closer and could see a boost as he’s better than his 4.07 ERA and 1.80 suggest and has converted all four of his save chances this year. The Phillies are a considerably better team so the save opportunities should be more frequent. Workman is likely already rostered in most fantasy leagues, even though he probably shouldn’t be. However, his successor in Boston, Matt Barnes, is still unowned in most leagues, and that is likely to change quick. If you’re as desperate for saves as I am for positive feedback Barnes and his 5.59 ERA are the obvious choice for save chances for Boston going forward. He notched his first save of the year Friday night allowing just one hit. Pick him up if you really need the saves or you just hate yourself.

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Just as we expected, the 2020 baseball season has seen its share of highs and lows.  On the deep-league fantasy front, let’s hope your season has seen more highs (if you’re reading this, Anthony Sandander, Teoscar Hernandez, or Brandon Lowe, thank you for everything so far, and please keep it up!), than lows (sorry, Oscar Mercado, but I’m looking at you).  If you’re in the fantasy baseball thick of things but need some reinforcements, let’s take our weekly look — AL version — at some guys who may be of interest to those of us in deeper leagues (we’ll use a 20% or less owned in CBS leagues threshold this week).

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Jairo Diaz was told the Rockies will no longer have a designated closer. Bud Black is crazy, right? I mean, he is legit nuts or no? I know the Woke Police say you shouldn’t call people crazy, but if we don’t, then they might not get help and Bud Black needs help. I thought maybe Black was just slow on the uptake as witnessed by Garrett Hampson’s playing time. It’s not normal to go from not playing to suddenly being an everyday leadoff man, like Black just discovered Hampson this year. Garrett was good last year, you absolute loon! But this is about Jairo Diaz. He didn’t have the best of games (2/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, ERA at 3.12), but Carlos Estevez (1/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 3.38), who saved the game, took a comeback off his hand, and was in severe pain, heading for x-rays. So, one guy’s been decent (Diaz), one guy is obviously injured, and the third guy, Daniel Bard (1 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 4.09) has been okay, but serious emphasis on “okay” and nothing more. That’s when you announce the guy with zero blown saves is no longer the closer? Bud Black is twenty-six screws short of an Ikea dresser. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Aside from Tyler Mahle getting removed from the rotation about 12 hours after my article was published, we had another successful streamers week. Randy Dobnak, Brandon Bielak, Christian Javier, Framber Valdez and Dylan Cease all performed well and that’s really all we can hope for. That makes for two successful weeks in a row and we’re going to look to keep that momentum rolling here! 

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Yesterday, the Mets debuted their 2017 1st round pick, David Peterson, and he went 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks. Here’s bit of tid on him:  Tall dude, stands about 6’6″. *standing on my chair, arm up in the air* About yay high. Fastball velocity sits *gets off chair, points at my framed picture of Angela Lansbury* low 90’s. Slider and curveball are *looks around to illustrate, points at colored-in Denny’s placement of a cowboy, realizes that won’t be enough, takes crayon and draws a cape on the cowboy* That’s a super okie. As in okie doke. C’mon, that was an easy one. So, lots of okie-doke usually equals okie-dookie, but he has solid command, so he might be a four to five real-world starter, which makes him good for Streamonator in shallower fantasy leagues. In a short season, there could be some value here. He should at least limit damage, as he did last night in Fenway. Also, Prospect Itch wrote about 500 words on David Peterson in his 2020 Mets fantasy baseball prospects writeup, and only one overt threat directed at me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Pirates organization should be on an episode of Botched. Are they the worst organization or what? Hint:  The answer is not ‘or what.’ Let’s do a brief recap of what a giant POS team this is. Pirates’ closer, Felipe Vazquez, decided to try to bite off Kyle Crick’s finger last week. A giant piece of garbage move? Well, gee, Wally, I don’t know, it seems like that’s not a nice thing to do. The Pirates are dead-last in the NL Central, as they’re wont to be, so suspend the giant festering wound that is Vazquez, right? Gosh, Ms. Molly, that seems obvious.  Well, no, of course not. The Pirates are trying to avoid losing 95 games and only lose 94 games instead, so the Pirates made the chickenshizz move to stick with Vazquez. This is, after all, the club that didn’t want to trade Felipe Vazquez for prospects at the trade deadline. Finishing in last with 94 wins instead of 95 must mean a lot to them. Now, the jagoff that is Vazquez is arrested for being the worst type of human and looks like he’ll never pitch again. No wonder Felipe Vazquez changed his name last year, he’s a giant pedophile creep!  You did good, Pirates! Maybe to go with your pitch-to-contact pitching coach, your clueless manager and your maybe-we-can-lose-only-94-games team, you can find another awesome trade like sending Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow for Chris Archer. Any hoo! I’d guess Keone Kela or Richard Rodriguez is the closer for the final week-plus, in that order.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Trying to predict what’s going to happen at this time of the year is similar to fouling off a pitch straight into your man parts. You try to do everything possible to do the right thing and sometimes you just Mitch Haniger yourself out of the season. While the streamers last week were all mixed up […]

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Yesterday, Jeff McNeil went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs with a double slam (19, 20) and legs (5), hitting .326. It’s legitimately surprising when I see any player who has more than 400 ABs with less than 20 homers, so I’m glad McNeil stopped confounding me. Usually don’t do this before the end of the season recaps, but sneaked a peek at my preseason blurb for McNeil, and I will share it right after this awkward sentence, “Truth bomb alert!  I almost wrote a McNeil sleeper post, but A) Mets B) Mets C) There’s no C. D) The Mets are saying he might not have a set position and be more of a floater, and, ever since Meatballs, there’s never been a good use of a floater. E) Mets F) Mets G) I wasn’t as blown away by his projections that I came up with as I thought I would be.  H) That’s about it.  I) Whoa, there’s a HI in the middle of the alphabet?  Who’s trying to say hello?!” And that’s me quoting me! I projected him for 17 HRs and 8 SBs. Those numbers aren’t far off, but you know where I was way off? Yup and yup, his average. I projected him to hit .269, so what changed? He hits everything well. He is in the bottom seven in the league for soft contact — Just Dong, Bryce, Mookie, Bryce — are a few of the names there. He also leads the league in Swing% (59.5), but he doesn’t strikeout a lot. Translation:  He swings a lot and makes good contact. It’s a recipe that’s worked for Castellanos, Javy Baez and Devers, to name a few. The fear for 2020 is McNeil becomes Castellanos on the Tigers, and not the She-cah-go Greek God of Hard Contact. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Before Charlie Morton (4 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.11) threw one pitch yesterday, the Astros greeted him with a highlight reel of some of Morton’s greatest Astros moments. Like the clip of him burning his Pirates jersey. And the clip of him pitching relatively solid for about 150 IP, then hitting a wall and never getting through a whole season. There wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium, especially on the Rays’ bench. I told you to sell Morton last month because he can’t ever complete a season. Any hoo! Morton seems headed for a 3-minute bread beep as he becomes toast, but this is about how the Astros hit multiple balls into orbit, which is also the name of their mascot’s scooch hole. Yordan Alvarez (3-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs, hitting .329) hit his 20th and 21st homer in *hand-clapping emoji* 60 *hand-clapping emoji* games. Actually, stop and hand-clap emoji for a few minutes he’s such a thing of beauty. In total sincerity, if you haven’t seen him hit, go watch a clip. I see him hit homers and I’m puzzled, asking myself, “How does he not hit more homers?” And he hits a lot of homers!  That’s how gorgeous his swing and ease-to-pop appears. For 2020, I’m going to fight with myself to not put him in the top 20, and I might lose. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Rob Manfred presses the button on a contraption that looks like a skinny hose, and juices spurt out. Rob looks up to the store clerk, “So, I just push this end of the hose inside the baseballs and juice comes out and balls go zoom?”  “Zoom, baby, zoom.”  “I’ll take 300 of them.”  “You only want 300 homers?”  “You’re right, I’ll take 45,000.”  “Will do, Kemosabe. Hey, wanna see where I store the white pine tar that pitchers can use undetected?”  “No, that’s illegal!”  So, what’s this, three days in a row with a hitter hitting three homers in a game? Shizz is bizzonkers. Every year I say the same for Nelson Cruz (3-for-5, 5 RBIs and his 23rd, 24th and 25th homer) and Edwin Encarnacion. They will hit home runs until they’re 50. That’s if they’re not already 50, then make it 70.  When reached for comment after the game, Cruz said, “I could’ve hit four homers, but then you find out why Mark Whiten was called ‘Hard Hittin.'” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?