Mets can't catch a break, Travis d'Arnaud out with fractured right hand
The Mets caught a couple of bad breaks on Sunday, when relief pitcher Jerry Blevins fractured his left forearm on a comebacker against the Marlins and Travis d'Arnaud fractured his right hand on an inside pitch from A.J. Ramos. While both are big blows to New York's ball club, the latter is the bigger loss for fantasy owners.
After a lousy spring, d'Arnaud was off to a hot start at the plate, hitting .317/.356/.537 with a pair of home runs, five runs scored and 10 RBI. He even moved up to the No. 2 spot in the order after New York lost David Wright, further increasing his fantasy value. What could have been a breakout season for the 26-year-old is now on hold, and we'll wait to hear how significant the fracture is. Whatever the case, he'll miss an extended period of time.
The Mets will call up Kevin Plawecki from Triple-A Law Vegas to replace d'Arnaud as the primary catcher. Plawecki was chosen 35th overall by New York in 2012. In 2014, he reached Triple-A and played 43 games, hitting .283/.345/.421 in 170 plate appearances with five home runs and a 12.4 percent strikeout rate. He got off to a slow start this year, but the Mets have a need and Plawecki is ready. In a good full year, we would expect Plawecki to hit 10-15 home runs at the major-league level. His biggest asset might come in batting average, as he's hit .293/.368/.436 in four minor-league seasons. It's possible that Anthony Recker steals time behind the plate from Plawecki. If you're looking to replace d'Arnaud, I would lean toward Miami's J.T. Realmuto first, but he's probably long gone in competitive NL-only leagues.
Also, if you're in a real pinch and have the room, consider stashing Boston's Blake Swihart, who is off to a scorching start in Triple-A with a .406 BA.
Shane Greene gave up his first run of the year Sunday, ending a streak of 21 2/3 scoreless innings to start the year. Green held the White sox to one run on five hits while striking out three and walking four. He's now 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and 11/5 K/BB ratio in 23 innings. Green is virtually owned in all leagues now, as he should be, but this fast start certainly has the looks of being fluky. Greene's .188 BABIP and 88.2 percent strand rate are obviously unsustainable. The good news is Green has better strikeout stuff, as evidenced in the minors, so we should see a rise to that number. He's also a groundball pitcher. While he's not going to be this good all year, he has a lot working in his favor, including one of the best offenses in the league.
I wasn't as high on Gerrit Cole as some other writers here at Fake Teams, but he's looked like an ace in the early going. Cole picked up his second win of the season Sunday, holding the Brewers to two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and one walk. Milwaukee is struggling, but Cole was efficient other than a rocky second. With a 3.18 ERA, 1.06 WHIP ad 20/5 K/BB ratio in 17 innings, the former No. 1 pick looks like he can take a step forward in his second full season.
Jason Grilli picked up his league leading sixth save on Sunday, getting a pair of strikeouts against the Brewers in a clean ninth inning. Grilli is a perfect 6 for 6 with Atlanta, posting 1.80 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 10/2 K/BB ratio in six innings. His early velocity numbers are up, according to FanGraphs, from 93.1 mph to 94.3, although his swinging strike rate has dropped significantly since 2014. While he's 38, there's no reason why Grilli can't be successful in the role long term. Closers on bad teams (or what we though would be a bad team) are still valuable. I'm buying if anyone is selling.
Ken Rosenthal first reported that White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon will be recalled from Triple-A. The 22-year-old left-hander has a devastating slider, and he should find success in the bullpen initially. If he can prove himself there, it's just a matter of time until he's placed in the starting rotation. There could be some growing pains if he has trouble with command, but he's still an arm to target on the waiver wire.
Adam Jones, who I saw slip to the late second round in a lot of drafts, has been on fire for the Orioles, slashing .457/.490/.848 with five home runs, 12 runs and 16 RBI in his first 51 plate appearances. While his walk rate looks normal with his career numbers, it's worth noting that he's only struck out five times so far. He's never struck out a lot, but any improvement in that area and we might see Jones hit above .300 for the first time in his career. While it's early, it certainly looks like we're staring at another possible 30/100 season for Jones. The only other time he's done that 2013.
Reminder: Nelson Cruz, Jones' former Baltimore teammate, is manlier than you. Whoa Nelly!
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