FanDuel: SB Nation One Day Fantasy Leagues
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Kyle Schwarber making his case to stay
Cubs catching prospect Kyle Schwarber made his first major league start on Wednesday night, and what a debut it was. Schwarber batted sixth and was the Cubs designated hitter, going 4-5 with a triple, 3 singles, 3 runs scored and 2 RBI in the Cubs 17-0 win over the Indians. Scharber continued to have his way with big league pitching last night, going 2-4with a home run, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI, batting eighth in the Cubs lineup.
The Cubs plan is to send him back to the minors after their three game series in Minnesota this weekend, and promote him to AAA Iowa where he will continue to work on his catching skills, which needs some work. On his catching skills, I was reading Dave Cameron's regular Wednesday afternoon chat and was surprised when I read his response to a question about Schwarber:
12:31 Comment From Geehoon Hong
Theo Epstein said he's more confident than ever that Schwarber can remain behind the plate. Is this just an attempt to pump up Schwarber's value before the deadline or could Schwarber be the Cubs' backstop next year?
12:32 Dave Cameron: If Schwarber is a decent framer — and I've heard that he might be — than he might be able to be a Yasmani Grandal type, only with more power. That's a valuable piece, and if that's what the Cubs think they have, they'll keep him.
Grandal with more power is an All Star caliber catcher and a top ranked fantasy catcher.
I was reading an article written by Jesse Rogers over at ESPN yesterday morning and he wrote that the Cubs plan to send him back to AAA to work on his catching skills, and then to let him play in the outfield, either in AAA or with the big league club.
From the way he is hitting in his first two games, the Cubs will be hard pressed to send him back down after Sunday's game in Minnesota. Either way, I think we will be hearing from Schwarber again later this season.
For more on Schwarber and the Cubs, make sure you check out Bleed Cubbie Blue, SB Nation's Cubs fan site.
Is Miguel Sano the next top prospect to get the call?
It is possible that we will see a few more top prospects called up to the big leagues in the coming weeks, and one of them could be Twins third base prospect Miguel Sano. Here is Phil Miller from the Star Tribune:
Now that Byron Buxton is in the major leagues, the question is inevitable: When will Miguel Sano join him?
The Twins are discussing the notion, manager Paul Molitor said Tuesday. An abrupt call-up like Buxton's? "Sure, it's possible," the manager said.
"It's a realistic thing to ask about when you have people who can come up and help you," Molitor said. "Every day that goes by, he's closer to getting here. That's kind of a general answer, but whether it's in a couple weeks or September, we've been looking for him to get consistency."
With Trevor Plouffe the starter at third base, it is possible that the Twins will push Sano to the outfield. Here's more from Miller:
The question about Sano, as always, is where would he play? With Trevor Plouffe ensconced at third base, the 22-year-old Dominican would need to move, perhaps permanently.
"We've talked about that some," Molitor said, particularly about the outfield. After missing all of 2014 following elbow surgery, the Twins wanted Sano to get comfortable at third base again, but "as he plays better, maybe we can look at those options. I haven't been a part of those conversations over the past few days."
Still, Molitor said of the 6-4, 260-pound slugger, "he moves better than people think he does, once he gets going. It's a big body to get moving, we all know that. ... I think he's athletic enough to where [the outfield] wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility."
Sano is hitting .251-.351-.493 with 12 home runs, 43 runs scored, 38 RBI and 5 stolen bases in 245 plate appearances in AA. He owns some awesome power, but I wonder if he is ready for the big leagues after missing so much time the last two seasons. Like most power hitters, he strikes out a lot, but not a ton, and walks at a 13% rate, so his plate discipline is solid for a power hitter.
It seems like many of the top prospects who have been called up this season are performing very well at the plate. In addition to Schwarber, Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant and Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco are among the many who have exceeded expectations so far this season. Another prospect that is performing well since his call up is Astros shortstop Carlos Correa. In Thursday's afternoon game in Coor's Field. Correa went 1-4 with 2 runs scored, an RBI and 3 stolen bases in the Astros 8-4 win over the Rockies. After his first ten games in the majors, Correa is now hitting .349-.378-.628 with 3 home runs, 7 runs scored, 7 RBI and 4 stolen bases in his first 45 plate appearances. He has hits in nine of his ten games and multiple hits in four of those games.
With just under 3.5 months left in the season, is it possible that Correa puts up a 20 home run, 20 stolen base season in 2015?
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is having a breakout season at the plate, but last night he suffered a leg/knee injury and had to leave the game in the sixth inning. Harper attempted to make a throw to the plate on a single, and as he planted his right foot, his left knee appeared to buckle inwards, and he was seen laying on the field holding his knee in pain. He left the field on his own power but was seen limping. After the game, it was reported that Harper sustained a hamstring injury, so we should learn more about the severity later today.
I wrote about some of my breakout pitchers yesterday, and one that I will write about in part 2 of my 2015 breakout pitchers articles is Twins right hander Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey was one of the worst starting pitchers in the game over the last few seasons, and it appeared his career was over, but he has turned the corner this season. Yesterday afternoon, he limited the Cardinals to just one run on 4 hits, a walk and 3 strikeouts over 8 innings in the Twins 2-1 win. He did not figure in the decision, but is now 5-3 with a 2,97 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and a 37-23 strikeout to walk rate in 78.2 innings over his 13 starts thus far. He has allowed two runs or less in 10 of his 13 starts this season, and while he is not a strikeout pitcher, he induces ground balls at a 54% rate and limits hard contact at a 21% rate, ranking 4th among all qualified starting pitchers.
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