More suspensions looming?
Yesterday morning we all heard the news that Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon was suspended for 80 games for taking PEDs. His loss to the Marlins and fantasy owners is huge, and now that there have been two suspensions announced over the last week (Chris Colabello), are there more suspensions on the horizon?
Well, Peter Gammons tweeted this out after the Gordon suspension was announced:
Some execs told Gordon was one of a few names on a list and there could be some more names out next week. Hope not, but nothing surprises— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) April 29, 2016
So he tweets this, one would expect more suspensions are coming right? I would think so. But why haven't they been announced if there is a "list"? I would assume the players are going through the appeal process, as it was reported yesterday that Gordon tested positive in spring training, and was able to play in games until his appeal was heard.
I imagine we will hear more suspensions in the coming days and weeks. Hopefully, no superstars are on the list, but if Gordon was popped, there could be more superstars suspended. No one knows at the moment except the teams that are involved in the appeal process right now.
There is no way to prepare for the suspensions, and speculating on who is next is not worth the effort.
This just goes to show that MLB's policy isn't tough enough, as players are still taking the risk of an 80 game suspension for the chance at multi million dollar contracts. Many players spoke out against Gordon yesterday, and it is up to the MLB Players Association to add more restrictive penalties for players that get suspended for taking PEDs. Players want a clean game. The only way to make the game clean is banning a player for life for taking PEDs.
What are your thoughts on this?
Braves promote Albies to AAA and Swanson to AA
It came as a surprise to many that the Braves started shortstop prospect Ozhaino Albies in Double A and Dansby Swanson in High A to start the 2016 season. Well, both have hit so well that the Braves haven't wasted any time in promoting Albies to Triple A and Swanson to Double A. Here is more from Mark Bowman, Braves beat reporter for MLB.com:
Ozzie Albies has been promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett and Dansby Swanson has been promoted to Double-A Mississippi.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) April 30, 2016
While that is news in and of itself, here is what fantasy owners should be aware of, and act on real soon:
The Albies and Swanson promotions furthers the Braves' hope that both could be in Atlanta for this season's second half.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) April 30, 2016
With shortstop Erick Aybar disappointing Braves fans and his fantasy owners thus far, it appears the Braves will do their best to deal Aybar as soon as they can, but Aybar has to hit better than .169-.186-.205 before they deal him. It was reported a few days ago that the Braves are willing to eat salary of players like Aybar in return for tradable draft picks.
If you are in a league where you can stash prospects, I highly recommend making moves for Albies and/or Swanson as it appears they can help fantasy owners as soon as mid-July. Allies is currently tearing up AA pitching, as he is hitting .370-.433-.519 with a home run, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 12 runs scored, 7 RBI and 2 stolen bases in just 90 plate appearances. I think Albies can be a mini-Dee Gordon type hitter, hitting for a high average with 20-30 stolen bases per season, with a chance for more. Swanson is hitting .333-.438-.520 with a home run, 11 doubles, 13 runs scored, 10 RBI and 6 stolen bases in 89 plate appearances.
I recently traded Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg and Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett for Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon and Marlins starter Adam Conley in a 9 team, 5x5 NL only league. This trade was obviously made before Gordon was suspended, so I want to get that out of the way. Without going into too much detail here, I had enough starting pitching to give up Strasburg, and had a need for speed thus the reason why I wanted Gordon. But, for me, getting Conley back kinda pushed the trade in my favor. Conley is a young starter who has trouble with the walks, but strikes out almost a batter per inning, so I wasn't losing much in the strikeout category.
Last night, Conley no-hit the Brewers for 7.2 innings, striking out 7 and walking 4 in the Marlins 6-3 win. The win moved Conley's record to 1-1 with a 3.67 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 1.22 WHIP and a 28-12 strikeout to walk rate in 27 innings this season. Take away his first start vs the Nationals where he gave up 3 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks in one inning of work (I assume there was a long rain delay), and his ERA is 2.77 with a 1.12 WHIP, and he has struck out seven or more batters in three of his last four starts. He is prone to give up the free pass, but he is an emerging starter who I advise picking up off your league waiver wire now. He is owned in about 11% of leagues right now, so the time to grab him is now.
I was high on Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos coming into the season, and he has not let me down thus far. Last night, he went 3-4 with a home run and 3 RBI in the Tigers 9-2 win over the Twins. Castellanos is now hitting .355-.370-.566 with 3 home runs, 10 runs scored and 14 RBI. He will never walk much, but he will make plenty of hard contact and is an emerging 20+ home run hitter. He is available in over 45% of leagues right now, so if you need a hitter who won't hurt you in the batting average category, Castellanos is a solid option.
Despite missing several games due to nagging injuries, Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is having a huge month at the plate. Last night, he went 2-4 with a home run and 6 RBI in the Mets 13-1 win over the Giants. Cespedes has played in just 17 of the Mets 21 games, but is hitting .313-.380-.719 with 7 home runs, 14 runs scored and 23 RBI in just 71 plate appearances. He has hit 6 home runs and driven in 20 runs over his last nine games going back to April 15th, but he won't keep hitting home runs at this pace. That said, he has the power to hit 30-35 home runs this season.
Tigers pitching prospect Michael Fulmer made his major league debut last night, limiting the Twins to 2 runs on 7 hits, a walk and 4 strikeouts in 5 innings of work in the Tigers 9-2 win. He needed 93 pitches to get through five innings, as the Twins fouled off 20 pitches, so they made Fulmer work in his debut. Fulmer has the potential to be a #2-3 starter in the big leagues and should rack up the strikeouts and limit the free pass, so he is a pitcher I recommend grabbing if you can stash him or have a need for a starter.
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