I am getting a late start to the Roundup today, but here are some of the top performers from Friday's roto action.
It's time for the Dodgers to call up Julio Urias
The Dodgers farm system is pretty stack and their top prospect is Triple A starter Juli Urias. Last night, Urias tossed five shutout innings, giving up 3 hits, no walks and striking out 5. He has now pitched 27 straight scoreless innings, the equivalent of three consecutive shutouts over the last five starts. Mind you, he is a 19 year old pitching in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
On the season, Urias 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA, A 0.78 WHIP and a 44-8 strikeout to walk rate in 41 innings of work. Recall his struggles in his brief look at Triple A hitters last season, but he seems to have figured them out fairly quickly to start the 2016 season.
After his start last night, I opined on Twitter that the time is now for the Dodgers to call up Urias, as he is not being challenged by Triple A hitters. True Blue LA writer Eric Stephen opined that the Dodgers should call him up after Thursday night's loss. Obviously that did not happen, but his performance may push the Dodgers front office's hands in the very near future.
The time to grab him is now, before his call up is announced. Maybe I am premature on when he will be called up, but he eventually will get the call, it's just a matter of when, not if.
I don't think I even ranked Yankees starter CC Sabathia in my top 100 starting pitcher rankings back in the preseason, but he has pitched very well to start the 2016 season. Last night, he limited the Athletics to just one run on 3 hits, a walk and 8 strikeouts in 6 innings of work in the Yankees 8-3 win. The win moved his record to 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and a 29-14 strikeout to walk rate in 34.1 innings. Last night was his third consecutive start of six innings or more. Is it time to buy CC? He is owned in just over 5% of ESPN leagues at the moment, so I would make a speculative pick up if he was the best available starter on your league waiver wire. Sabathia has changed his pitch mix this season, throwing fewer fastballs and more cutters, and has limited the home run ball thus far.
I wrote the other day that Rich Hill may be the Athletics best trade chip come the July 31st trade deadline, as former ace Sonny Gray has struggled this season. Well, his struggles continued last night, as he gave up 5 runs, 4 of them earned, on 6 hits, 4 walks and just 3 strikeouts in his 3.1 innings of work last night in the A's loss to the Yankees. Gray is now 3-5 with a 6.19 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and a 41-24 strikeout to walk rate in 48 innings. After giving up just 8 runs in his first four starts, Gray has given up 25 runs over his last five starts, and has pithed less than four innings in three of his last five starts. Is he injured? I have no idea, but he is getting close to being droppable in mixed leagues. He has been a huge disappointment thus far. That said, if I owned him, I would hold on for a few more starts.
The Braves have one of the best farm systems in the game, and a large number of their top prospects are pitchers. One of them is Matt Wisler, who debuted in 2015, and appears to be breaking out this season. Last night, he limited the Phillies to just one run on 5 hits, 2 walks and 7 strikeouts over 6.2 innings in the Braves 7-1 win. The win moved his record to 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and a 39-13 strikeout to walk rate in 55.1 innings thus far. He won't strike out a ton of batters, but he limits the walk. His batting average of balls in play tells me that his ERA will rise from here. In addition, only four qualified starters have given up a higher hard hit rate than Wisler this season, so if you own him, you may want to see if there is a willing buyer for him.
Maybe I should have ranked Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor higher in my shortstop rankings back in the preseason. He is out-performing my expectations for him to date. Linder is batting in the three spot in the Indians lineup with outfielder Michael Brantley on the disabled list, and last night, he went 2-3 with 2 walks and a run scored in the Indians 4-2 win over the Red Sox. He is now hitting .335-.394-.443 with 3 home runs, 28 runs scored, 19 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 9 attempts. Among shortstops, he ranks in the top four in runs scored, batting average, on base percentage and stolen bases. He is on pace to hit 12 home runs and steal 33 bases at this point, and with a .300+ batting average and high OBP, he will rank in my top five at the position at midseason.
Looking at his triple slash line, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts appears to be having a disappointing season at the plate. He is hitting "just" .267-.315-.460 with 7 home runs, 34 runs scored, 28 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 8 attempts. He is on pace to hit 27 home runs, score 130 runs, drive in 100+ runs and steal 31 bases. He is a hot month away from a .300 batting average.
Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward has been a huge disappointment at the plate this season, hitting just .225-.329-.282 with ONE home run, 20 runs scored, 14 RBI and 5 stolen bases. Last night, he made an amazing catching in right field, but left the game with an injury to his side or abdomen. With Heyward likely to land on the disabled list, Jorge Soler should see more time in the Cubs outfield. He has hit in four of his last five games and homered in last night's 8-1 win over the Giants. Heyward is scheduled for an MRI today, so we should learn more about the severity of his injury later today. That said, Soler is available in over 80% of ESPN leagues right now, so he is a solid option to replace Heyward should he miss time.
If you are looking for more fantasy baseball coverage, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, where you can find links to all of the best fantasy coverage on the internet.