Happy Thursday, everyone! It was an exciting and jam-packed night of baseball on Wednesday. The story of the night, at least in the Fantasy Baseball world, was the performance by two of the top prospects who recently got the call -- Brett Baty of the Mets and Shea Langeliers of the Athletics. They both hit home runs. Baty cracked a homer on his first at bat. On Baty's homer, he ripped it with a 133 mph exit velocity on a breaking pitch flashing elite upside. Langelier's homer came later in the night.
Considering we entered Wednesday's action unsure of whether or not Baty would even play right away -- I think we answered some questions on what to do with both players if they're still on your waiver wire. Baty is the priority add here and he is currently 37% rostered in CBS Leagues. Let's fix that -- fast.
We'll dive into key takeaways from Wednesday's action, but first, make sure you're all caught up on everything going on over at CBSSports.com/Fantasy. Scott White dove deep into the outlooks of both Baty and Langeliers -- among other prospects -- in his latest prospects report. Here are his key takeaways on how to approach them both.
Scott on Baty: "I say it's across two levels, but only his past six games have come at Triple-A. Practically speaking, the 22-year-old is making a direct jump from Double-A, which has worked out nicely for Braves call-ups Michael Harris and Vaughn Grissom this year but has become a taller task with the reduction in minor-league levels changing the way talent is distributed throughout the entire system.
"For what it's worth, Baty was off to a nice start at Triple-A, going 8 for 22 (.364). Combined with his finish at Triple-A, he's hit.424 (42 for 99) with eight home runs and a 1.240 OPS in his past 25 games, doing a better job of elevating the ball and shoring up his already strong plate discipline.
"As a hitter, he checks all the boxes, but it's an aggressive promotion at a time when prospects in general seem to be having more trouble adjusting to the big leagues. With third base being one of the positions of greatest need, there's probably someone in your league who should be taking a flier on Baty just to see. Should it be you? Hey, if you have a roster spot to play with, it couldn't hurt."
Scott on Langeliers: "Catcher Shea Langeliers debuted at DH for the Athletics on Tuesday, and infielder Oswaldo Cabrera is reportedly getting the call for the Yankees on Wednesday. Both have put up numbers of some note in the minors, but neither is of quite Baty's stature. Langeliers figures to get the majority of the starts at DH while splitting time with Sean Murphy at catcher. The threshold for Fantasy relevance is so low at that position that it's possible he emerges as a quality option even if he's unlikely to develop into an out-and-out stud. He offers some power but has a questionable hitting profile otherwise."
One unexpected pitcher's duel
Ranger Suarez vs. Nick Lodolo was not the matchup we anticipated would turn into an absolute gem of a pitcher's duel but that's exactly what we got on Wednesday. Suarez and Lodolo combined to throw 14 shutout innings while striking out 16 batters.
Suarez feasted on the Reds lineup with seven shutout innings, three hits allowed, two walks allowed, and eight strikeouts. Suarez has been much better now that his sinker usage is down and his cutter usage is up (in this outing all the way up to 18%). In his six starts since returning to the Phillies, he's thrown to a sparkling 1.03 ERA with 33 strikeouts to eight walks. He's starting to look a lot like the pitcher who broke out over the second half of the 2021 season and was one of the most dominant starters in Fantasy.
Suarez is now 83% rostered and has a tasty slate next week with two starts on tap -- one against the same Reds team and one against the Pirates.
Lodolo's outing was an even bigger surprise given his 2022 season prior. He threw seven shutout innings, allowed five hits, two walks and also struck out eight batters. It goes down as Lodolo's first seven-inning outing of his career. What worked for him in this one was his decision to ditch his struggling changeup almost altogether -- and in turn, he upped the usage on his curveball.
Lodolo is just 54% rostered and with a two-start slate scheduled for next week (at Phillies, at Nationals), but he's much harder to trust in your lineups.
You also probably didn't expect to be reading about a pitcher's duel between Ross Stripling and Austin Voth but here we are. These two combined for 12 1/3 innings of shutout baseball with 10 strikeouts.
Stripling actually took a no hitter into the 7th inning and finished with 6 1/3 innings pitched, one hit, zero walks and zero runs allowed. He also struck out seven batters. Striplin's secret has been the increased changeup usage and he now has lowered his ERA to 2.93 on the season.
Voth is the more interesting item from a Fantasy standpoint -- especially if you play in H2H points leagues where he has RP eligibility.
Voth turned in six shutout innings with two hits and one walk allowed. He added three strikeouts on 86 pitches. Voth's new slider was used in this start and it worked well. He now has a 2.24 ERA over his last five starts with 21 strikeouts over 24 1/3 innings pitched. He's just 5% rostered and is once again SPARP eligible.
Vaughn Grissom is certainly making the most of his jump to the major leagues and all of the sudden looks a lot more like one of the league-winning free agent pickups we commend in the offseason during draft season. Grissom has been on an absolute heater over his first eight games and that continued on Wednesday when he collected two hits in four at bats. In addition, Grissom stole his second base of the season. He now has multiple hits in five of his first eight games -- good for a .414 batting average. He's 73% rostered.
Remember when Pablo Lopez looked amped up and fired a dominant performance just around when his name was floated at the trade deadline? That appears to have been a one-off outing. His struggles returned on Wednesday -- again -- as he was lit up for six earned runs and six hits -- with three walks -- through 4 2/3 innings. He struck out just two batters. Lopez has now collected a 5.81 ERA over his last 10 starts.
Fantasy news, injuries and notes
For a complete recap of every injury, update and more, make sure you're locked into the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast where Frank, Scott and Chris dive deep into every player note. For the CliffsNotes version, we'll recap the biggest news and notes you need to know right here:
- Mike Trout hopes to return Friday. He's been sidelined for a month with a rib injury, which turned out to be a rare back condition.
- Bryce Harper took batting Wednesday, will do so later this week, and could start a rehab assignment next Tuesday.
- Ozzie Albies is expected to ramp up his progression of baseball activities next week. He's been out since mid-June with a broken right foot.
- Tyler Mahle left his start Wednesday with right shoulder fatigue. He's set to undergo an MRI.
- The Yankees are expected to use both Aroldis Chapman and Scott Effross in a closer-by-committee with Clay Holmes being placed on the IL.
- Tarik Skubal underwent successful flexor tendon surgery on his left elbow Wednesday. We know he's missing the rest of the season.
- Joey Votto will undergo season-ending surgery Friday to address a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. Matt Reynolds started at first base and was batting cleaning against a left-handed pitcher Wednesday.
- Eduardo Rodriguez will return Sunday and start against the Angels. He's 31% rostered.
- Marcell Ozuna has now sat three straight games, all three against right-handed pitchers. They seem to prefer William Contreras or Eddie Rosario in there as the DH for now. Contreras went 3-4 with two runs scored on Wednesday.
- Enrique Hernandez looks to be the starting center field moving forward, which means Jarred Duran is on the outside looking in.
- Ke'Bryan Hayes is expected to rejoin the Pirates after spending a minimum of 10 days on the IL.
- Eduardo Escobar was officially placed on the IL with a strained left oblique.
- Aledmys Diaz was placed on the IL with a left groin injury.
- Players out Wednesday: Luis Robert out five straight with a sprained left wrist, Kete Marte out three straight with a hamstring, DJ LeMahieu has missed four straight with toe inflammation, Cody Bellinger out the past two games for a mental break.