Happy Thursday, everyone! It's a busy time of the calendar with the NFL Draft on the way in a week from now, NBA and NHL playoffs rolling and baseball starting to settle in. There's a lot to talk about from Wednesday's action including what to take away from top prospect Mason Miller and his first outing, a few fringe pitchers who delivered very optimistic performances and more. We're also going to catch you up on Scott White's latest waiver wire plays so you can put on claims now in weekly leagues. Let's dive into the action now.
Bradish back on track
Kyle Bradish made his return to the Orioles rotation from the IL and turned in a very promising performance. Bradish threw six shutout innings, allowing just five hits and one walk with six strikeouts. Bradish has changed his pitch mix from 2022, now lowering the four-seamer usage and the slider usage and he's replaced those with more curveballs and sliders. The curve and slider are killing it right now. Bradish is just 26% rostered and draws the Red Sox and Tigers next week. Scoop him off your waiver wire if you need pitching help.
Garcia gives back
Some Fantasy Baseball managers were quick to move on from Astros SP Luis Garcia, but Houston has a way of generating a ton of production from its starters and Garcia got back on track Wednesday. He shut down the Blue Jays lineup with seven shutout innings, two hits and one walk allowed and nine strikeouts on just 92 pitches. Garcia is leaning on his cutter -- 55% usage -- and it generated 19 swings and misses on Wednesday. He's keeping the walks down with a 10.3 K/P ratio, and if that's not a recipe for a hold and/or buy high trade candidate then I don't know what is.
Miller impressive in debut
I love when Chris Towers posts the Tweet showing statcast data of the fastest pitches thrown and the entire list is just comprised of Hunter Greene pitches. Now Greene has someone else to challenge him atop that list. Mason Miller made his debut for the Athletics and it was a good one. He was limited to 4 1/3 innings but he allowed just four hits, one walk, two runs and struck out five with 10 swinging strikes. His pitch mix: 63% fastball (99.4 MPH), 22% slider, 14% cutter.
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Waiver wire plays from Scott
Scott dove deep into this week's midweek waiver wire column and you can find thatHere are a few of Scott's plays that immediately made me check my waiver wires in every league:
Jose Alvarado, P, Phillies: "Jose Alvarado picked up his first save Tuesday, with earlier closer favorites Craig Kimbrel and Seranthony Dominguez working the seventh and eighth innings. It doesn't mean Alvarado is the closer now, but it does mean he's in the running to close and perhaps even the favorite. By performance, he certainly deserves to be. He's always been a big bat-misser, but 18 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings is on another level. Most impressive is that he hasn't walked anyone yet, showing better control than at any other point in his career. Alvarado has long been touted as a prospective closer even going back to his Rays days, and now that the Phillies have another high-leverage lefty in Gregory Soto, they may be more open to the idea. If so, the returns could be huge."
Edward Cabrera, P, Marlins: "One of the great frustrations of 2023 so far is how two-faced every pitcher has been, almost like the shift ban or some other change to the environment has dialed up the volatility such that every shaky start has the potential to spiral out of control. But Cabrera's wounds have been self-inflicted -- i.e., issuing a combined 13 walks in his first two starts. He showed us the other side of the coin Wednesday, piling up 21 swinging strikes in a quality start against the Giants. He leaned heavily on his changeup, throwing it 47 percent of the time, and fading his fastball may help to keep him under control. As many whiffs as his changeup and curveball are capable of generating, the control hurdle is the only one he needs to clean."
News & notes
- Crazy scene in LA as Max Scherzer was ejected for a foreign substance. Both Scherzer and Buck Showalter argued that it was a mixture of rosin and sweat. Scherzer is now facing a 10-game suspension as well.
- Trevor Rogers left his start early and was diagnosed with left forearm tightness.
- Jorge Mateo was removed due to right hip discomfort.
- The initial tests on Carlos Rodon's back came back normal. The Yankees are still waiting on a few other tests before determining the next steps for Rodon.
- Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto believes that Robbie Ray could return in the middle of May, but that's just a guess at this point. Ray hasn't resumed a throwing program yet, so I'm not sure how their GM came up with this timetable.
- Taj Bradley will remain in the Rays rotation and is scheduled to make his next start Monday against the Astros.
- Corbin Burnes is still scheduled to start Sunday's game against the Red Sox.
- Ramon Laureano was placed on the IL with a left groin strain.
- Starling Marte left Wednesday's game due to neck stiffness.
- Carlos Carrasco is dealing with a small bone chip that is causing swelling and discomfort in his right elbow. He went on the IL Tuesday.
- Garrett Mitchell was placed on the IL with a shoulder subluxation and will go for an MRI Thursday.
- Alex Wood was placed on the IL with a hamstring strain. Manager Gabe Kapler said Ross Stripling has a good chance to move into the rotation.
- The Rockies reinstated Daniel Bard from the IL Wednesday.
- Yoan Moncada is not expected back from the IL by the end of this week. He's been out with a back injury.
- Josh Donaldson has been pulled off his rehab assignment at Double-A and underwent an MRI on his ailing right hamstring following a setback.
- Adam Wainwright threw three innings in his first rehab start at Double-A. Any interest in deeper leagues? He's 48% rostered.
- The Dodgers placed Miguel Rojas on the IL with a hamstring injury.
- Trevor May was placed on the IL with anxiety-related issues. Teammate Dany Jimenez was transferred to the 60-day IL.
- Hunter Gaddis was optioned to Triple-A.