Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Friday, June 22nd, 2018

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Justin Anderson earns third save of season 06-22-2018
Justin Anderson notched his third save of the season in Thursday's win over the Blue Jays, tossing a scoreless ninth inning. Anderson was working with an 8-5 lead when he entered for work to start the top of the ninth inning. He proceeded to surrender a leadoff single to Curtis Granderson, but any thought of a Blue Jays rally was dashed when Luke Maile immediately banged into a double play to erase the potential threat. Anderson then struck out Lourdes Gurriel to end the game. The right-hander's pitched to a 3.08 ERA with 36 strikeouts in just 26 1/3 innings this season, though he's also walked a whopping 19 batters in that space. Regular saves won't be coming his way, as he only had the opportunity for ninth-inning action on Thursday due to the fact that Blake Parker needed a breather.
Kole Calhoun whacks two-run home run in win 06-22-2018
Kole Calhoun RF LAA
Kole Calhoun went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run, a walk, a steal and two runs scored in Thursday's win over the Blue Jays. Lovely all-around game by Calhoun, particularly given that he was just activated off the disabled list earlier this week. A strained right oblique had kept him sidelined for much of June previously. His two-run home run in the fourth inning proved to be a key blow in Thursday's victory, as it flipped what had been a 3-2 lead for the Blue Jays and turned it into a Halos' advantage. The Angels would not trail again in the contest. It's not outside the realm of possibility that Calhoun's injury layoff may actually end up helping him. He was playing miserable ball prior to the oblique strain (hitting .145/.195/.179 at the end of May) and three weeks off to clear the head may well have proved to serve as something of a battery recharge. He's collected at least one hit in each of his three games since returning from the disabled list. Calhoun has hit double-digit home runs in each of the last four seasons.
Luis Valbuena launches pair of homers in win 06-22-2018
Luis Valbuena 3B LAA
Luis Valbuena went 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs and three total RBI in Thursday's 8-5 win over the Blue Jays. Valbuena connected for his first home run of the game (a two-run shot) off of John Axford with two outs in the fifth inning. He would follow that up with a solo home run to lead off the seventh inning. This was the veteran infielder's second two-homer game of the year and his first contest with a long ball since May 29. He's up to eight dingers on the season. While Valbuena does have a decent little bit of pop -- he's cracked double-digit home runs in each of the past five seasons -- there's just not enough to cling to for consistent fantasy work. He is slashing .222/.271/.369 in 65 games this year.
Kendrys Morales doubles, homers in defeat 06-22-2018
Kendrys Morales DH TOR
Kendrys Morales went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, a double, a walk and two runs scored in Thursday's loss to the Angels. Morales cranked out a solo home run with one out in the eighth inning. That tater drew the Blue Jays to within 8-5, but they would be unable to come up with further rally magic before the end of the game. The veteran slugger has now homered in back-to-back contests to give him seven total long balls on the year. He has also turned in multi-hit efforts in three of his last four games. While he's still hitting a cool .239/.300/.408 for the season as a whole, he's played much better of late and is starting to show out consistently enough that the buy-low window for fantasy purposes might be in the process of shutting.
Lourdes Gurriel smacks solo homer vs. LAA 06-22-2018
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. SS TOR
Lourdes Gurriel went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, two runs scored and two strikeouts in Thursday's loss to the Angels. Gurriel launched a solo home run with one out in the seventh inning, his third long ball of the campaign. Over the course of two stints with the big league club this season, the 24-year-old infielder has collected 16 hits in 72 at-bats, which works out to a meager .222 average. There is no fantasy intrigue, here, and we could potentially see Gurriel sent down on Friday, when Sam Gaviglio returns from his paternity leave.
John Lamb knocked for three runs into fourth 06-22-2018
John Lamb P LAA
John Lamb surrendered three runs on six hits over 3 1/3 innings in Thursday's win over the Blue Jays. Lamb struck out four and walked one in the relatively short outing. He threw 76 pitches (52 strikes) before taking leave of the contest with one out in the fourth inning. Runs scored on his watch in each of the second, third and fourth frames. This was his second consecutive start since the Angels purchased his contract from Triple-A earlier this month. In those two outings, he has allowed a combined five runs on nine hits over 8 1/3 innings while posting a 9/2 K/BB ratio. Those numbers aren't exactly sturdy, but given the attrition being faced by the Halos in the rotation, they're serviceable enough. He's probably going to continue to draw starts for the foreseeable future, at least until he starts getting hit harder.
Joe Biagini comes in for two scoreless frames 06-22-2018
Joe Biagini P TOR
Pitching in relief of an injured Aaron Sanchez (finger), Joe Biagini tossed two scoreless innings while allowing two hits in Thursday's loss to the Angels. Sanchez managed just one inning -- he gave up two runs in that space -- before being forced out with what's being termed a right index finger contusion. Biagini entered to open the second frame. Matters could have spun out of control on him, with the Angels putting a pair of runners on with one out, but he locked in to strike out Ian Kinsler and induce a groundout from Mike Trout to end that early threat. He handled the third inning without issue before handing off the bullpen baton to John Axford. Biagini has pitched to a distressing 7.39 ERA and 1.86 WHIP in 31 2/3 innings this season, but that said, he has made four starts to date and figures to be one option for manager John Gibbons to consider should Sanchez be forced to miss extended time.
Thames, Brewers hang 11 runs on Cardinals 06-22-2018
Eric Thames 1B MLW
Eric Thames went 2-for-5 with a three-run triple and two runs scored as the Brewers pounded the Cardinals 11-3 on Thursday. Thames' big blow, which came well after the bell would have sounded to stop the fight, was indicative of the night as a whole -- a Brewers batter hit the ball, and a Cardinals fielder wasn't able to make the play. This one came in the seventh inning as Thames drove a John Gant pitch to deep center that Tommy Pham was only able to knock down to keep it from being a grand slam, instead providing Thames his first triple of the year. After a long layoff due to a UCL tear in his left thumb, Thames is back and is hitting .233/.330/.589 with nine homers, 20 RBI and 16 runs scored in 30 games played this year.
Munoz collects three hits, two RBI versus MIL 06-22-2018
Yairo Munoz SS STL
Yairo Munoz went 3-for-4 with two RBI in a loss to the Brewers on Thursday. Munoz was one of the few Cardinals able to get anything going against Brent Suter and company, as he swatted an RBI double in the fifth inning before lining a run-scoring single to center in the ninth. The 23-year-old has filled in admirably for the injured Paul DeJong at shortstop for the Cards, batting .288/.333/.396 in 40 games, but when DeJong returns it's likely Munoz gets relegated to a bench role or, at the very least, gets moved to a new home on the infield.
Melancon picks up first save of season vs. SD 06-22-2018
Mark Melancon P SF
Mark Melancon recorded his first save of the season in Thursday's win over the Padres, tossing a scoreless ninth inning while allowing one hit. The Giants held a 3-0 lead after posting a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning, certainly a welcome bit of breathing room for Melancon when he trotted out to open the top of the ninth. That frame began in wobbly fashion -- he surrendered a leadoff single to Hunter Renfroe -- before he settled in to shut the door. This was just the veteran reliever's eighth appearance of the season, as he missed the first two months of the season battling a forearm injury. With Hunter Strickland (hand) expected to be sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks, Melancon will be in the mix for saves along with Tony Watson and Sam Dyson moving forward.
Shaw has two hits, plates two against Cards 06-22-2018
Travis Shaw 3B MLW
Travis Shaw went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored in Thursday's win over the Cardinals. Shaw hit an opposite-field, RBI double in the third inning, coming in to score later in the inning on an odd wild pitch from Cards starter Carlos Martinez. Shaw tacked on an RBI sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. Thursday's game was his first since Sunday due to a minor wrist injury, and judging by the results he seems to be just fine. The 28-year-old third baseman is hitting .250/.344/.496 through 70 games overall.
Pina hits fifth homer in win over Cardinals 06-22-2018
Manny Pina C MLW
Manny Pina went 2-for-3 with a double and a solo home run in a win over the Cardinals on Thursday. It was a bad night for Carlos Martinez and company, with Pina's solo homer in the fourth inning adding to it. The homer was the fifth of the year in 48 games for Pina, who's got 14 RBI and 21 runs scored. The 31-year-old backstop is hitting .227/.291/.387 overall.
Buster Posey comes up with clutch late hit 06-22-2018
Buster Posey C SF
Buster Posey went 1-for-3 with an RBI single and a walk in Thursday's win over the Padres. Posey didn't have a supernova offensive performance in this one, but his hit was an important one, as it drove in a run in the eighth inning to give the Giants a 2-0 lead. They had been clinging to a 1-0 advantage since the fifth inning prior to the All Star backstop's clutch knock. Posey is slashing .290/.364/.429 with five home runs and 26 RBI in 61 games this season. It hasn't been a bad year, exactly, more a muted one. His counting production is less than robust.
Manuel Margot doubles twice in shutout loss 06-22-2018
Manuel Margot CF SD
Manuel Margot went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles in Thursday's loss to the Giants. Margot was the only Padres batter to truly crack Madison Bumgarner's puzzle on Thursday, with both doubles coming against the ace southpaw. Bumgarner allowed just three total hits in eight innings. The pair of two-baggers bumped the outfielder's overall tally to 14 on the season. He's still hitting a paltry .239/.299/.351 overall, but has now turned in five multi-hit showings in his last 10 games.
Martinez knocked for eight hits, five earned 06-22-2018
Carlos Martinez P STL
Carlos Martinez was battered for seven runs -- five earned -- on eight hits in four innings Thursday in a loss to the Brewers. A two-run homer (by Milwaukee's catcher), three doubles, a pair of walks with just three strikeouts -- there isn't a whole lot positive to say about this one. And unfortunately for El Gallo, that's been the theme since he came off the disabled list on June 5, as he's gone 0-2 and watched his ERA climb from 1.62 to 3.24 in that four-start span. The overall numbers are still strong but the recent results are worrisome, for both fantasy owners and the Cardinals alike. Unfortunately for both, Martinez is too talented to risk benching even during a rough patch. He'll look to regain his mojo Tuesday in an interleague tilt with the Indians.
Wil Myers strikes out twice in return from DL 06-22-2018
Wil Myers RF SD
Wil Myers went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts in Thursday's loss to the Giants. Myers was activated from the disabled list on Thursday after being sidelined for close to two months while nursing a strained oblique. There were no fireworks in his return to action, though to be fair to the 27-year-old, Madison Bumgarner did not exactly offer the softest opponent following a long layoff. Myers has played in just 11 games this year -- he was dealing with an arm issue in April even before his oblique acted up -- and we don't have much of a sample size on him this year. For a refresher on his output from the 2017 season, he hit .243/.328/.464 with 30 homers, 74 RBI and 20 steals across 567 at-bats. Fantasy owners should be aware that it could take a week or two for Myers to get back into the swing of things in full, but he can be deployed in lineups as normal moving forward.
Bumgarner brilliant over eight shutout frames 06-22-2018
Madison Bumgarner P SF
Madison Bumgarner fired off a gem in Thursday's 3-0 win over the Padres, striking out eight across eight scoreless innings while scattering three hits. Just a dominant performance by the veteran ace, who finished off his eight innings having thrown a slickly economic 100 pitches (69 strikes). He walked two in the outing. At the dish, he also came up with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. That would be the only run to score in the game before the home team tacked on two late insurance runs. This was by far MadBum's best outing in four tries since he was activated from the disabled list earlier this month. He missed the first two months of the season rehabbing a fractured left pinkie sustained in spring training. Thursday's start was a tantalizing reminder of what Bumgarner's capable of on a baseball mound. He'll try to build on this strong outing in a home showdown with the Rockies next time out.
Tyson Ross takes loss despite gem of outing 06-22-2018
Tyson Ross P SD
Tyson Ross surrendered just one run on four hits over seven innings in Thursday's loss to the Giants. Ross struck out three and walked three on the evening. He pitched a game worthy of a victory, but alas for the Padres, Madison Bumgarner was just a touch cleaner on the other side. The only run to score over Ross' seven innings of work touched home on a sacrifice fly by none other than MadBum himself in the fifth inning. Tough cookies, but it was a strong performance nonetheless. Ross will carry a respectable 3.34 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 85/32 K/BB ratio (89 innings) into a road date with the Rangers when he next toes the rubber.
Suter goes seven strong in win over Cardinals 06-22-2018
Brent Suter P MLW
Brent Suter allowed two runs over seven innings in a win Thursday against the Cardinals. Suter surrendered just two hits and a walk, pitching even better than his line would indicate. The southpaw also struck out five in the outing. The win was the third in a row for Suter, who improved to 8-4 with a 4.15 ERA and 1.15 WHIP through 16 appearances, including 14 starts. Suter will try to make it four straight Wednesday in an interleague matchup with the Royals.
Marte homers, scores three runs against Bucs 06-22-2018
Ketel Marte 2B ARZ
Ketel Marte went 2-for-5 with a two-run home run and three runs scored as the Diamondbacks romped over the Pirates 9-3 on Thursday. Marte socked a two-run shot in the first inning and scored runs in the third and ninth innings for good measure. The season threatened to get away from Marte after he was hitting .216/.273/.309 through May, but the 24-year-old has turned it around with a stellar June in which he's hitting .339 with five homers, 17 RBI and 18 runs scored. The good stretch has his overall line up to .246/.302/.418.
Meadows picks up three hits against D'backs 06-22-2018
Austin Meadows went 3-for-4 with a run scored in Thursday's loss to the Diamondbacks. Meadows collected three singles in the contest, accounting for three of the Pirates' eight hits in the losing effort. The Bucs' massive downturn has been hugely disappointing but Meadows has been a bright spot, batting .340/.363/.598 with five homers, 11 RBI, 13 runs scored and three steals in 28 games since being promoted. The questions about his place on the team have dissipated, and rightly so, with the torrid start.
Avila homers, has three RBI in win over Bucs 06-22-2018
Alex Avila C ARZ
Alex Avila went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and three RBI in total in Thursday's win over the Pirates. Avila hit a two-run blast off Pirates starter Chad Kuhl in the third inning, his third homer of the year, and he added an RBI double in the ninth for good measure. There was some sleeper hype for Avila coming into the year after he performed well in a part-time role with the Tigers and Cubs last year, but he hasn't found the same success in the desert. The 31-year-old is hitting just .124/.240/.219 in 45 games for the Snakes thus far.
Deuces are wild for Jay in win over Pirates 06-22-2018
Jon Jay RF ARZ
Jon Jay went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, two RBI and two runs scored in Thursday's win over the Pirates. Jay continues to excel at setting the plate atop the Diamondbacks' lineup, leading off the game with a ground-rule double and scoring later in the inning before knocking a two-run double and scoring another run in the second. He's been especially effective since joining the D'backs on June 6, going 17-for-50 (.340) with 15 runs scored. He's usable in deeper mixed leagues but even with his success, Jay's offensive game really limits him to NL-only in most cases.