Ryan Boyer

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Matt the Bat

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


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He’s not Freddie Freeman, but Matt Adams has been doing his best possible Freeman impression over the last three weeks.

 

Adams slugged a three-run home run and a solo shot as part of a three-hit night in Monday’s comeback victory over the Nationals. It was the first baseman’s second two-homer game already this month for the Braves and he’s now gone deep eight times over his first 22 contests for Atlanta.

 

The 28-year-old’s bat had been cooling off heading into Monday, as he had picked up just one hit in his previous 14 at-bats. However, he reached base four times against the Nats while also scoring three times. Since the day the Braves acquired Adams from the Cardinals, no one in baseball has hit more dingers than Adams (Justin Smoak and George Springer have also homered eight times over that span).

 

It will be interesting to see what the Braves do with Adams when Freeman returns, which is roughly projected to be in early August. The Cards tried Adams in the outfield a bit this season, but that experiment didn’t go well so he would appear limited to first base. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Braves flip Adams again to a contending team.

 

Of course, Adams’ track record says he’ll probably slump at some point, so in a couple months finding at-bats for him might not be a priority. For now, though, he’s proved to be a waiver wire gem and a nice fill-in for Freeman.

 

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Astros Lose Another Pitcher

 

The Astros haven’t had any issues piling up wins this season with baseball’s best record. Unfortunately, they’ve piled up pitcher injuries almost as quickly.

 

Lance McCullers was placed on the disabled list Monday and will miss at least one start with lower back discomfort. It’s an injury that McCullers alerted the Astros to on Sunday, three days after his last start, so it apparently must have been an issue for him during his between-starts bullpen session. The hope is that he’ll be ready to go on June 19 when he’s first eligible.

 

"It was something that was going to keep him from making his start (Tuesday), so then we decided to put him on the DL, give him complete rest and hope that he comes back at the end of those 10 days," manager A.J. Hinch said.

 

Out of the Astros’ Opening Day rotation, only Mike Fiers hasn’t been on the disabled list yet. That doesn’t include Collin McHugh (elbow), who’s been out all season and would have been part of the rotation if he was healthy. Houston did at least get Joe Musgrove (shoulder) back Monday, but Dallas Keuchel (neck) won’t resume throwing until at least this weekend, Charlie Morton (lat) just resumed throwing this past Friday and McHugh is at least a month away.

 

Sliding into McCullers’ spot in the rotation will be top prospect Francis Marte. Ranked by MLB.com as the No. 15 prospect in the game, Martes has struggled this season in his first taste of Triple-A ball, posting a 5.29 ERA, 2.10 WHIP and 38/28 K/BB ratio over 32 1/3 innings for Fresno. He also was knocked around in a relief appearance last Friday in his major league debut, giving up four runs on four hits and two walks while striking out two. While he’s an excellent prospect, Martes is just 21 and could use some more seasoning in the minors. He could be sent back down after starting Wednesday against the Rangers.

 

Twins Make Lewis No. 1 Overall Pick

 

The Twins had months to decide who they were going to pick with the first selection of the MLB Draft, but it seemed they didn’t make a final decision until they were on the clock Monday night. The pick they did ultimately settle on came as a bit of a surprise.

 

Royce Lewis, a high school shortstop/center fielder from California, was the Twins’ selection. Lewis was considered a top-10 prospect by most every outlet, but he wasn’t really mentioned in the weeks leading up to the Draft as being in the mix for the No. 1 pick. First baseman/pitcher Brendan McKay (who went to the Rays at No. 4) and Kyle Lewis (who went No. 5 to the Braves) were often connected to the Twins.

 

Hunter Greene (who went No. 2 to the Reds) was considered by most to be the top prospect in the Draft, although not many mock drafts had the Twins picking him. McKay revealed after the Rays took him that he turned down an offer from Minnesota that would’ve made him the first pick. The Louisville product is one of the most interesting guys in the Draft, as he was considered a first-round talent both as a pitcher and first baseman. The Rays plan to let him do both in pro ball, at least initially.

 

As far as Lewis goes, he has elite speed and looks like a potentially base stealing threat and leadoff hitter down the line if all goes well. As a high school kid, though, he’s likely going to take years to develop. Greene is another guy who the Reds will have to have patience with given that he’s 17 years old, but he’s a potential top-of-the-rotation talent whose fastball has been clocked as fast as 102 mph.

 

Pavin Smith was taken with the No. 7 pick by the Diamondbacks and is a polished college hitter who figures to move fast. Of course, he’s a first baseman and the D’Backs already have a pretty good player at that position. Jake Burger had probably the best power of any college hitter and also makes a lot of contact. He could be a fast-mover for the White Sox whether he sticks at third base or ultimately has to move to first. Seth Romero had multiple discipline issues while at the University of Houston and eventually got kicked off the team, but he’s a lefty with a big arm and might have a chance to help out as a reliever during the second half.

 

 

American League Quick Hits: Chris Davis departed Monday’s game versus the White Sox with a right oblique strain and looks to be headed to the disabled list … Carlos Gomez (hamstring) could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Saturday … Mitch Haniger finished 4-for-6 with a double, two RBI and four runs scored as the Mariners crushed the Twins on Monday … Yu Darvish allowed just one run and one hit while walking three over seven innings in defeating the Astros on Monday … Andrew Benintendi went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI in Monday’s extra-innings win over the Phillies … Mike Zunino went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI against the Twins on Monday … Josh Reddick was pulled from Monday's game against the Rangers with a mild concussion … Tyson Ross (shoulder) is tentatively scheduled to make his Rangers debut on Friday versus the Mariners … Leury Garcia (hand) was set to undergo an X-ray Monday, but the results haven’t been released … Jean Segura (ankle) will do some running on Tuesday … Felix Hernandez (shoulder) will make another rehab start before rejoining the Mariners’ rotation … Manny Machado (wrist) singled twice and drew a walk in his return to the lineup Monday …

 

National League Quick Hits: Jacob DeGrom recorded six strikeouts while holding the Cubs to one run in a complete game victory on Monday … Jameson Taillon tossed five shutout innings on Monday versus the Rockies in his return to the Pirates’ rotation … Asdrubal Cabrera clobbered a pair of solo home runs on Monday against the Cubs … Ryan Zimmerman (back) missed a third straight start Monday … Howie Kendrick went 3-for-6 and swiped three bases in a losing effort against the Red Sox on Monday … Kyle Hendricks (hand) said Monday that he's aiming to return to the Cubs' rotation this weekend … Tyler Flowers blasted a go-ahead, three-run homer in the ninth inning of Monday’s comeback win over the Nationals. The longball Flowers hit came off of Matt Albers, who blew his first save chance since Koda Glover (back) went on the DL … Josh Harrison clubbed a two-run homer and added a single and a walk Monday in a win over the Rockies … Yoenis Cespedes exited Monday’s game versus the Cubs with tendinitis in his left heel. He said it’s an ailment that crops up on him sometimes over the years and he expects to play Tuesday … Jake Arrieta is dealing with a cut on his right thumb but appears in line to make his next scheduled start on Saturday in Pittsburgh … Franchy Cordero singled and swatted a two-run homer for his first career longball Monday versus the Reds … Jeurys Familia (shoulder) is hoping to be cleared to resume a throwing program when he visits the doctor on Friday … Michael Conforto was scratched from Monday’s lineup with a stiff back. He’s considered day-to-day … 



Ryan Boyer is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. He can also be found on Twitter.
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