When Andrew Heaney landed on the injured list with left shoulder inflammation back in mid-July, it was fair to write him off as a failed experiment in fantasy leagues for 2019. After all, the 28-year-old was carrying around a 5.09 ERA and 1.37 WHIP through his first 46 innings, and even the strikeouts (54 of them) weren’t enough to justify the hit you were taking in those other two categories.
On Tuesday afternoon, Heaney flipped the script.
Making his third start back from the IL, the lefty piled up a career-high 14 strikeouts against the Rangers while throwing eight innings of one-run ball. In the process, he became the first Angels starter to go eight innings in 2019, and just the third hurler in franchise history to record 14 Ks without issuing a walk. The other two? Dan Haren in 2012, and Frank Tanana in 1975.
Heaney (43 percent rostered in Yahoo leagues) now has a 2.41 ERA and 24/1 K/BB ratio in 18 2/3 IP since returning just over 10 days ago, and if you added him for a spot start against the Rangers on Tuesday, it’s very possible you stumbled onto something much more valuable. Remember, this same guy had a 4.15 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 180 strikeouts in 180 innings last season, and he certainly has the arsenal to make a considerable impact in fantasy leagues down the stretch — though we should potentially proceed with caution for his next start, as a tough matchup looms against the Astros this weekend.
Time to Cut Kluber?
Corey Kluber has been shut down from throwing due to what the Indians are calling an “internal oblique strain”. Kluber was of course getting close to making it back from his fractured ulna bone prior to this latest setback, but now he won’t be reevaluated for another two weeks. That puts his potential return date well into September, so at this point it certainly looks like it’s safe to cut Kluber if you need the roster space in fantasy leagues.
Better Call Magill
If you're playing the maddening and dangerous game of hunting for every save you can find at any cost, then it's time to take a long look at Matt Magill of the Mariners, who picked up his second save in four days by pitching a perfect ninth inning against the Rays. Magill's ERA (4.08), WHIP (1.36) and team are a little unsettling, but he does have 50 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings, and momentum right now in the Seattle bullpen.
In other Mariners news, Kyle Seager homered for the eighth time this month, while Tom Murphy (7 percent rostered in Yahoo leagues) went yard for a fourth consecutive game, giving him 16 home runs on the season. Domingo Santana (elbow) hit the IL, and the Mariners purchased the contract of Jake Fraley (19 home runs and 22 steals between Double-A and Triple-A) to replace him.
Also for Seattle, LHP prospect Justus Sheffield will be called up to start on Friday against the Blue Jays, while Yusei Kikuchi will have his next turn in the rotation skipped after throwing a shutout this past weekend.
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AL Quick Hits: The frustration continues for Carlos Correa, who landed on the 10-day IL with back discomfort, while Aaron Sanchez hit the injured list with a sore right pectoral. … Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (knee) returned to the lineup, and Bo Bichette homered twice off Clayton Kershaw. … Avisail Garcia is recovering quickly from his oblique strain, and is on course to return this weekend. … The A’s have purchased the contract of LHP A.J. Puk, who will operate out of the bullpen down the stretch. … Mike Trout set a new career-high with his 42nd home run. … David Price (wrist) threw another successful bullpen on Tuesday. … Carlos Carrasco (leukemia) threw a scoreless inning Monday in his first rehab outing for Double-A Akron. … Michael Chavis (shoulder) has resumed swinging a bat. … Niko Goodrum (groin) remained sidelined on Tuesday, while Travis Demeritte was out of the lineup due to a sore groin as well. … Jesus Luzardo (shoulder) allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings for Triple-A Las Vegas. … Ramon Laureano (shin) had a successful running session on Tuesday. … Max Kepler (illness) returned to the starting lineup and hit his 34th homer, while the absurd Nelson Cruz homered and hit three doubles. … Aaron Judge's 13th home run was the first that he's hit to left field all season. ... Danny Duffy (hamstring) threw a four-inning simulated game on Tuesday. … The Rangers placed Nomar Mazara on the 10-day IL with a left oblique strain. Taking his spot on the active roster is Nick Solak, who has hit .291 with 27 home runs at Triple-A this season, homered on Tuesday, and has 2B eligibility in fantasy leagues.
NL Quick Hits: Chris Archer left his Tuesday night start due to right shoulder discomfort. … Robbie Ray (back) threw a successful 35-pitch bullpen session. … Hunter Strickland broke his nose in a weightlifting accident on Tuesday, but was available out of the bullpen. … The Dodgers activated Chris Taylor, who’s been out five weeks with a fracture in his left forearm — and promptly hit his ninth home run. They also activated Enrique Hernandez, who has missed nearly four weeks with a left hand sprain. … A couple other Dodgers injury notes: Alex Verdugo (oblique) is not expected back before Sept. 1, and Rich Hill (elbow) is slated to throw his first bullpen later this week. … Lorenzo Cain (oblique) reached base four times in his return to the lineup. … Ben Zobrist (personal) is scheduled to play for Triple-A Iowa this weekend. … Freddie Freeman hit homers No. 32 and 33. … Anthony Rizzo hit his 24th and 25th. … Nicholas Castellanos has seven home runs in 18 games with the Cubs. ... The Cardinals optioned Randy Arozarena to Triple-A and replaced him with Harrison Bader, who has hit .317 with seven home runs in 16 games at Triple-A — and reached base four times for the Cardinals on Tuesday. … Sonny Gray struck out 10 in six innings. … Pablo Lopez (shoulder) is headed for a rehab start at Triple-A on Wednesday. … Dansby Swanson (foot) is aiming to start a minor league rehab assignment in the next few days (he’s been on the IL since July 27). Meanwhile, Austin Riley (knee) is hoping to begin a rehab assignment this weekend. … Surgery is reportedly “a possibility” for Pablo Sandoval (elbow). … J.D. Davis (calf) returned to the lineup and homered. … Brandon Nimmo (neck) is moving his rehab assignment up to Triple-A Syracuse. … Jed Lowrie (knee, calf) was set to start a minor league rehab assignment on Tuesday night at High-A St. Lucie. … Elieser Hernandez left his start due to a blister on his right middle finger. … Brian McCann was removed due to left knee soreness and appears likely to hit the injured list. ... Freddy Galvis hit his 21st homer of the season, and his third since joining the Reds last week.