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Baseball Daily Dose

Andrew Vaughn Mashing for White Sox

by Ryan Boyer
Updated On: June 21, 2022, 11:44 am ET

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Andrew Vaughn was not able to complete his cycle Monday against the Blue Jays. He settled for your run-of-the-mill four-hit game instead.

Vaughn had an RBI double, a solo home run and a couple singles in four trips to the dish as the White Sox outlasted the Jays 8-7. Luis Robert and Josh Harrison also went deep for the Pale Hose, and Tim Anderson collected a couple hits and a run scored in his return from the injured list.

Robert’s home run was the hardest-hit ball of the night at a robust 113.3 mph. Vaughn, though, was No. 2 and No. 3 on that list, with a 109.2 mph double and 109.1 mph single. His dinger “only” was clocked at 102.5 mph.

The four-hit game was Vaughn’s fifth multi-hit effort in his last seven tries, pushing his overall season line to an impressive .330/.381/.505. Remember when manager Tony La Russa batted him ninth a couple times last month? Yeah, that’s over with now. Vaughn has been in the No. 2 spot in all but one start in June.

While he has been very productive, Vaughn’s home run Monday was actually his first in 17 games this month and just his seventh of the season. He doesn’t hit a ton of flyballs and sprays the ball all over the field, which can hinder Vaughn’s long ball output even as he ranks well in terms of exit velocity and hard-hit rate.

That feels a bit like nitpicking, though, when talking about a guy with a .886 OPS who also strikes out at only a 15.8 percent clip. He’ll try to keep up his hot hitting Tuesday versus the Blue Jays as the White Sox look to even their record at .500.

Starting Pitchers with an EDGE

Gerrit Cole vs. TB – 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 12 K

Cole carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning of this one before Isaac Paredes broke it up with a leadoff single in the frame. He wound up with one run on his ledger and a no-decision after Clay Holmes gave up a couple runs to cough up the lead. Regardless, what an outing from Cole, who collected 19 swinging strikes on 111 pitches while posting a 35 percent CSW rate. The 12 strikeouts were a season high, and Cole now boasts a 103/21 K/BB ratio over 80 1/3 innings this season.

Shane McClanahan vs. NYY – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 8 K

Poor McClanahan put together another brilliant effort on Monday but was overshadowed by Cole’s no-hit bid. The talented left-hander yielded only a solo home run to Anthony Rizzo over his six frames and still hasn’t surrendered more than two earned runs in an outing since April. If you think Cole’s K/BB ratio is impressive, you should take a look at McClanahan’s. It is now an utterly ridiculous 113/16 over 84 1/3 innings of work. The southpaw has been remarkably efficient, too, ranking sixth in baseball in innings even as he hasn’t thrown more than 100 pitches in an outing.

Max Fried vs. SF – 7+ IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K

Fried was in complete control of the Giants for most of the night, only to load the bases in the eighth inning with no outs on a couple singles and a walk. The left-hander owes a high-five to fellow southpaw Will Smith, who relieved Fried and limited San Francisco to just one run. The Braves won the pitcher’s duel in the bottom of the ninth on an Orlando Arcia walk-off RBI single. Fried’s eight punchouts tied a season high as he lowered his ERA to 2.77.

Hitters with an EDGE

Oneil Cruz vs. CHC – 2-for-5, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R

Cruz’s long-awaited season debut for the Pirates wound up being an impressive one, as he ripped a bases-clearing double while also adding an RBI single in his team’s blowout victory. The young shortstop’s tools were all on display Monday. His double was clocked at 112.9 mph, which is the hardest-hit ball by a Pirate in 2022. He also had the three fastest sprint speeds by a Pirate this year at 31.5, 30.7 and 30.3 FT/S, and his 96.7 mph throw registered as the highest in baseball thus far from an infielder.

Bligh Madris vs. CHC – 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R, SB

Cruz wasn’t the only Pirates rookie making his season debut with the big club. Madris is a decent prospect in his own right and had a big major league debut. He hit a 109.1 mph RBI single in his first plate appearance before doubling in the sixth and singling and scoring in the seventh. Madris had put up a .905 OPS with five home runs and a couple stolen bases at Triple-A Indianapolis before being promoted.

Andrew Benintendi vs. LAA – 2-for-4, HR, BB, SB, 2 RBI, 2 R

Benintendi clubbed a first-inning home run and reached base three times Monday in Anaheim in the Royals’ victory. It was one of three home runs on the night for Kansas City, as Salvador Perez and Hunter Dozier also went deep. Benintendi came into this one in a 5-for-32 funk at the plate which had dropped his average below .300 and his OPS to .740, which is the lowest it’s been since Opening Day. The 27-year-old has mostly been an empty average this year in fantasy, as the home run was just his third, the stolen base was his first and he has just 25 RBI and 25 runs.

Priority Pickup

Jon Berti, 2B/3B/OF, Marlins – Available in 42 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues

Are you in need of some stolen bases in your league? Well, no one has been on more of a steals heater over the last few weeks than Berti. In 21 games since returning from the COVID-19 injured list on May 27, Berti has gone 16-for-16 on stolen base attempts. He’s also sporting a healthy .376 on-base percentage on the season and has batted either first or second for the Marlins in each of his last three contests. Berti has always had elite speed and that’s continued in his age-32 season with a sprint speed ranking in the 94th percentile. The power will be lacking, but Berti’s skill set and positional versatility can be valuable.

Closing Time

Pitching on back-to-back days for the first time in his career, Tanner Houck tossed a scoreless frame to nail down a 5-2 win for the Red Sox on Monday versus the Tigers. He yielded a one-out single in the appearance but got around that with ease, needing just 14 pitches in total. Houck was already looking like the clear top option at closer for Boston, and that standing is only enhanced now that he’s shown he can pitch back-to-back days.

After Clay Holmes gave up a rare run in the bottom of the eighth inning – two, actually, although one was charged to Gerrit Cole – the Yankees re-took the lead in the top of the ninth before turning to Wandy Peralta. Peralta issued a leadoff walk and had to pitch around a DJ LeMahieu error but did just that in a scoreless frame to lock down his second save of the season. Holmes is still the clear favorite for saves right now, of course, and is expected to see chances even after Aroldis Chapman (Achilles) returns.

After Kendall Graveman was used against the heart of the Blue Jays’ order in the eighth inning (he had a scoreless frame), White Sox manager Tony La Russa turned to Joe Kelly in the ninth. He made it interesting as Kelly is wont to do, serving up a one-out, two-run homer to Cavan Biggio to reduce his team’s lead to one. He bounced back to nail down the win, though, needing just three pitches to record two groundouts. Graveman is still the clear favorite for saves while Liam Hendriks (forearm) is out, but obviously La Russa isn’t afraid to use him in big spots earlier in the game.

Tuesday’s Matchup of the Day

Tony Gonsolin (LAD) vs. Tyler Mahle (CIN)

Battling a handful of injuries to their rotation, the Dodgers have had to lean on Gonsolin this season. He’s proved up to the task and then some, going 8-0 while producing a 1.42 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 60/20 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings covering 12 starts. Amazingly, he’s allowed more than three hits in just two of those starts, and in those outings he gave up five and four hits, respectively. Mahle has been more hit-or-miss, but he’s definitely hit lately. In his last four starts, he’s posted a 1.30 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 36/7 K/BB ratio across 27 2/3 frames. He’s put up back-to-back double-digit strikeout showings, including whiffing 12 with no walks over nine shutout innings his last time out.

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American League Quick Hits: Manuel Margot is headed to the injured list for a significant length of time after spraining his right knee on a collision with the outfield wall Monday. … Jarren Duran reached base three times, scored twice and stole two bases Monday versus the Tigers. … Chris Sale (ribs) fanned one and allowed one run in his lone inning of work in his first rehab start with the Red Sox' Florida Complex League team Monday. … Yoán Moncada landed on the IL Monday with a mild right hamstring strain. … Yasmani Grandal (back) has been cleared to ramp up activities and could possibly return without a rehab assignment. … Red Sox closer Tanner Houck is slated to missed next week’s series in Toronto because he’s unvaccinated. … Josh Winckowski held the Tigers to two runs in 6 2/3 innings Monday. … Kevin Kiermaier will go on the IL after exiting Monday with left hip inflammation. … Kris Bubic fanned seven while holding the Angels to two runs in six innings Monday.

National League Quick Hits: Corbin Burnes fanned 10 across seven shutout frames versus the Cardinals on Monday. … Max Scherzer (oblique) will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday for Double-A Binghamton. … Tyler O’Neill was placed on the IL Monday with a strained left hamstring. … Logan Webb struck out seven across seven frames of one-run ball Monday in Atlanta. … Yu Darvish fanned five over seven frames of one-run ball on Monday versus the Diamondbacks. … A decision has not yet been made, but interim manager Ryan Flaherty said there’s “a lot of optimism” Manny Machado (ankle) can avoid the injured list. … Jake Cronenworth homered, walked and added a steal Monday against the Diamondbacks. … Anthony DeSclafani (ankle) will rejoin the Giants’ rotation Tuesday in Atlanta. … Jeff McNeil is considered day-to-day for the time being after exiting Monday with right hamstring tightness. … David Peterson fanned seven across 5 1/3 scoreless frames Monday against the Marlins … Left forearm inflammation sent Aaron Ashby to the IL on Monday. … Michael Harris went 3-for-3 with a triple on Monday against the Giants. … Kris Bryant (back) will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday with Triple-A Albuquerque. … Ender Inciarte has inked a minor league deal with the Mets.