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On the heels of arguably the most transformative major-league trade deadline period in history on Friday afternoon, in which all 30 teams made at least one trade and an astounding 77 players changed organizations through 27 deals -- including an unprecedented 10 All-Star selections from the current campaign -- the biggest story in baseball doesn’t involve one of those incredible last-minute blockbuster deals. The central question for the entire National League, and fantasy managers as well, revolves around the immediate (and long-term) health of Padres superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. after he was placed on the 10-day injured list on Saturday evening with left shoulder inflammation, a day after he partially dislocated his left shoulder for the second time this season. There is some optimism that Tatis Jr. will be ready to return at some point in August, but Padres manager Jayce Tingler indicated late Saturday that season-ending surgery is on the table as a potential outcome if his shoulder doesn't show improvement when he's re-evaluated in roughly 10 days.
The dynamic 22-year-old fantasy superstar, who is the presumptive frontrunner for the National League MVP Award, and on pace for an extraterrestrial 40-homer, 40-steal campaign, was diagnosed with a left shoulder subluxation after being forced to exit Friday's loss to the Rockies. Tingler told reporters after the contest that the injury, which occurred when he was tagged out attempting to slide into third base, was very similar to his prior shoulder dislocation, which required a trip to the 10-day injured list earlier this season. However, Tingler also noted that he had "much better" range of motion and strength on Friday than after his previous shoulder injury. Additional testing, including an MRI, revealed shoulder instability and inflammation, therefore Tatis Jr. will rest before he’s re-evaluated in roughly 10 days to determine a course of action. There’s no risk of long-term damage to his shoulder by continuing to play through the partial dislocations, but it’s a bit alarming that Tatis Jr. has dealt with shoulder issues on three prior occasions, which forced him to miss time earlier this season. Yet, the Padres (and fantasy managers alike) have to remain hopeful that he’ll recover relatively quickly and be ready to return at some point in early August.
Starting Pitchers with an EDGE
Alek Manoah vs. Royals
7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
28% CSW, 14 swinging strikes
It wasn’t his most overpowering performance, but Manoah was dominant in his return to the Blue Jays' starting rotation on Saturday afternoon, scattering two hits over seven scoreless innings against the Royals after missing just over three weeks due to a back contusion. The electrifying 23-year-old rookie right-hander owns a sparkling 2.47 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 56/16 K/BB ratio across 47 1/3 innings (nine starts) this season. He's expected to play a central role in Toronto's impending postseason push over the final two months and should obviously be rostered in all fantasy formats.
Kyle Muller vs. Brewers
5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
34% CSW, 12 swinging strikes
There were very few standout pitching performances across the fantasy landscape on Saturday evening, but Muller delivered another strong effort, striking out seven batters over five innings of one-run ball in a no-decision against the Brewers. The 23-year-old rookie left-hander has allowed three earned runs or fewer in six consecutive starts since joining the Braves rotation back on June 21. He’s proven that his early-career success isn’t a small-sample mirage and should be rostered in all fantasy formats moving forward.
Hitters with an EDGE
Seby Zavala vs. Cleveland
4-for-4, 4 R, 3 HR (3), 6 RBI
Woah. Zavala became the first player in baseball history to slug his first three homers in the same game on Saturday night. Amazingly, the White Sox still came up short in a back-and-forth high-scoring slugfest against division-rival Cleveland. The unheralded 27-year-old backstop belted a solo shot off righty Triston McKenzie in the third inning and also launched a grand slam to left field in the fourth inning, also off McKenzie, before capping the three-homer explosion with an opposite-field shot against righty reliever Bryan Shaw. It was a career night and a performance that Zavala will never forget.
Dansby Swanson vs. Brewers
3-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR (20), 7 RBI
Swanson put together an incredible offensive performance on Saturday night, homering twice and finishing with a career-high seven RBI in the Braves’ blowout victory over the Brewers. The 27-year-old shortstop kicked off the multi-homer effort with a two-run homer off hard-throwing righty Brandon Woodruff in the sixth inning and capped it off with a grand slam to left field off righty reliever John Curtiss in the ensuing frame. If the Braves ultimately make it to the postseason, Swanson will be a huge reason why. He’s eclipsed the 20-homer plateau for the first time in his career and also has a shot at reaching double-digit stolen bases.
George Springer vs. Royals
2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR (11), 3 RBI
Springer walloped the 40th leadoff homer of his remarkable career off left-hander Mike Minor and also tattooed a two-run shot in the third inning, again off Minor, to notch his second multi-homer performance of the 2021 campaign on Saturday afternoon. The 31-year-old outfielder has been locked-in at the dish, slashing .358/.424/.811 with 12 extra-base hits, six home runs, and six multi-hit efforts across 14 games since the All-Star break. Clearly, when he’s fully healthy, he’s still an offensive force.
Anthony Rizzo vs. Marlins
2-for-2, 3 R, HR (16), RBI, 2 BB, HBP
Rizzo reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances, and also homered for the second consecutive game on Saturday night, powering the Yankees to a much-needed victory over the Marlins. The 31-year-old slugger clobbered a no-doubter to right field off southpaw reliever Steven Okert in the seventh inning and has looked rejuvenated at the dish since his arrival in New York earlier this week.
Javier Baez vs. Reds
1-for-4, R, HR (23), RBI
You had to see this one coming, right? Baez made an immediate impact in his Mets debut on Saturday night, crushing a two-run homer to left-center field -- his 23rd round-tripper of the season -- off lefty Wade Miley with two outs in the sixth inning. The dynamic 28-year-old shortstop will fill in as the Mets primary shortstop, and slide over to second base once Francisco Lindor is ready to return from an oblique injury at some point in August.
Raisel Iglesias vs. Athletics
1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (22nd save)
It was a tad surprising that the Angels elected to hang onto Iglesias, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, at the major-league trade deadline on Friday afternoon, but they find themselves just six games behind the Athletics for the final Wild Card spot after he recorded a four-out save on Saturday afternoon. The 31-year-old righty was summoned to protect a one-run lead, with the tying run in scoring position, in the eighth inning and got pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie to line out to center field to extinguish the threat. He came back out and tossed a perfect ninth inning to collect the save. He’s been one of the best relievers in baseball over the last few weeks, giving up only three earned runs with a 30/1 K/BB ratio across 19 1/3 innings since June 23.
Jake McGee vs. Astros
1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (22nd save)
McGee spun a perfect ninth inning on Saturday afternoon to preserve the Giants’ two-run victory over the Astros. The 34-year-old veteran southpaw has been outstanding over the last two months, allowing just two unearned runs on eight hits with a 17/2 K/BB ratio across 20 2/3 innings since June 4. He’s converted 22 of 24 save opportunities this season.
Diego Castillo vs. Rangers
0.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (3rd blown save)
Not great. Castillo was summoned to protect a one-run lead in the bottom of the 10th inning, but failed to record an out, and was saddled with a loss on Saturday after serving up a two-run walk-off homer to Jonah Heim. It was his first blown save in a Mariners uniform.
Cole Sulser vs. Tigers
1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (5th save)
Sulser was called upon to put out a bases-loaded fire in the ninth inning on Saturday evening, and managed to get the job done, recording his second save in as many nights for the Orioles. The 31-year-old righty got Akil Baddoo to ground out before whiffing Derek Hill and Jonathan Schoop to end the contest. There haven’t been a ton of save chances in Baltimore, but Sulser appears to be back in the mix moving forward.
Heath Hembree vs. Mets
0.2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (2nd blown save)
Hembree has converted eight of his 10 save chances this season, but struggled with his control in an uncharacteristically wild outing on Saturday night. He was brought on to guard a one-run lead in the ninth inning and immediately issued a leadoff walk to Jeff McNeil. He uncorked a wild pitch before striking out Javier Baez and James McCann. At that point, Reds manager David Bell elected to hand the ball to veteran lefty Sean Doolittle, who promptly served up a game-tying RBI single to Dominic Smith. It was a tough outing, but the next save chance in Cincinnati will likely go back to Hembree.
Emmanuel Clase vs. White Sox
1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (13th save)
Clase delivered a herculean effort, tossing 23 pitches to record the final five outs of Cleveland’s one-run victory over the White Sox. He entered the contest in the eighth inning after James Karinchak recorded only one out and gave up a two-run homer to Adam Engel. The hard-throwing 23-year-old righty appears to have taken over the closing role in Cleveland and has converted 13 of 17 save chances this season.
Daniel Bard vs. Padres
1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (16th save)
Bard was summoned to protect a three-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning and managed to slam the door, despite allowing an RBI single to Austin Nola on the heels of a leadoff double from Jurickson Profar. The 36-year-old righty has converted only 16 of 22 save chances, but offers some appeal for fantasy managers in deeper mixed leagues where every save makes a tangible difference in the standings.
Jonathan Loaisiga vs. Marlins
1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (3rd save)
Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was unavailable after pitching three of the last four days, therefore Loaisiga was brought on to protect a two-run lead in the ninth inning against the Marlins on Saturday evening. He managed to work around a single and a fielder’s choice to hurl a scoreless frame and net his third save of the season. The 26-year-old former starter has blossomed into a reliable high-leverage reliever, posting a stellar 2.63 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 51/10 K/BB ratio across 51 1/3 innings this season.
Kyle Ryan vs. Nationals
1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (1st save)
Ryan came on to guard a three-run lead in the ninth inning against the Nationals and managed to work around a one-out walk by Victor Robles. There won’t be a ton of save chances for the Cubs over the final two months after their full-scale teardown earlier this week, but Ryan appears to be in the mix moving forward.
EDGE Priority Pickup
Andrew Kittredge, RP, Rays
In the wake of the Rays' unexpected decision to jettison primary stopper Diego Castillo to the Mariners earlier this week, Andrew Kittredge appears primed to take over as Tampa Bay's closer for the remainder of the 2021 campaign. The unheralded 31-year-old righty, who was named as a replacement to the American League All-Star squad earlier this month, picked up a win in relief on Saturday night, striking out three batters in a scoreless sixth inning of work against the Red Sox. He’s recorded a microscopic 1.40 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 52/14 K/BB ratio across 51 1/3 innings (39 appearances) this season. He's allowed just one run on nine hits with a 17/4 K/BB ratio across 14 innings since June 29. The Rays are as non-traditional as it gets in terms of closer usage, but Kittredge has been one of the best relievers in baseball this season, and should be rostered in all fantasy formats.
Reid Detmers, SP, Angels
Detmers is one of the most intriguing pitching prospects in the game solely because of his astronomical strikeout upside. The 22-year-old southpaw, who was selected 10th overall in the 2020 MLB Draft, has experienced a meteoric rise through the Angels’ minor-league system, climbing from Double-A to the majors in less than five months. He’s recorded a surreal 3.15 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 106/18 K/BB ratio across 60 innings (13 starts) between Double-A Rocket City and Triple-A Salt Lake. He punched out nine batters over six scoreless frames in his Triple-A debut last weekend and will make his highly-anticipated major-league debut on Sunday afternoon against a loaded Athletics’ lineup in Los Angeles. There’s an extremely-wide range of potential outcomes, but his stratospheric strikeout potential insulates a bit more risk than most pitching prospects as he transitions to the highest level. He’s at least worthy of a speculative roster spot for fantasy managers in all formats.
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Sunday’s Matchup of the Day
The aforementioned Detmers deserves the headlines in his highly-anticipated major-league debut, but the Athletics have an intriguing young arm on the mound as well on Sunday afternoon with Jefferies taking over for an injured James Kaprielian to make his season debut. It’s one of the most fascinating pitching matchups of the entire season. The 25-year-old righty nearly made the Athletics' Opening Day rotation, thanks to a stellar performance in spring training, and has compiled an underwhelming 5.19 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 54/9 K/BB ratio across 59 innings (12 starts) at Triple-A Las Vegas this season.
American League Quick Hits: Jeff Passan of ESPN reported Saturday that Tyler Glasnow is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery next week. There’s a chance the 27-year-old righty will return at some point during the 2022 campaign, but he may not pitch again until the 2023 season … Chris Sale recorded seven strikeouts over five innings of one-run ball on Saturday afternoon in a minor-league rehab start with Triple-A Worcester … Jose Berrios will make his Blue Jays debut on Sunday afternoon against the Royals … Eloy Jimenez (groin) remained out of the White Sox' starting lineup on Saturday against Cleveland … Rafael Devers (quad) returned to the Red Sox' starting lineup for Saturday's pivotal showdown against the Rays … Kyle Schwarber (hamstring) told reporters Saturday that he expects to embark on a minor-league rehab assignment "pretty soon” … Athletics placed RHP James Kaprielian on the 10-day injured list with a shoulder impingement … Royals recalled OF Edward Olivares from Triple-A Omaha … Shohei Ohtani hit an RBI double to propel the Angels to a narrow victory over the Athletics … Wander Franco went 2-for-4 with a triple and a pair of RBI and Ji-Man Choi and Francisco Mejia belted two-run homers in the Rays’ victory over the Red Sox … Xander Bogaerts and Bobby Dalbec walloped two-run homers in the Red Sox’ loss to the Rays … Jonah Heim slugged a pair of two-run homers to power the Rangers past the Mariners … Cedric Mullins went 2-for-4 with a stolen base and Ryan Mountcastle went 3-for-5 with an RBI in the Orioles’ victory over the Tigers … Aledmys Diaz homered twice and plated three runs in the Astros’ loss to the Giants … Amed Rosario went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and Jose Ramirez went 2-for-5 with an RBI double and a stolen base as Cleveland hung on for a win over the White Sox … Eric Haase blasted his 18th round-tripper of the season in the Tigers’ loss to the Orioles … Kyle Seager and Ty France went deep in the Mariners’ loss to the Rangers … Ryan Jeffers clubbed a three-run homer, leading the Twins to a blowout victory over the Cardinals … Brian Goodwin hit a solo homer in the White Sox’ loss to Cleveland … John Means posted six strikeouts over six innings of one-run ball in a win over the Tigers … Nathan Eovaldi was crushed for six runs (five earned) over 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Rays … Mike Minor notched six strikeouts and was tagged for four runs over seven innings in a loss to the Blue Jays … Tyler Anderson yielded three runs over 5 1/3 innings to pick up a no-decision against the Rangers in his Mariners debut … Cole Irvin punched out six batters and allowed one run over 6 1/3 frames in a loss to the Angels … Jaime Barria reeled off 6 1/3 scoreless frames in a win over the Athletics … Zack Greinke coughed up four home runs and was charged with six runs (four earned) over four innings in a no-decision against the Giants … Ryan Yarbrough was tagged for five runs over five innings in a no-decision against the Red Sox … Domingo German struck out five batters over four innings in a no-decision against the Marlins … Dallas Keuchel was rocked for five runs over 5 1/3 innings in a loss to Cleveland … Bailey Ober struck out six batters over four innings of one-run ball in a no-decision against the Cardinals … Triston McKenzie was obliterated for six runs over four innings in a no-decision against the White Sox … Matt Manning was charged with five runs (two earned) over 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the Orioles … Taylor Hearn struck out three batters and was charged with two runs (zero earned) over 3 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the Mariners … Michael Kopech was obliterated for five runs on five hits and one walk over an inning of work in a relief appearance against Cleveland.
National League Quick Hits: Joey Votto failed to homer on Saturday night, finishing just one game shy of becoming only the fourth hitter in major-league history -- Ken Griffey Jr.(1993), Don Mattingly (1987) and Dale Long (1956) -- to go deep in eight consecutive games … Kris Bryant will make his Giants debut on Sunday afternoon against the Astros … Corey Seager will be back in the Dodgers' lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Diamondbacks after getting the day off on Saturday … Mookie Betts (hip) told reporters Saturday that he expected to be activated off the injured list on Sunday … Clayton Kershaw (forearm) reportedly felt “residual soreness” on Saturday after throwing a simulated game … Dodgers placed RHP Tony Gonsolin on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation … Padres placed RHP Chris Paddack on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain … Andrew McCutchen was removed from Saturday’s loss to the Pirates with a right knee injury … Donovan Solano, Wilmer Flores, LaMonte Wade, Darin Ruf and Mike Yastrzemski homered in the Giants’ victory over the Astros in a high-scoring slugfest … Jorge Soler went 3-for-4 with an RBI in his Braves debut against the Brewers … Justin Turner hammered a two-run homer and Chris Taylor went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base in the Dodgers’ blowout win over the Diamondbacks … Brendan Rodgers slugged a solo homer in the Rockies’ win over the Padres … Kyle Farmer went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and Eugenio Suarez blasted a three-run homer in the Reds’ loss to the Mets … Jake Cronenworth hit a two-run homer in the Padres’ loss to the Rockies … Juan Soto doubled and scored a pair of runs in the Nationals’ loss to the Cubs … Bryce Harper hit an RBI single and was caught stealing in the Phillies’ loss to the Pirates … Rafael Ortega went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer and a stolen base to lead the Cubs past the Nationals … Jorge Alfaro hit an RBI triple and stole a base in the Marlins’ loss to the Yankees … Kevin Newman drilled an RBI triple in the Pirates’ narrow win over the Phillies … Lorenzo Cain went 3-for-5 with a stolen base in the Brewers’ lopsided defeat at the hands of the Braves … Kole Calhoun went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the Diamondbacks’ loss to the Dodgers … German Marquez recorded seven strikeouts and yielded two runs over six innings in a win over the Padres … Yu Darvish whiffed eight batters and allowed five runs over six innings in a loss to the Rockies … Brandon Woodruff allowed three runs over 5 1/3 frames in a loss to the Braves … Kyle Hendricks yielded one run over seven innings in a win over the Nationals … Aaron Nola surrendered two runs over six innings in a no-decision against the Pirates … Trevor Rogers allowed two runs over 3 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the Yankees in his return to the Marlins rotation … Alex Wood was charged with five runs (four earned) over five innings in a no-decision against the Astros … Joe Ross notched five strikeouts and was charged with five runs (four earned) over 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Nationals … JT Brubaker gave up one run over six innings in a no-decision against the Phillies … Rich Hill posted four strikeouts and surrendered four runs over five innings in a no-decision against the Reds … Wade Miley gave up three runs over seven innings in a no-decision against the Mets … Merrill Kelly was charged with four runs (three earned) over 6 1/3 innings in a loss to the Dodgers … Jake Woodford was lit up for seven runs (five earned) over three innings in a loss to the Twins … Mitch White recorded five strikeouts and allowed two runs over 3 2/3 innings in a spot start against the Diamondbacks … Saturday's Triple-A contest between Lehigh Valley and Rochester was postponed after Phillies infield prospect Daniel Brito collapsed on the field. He received oxygen from paramedics before an ambulance arrived to transport him to a local hospital. There is no word yet on his condition.