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Baseball Daily Dose

The Legend of Matt Carpenter Continues

by David Shovein
Updated On: June 13, 2022, 11:20 am ET

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This is turning into one of those stories that you couldn’t quite believe unless you see it for yourself. Over his last two seasons with the Cardinals in 2020 and 2021, Carpenter slashed a miserable .176/.313/.291 with seven homers, 45 RBI and a 125/58 K/BB ratio over 418 plate appearances.

His performance was so terrible, that many thought the 36-year-old slugger was cooked. The best deal that he could land over the winter was a minor league contract from the Rangers with an invitation to spring training. At the end of the spring, when he was told he would not be making the big league roster, Carpenter chose to accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock. There, he hit .275/.379/.613 with six homers, 19 RBI and a 20/14 K/BB ratio over 95 plate appearances in 21 games.

Carpenter chose not to exercise his opt-out clause on May 1 when he was eligible to do so, but by May 19 when it became clear that a call-up to the Rangers wasn’t in the cards, he asked for his release. It took him a week to find new work, as the Yankees took a chance on him on a one-year MLB deal. Since that day, all he has done is rake in his limited action.

Entering play on Sunday, Carpenter had hit .250/.400/.850 with four homers, six RBI and a 7/4 K/BB ratio over 25 plate appearances in his first nine games. Not too shabby. He took his performance to the next level on Sunday though.

Carpenter got the Yankees on the board in the first inning of this one, drawing a walk off of Keegan Thompson with the bases loaded. He came around to score later in the frame on a two-run double by Joey Gallo. Carpenter then crushed a 399-foot three-run homer off of Daniel Norris in the second inning to extend the Yankees lead to 8-1. He wasn’t finished yet.

In the sixth inning, Carpenter left the yard again – this time a 403-foot two-run blast off of Alec Mills that made it 12-3. He tacked on a run-scoring double during a five-run rally in the seventh inning that made it a 16-4 ballgame. When all was said and done, Carpenter finished the day 3-for-4 with a double, two homers, three runs scored, seven RBI and a walk. Mighty impressive.

He’s now slashing a monstrous .333/.467/1.125 with six homers and 13 RBI through his first 10 games with the Bombers. In doing so, he became the first player in Yankees franchise history to hit six home runs in his first 10 games with the ballclub. He’s certainly worth a look in deeper mixed leagues where available while he continues to hit like this.


Starting Pitchers with an EDGE

Ross Stripling - 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 K, W (3), 29% CSW, 6 swinging strikes

Not to say that the Tigers aren’t a fearsome lineup, but you have to face who’s in front of you and you can’t argue with the terrific afternoon that Stripling had on Sunday. He allowed just one hit – a leadoff single to Robby Grossman in the third inning – and he was immediately erased on a double play. Stripling faced the minimum through six innings, needing only 74 pitches to do so. He now sports a 3.14 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 43 innings on the season.

Carlos Rodón - 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 8 K, W (5), 36% CSW, 16 swinging strikes

Rodon was fantastic in a victory over their division rival Dodgers in San Francisco on Sunday. The left-hander struck out at least eight batters for the first time since May 9th. His fastball topped out at 100.2 mph, and he finished with an impressive 36 percent whiff rate throwing mostly fastballs and sliders. The 29-year-old veteran has a 3.18 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 83/25 K/BB through 12 starts (65 innings).

Justin Verlander - 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K, W (8), 31% CSW, 12 swinging strikes

Verlander carried a shutout into the seventh inning before the Marlins struck for four runs, including a three-run homer from Bryan De La Cruz, all of which came with two outs in the frame following a pair of fielding errors behind him. He finished with five strikeouts and only issued one walk. The 39-year-old righty hasn't skipped a beat this season in his return from Tommy John surgery, allowing three earned runs or fewer in 10 of his 11 outings. He'll carry a pristine 1.94 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and 78/15 K/BB ratio across 78 2/3 innings (12 starts) into a home outing Saturday against the struggling White Sox.


Hitters with an EDGE

Jeremy Pena - 2-for-3, HR (9), 2 RBI, 2 R, SB (6)

Carlos Correa who? The 24-year-old phenom has stepped in and filled the giant shoes of his predecessor with ease this season, slashing a terrific .277/.330/.468 with nine homers, 27 RBI and six stolen bases while playing tremendous defense at shortstop. He doesn’t have the pedigree of Julio Rodriguez or Bobby Witt Jr., but he should be right there with them in the Rookie of the Year voting at season’s end.

Adam Duvall - 2-for-3, 2 HR (6), 3 RBI, 2 R

Duvall smacked a pair of home runs off of José Quintana on Sunday afternoon – a solo shot in the second inning and a two-run blast in the fourth – helping to power the Braves to their 11th consecutive victory. His home runs tend to come in binges, so perhaps he’s getting hot and now is the time to be playing him in fantasy leagues despite his horrific .206/.261/.353 season-long slash line.

Christian Walker - 3-for-5, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, R, BB

Walker led the offensive onslaught as the Diamondbacks clobbered the Phillies 13-1 on Sunday afternoon. He finished the game a home run shy of the cycle, which is ironic because that’s what he has actually done best this year. On the season, he’s slashing .207/.302/.474 with 15 long balls and 31 RBI.


EDGE Priority Pickup

Kyle Farmer, SS/3B, Cincinnati Reds – Available in 46% of Yahoo fantasy leagues.

It’s easy to look at the waiver wire in your fantasy league and gloss over Kyle Farmer, because let’s face it, he’s Kyle Farmer. If you took a deeper look though at what he has done over the last 30 days though, you may change your tune. During that stretch, Farmer is hitting .412/.474/.647 with four homers, 20 RBI and two stolen bases. Combine that fire with the fact that he’s dual-eligible – including middle and corner – and he’s an extremely valuable contributor in all mixed leagues.

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Closing Time

Emmanuel Clase vs. Athletics - 1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K (11th save)

The issue with Clase this season hasn’t been performance, it has simply been the quantity of his save chances. The right-hander fired another scoreless inning to close out the A’s on Sunday and now boasts a tremendous 1.85 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 29/4 K/BB ratio over 24 1/3 innings on the season while converting 11 of his first 13 save chances.

Edwin Diaz vs. Angels - 1 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 5 K (12th save)

Diaz did his job on the Sunday night stage in impressive fashion on Sunday night. He came on with a man on in the eighth inning and struck out Mike Trout and Jared Walsh to end the threat. He then returned for the ninth and struck out the side to preserve a two-run victory. Diaz now boasts a 2.13 ERA and 1.07 WHIP to go with his 12 saves on the season.

Alexis Diaz vs. Cardinals - 1 IP, 2 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K (2nd save)

Edwin wasn’t the only member of the Diaz family to earn a save on Sunday night, though it was a much more arduous path to get there for little brother Alexis. The 25-year-old served up a two-run homer to Juan Yepez but still managed to escape with a one-run lead intact – picking up his second save of the season. He has done a nice job so far, registering a 2.48 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 29 innings of work.

Jake McGee vs. Dodgers - 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K (3rd save)

The closer carousel continues to go around for Giants skipper Gabe Kapler. This time it was McGee working a perfect ninth inning to close out the Dodgers. The veteran southpaw has turned in six straight scoreless outings – and still sports a miserable 6.06 ERA and 1.35 WHIP on the season.

Tanner Houck vs. Mariners - 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K (2nd save)

There had been some rumblings that the Red Sox could turn to Houck in the ninth inning in an effort to limit his innings this season, and now he has secured two saves in a matter of three days. If manager Alex Cora commits to him in the ninth inning, it would obviously be a major boost to his fantasy value. Keep in mind though, that Matt Strahm also secured two saves for the Red Sox this week.


Monday’s Matchup of the Day

Lance Lynn (CHI) vs. Rony Garcia (DET)

All eyes will be on Lance Lynn (knee) as he makes his long-awaited 2022 season debut on Monday night, and it couldn’t come in a better matchup against the hapless Tigers offense. Lynn struggled in his recent minor league rehab assignment – and may still be on some sort of pitch count in this one – but that shouldn’t stop him from competing for a victory here.

There’s intrigue on the other side of the diamond as well though. Rony Garcia has low-key pitched pretty well this season, registering a 4.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 33/7 K/BB ratio over 28 innings. This White Sox lineup has been watered down without Eloy Jimenez and Tim Anderson and shouldn’t pose much in the way of resistance against him. 


American League Quick Hits: Tim Anderson (groin) will begin his minor league rehab assignment on Tuesday. … The Red Sox placed Nathan Eovaldi on the 15-day IL with low back inflammation. … Michael Kopech left Sunday’s start in the first inning due to right knee discomfort. Fortunately, an MRI did not reveal any structural damage. … Matt Chapman missed his second straight game with a wrist injury. … Gleyber Torres was scratched from the Yankees starting lineup due to a stomach issue. … Jose Trevino was scratched from the Yankees lineup with a back issue. … Eduardo Rodriguez (ribs) will not make his next scheduled rehab start as he’s away from the team to deal with a personal issue. … Jeimer Candelario (shoulder) took ground balls on Sunday and is progressing toward a minor league rehab assignment. … The White Sox designated Yermin Mercedes for assignment. … The Royals activated Amir Garrett from the COVID-19 injured list. … Liam Hendriks was unavailable for Sunday’s game against the Rangers. … Eli White will undergo X-rays on his wrist after a nasty collision with teammate Charlie Culberson in the outfield on Sunday.

Jose Ramirez doubled and drove in three runs as the Guardians topped the Athletics. … Randy Arozarena doubled, was hit by two pitches and swiped two bases in a victory over the Twins. … Kyle Higashioka homered twice as the Yankees clobbered the Cubs. … Jeffrey Springs hurled 5 1/3 innings of shutout baseball in a victory over the Twins. … Hunter Dozier went 4-for-5 with a homer and a double in a loss to the Orioles. … Bobby Witt Jr. smacked his eighth homer in that one. … Richie Martin went 3-for-5 with two triples as the Orioles topped the Royals. … Cedric Mullins went 4-for-6 with a pair of RBI in that one. … Ezequiel Duran clubbed a three-run homer in an extra-inning victory over the White Sox. … Jose Altuve went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer as the Astros crushed the Marlins. … Jon Gray struck out 10 batters over six innings in a no-decision against the White Sox. … Patrick Sandoval fanned eight over six innings of two-run baseball in a loss to the Mets/ … Rafael Devers blasted a two-run homer to lead the Red Sox past the Mariners.

National League Quick Hits: Seiya Suzuki (finger) has been shut down from baseball activities for the next five days. … Jordan Hicks (forearm) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Sunday without issue. … The Rockies placed Tyler Kinley on the 15-day IL with an ulnar nerve injury in his right elbow. … Zack Thompson will make his first career start on Monday against the Pirates. … Avisail Garcia was scratched from the Marlins lineup due to inflammation in his left hand. He’ll undergo an MRI on Monday. … Luis Urías exited Sunday’s game due to tightness in his hamstring. He’s considered day-to-day. … Chris Taylor was pulled from Sunday’s game against the Giants after running into the wall while chasing a foul pop up. He suffered a gash and a bruise above his right eye and will be held out of the lineup on Tuesday as a precautionary measure.

Ian Happ went 3-for-3 with a homer in a losing effort against the Yankees. … Kyle Wright racked up seven strikeouts in a victory over the Pirates. … Bryan Reynolds homered and drove in three runs in a loss to the Braves. … Luke Weaver allowed just one run over three innings and earned a victory over the Phillies in his return from the 60-day IL. … J.T. Realmuto collected three hits in a loss to the Diamondbacks. … Josh Hader struck out the side in a perfect ninth inning against the Nationals to earn his 19th save of the season. … Willy Adames homered and drove in three runs to lead the charge in that one for the Brewers. … Edward Cabrera was shelled for five runs over 3 2/3 innings in a loss to the Astros. … Juan Yepez went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer in a loss to the Reds. … Julio Urías piled up 10 strikeouts over six innings of two-run ball in a tough-luck loss to the Giants… Starling Marte went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in his return to the Mets lineup. … Pete Alonso clubbed his 18th homer as the Mets topped the Angels. … Taijuan Walker struck out 10 over six innings of one-run ball to earn the victory there. … Blake Snell fanned seven over six innings of two-run ball in a loss to the Rockies. … German Marquez struck out six over seven strong innings to earn a victory there.