Injuries, Trades, Promotions, Demotions from June 15 - June 22..
- Blue Jays sent 2B Devon Travis out on a rehab assignment and expect him back this week. CF Kevin Pillar also hasn't stopped ranking since we discussed him in last week's column. June numbers: .404/.423/.612 (.444 wOBA).
- Orioles selected the contract of OF Chris Parmelee from AAA. He had a debut to remember on Tuesday and is off to a nice start (.316/.409/.789 in small 22 PA sample) with the Orioles who could use more production out of their corner outfield group.
- Manny Machado is second amongst MLB third baseman with a .457 wOBA in the month of June. He's also set a career high already with 10 stolen bases batting leadoff for the Orioles.
- Rays sent LHP Matt Moore out on rehab assignment. He's set to throw 90 pitches in next outing.
- Yankees placed CF Mason Williams on the 15-day DL and recalled OF Ramon Flores from AAA. Flores minor league stat line: .297/.384/.446 with 6 HR in 225 PA, 26 BB, 33 K.
- Red Sox recalled 1B Travis Shaw from AAA. Shaw's minor league stat line: .259/.332/.386 with 5 HR in 245 PA.
- I have this link as proof: Red Sox CF Mookie Betts leads all MLB center fielders with his .456 wOBA in June and is second only to Mike Trout with a 195 wRC+. The talented youngster is coming on strong after slow start to his season.
- Indians DFA'd Shaun Marcum, opening a slot in the starting rotation. Who will fill the void? The Indians tabbed RHP Cody Anderson to do so on Sunday and he blanked the Rays (7.2 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, BB, 4 K).
- Indians optioned SS Zach Walters to AAA and selected the contract of RHP Jeff Manship.
- Royals placed RHP Yordano Ventura on the 15-day DL and called up RHP Yohan Pino to make a spot start. It didn't go well and Pino has since been optioned back to AAA. Veteran righty Joe Blanton has joined the rotation and pitches in Seattle tonight where a Mariner lefty stack might not be a bad idea in DFS.
- Tigers activated DH Victor Martinez from the DL and sent OF Tyler Collins back to AAA.
- Twins activated OF Torii Hunter from the DL and released OF Jordan Schafer.
- Eddie Rosario has started the last five games in left field for the Twins as he continues his efforts to run with the left field job (.282/.308/.427 in 131 PA, 3 HR, 5 SB, 3.8 BB%, 24.4 K%).
- White Sox DFA'd RHP Hector Noesi and recalled RHP Scott Carroll from AAA. Caroll will take Noesi's place as the long reliever/ spot starter in the bullpen.
- Athletics claimed OF Jake Smolinksi off waivers from the Rangers and optioned him to AAA.
- Athletics activated 1B Ike Davis from the DL and DFA'd INF Andy Parrino.
- Angels placed RHP Jered Weaver on the 15-day DL with left hip inflammation and called up OF Alfredo Marte from AAA. The Angels won't need another starter right away but RHP Nick Tropeano seems like a candidate to get a spot start when the time comes.
- Astros placed OF Jake Marisnick on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring, opening up a golden opportunity for talented rookie OF Domingo Santana to make an impression.
- Mariners released 2B/OF Rickie Weeks and sent RHP Hisashi Iwakuma on rehab assignment.
- Rangers activated OF Ryan Rua from the DL who should see some playing time in left field with Josh Hamilton still out of commission.
- Rangers also placed 1B/OF Kyle Blanks on the 15-day DL and optioned RHP Anthony Ranaudo to AAA.
- Braves pulled off an interesting trade to say the least, acquiring Bronson Arroyo and the remainder of his contract plus 2014 1st rounder RHP Touki Toussaint from the Diamondbacks for 2B Phil Gosselin. Here's John's take on the trade.
- To little fanfare, rookie Jace Peterson has emerged as the starting second baseman and leadoff man for the Braves this season. He's third among all MLB second baseman in wOBA in June (.395).
- Marlins DFA'd Jhonotan Solano and called up LHP Justin Nicolino from AAA to make his MLB debut. He tossed 7 shutout innings in Cincinnati. You may recall Nicolino as one of the pieces the Blue Jays sent in the Reyes/Buehrle trade.
- Mets DFA'd RHP Dillon Gee and called up RHP Logan Verrett.
- Nationals activated RHP Doug Fister from the DL and optioned RHP Taylor Hill to AAA.
- RHP Joe Ross turned in a sensational 11 strikeout outing for the Nationals on Saturday. Unfortunately, with Fister back and Strasburg on the way, Ross may get bumped out of the rotation soon but he's making a real nice first impression.
- Phillies placed RHP Jerome Williams on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring, DFA'd Phillippe Aumont after one start and called up LHP Adam Morgan from AAA. Morgan won his debut on Sunday versus St. Louis (5.2 IP, 6 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 K) and figures to get an extended look in this rotation.
- When he's not getting tossed from the game, 3B Maikel Franco continues to be the lone bright spot in the Phillies lineup these days, leading all MLB third baseman in wOBA in June (.465 in 79 PA)
- Cardinals recalled 2B Greg Garcia and 1B/OF Xavier Scruggs from AAA. Scruggs has some pop, having put out 20+ homers a season the last 5 years. He was batting .251/.363/.488 with 11 HR, 34 BB, 54 K, in 242 PA at AAA. Garcia was batting .313/.405/.369 with 0 HR, 31 BB, 36 K, 9 SB, in 248 PA.
- Cubs optioned C/OF Kyle Schwarber back to AAA after a brief MLB trial during the Cub's AL road trip where he served as the DH.
- Reds activated OF Marlon Byrd from the DL and placed RHP Jon Moscot on the 15-day DL.
- Reds called up RHP Carlos Contreras and sent OF Brennan Boesch to AAA.
- Brewers claimed 3B Matt Dominguez from the Astros and optioned him to AAA. If/when 3B Aramis Ramirez gets traded, Dominguez makes an obvious candidate to step in a third for Milwaukee on the strength of his defense alone. The former 1st rounder is still just 25 years old too.
- Diamondbacks placed Ender Inciarte on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring and recalled OF Danny Dorn from AAA. While the PCL tends to inflate numbers, the minor league journeyman Dorn could be intriguing in a platoon role as he has raked down an AAA to the tune of a .426/.470/.628 with 14 doubles, 4 HR, 13 BB, 27 K, in 162 PA.
- Dodgers activated OF Scott Van Slyke from the 15-day DL and optioned OF Chris Heisey to AAA. DFS veterans know the drill with Van Slyke at this point in that he's always a strong play whenever a left-hander is on the mound: Career .386 wOBA, .253 ISO versus LHP.
- Can INF Justin Turner keep this up? We shall see but the jack of all trades has been getting into the Dodgers lineup any way he can of late, usually in the middle of the order too. We'll discuss him more below.
- Giants sent RHP Matt Cain on rehab assignment and activated OF Gregor Blanco from the DL.
- Padres called up former first rounder 1B Brett Wallace from AAA. Wallace, 28, is still trying to establish himself at the big league level after bouncing around to five different organizations. He was batting .305/.380/.460 at AAA with 8 HR, 24 BB, 56 K, in 265 PA.
- Rockies placed OF Corey Dickerson back on the 15-day DL opening the door for Brandon Barnes to start four of the last five games in left field.
Opportunity Knocks - Let's get to know a little more about these following players...
Justin Turner - UTL - Dodgers
There's a good reason Justin Turner has been hitting in the middle of the order of the Dodgers lineup of late. People seem to forget he slashed .340/.404/.493, with a .394 wOBA, 157 wRC+ in 322 PA last season. It seemed like a fluky performance due to a .404 BABIP that figured to regress going forward and not much difference in his batted ball ratios from previous seasons.
The thing is, Turner has picked up right where he left off in 2015, slashing .333/.401/.579 with a .423 wOBA, 176 wRC+ in 177 PA. Turner has cut down his strikeout rate to 13% and is putting up these huge numbers with a .346 BABIP, much lower than last year. What's been most impressive about 2015 Turner has been his huge spike in power.
Turner had 15 HR and a .120 ISO in his career entering 2015 in 1248 PA. This year, Turner already has 9 HR in 177 PA along with a career best .245 ISO. What gives?
Well, Turner has always posted strong strikeout and walk rates throughout his career but lacked enough punch at the plate to hold down a starting role. But since he's left the Mets, we've seen a shift in approach at the plate for Turner, successfully opting a for more pull oriented approach without sacrificing plate discipline. His line drive rate is a career best 31.6% this season and he is pulling the ball at a 37.5% rate, also a career high. While never possessing great raw power, Turner has always possessed solid gap to gap power and his increased emphasis on pulling the ball has led to spike in line drives traveling over the fence.
His current home run pace does look unsustainable due to a 20.9% HR/FB that should regress. I also don't see him batting .333 all season with regular playing time. However, Turner has always possessed a strong hit tool and with the power improvements he's made, especially with his line drive rate, I think he can bat around .300 and put out 15-20 HR which combined with defensive versatility makes him one of the more valuable super utility men in baseball. Should be interesting to see how the Dodgers get him into the lineup with Hector Olivera heading to LA relatively soon.