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Hot Prospects To Watch: Tigers Rookies and Low-Owned Youngsters

Perhaps there's nothing more tantalizing in fantasy baseball than drafting an up-and-coming prospect or rushing to the waiver wire to bid on a Triple-A call-up. With no minor leagues this year, our favorite prospects are now playing on taxi squads, making it difficult for us to fantasize about since we can't get eyes on their progress. However, that doesn't mean we don't know who's on the cusp of making the big leagues.

Last week we saw a couple of big-name hitters make their major-league debuts with the Phillies bringing up Alec Bohm, and Dylan Carlson finally able to play as the Cardinals retook the field. We also got some exciting news on Monday with the promotion announcement of Casey Mize, who'll make his much-anticipated debut this Wednesday. It's certainly an exciting time for dynasty owners who have waited on these prospects for a few years.

It's not only Mize who will be making his big-league debut for the Tigers this week as we'll look at two of his teammates who also received the promotion on Monday. We'll also analyze some lower-end prospects with low ownership who have already started their careers off on the right foot and will help us out during this frustrating fantasy season full of injuries and postponed games.

 

Eye On The Tigers

Tarik Skubal - SP, Detroit Tigers

Although Casey Mize is receiving the majority of attention in the Motor City, fantasy managers shouldn't ignore the team's top left-handed pitching prospect Tarik Skubal. After owning a 0.40 ERA and striking out 33 batters through 22.1 IP in 2018, Skubal followed that up with an equally as impressive 2019 season spent between High-A and Double-A. He finished the campaign with a 2.42 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and a 179/37 K/BB over 122.2 IP, helping him earn a top-50 spot on MLB Pipeline's rankings list.

Skubal has the profile to become a middle of the rotation arm at the big-league level, making him an intriguing player to watch now that he's likely here to stay. We'll get our first glimpse of the 23-year-old Tuesday night versus the White Sox, and you may want to add him before his FAAB price skyrockets.

Isaac Paredes - 3B/SS, Detroit Tigers

Ranked directly behind Skubal in the Tigers system is Isaac Paredes, whom the team acquired from the Cubs in 2017 for then-closer Justin Wilson. The right-handed swinger doesn't excel in any one fantasy category, but he produces sturdy numbers across the board after hitting .282 with 13 homers and five steals in Double-A last year. He does stand out in his plate discipline metrics, however, where his 57 walks almost outpaced his 61 strikeouts thanks to highly touted hand-eye coordination and feel for the strike zone.

Paredes hit out of the eighth spot in his debut on Monday, and recorded his first hit with a two-run single in his second at-bat of the game. The 21-year-old isn't a must-add for fantasy purposes despite the good start, but he is a player to monitor since he should receive regular playing time with his defensive versatility.

 

Productive Youngsters

Andres Gimenez - 3B/SS, New York Mets

Andres Gimenez has quietly posted sterling fantasy numbers since the calendar flipped to August and he began playing nearly every day for the Mets. The club's third overall prospect has recorded a hit in five of his last seven starts this month, while showing his defensive prowess at all infield positions except for first base.

Gimenez is up to a modest .263 BA for the year with eight runs, but you won't find much power production in his small frame and high-contact approach. However, he will boost your stolen base category since he swiped 28 bags in 117 games in Double-A a year ago, and is 6-for-6 so far in the majors. Managers looking for an SB helper should look no further than Gimenez.

David Peterson - SP, New York Mets

Speaking of the Mets, their 13th ranked prospect David Peterson is finding his groove in the starting rotation since filling the void left by Marcus Stroman. The left-hander owns a 2.91 ERA and 1.15 WHIP through four starts this season, and has looked increasingly comfortable on the mound with every outing.

Peterson isn't the most overpowering arm with a low-90s fastball, but his wicked slide piece has finished off batters with a 36.7% whiff-rate and a .143 BA. Peterson seems like a lock to remain in the rotation for the duration of the 2020 season, and while he'll undoubtedly experience some troubling outings in the bigs, his arm is serviceable in deeper fantasy formats.

Jordan Romano - RP, Toronto Blue Jays

Although Jordan Romano is the team's 30th-ranked prospect, he's provided the Jays with the best numbers of all pitchers on the big-league roster so far this season. Through 10 innings, the hometown kid has 13 punch outs with only one earned run and three hits allowed, cementing himself into a high-leverage role with the club. Romano was slated to pitch the ninth in Monday's game after anointed closer Anthony Bass worked the eighth against the bottom of the order, but the Jays offense blew the game open before he could get a chance to finish off the contest.

With Bass not providing overwhelming stuff and blowing his latest save opportunity, Romano has forced his way into the conversation for the ninth-inning role with Ken Giles still sidelined. The way manager Charlie Montoyo utilized his bullpen on Monday was a strong indication that Romano will take over closing duties, and his decision is not all that surprising. With a high-90s fastball and a wipeout slider that both have whiff-rates above 39%, the right-hander has fantasy value no matter what his defined role is.

Keibert Ruiz - C, Los Angeles Dodgers

Keibert Ruiz made an immediate impact in the big leagues by hitting a home run in his first career at-bat on Sunday, marking another prized Dodgers prospect who came out of the gate hot. The 22-year-old excelled at every minor league stop during his development but fell off a bit with a .261 BA and six homers in 2019. This drop in production after entering the year with a career .309 BA allowed teammate Will Smith to surpass him on the depth chart last season.

With Smith now sidelined, Ruiz has a chance to stick around on the major league roster if he can keep swinging a hot bat. His switch-hitting ability is a plus, and his elite 9.5% K-rate over his minor league tenure should translate to the majors and keep him out of extended slumps. With Austin Barnes not moving the needle offensively, Ruiz could force his way into a long-term role, giving him two-catcher league value.



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Hyun-Jin Ryu Stays Hot In Win Over Orioles

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu notched his second win of the season in the team's 7-2 win over Baltimore on Monday. The veteran left-hander allowed one run over six frames while surrendering four hits and striking out three to keep his hot streak going. Ryu has now strung together three consecutive starts of allowing one run or fewer, lowering his ERA and WHIP to 3.46 and 1.12, respectively. His season got off to a rocky start, but he's settling in with his new club and will look to continue his success this weekend versus the Rays.

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Jordan Romano Could Be New Closer For Blue Jays

There may be a changing of the guard regarding the Toronto Blue Jays closing job moving forward after seeing how manager Charlie Montoyo utilized his bullpen on Monday. With the team up 5-1, Rafael Dolis threw the seventh inning, and interim closer Anthony Bass worked the eighth inning against the bottom of the lineup. The Jays expanded the lead in the top half of the ninth to 7-1 when Jordan Romano was warming up to presumably work the ninth. Romano took a seat after the insurance runs were added, but it's safe to say Romano is the top candidate for the ninth-inning job moving forward. It's not that surprising since he's been the best arm in the bullpen with 13 strikeouts and a 0.90 ERA through 10 frames, making him worth rostering for those stats alone.

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Bo Bichette's Injury Could Cost Him A Month

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette hit the injured list Sunday with a right knee sprain, but according to a source, the injury is "worse than expected." The source out of Buffalo has stated Bichette could be sidelined until mid-September, which would obviously be a massive blow to the club and fantasy owners. The youngster was heating up at the dish over his last handful of games, putting him up to a stellar .361/.391/.672 slash line with five homers in 14 games. No official word has come from the front office yet, but it's a gloomy situation nonetheless.

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Randal Grichuk Homers Out Of The Two-Hole

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk was bumped up to the two-hole for Sunday's second game of the doubleheader, where he didn't disappoint offensively. He finished the game going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the first inning, filling in the void left behind by Bo Bichette, who was placed on the IL. Grichuk may see more starts out of this spot in the order after this performance, where his fantasy value will get a boost with more opportunities to generate counting stats. The 29-year-old is off to a terrific .320/.393/.460 slash line to start the year despite missing some time with a minor back injury at the start of the month.

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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Slugs Third Homer

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. swatted his third homer of the season during the team's 7-5 loss to the Rays on Sunday. Since the Jays played a makeshift doubleheader, his day was shortened slightly in the eight-inning affair as he finished the game going 2-for-3. Guerrero is hitting .246 on the year with seven runs and six RBI, which are disappointing numbers for owners who used an early-round selection on the 21-year-old. With his demotion to the sixth spot in the order, Guerrero will have to start living up to his potential as the former top prospect in baseball to move back up the lineup where his counting stats can flourish.

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Matt Shoemaker's Outing Cut Short By Ejection

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker threw four innings in Sunday's contest versus the Rays before getting ejected in between innings. He struck out seven and walked one while giving up three earned runs, all one a home run by Yoshitomo Tsutsugo. Shoemaker has been solid in four of his five starts this season, but his 5.23 ERA is a bit inflated with his one poor outing. He'll look to stay on the umpire's good side when he takes the hill against the same Rays team this weekend.

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David Dahl Riding The Pine Saturday

Colorado Rockies outfielder David Dahl is on the bench versus Rangers right-hander Kyle Gibson on Saturday. Raimel Tapia is starting in left field and batting seventh while Matt Kemp is at DH and batting sixth in the contest from Coors Field. Dahl hasn't found his groove so far in 2020 with a .194/.244/.250 slash line with no homers and seven RBI through 18 games. The 26-year-old has found his recent starts in the bottom-third of the batting order and will have to start producing with the bat to stay in the lineup. Owners may want to wait another week or two before deciding to cut ties with the often-injured left-handed swinger.

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Jo Adell Absent In Saturday's Lineup

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell is out of the team's lineup versus Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler on Saturday. Taylor Ward will draw the start in left field and bat sixth behind the big bats in the Halo lineup. Adell is off to a cold start to his MLB career with four hits in 24 at-bats and an alarming 52.0% K-rate. The 21-year-old holds considerable dynasty appeal, but owners in redraft leagues shouldn't feel obligated to hold onto him until he can prove to handle big-league pitching.

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Jacob deGrom Throws From 90 Feet

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (neck) played catch from 90 feet on Saturday after getting scratched from his start on Friday with neck soreness. The next step for the right-hander is throwing a bullpen session on Sunday with the hope he can slide back into the rotation next week. DeGrom is 2-0 on the year with a 2.45 ERA, and 28 strikeouts through 22 innings pitched, and the Mets will be sure to proceed with caution with their ace. It's a situation to monitor, but barring any setbacks, he should be good to go for his next start.

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Darwinzon Hernandez Could Move Into Rotation

Boston Red Sox reliever Darwinzon Hernandez (COVID-19) is expected to be activated sometime next week after testing positive for the virus in July. He'll initially join the club in a long-relief role, but the inkling is that he'll shift into the starting rotation after he's built up enough arm strength. The lefty will throw three innings in his next outing at Pawtucket and will be a welcomed addition to the Red Sox, who have struggled mightily with pitching this season. Hernandez struck out 57 batters in 30 1/3 innings as a reliever in 2019, but it came at the expense of a 4.45 ERA. Fantasy managers may want to wait until he makes a start or two before deciding to pick him up.

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Todd Frazier Sitting With Sore Quad

Texas Rangers corner infielder Todd Frazier is sitting versus Rockies right-hander German Marquez on Saturday with some soreness in his quad. Derek Dietrich is taking over at first base and batting seventh in an always appealing matchup from Coors Field. Frazier contends that his injury isn't serious, stating that "it's definitely not hindering me from doing my job." It sounds like the veteran will likely be back in the lineup on Sunday as he looks to build on a terrific .300/.375/.483 slash line to start the year.

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Kole Calhoun Leading Off Saturday

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Kole Calhoun is playing right field and batting leadoff versus Padres right-hander Cal Quantrill on Saturday. The veteran is 7-for-16 since getting bumped up to the leadoff spot on Monday, and makes an excellent DFS play since he's hitting .286 with five long balls versus righties this season. Overall he's had a stellar debut season with the D'backs with 12 runs and 14 RBI through 18 games, and should continue to provide sterling counting stats at the top of the order in the desert.

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Jose Alvarado Lands On Injured List

Tampa Bay Rays reliever Jose Alvarado hit the 10-day injured list ahead of Saturday's game with left shoulder inflammation. The southpaw had a rough outing on Friday, giving up two walks and four runs, upping his ERA to 6.00 on the season. Alvarado has done a nice job striking out 13 batters in nine innings but hasn't been able to find a consistent groove after finishing the 2019 season on a cold note. Aaron Slegers was recalled in a corresponding move to provide more depth to the Rays bullpen.

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Aaron Judge Hopes To Resume Baseball Activities Monday

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (calf) is receiving treatment on his ailing calf and doing lower body workouts with the hope that he can resume baseball activities on Monday. Manager Aaron Boone said, "he's feeling pretty good, we're hoping that this goes well and is a short amount of time." Judge's calf strain was diagnosed as a Grade 1 strain, so it was always the expectation that he'd miss around the minimum 10 days when he was placed on the IL Thursday. The slugger was off to a tremendous 2020 with nine dingers and 20 RBI, and he should return to producing plenty of fantasy value once he returns to the lineup.

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Max Muncy Hitting Seventh Saturday

Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Max Muncy is hitting seventh in Saturday's contest versus Angels lefty Andrew Heaney. It's the lowest he's hit in the order this season after getting bumped down to the fifth and six spots during games this week. Muncy has provided decent counting stats with four homers, five RBI, and nine runs scored, but his .169 BA and .289 OBP isn't cutting it for the team at the top of the lineup. The 29-year-old may be still be feeling the effects of fracturing his finger during summer camp, but we can expect him to get right at some point in 2020.

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Cavan Biggio Scores Thrice On Friday

Toronto Blue Jays second baseman/outfielder Cavan Biggio paced the offense with three runs during the team’s 12-4 win over the Rays on Friday. He finished the contest going 1-for-2 with a solo homer, walk, and two hit-by-pitches out of the leadoff spot where’s he’s settled into nicely. Although the 25-year-old is hitting just .206 on the year, he’s hit .272 with a .467 OBP since he was moved to the top of the order last weekend. Biggio will continue to post stellar counting stats in 2020, batting in front of some formidable bats in the Jays lineup.

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Randal Grichuk Joins Home Run Parade

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk slugged his first homer of the season during the team’s 12-4 win over the Rays on Friday. His solo shot in the sixth inning was one of six long balls hit by the club as Sahlen Field in Buffalo continues to play as a hitter-friendly park. Grichuk has had a slow start to his 2020 campaign after suffering a minor back injury in late-July. He’s now hit safely in five of six games, perhaps hinting that any lingering issues are behind him. Owners shouldn’t feel obligated to hold onto his bat in shallow leagues since he’s been pushed down the order to the seventh spot, but there’s still power potential in his bat.

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Teoscar Hernandez Records Third Multi-Homer Game

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez continued his powerful start to the 2020 season with a pair of long balls in the team’s 12-4 win over the Rays Friday. It was his third big fly in the last two games and his third multi-homer game of the year. He hit a solo shot in the sixth before blasting a three-run shot in the eighth, finishing the day 3-for-5 with two runs and four RBI. Hernandez now has seven dingers, 13 RBI, and a .292 BA on the season, providing juicy late-round fantasy value despite a concerning 25.0% K-BB%. Owners should continue to ride the 27-year-old’s hot bat, but remain cautious since his poor plate discipline numbers could make him susceptible to a slump.

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Bo Bichette Extends Hitting Streak To Eight Games

After a 5-for-5 performance on Wednesday, Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette continued his hot streak going 2-for-5 in Friday’s 12-4 win over the Rays. He slugged a three-run homer for his fifth blast of the season during the rout, upping his slash line to an impressive .356/.387/.678 through 13 games. Bichette was a bit sluggish out of the gate, but has rewarded fantasy owners with sterling numbers in all five standard roto categories so far this season. The 22-year-old will look to extend his hitting streak to nine against Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough on Saturday.

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Hot Prospects To Watch: Next In Line and Hot Starters

Perhaps there's nothing more tantalizing in fantasy baseball than drafting an up-and-coming prospect or rushing to the waiver wire to bid on a Triple-A call-up. With no minor leagues this year, our favorite prospects are now playing on taxi squads, making it difficult for us to fantasize about since we can't get eyes on their progress. However, that doesn't mean we don't know who's on the cusp of making the big leagues.

Over the last week, we saw a couple of promising pitching prospects get the call to the big leagues with the Padres bringing up Luis Patino and the Phillies handing the ball to Spencer Howard on Sunday. Both hurlers experienced some growing pains in their debuts, but it's never a given for even the brightest prospects to immediately excel after a promotion.

Since Patino and Howard are not the top prospects on their respective clubs, we'll look at whether these arms are stepping stones for their higher-end teammates to join them in the majors later this season. We'll look at these names plus analyze some more hot starters who should only improve as the season progresses.

 

Next On The Call List?

Alec Bohm - 3B, Philadelphia Phillies

With the arrival of the Phillies second-ranked prospect Spencer Howard, many are speculating as to when their top prospect Alec Bohm will reach the majors. Phillies manager Joe Girardi gave some insight on the third baseman recently stating, "when a [prospect like] Alec comes up, you want him to be able to play almost every day. He's got to play a lot, so we'll continue to look at that and make the decision when it's the right time." The team could certainly use an upgrade at the hot corner with Jean Segura batting a paltry .188, so a promotion could be on the horizon with the team looking to contend for a playoff spot.

Bohm can hit for power and average as displayed during his Triple-A campaign, where he hit .305 with 21 homers in 125 games. The 2018 third overall pick made his way from Low-A to Double-A over the course of the year, showing superb plate discipline numbers with a 73/57 K/BB. Bohm is also capable of playing first base, so the team has some versatility with Rhys Hoskins able to cover an outfield spot. There are several paths to playing time for 24-year-old who will arrive in 2020; we'll just have to wait for the Phillies to open up a roster spot for him.

MacKenzie Gore - SP, San Diego Padres

The Padres made headlines last week by calling up their third-ranked prospect Luis Patino to serve as a bullpen option with the club. With the Friars off to a strong start this season, they are looking to capitalize on the unique 2020 structure by utilizing an "all hands on deck" approach. The Padres are known to bring up their prospects in a timely manner with Chris Paddack and Fernando Tatis Jr. surprisingly making the 2019 Opening Day roster. They also optioned starter Joey Lucchesi to their alternate site, perhaps opening the door a crack for their top prospect Mackenzie Gore to join the team.

By looking at Gore's 2019 stats, there's no debate why he's the top-ranked pitching prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. The left-hander dominated over 101 innings between High-A and Double-A, striking out 135 batters to a 1.69 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. He stays in the mid-90s with his fastball while mixing in a slider and curveball primarily, but he will throw a low-80s changeup sporadically. He has command of the strike zone with all four pitches and profiles as a true ace to the rotation. The Padres will have a dynamic one-two punch with Gore and Paddack for years to come, and there's optimism we'll get a glimpse of that in 2020.

 

Hot Starters

Nate Pearson - SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Everyone around the Blue Jays organization was ecstatic when Nate Pearson made his big-league debut at the end of July. He didn't disappoint either, firing five scoreless frames versus the defending World Series champion Nationals. It got a little rockier in his next start by allowing three runs in another five-inning performance versus the Braves, but we got a glimpse of his potential dominance. Pearson was lighting up the gun with his 98-99 MPH fastball velocity, while his slider has proved equally effective with a 42.3% Whiff rate. With these two weapons alongside a disappearing changeup, Pearson has the arsenal to succeed immediately in the bigs and should be owned universally.

Carter Kieboom - 3B, Washington Nationals

MLB's 23rd ranked prospect Carter Kieboom broke summer camp with the Nats, but the team hasn't committed to playing him full time just yet. It's a curious decision since he's held his own with the bat during his infrequent playing time with five hits in 16 at-bats entering Monday. Although Kieboom is still striking out at a high clip (38.1% K%), his 23.8% walk rate has made up for some of his losses. If he could generate consistent playing time, he could further improve his plate discipline and overall hit tool faster with fewer days off. We can buy in once the 22-year-old pushes Asdrubal Cabrera off the hot corner, which should happen sooner than later.

Brady Singer - SP, Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals top right-handed pitching prospect Brady Singer has been impressively consistent over his first four major-league starts. He's thrown exactly five innings in all of his games, allowing more than two earned runs in just one of these outings. His 22/8 K/BB isn't anything to scoff at either as he's now got his first win out of the way after beating a formidable Twins lineup Sunday. For a rookie with no Triple-A experience, Singer is holding his own in the majors and could be finding his groove with a few starts under his belt. He's worth monitoring, at a minimum, to see if he can take another step forward in his development.



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Travis Shaw Walks It Off For Jays

Toronto Blue Jays corner infielder Travis Shaw slapped a walk-off single to push the team past the Marlins 5-4 in extra innings on Tuesday. Bo Bichette was intentionally walked to load the bases ahead of Shaw in the tenth before delivering the game-winning hit to right field. It was his first RBI of the season as he finished the game going 2-for-5, upping his batting average to .240 on the year. Shaw has had a sluggish start in the power department but has managed to settle into the three-hole for the Jays over the last three games. Perhaps his heroics will ignite his bat as he enters another contract season.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu Sharp Over Six Frames

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu tossed six innings of one-run ball in the team's 5-4 win over the Marlins Tuesday. Although he wound up with a no-decision after Anthony Bass blew the save in the ninth. The southpaw allowed two hits and two walks while striking out seven in the 92-pitch outing, upping his yearly total to 24 K over 20 IP. Ryu has cut his ERA from 8.00 to 4.00 over his last two starts as he looks to be settling in with his new club. The veteran will look to keep his momentum going in a favorable matchup against the Orioles next week.

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Anthony Bass Blows Save Versus Marlins

Toronto Blue Jays reliever Anthony Bass suffered his first blown save of the season during Tuesday’s contest versus the Marlins. The right-hander issued a double and a free pass before allowing a three-run homer to Francisco Cervelli to tie the game and send it to extras. It was the first earned runs on the season for Bass, who had worked 6 1/3 scoreless with three saves entering the day. The 32-year-old doesn’t possess a high strikeout arm, but as long as he continues to get the save opportunities with Toronto, he has fantasy value. Although with Jordan Romano and Rafael Dolis both pitching well in set up roles, one or two bad outings could bump him from the job.

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Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Logs Two Hits Sunday

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 2-for-4 in the team's 5-3 loss to the Red Sox on Sunday. Both hits went for singles as he upped his average to .295 on the season despite moving down the order from third to fifth over the weekend. Owners shouldn't be concerned with the bump down as he's still in a terrific spot to drive in runs, and he'll prove to be one of the team's most consistent hitters this season. Gurriel has only recorded three runs and three RBI on the year, but once the bats around him get hot, his counting stats will flourish.

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Bo Bichette Extends Hit Streak To Five

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette extended his hitting streak to five games during the team's 5-3 loss to the Red Sox Sunday. His lone hit of the afternoon went for a solo shot in the sixth off Nathan Eovaldi, his second of the season. Bichette is hitting .289 with just one walk so far in 2020 as he's been bumped down to the two-hole versus right-handers over the weekend. It's still a good spot for him to generate plenty of fantasy value, but the bats around him will have to wake up to boost his run and RBI numbers.

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Cavan Biggio Cranks Fourth Homer

Toronto Blue Jays second baseman/outfielder Cavan Biggio notched his fourth homer of the year during the team's 5-3 loss to the Red Sox Sunday. He finished the afternoon going 1-for-3 with a walk out of the leadoff spot, where he's finding some comfort after three-straight starts there. Biggio is hitting just .192 so far on the year, and although the homers are nice, they'd enjoy seeing his .276 OBP improve to provide more base runners for their run-producing bats.

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Matt Shoemaker Bit By Long Ball In No-Decision

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker had a nice bounce-back outing in Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Red Sox. He struck out six batters over six innings, issuing no walks while giving up three runs (two earned) in the no-decision. Two of his three hits allowed were solo home runs, but he was otherwise effective in the 89-pitch outing. Shoemaker owns a 4.86 ERA and 1.02 WHIP through three starts this season, but his numbers are a bit inflated after two bad innings last week. The right-hander will be on the streaming radar in his next start versus the Rays at "home" in Buffalo.

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Mitch Garver Getting Breather Sunday

Minnesota Twins catcher Mitch Garver is on the bench for Sunday's tilt versus Royals right-hander Brady Singer. Alex Avila is batting ninth and calling signs behind the plate in the series finale. Garver is off to a sluggish start, hitting .094 with one homer and 15 strikeouts in 40 plate appearances. After cranking 31 bombs a season ago, owners should remain patient with the 29-year-old since his price came at a mid-round value. There's also not much out there in two-catcher leagues, but he may become droppable in single-catcher leagues if the strikeouts persist.

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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Back In Sixth Spot

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is batting sixth for the second consecutive game as the team faces Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi. The former top prospect is off to a sluggish start, hitting .239 with one homer and three RBI through 12 games this season. He's having difficulty getting under the baseball with a 62.2% groundball rate after posting a number just below 50% in 2019. With the shift to first base, Guerrero has spent a lot of time working on the defensive side of the ball, perhaps a reason for his slow offensive start. The 21-year-old still holds immense dynasty upside, but he'll become a redraft bust if he doesn't turn it around soon.