I would like to start by pointing out that last week’s free agent find Trevor Williams went 2-0 with 11.1 innings pitched, three earned runs and nine strikeouts this past week. But enough about me being right, it’s a new week and one that will hopefully see even more fights. Let’s be honest, the two brawls were exciting, but there were really no highlight moments, just grown men missing punches and falling to the ground. When I see a brawl, I want it to be on the same level as when 46-year old Nolan Ryan beat the dignity out of Robin Ventura. Anyway, here are this week’s Stud and Dud of the week, injury fallout, and free agent finds.
Stud of the Week: Javier Baez, Shortstop, Chicago Cubs
I was really tempted to go with Shohei Ohtani for the second straight week, but it was impossible to ignore the week that Javier Baez as he has caught absolute fire. While only hitting .250 he has smashed four home runs, seven RBIs and crossed home seven times since last Friday. After a dreadful start to the season, Baez has found his groove lately and absolutely punished Pirates pitchers in this past series. Hopefully Baez can find a healthy middle ground between his beginning of the season and now, becoming solid middle infield fantasy starter.
Dud of the Week: Edwin Encarnacion, First Base, Cleveland Indians
To say that Encarnacion has had a bad week would be a drastic understatement. He has accumulated only two hits over twenty-one at-bats, plummeting his season average to a mere .146. He has not had a run or RBI since April 2nd and only has four of each on the season. It is still the beginning of the season and Encarnacion is a proven hitter, so I would still have faith that he can turn his season around. However, if this type of production continues for a few more weeks, it might be time to look for a replacement.
Injury Fallout: Elvis Andrus, Shortstop, Texas Rangers
This is a big one. On Wednesday, Elvis Andrus was hit by a pitch on his elbow, fracturing it and sidelining him for a good six to eight weeks. Andrus had a great start to the season, hitting .327 with seven runs, one home run and five RBIs. In a shortstop position that lacks depth in fantasy, production like that is going to be hard to replace. Andrus owners could look to see if Asdrubal Cabrera or Dansby Swanson are available, as their ownership hovers around 50 percent each. However, in the very possible event that they are both owned, Amed Rosario (16.4 percent OWN) and Miguel Rojas (0.8 percent OWN) could both be serviceable options. However, make no mistake, it is very unlikely that anyone still available could fully replicate the production put forth by Andrus on a daily basis.
Free Agent Find: Steven Matz, Starting Pitcher, New York Mets
Matz is owned in only 18 percent of leagues and is coming off a good start where he gave up no runs through five innings. With a start lined up Friday against an injury plagued Brewers team, it is very possible he has another solid outing. It gets much riskier to start him thursday against a strong Nationals team, but with the potential of having multiple good starts under his belt by the time he faces them could give him the confidence he needs to have a solid game. Im putting my money on Matz having at least one good start this upcoming week, with a 50/50 chance he has two.
Free Agent Find: Pedro Severino, Catcher, Washington Nationals
Anyone who plays fantasy baseball knows the catcher position is one that doesn’t have many stars, and with many teams switching to a consistent platoon an everyday starter could be hard to come by. However, with the National’s two main catchers Matt Wieters and Miguel Montero both sidelined with injuries Severino has been seeing the bulk of the playing time behind the dish. He has made the most of it too, batting .348, albeit with only three runs scored and three RBIs. Severino is owned in only 2.5 percent of leagues and could be a short-term fix for a team that is struggling at the catcher position.
Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.