One year removed from an injury riddled 2016, Cleveland’s Michael Brantley is on fire. He went 2-for-4 with three RBI in Cleveland’s 7-6 win over the Astros. Brantley is on a 10-game hitting streak, slashing .318/.384/.561 and hitting righties AND lefties at a +.300 clip.
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
Paxton cages Tigers
James Paxton produced his fourth quality start of the season when he tossed seven scoreless innings in an 8-0 victory over the Tigers. Paxton punched out nine and walked one in his first game since the A’s shelled him for five runs on April 20. Paxton is top 10 in every major pitching category including wins-losses (3-0 good for fifth), strikeouts (second with 39), WHIP (eighth at 0.84) and ERA (seventh, 1.39).
USA TODAY SportsSteven Bisig
Segura hitting when healthy
Since Segura returned from injury, he has back-to-back three-hit games. Segura is hitting .342/.375/.500 in 41 plate appearances. Will he hit 20 homers again like he did in Arizona last year? Probably not, but he appears to be living up to his lofty positional ranking.
Quick Hits: Part I
There are some platoon/lesser owned players who could be strong daily or stream options … Robinson Chirinos has only 22 plate appearances, but is hitting .357 against right-handed pitchers and .389 overall … In 32 plate appearances, Alex Avila is slashing .407/.500/.926 and .440 against righties … Shin-Soo Choo is owned in 37.5 percent of FOX Fantasy baseball leagues and has seven hits in his last five games.
Mark J. RebilasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Ender Inciarte is mired in a hitting slump, which has dropped his batting average down to .207. This is in stark contrast to last season when he hit .291. Inciarte’s BABIP is .203. There will be room for him to bounce back, but a leadoff hitter with a .204 average with nobody on is a little alarming. His 4.7 percent walk rate and .244 on-base percentage don’t help.
Lester rocked again
After a strong start, Jon Lester has been thumped for 10 earned runs and 19 hits over his last two outings. His WHIP has swelled to 1.48 and his ERA jumped to 3.68 from 1.80 after his first start. Opposing right-handed batters are hitting .304 with three dingers against Lester. They’re also jumping on Lester when the count swings in their favor. Batters are scorching .400 when the count is 3-1, .400 when it’s 3-2, and .429 when 2-0.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY SportsKelvin Kuo
Bundy keeps Rays in check
The league’s best comeback story continued Wednesday night as Dylan Bundy engineered his fifth quality start of the season in Baltimore’s 5-4 win over Tampa Bay. Bundy surrendered his first two homers of the season last night. However he’s kept his WHIP down at 0.98 for the season. It would be nice to see Bundy register more strikeouts, but he’s holding teams in check when they have runners in scoring position. Batters are hitting a feeble .095 against Bundy in that situation.
Tommy GilliganTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Royals had the league’s third-best offense as recently as 2015 … With the worst offense in the league so far, the Royals have barely mustered a .203 batting average and .266 on-base percentage … The Royals have eight players hitting under .200 and none at .300 or better … Kansas City’s sub-.300 club includes Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon … they may not be career .300 hitters, but panic is starting to rise … On the bright side Lorenzo Cain is sporting a .402 OBP … I would also expect Hosmer to rebound as his BABIP is an uncharacteristic .246 and he’s keeping his strikeout rate low at 13.6 percent.
Caylor ArnoldCaylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Noah Syndergaard will see a doctor Thursday and most likely receive an MRI for a bicep issue. The Mets ace was unable to lift his arm above his shoulder when his bicep stiffened up yesterday. He will pitch Sunday if he has a clean bill of health. He is listed as day-to-day.
J.D. Martinez (foot) took live batting practice Wednesday and will play in an extended Spring Training game when he is ready. Martinez is on the 10-day DL and is not expected to return until sometime in early-May.