Robinson Chirinos (CHC): 4-6, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI.
It’s not often you get the backup catcher to a team stealing the headlines, but Robinson Chirinos had a night of nights. The journeyman catcher smacked his fourth HR in 25 games for the sputtering Chicago Cubs. Chirinos has made the most of his opportunities for a team just looking to fill holes for an upcoming rebuilt. Since joining the ball club in early July, he touts a 111 wRC+ and .447 SLG%. However, this is well above his career numbers and should only be considered a small sample success.
Is this the last run for Chirinos? Maybe, let’s put into perspective that Chirinos will be 38-years-old if he sees fit to play next season. While he won’t be a significant target for teams, Chirinos carries five consecutive seasons(2015-2019) with a wRC+ over 100. Additionally, Robinson touts a 152 wRC+ in 2021, albeit a minimal sample size. Quite possibly, we are either watching the end of a lengthy career or a veteran trying to show what he is capable of for another run in 2022. Keep it up, Chirinos, and best of luck!
Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday.
Wil Myers (SD): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.
Yesterday was Friday the 13th, so naturally, a Myers had a killer evening. Only this time, it was San Diego Padres outfielder Wil Myers. The HR blast marks his 13th on the season, and when you add on his seven SB, Myers is a fantasy darling that also hits in a very potent offense. Sure, the power looks like it’s slipping a little, but any leagues with five outfielders need to make sure he isn’t on the wire.
Daulton Varsho (ARI): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.
The only combo meal on the night belonged to Varsho. The special occasion brings his HR count to five and the SB count to three. While the overall numbers may not be your cup of tea, Varsho carries a skill set that can’t be ignored in a roto league, especially at catcher. Also, he gains a significant edge in OBP leagues as he walks nearly 14% of the time.
Connor Joe (COL): 1-5, HR, R, 2 RBI.
In spring, Colorado brought Connor Joe into camp as a non-roster invitee. Since then, Joe’s been sent down three times, but this might finally be the time he sticks with the MLB club. From July 20th, his last time getting called up, until now, Joe is showcasing a 156 wRC+ with five HRs and 16 RBI. Like many of the Rockies, he’s done most of his damage inside Coors Field, so be ready for the next FAAB run as the Rockies play all next week at Coors.
Bobby Dalbec (BOS): 3-4, 2 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Dalbec is a platoon player if there ever was. While he harnesses a near 17% barrel rate, his baseball destruction is heavily reliant on a pitcher’s handedness. His OPS is 250 points higher against southpaws, and he bats below the Mendoza Line against RHP. He holds far more value in daily moves leagues and a one-off in DFS lineups for fantasy purposes.
Mike Zunino (TB): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.
Mr. All-Or-Nothing found himself another dinger last night. That gives Zunino 24 on the season and puts him five back from Salvador Perez for the lead among HRs at the catcher position. With a glance at Zunino’s season stats, you’re not as impressed as you’d think. The batting average is a touch above .200, and only 45 RBI shows how much Zunino gets platooned. If you’re in a pinch, Zunino is a power-hitting catcher to stream, but his overall profile will limit his upside.
Travis d’Arnaud (ATL): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.
Welcome back, Travis d’Arnaud. The Atlanta faithful waited 100 days to see their full-time catcher back in the lineup. d’Arnaud’s fifth innings HR is the first since his return and only the third on the season. At the moment, Atlanta is dead even with the Phillies for first place in the NL East. Getting d’Arnaud back up to speed for the final stretch of the season will be crucial for a playoff push. Currently, he’s only rostered in 42% of Yahoo leagues, so double-check your league’s waiver wire.
Bryan De La Cruz (MIA): 3-5, HR, R, 4 RBI.
With the departure of Starling Marte, a clearer path to playing time opened up for De La Cruz. For those unfamiliar with the 24-year-old prospect, he was acquired from Houston in the Yimi García trade. In 66 games at the Triple-A, De La Cruz batted .324 with 12 HR and swiped two bags. Even though the Marlins are not the juggernaut offense we typically like to pluck fantasy hitters from, De La Cruz could be an interesting add in deeper leagues now that he has secured everyday ABs.
Austin Slater (SF): 3-5, 2 2B, 2 R.
Slater led off for the Giants and helped them squeaked by the Rockies. The three-hit night was a terrific sign for Slater, who had not found his way into the lineup much these days. In fact, last night was only Slater’s third start in August. He has been used primarily as a bench bat providing a late-inning thump from the right-side of the dish. However, nine steals and nine HRs make him an exciting player, but only in NL-formats.
Renato Núñez (DET): 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.
Let’s give a little love to Renato Núñez as it’s been a challenging season for him. After smashing 12 HRs in 52 games last season, Núñez looked poised to make music in Motown. However, the former Orioles’ slugger has underperformed in 2021 and was DFA’d on May 4th. Since being recalled on August 12th, Núñez has swatted an HR in both games back and looking for redemption. Fantasy managers should keep him on your watch list and be ready to pounce if the power continues.
Ernie Clement (CLE): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Ernie Clement is not a dock worker at the harbor but rather a fourth-round pick by Cleveland that is finally getting his shot in the big leagues. He didn’t succeed in the Minor Leagues this season, but Cleveland needs help in the outfield. The pair of HRs should be marked as an odd occurrence of variance we call baseball and not an expectation of things to come. He could be helpful in AL-only leagues, maybe?
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Now that Travis d’Arnaud is back, should he replace Eric Haase who I have rostered. My team still has an outside chance of making playoffs in a keeper league. Three more weeks to go. Thanks, Joe
d’Arnaud will give you the better BA, and both should have similar HR+counting stays. So, I’d run with d’Arnaud.
Good luck on the playoff push!