The Bud Norris ownership experience has been surprisingly pleasant this season. He’s saved 11 games for the Angels while striking out 42 batters in 33.1 innings, and his fantasy ratios have been useful (2.43 ERA, 1.11 WHIP). The underlying numbers have been impressive, too. His swinging-strike rate is 12.9. He’s been a gift from the wire, basically.
Unfortunately, Norris is headed to the disabled list with right knee inflammation, which means the good times are ending. Cam Bedrosian opened the season as the Angels’ closer, and he recently returned from the DL with a clean inning on Saturday. Bedrosian has a chance to reclaim the ninth with Norris sidelined and he’s unattached in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues at the moment. After a perfect inning on Tuesday night, Bedrosian has delivered 12 Ks and no walks over 8.2 inning this year. Norris’ injury doesn’t sound like a long-term issue, but we can’t say that with certainty just yet.
We should also note that David Hernandez actually recorded the most recent save for L.A. He’s been excellent this season, if not as dominant as Norris, Bedrosian or Blake Parker. (Really, Parker might be the best of the bunch. He’s been so ridiculously effective — 0.99 WHIP, 13.2 K/9 — that he deserves to be owned, even in a non-closing role.) Hernandez pitched the ninth inning with an 8-3 lead on Tuesday, a strong indication that he’s the near-term Norris placeholder. He’s had a few cracks at the ninth over the years, of course, with less than stellar results (1.33 career WHIP, 4.03 ERA). He’s added a slider to the arsenal this season, however, and he’s been plenty effective so far. Give him a look if you’re chasing saves.
Huston Street should return soon from his rehab stint, too, so this ‘pen does not lack late-inning options.
• Atlanta still has a few weeks to sort out the Matt Adams-Freddie Freeman situation, and the resolution reportedly may involve one of ’em shifting to third base. Freeman would be the stronger candidate to successfully make such a switch, as he has experience at third in the distant past (high school and rookie ball). But man, the idea of asking Freeman to change positions seems so odd. Adams obviously remains a clear trade candidate, as he’s slashing .294/.346/.564 for the year with 11 bombs.
• The under-owned Cameron Maybin went 3-for-5 with a double and a homer, leading off for the Angels on Tuesday. He’s reaching base at a .380 clip and he’s swiped 21 bags in 22 attempts.
• It will not surprise you to learn that Howie Kendrick had yet another multi-hit game for Philly, going 3-for-4 and raising his season average to .339. Kendrick is hitting .344/.408/.438 for the month with five steals. He’s also eligible all over the diamond (1B-2B-3B-OF), making him a useful piece for a fantasy bench.
• After yet another brief kinda/sorta appearance at second base on Tuesday, Anthony Rizzo is thisclose to earning eligibility at the position. He needs just one more appearance, so it won’t be long. It’s happening. For details on Rizzo’s odd usage, click here.
• Matt Davidson went deep again for the White Sox, so he’s up to 16 homers and 37 RBIs through 56 games. Davidson is widely available in Yahoo leagues, and the power is real enough. He hasn’t hit for average at any level and he strikes out with impunity, but his pop is well established.
• The Dodgers lit up Robert Gsellman on Tuesday (9 H, 7 ER), as Corey Seager delivered a three-homer performance, driving in six. Cody Bellinger also went deep, per his usual, as did Yasmani Grandal (3-for-5, 2 R, HR).
• Ben Gamel ran his hitting streak to a dozen games on Tuesday, going 3-for-5 with a double and a homer for Seattle. Gamel is locked in, leading off and available in over 90 percent of Yahoo leagues. He was a .300-plus hitter in the high minors with doubles-power and 20-steal speed, and he’s raking in recent weeks. Add as needed.