Fantasy Baseball: Diego Castillo gets his groove back
There are dozens of fantasy baseball stories on any full schedule night. Let's audit a few things from the Wednesday slate.
The Mariners' closer committee may have just cleared up
The Mariners are living the committee life when it comes to 2022 saves. Paul Sewald and Diego Castillo both have four saves, Drew Steckenrider recorded two and Andres Munoz picked up one rogue handshake. Manager Scott Servais isn’t afraid to get creative.
But maybe it’s time to add Castillo in the medium and deeper pools.
Steckenrider, of course, isn’t in the mix right now — he went to Triple-A in late May. Sewald had two saves last week before working the eighth in Wednesday’s win over Houston. Castillo closed up that win, his second straight save. He earned wins in his two appearances prior to that.
It’s important to appreciate that Castillo has fixed his early-season problems. His overall stats still look ugly — 5.57 ERA, 1.43 WHIP — but he’s been a lawnmower over the last month (1.74/0.59, with 16 strikeouts in 10.1 innings). The kinks have been ironed out.
Castillo is free to grab in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues.
More Need-to-Know Notes
• If you’d prefer your relief adds come from someone tied to a winning team, Daniel Hudson of the Dodgers would like your attention. Hudson locked up Wednesday’s win at the White Sox, with a couple of strikeouts. It’s his fifth save overall and second of the month.
Hudson’s stat profile is easy on the eyes: 19.1 IP, 12 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 24 K. Anytime I see that type of K/BB ratio, I’m eager to make a pickup. He’s sitting on a 1.86 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, and the league is batting .176 against Hudson.
Craig Kimbrel is still the Dodgers closer in name, with 11 saves despite ordinary ratios (4.00/1.22). Perhaps it makes sense for Kimbrel to work most of the easy saves, while Hudson is the escape-from-jams guy. Still, Hudson at least has the second claim to saves on a dominant team, and he’s also going to pick up the occasional victory. And it’s possible the roles could flip later in the year.
If you’d like to file your ratios down, you’ll note Hudson is rostered in a modest 28 percent of Yahoo.
• Some fantasy players are reluctant to embrace Jurickson Profar, and it’s a reasonable stance. Profar isn’t hitting the ball hard — all of his batted-ball metrics are on the left side of the scale — and we live in a Statcast-driven world. But perhaps we have to accept what Profar can do, and not obsess about what he can't.
The Padres installed Profar as the leadoff man two weeks ago, and it’s been a success. Profar has 12 runs and six walks over that span, batting a robust .370. He’s up to .252/.350/.424 for the year, with a pinch of category juice (seven homers, four steals).
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Profar was projected as a star a decade ago, something we’ve given up on today. But he qualifies at three different Yahoo positions (first, second, outfield), and the Friars view him as a regular, worthy of important lineup real estate. Even in formats as small as 10-team, Profar makes a case for roster spot.
San Diego piled up 13 runs in Wednesday’s win over the Mets, with Jake Cronenworth (three hits, three runs, homer, five RBIs) getting the biggest piece. Cronenworth is finally awake after a sloppy start, with three homers and an 8-for-18 binge over his past five games. Like Profar, Cronenworth is a three-position grabber (first, second, shortstop), and let’s not forget he offered a useful .266/.340/.460 last year, with 21 homers. He's back in the circle of trust.
• Toronto catching prospect Gabriel Moreno is headed for the majors. Catcher is currently a fantasy wasteland, so when anyone interesting hits the majors, we pay attention.
Moreno was a top-10 prospect on the Baseball America and MLB.com boards this spring, while Baseball Prospectus ranked him at 22. He’s been a batting average and contact dream in the minors at Triple-A, hitting .323 and walking 11 times against 25 strikeouts. The power has yet to arrive, though — just one homer in 133 at-bats. Moreno did have eight homers in three minor-league stops last year, covering just 37 games.
Moreno, 22, is going to get playing time, but it probably won’t come at major expense of breakout star Alejandro Kirk (.322/.401/.477, five homers). You need multiple catchers in the modern game, and the Blue Jays had an opening when Danny Jansen fractured a finger earlier this week.
If you play in a deeper pool, perhaps Moreno can take on second-catcher relevance for a while. But don’t panic if you’re a Kirk manager, his value doesn’t need to be adjusted.