Fantasy Baseball Today: Running Royals, Connor Joe Keeps Brewing, Steven Kwan, More From Monday

Good Tuesday! Monday’s baseball slate is always a fun, action-packed way to start a week and last night was no different. We had 22 teams in play and with the Athletics outscoring the Rays by a score of 13-2, there are no more undefeated teams in MLB – and it’s only day five of the 2022 season.

In case you missed it, Scott White identified waiver thread targets on Monday, and while he included Guardians OF Steven Kwan, he also offered 10 other waiver thread options with a list ranging from 70% to 11%. Chris Towers went in-depth on Kwan’s hot start with the Guardians and how much you should prioritize acquiring him. Chris also explained what not to overreact to and what matters from the early days of the season, from closer reshuffles to speed drops and more. Check back later at for a bullpen report and more from Scott.

And of course, as always, you can tune in to make sure you get the latest episodes of Fantasy Baseball Today as soon as they drop on Apple and Spotify.

Presentation of the “surprise bags”

Ok, I’m going to try something here, so hang with me. One of my favorite things growing up playing alongside my dad in his AL-only Roto league was every time a player not exactly known for stealing bases showed up in the box score with a stolen base. Surprise bag! So, as a new segment, I’m going to recap every player who stole a base the night before. Stolen bases are a rare category in Roto leagues, so hopefully this will give some good insight into players who steal bases, consistently and/or by surprise.

  • Whit Merrifield, 2B/OF, Royals 1 (1)
  • Adalberto Mondesi, 3B, Royals 1 (1)
  • First career SB: Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Royals 1 (1)
  • Shohei Ohtani, DH, Angels 1 (1)
  • Surprise bag: Keston Hiura, 1B, Brewers 1 (1)
  • Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS/OF, Orioles 1 (2)
  • Goodie bag: James McCann, C, Mets 1 (1)
  • Santiago Espinal, 3B, Blue Jays 1 (1)

Joe and Kwan continue to have a good time

  • DE Guardians Steven Kwan was the early season underdog story after his torrid start to the season, and it continued on Monday. He made a three-point triple in Cleveland’s 10-7 victory and also walked twice. Kwan is now batting .692 at the start.
  • DE Rockies Connor Joe was one of Frank Stampfl’s favorite hitters, and so it’s great to see the prospect find his groove early on. On Monday, Joe provided the finishing touch and breathing room for the bottom of the 10th inning when his solo home run gave the Rockies a 6-4 lead in the top of the tenth inning. Last Saturday, Joe’s two-point shot against the Dodgers served as the starting point in a 3-2 victory. He is building a reputation for it.

Marlins DE Jesus Sanchez got lost in the late draft hype that powered Julio Rodriguez and Spencer Torkelson, but his edge was never denied and he delivered two homers on Monday. Both circuits were equally impressive in their own way. The first came about 439 feet and the second came from one of MLB’s stop closings of the 2021 season – Raisel Iglesias.

Adel responds

As a collective, I’ve never seen Scott, Chris and Frank come together and feel as much like the same player and screaming draft day value as they have with Angels OF Jo Adell for the past few months. So it pained us all to see Adell not play in two of the Angels’ first games. Even today, he wasn’t supposed to play until Mike Trout was a latecomer with a stomach bug. Adell responded to all of that by homering, doubling, and racking up two RBIs and a run.

If someone in your league dropped him, Adell should be picked up as an upside-down bench reserve.

Blackburn surprises

Raise your hand if you had SP Athletics Paul Blackburn delivering one of the best pitching performances on Monday. Better yet, show me your betting slips. For five innings, Blackburn was nasty against the previously undefeated Rays. He allowed just three hits, one walk, no earned runs and struck out seven. Blackburn came out throwing five different pitches and each of them at least 15% of their offerings, which kept batters duped to the tune of a swinging 16.9% strike rate. He should at least be on the radar.

Manoah shines

One of the most popular mid-round pitching targets in the draft got off to a great start against the Yankees. Blue Jays SP Alek Manoah pitched six shutout innings with seven strikeouts. He allowed just one of six hits, but on the other hand, he walked four. Other than that, it was the start Manoah managers were looking for. Manoah found success with a pitch that eluded him throughout 2021 – his change – and even with that weighing on him, he posted a 3.22 ERA with 127 strikeouts in 116 2/3 sleeves. If his change is here to stay, Manoah could be in for a massive breakout season.

News and programming notes from Frank Stampfl

Every night, the Fantasy Baseball Today team dives into all the happenings around MLB, from top performers to injuries, trades and more. The podcast is a must for all diehards, if I do say so myself. But part of what makes the show special is Frank’s comprehensive news and note taking. So here’s everything that’s happening in MLB right now:

  • Padres SS/OF Fernando Tatis said this weekend that he plans to start swinging a bat again in about three weeks. He’s on the 60-day IL, which means the earliest date he could actually play in a game is June 7.
  • SP Rays Luis Patino quit his start on Monday after registering just two withdrawals. He was later diagnosed with a strained left oblique.
  • Instead of going to IL, Padres SP Blake Snell plans to play wrestling on Tuesday and kick off a bullpen session on Wednesday before his scheduled departure on Friday. Guess we need to slow down on MacKenzie Gore.
  • Red Sox SS Trevor’s Story was absent again on Monday due to illness but could be back on Tuesday.
  • Diamondback SP Zac Gallen was pushed back into the rotation due to a small thumb cut.
  • Met SP Taijuan walker left Monday’s start and will undergo an MRI on his right shoulder.
  • Phillies SZack Wheeler will apparently be limited to 70 or 75 pitches on Tuesday, which is actually more than I thought.
  • SP Cardinals Jack Flaherty was cleared to play up to 90 feet. He received a PRP injection in his shoulder three weeks ago.
  • Blue Jays C Danny Janssen suffers from pain in the left side and was not in the line-up on Monday. It could mean more playing time for Alejandro Kirk.
  • Yankees SP Jordan Montgomery should be able to make his next scheduled start this weekend in Baltimore to be hit by a comeback on Sunday night.

Composition Notes

  • SS padres JC Abrams was out again on Monday night against southpaw Alex Wood.
  • DE Giants Perspective Heliot Ramos made his debut on Sunday and went 2-3. He was then benched on Monday night against right-hander Nick Martinez.
  • Sailors DE Jarred Kelenic wasn’t in the lineup and we didn’t talk about his slow start. He’s 1 for 11 with five strikeouts so far.
  • Phillies SS (until he achieves 3B eligibility) Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm alternated starts at third base in the Phillies’ first four games… Bohm 1-1 with two walks on Monday, but also had three throwing errors. Throwing errors are the thing of concern here if you’re still hanging onto Bohm.

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