Andrew Heaney is back in our fantasy lives. Anaheim’s 26-year-old lefty is returning from Tommy John surgery, and he was sharp in 27.2 rehab innings (2.60 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 5 BB, 29 K). The initial schedule is challenging, at Baltimore for Friday and against Texas next week. But as always, we hunt for plausible upside.
To be fair, Heaney’s MLB resume has been a mixed bag through 24 starts — 4.09 ERA, 1.28 WHIP. But his 2015 run was useful, when he chopped that ERA down to the mid-3s. The Angels are a contending team, that certainly helps. Perhaps there’s some latent pedigree worth chasing; Heaney was a rated prospect from 2013 through 2015.
• For most of the year, Patrick Corbin has been someone to dial up at home (2.87/1.39) and ignore on the road (5.89/1.57). But things are looking up in the second half, in all locations. Corbin was useful in a loss at San Francisco two weeks back (10 strikeouts, three earned runs), and he worked into the ninth against Houston, of all teams, on Thursday (8.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K). In between these starts, he also had an easy home victory against the Cubs.
The usual indicators are pushing Corbin’s way of late. Walks are down, strikeouts up, soft contact up, homers down slightly. If he’s ever going to become a legitimate star, he needs a better path to getting right-handed batters out. They’re slashing .302/.355/.489 against him.
At minimum, I’ll put Corbin in the circle of trust for next week’s start at the Mets. The following home turn could get dicey — the Dodgers are not to be messed with.
• Rajai Davis isn’t one of my favorite fantasy outfielders to own. He’s 36, he doesn’t play every day, and he’s sitting on a .239/.298/.362 slash, which is not MLB-worthy.
Alas, Davis is hitting .305 in the last month — for whatever a 59 at-bat sample means to you — and he’s stealing bases, the one major skill he offers. He’s swiped nine bags over this period, most in the American League. In a few leagues, I’ve added shares — Davis also hits the occasional home run, and contributes in runs scored.
— Mike Winstanley (@Shaqapopolis) August 16, 2017
Rostering Davis adds to your to-do list; he requires daily roster maintenance. He’ll routinely start against left-handed pitching, usually as the leadoff man, and get occasional work against RHPs. Oakland faces three lefties in the next 10 days, about average. Do you need stolen bases as bad as I do?
If you’re focusing on power and want to shop in the same park, perhaps Matt Joyce is your man. He’s posted a .258-18-6-14-1 line over the last month. While he also brings batting-average downside, he does have a credible .338 OBP and .463 slugging in the platoon advantage. The upcoming schedule is favorable for the lefty-swinging Joyce.