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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Philadelphia Phillies reliever Craig Kimbrel struck out one over a perfect inning to earn the save in Saturday's 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals. He entered the ninth inning to protect a two-run Phillies lead. The 35-year-old needed just 11 pitches to collect his eighth save of the season. He owns a 5.32 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and a 33: 11 K: BB across 22 innings in 2023. Kimbrel is a perfect 8-for-8 in save opportunities and should continue to be Philadelphia's primary closer until Jose Alvarado (elbow) is activated from the injured list.
Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (neck) is listed as the team's probable starter on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays. Kikuchi left his last start early on Tuesday against the New York Yankees with a left upper trapezius cramp, but the 32-year-old southpaw later expressed confidence that he could make his next turn through the starting rotation. Toronto needs all hands on deck as they try to lock down one of the last wild-card spots in the American League down the stretch with under 10 regular season games remaining. The Japanese hurler has been solid for the Jays in 2023 with a 3.74 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 170 strikeouts in 158 2/3 innings over 30 starts, and he's been even better in the second half with a 3.03 ERA (2.80 FIP) and 74 K's in 65 1/3 frames over 12 starts.
Toronto Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen (finger) is out of a cast after visiting with his surgeon on Wednesday, although he's now in a splint. His surgery to set and stabilize the bone in his finger has been successful and he can now start doing mobility work with his fingers. However, there's no timeline set for his return just yet. The 28-year-old backstop has been out with a right middle-finger fracture that he suffered when he was hit by a foul ball on Sept. 1. At this point in the season with less than 10 games remaining in the regular season, if Jansen ends up returning at all, it will most likely be if the Blue Jays make it to the postseason as an American League wild-card team. Alejandro Kirk will continue to serve as the team's primary catcher until Jansen is able to return.
Detroit Tigers left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (back), who was removed from his last start with a left-back spasm, will throw a bullpen session on Friday to make sure he can start on Sunday against the Oakland Athletics. "We're not anticipating any problems," manager A.J. Hinch said. While pitching through injury on Sept. 18 against the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers, E-Rod allowed five earned runs on five hits (two homers) while walking one and striking out one in just three innings of work. The 30-year-old Venezuelan southpaw will be a little more risky in fantasy coming off the injury, but managers cannot pass up the excellent matchup against the rebuilding A's if they are still vying for a fantasy title.
Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (knee) entered Thursday's 5-3 loss to the New York Yankees as a pinch-hitter and had an RBI groundout. Guerrero hasn't started the last two games due to right-knee pain, but thankfully an MRI exam ruled out any structural damage, so he should be considered day-to-day heading into Friday's series opener at the Tampa Bay Rays. The Blue Jays can ill-afford to have Vlad Jr. miss much more time as they look to stay in one of the final wild-card spots in the American League to close out the year. Rookie Spencer Horwitz has seen more playing time of late with Guerrero injured. The 24-year-old Guerrero came into Thursday's game hitting .246 (16-for-65) with four home runs, two doubles, 11 RBI and nine runs scored in 17 starts in the final month of the regular season.
Philadelphia Phillies left-handed pitcher Jose Alvarado notched his ninth save of the season on Thursday, shutting down the New York Mets in a narrow 5-4 victory. Alvarado tossed a scoreless frame, allowing just a hit while striking out a pair. With the heart of the Mets lineup coming up in the eighth, the Phillies elected to go to Craig Kimbrel in the high-leverage spot, leaving Alvarado to handle the ninth. The lefty did end up facing the top of the Mets order after Kimbrel allowed a few baserunners in the eighth, but Alvarado had no trouble with them. The 28-year-old is an interesting deeper-league option that could vulture a save or two in the final week given the Phillies' playoff push and their willingness to use multiple relievers to close out games.
Cleveland Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase converted his league-leading 42nd save of the season Thursday, finishing off a 5-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Clase allowed a hit and a walk to make things interesting, but struck out a pair in his inning of work to close things out. He now has five more saves than anyone else in the majors, meaning he will almost surely finish at the top of the leaderboard. Although he's had his ups and downs, he has been worth his price as the first reliever taken in drafts this season. He is likely to remain near the top of the board next year, although he may not go first among relievers.
Los Angeles Angels closer Carlos Estevez was unable to close out the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, taking the loss and the blown save in a 5-4 defeat. Estevez was tasked with holding onto a one-run lead, but he wasn't able to convert as he allowed two runs on four hits and a walk over IP. Estevez has been good for the most part this year, but he has been prone to blow-ups on occasion. The righty has allowed either zero or two-plus runs in every outing since the start of August. That is definitely not ideal for managers who need ratio help. He will likely close out the season as the Angels closer, but what happens next year is up in the air.
Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton (knee) went 1-for-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts in his first game back on his rehab assignment with Triple-A St. Paul. Buxton initially began his rehab assignment in late August, but was pulled off after tweaking his knee. It is likely that Minnesota will give the oft-injured outfielder plenty of time to get into game shape, as they have essentially clinched their division. The hope is that Buxton can make it back before the end of the season to get a few games in before the playoffs start, but fantasy managers shouldn't count on much the rest of the way.
Atlanta Braves left-handed pitcher Max Fried (finger) was solid on Thursday, limiting the Washington Nationals to one run on three hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out seven. Near the end of his start, he had some fluid build-up in his left index finger, which was drained after he was taken out. Fried also skipped his last start with a blister on his left hand, so the Braves will likely be cautious with the lefty heading into the playoffs. Fried said he feels confident he can manage the situation, so he could still make what would likely be his final start at some point next week. Fantasy managers should keep a close eye on the situation, as a decision will need to be made on whether to start Fried in the finals.
Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera was removed from Thursday's game in the sixth inning after fouling a pitch off his lower leg. There are no signs of a fracture and Cabrera will be re-evaluated after the game. Miggy is in the midst of his final season of baseball, one which will hopefully not end with this injury. It is very likely that even if Cabrera is injured, he will take an at-bat in the team's final game to get one last hoorah. Although he's slowed down the past few years, Miggy has had an inner-circle hall-of-fame caliber career.