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Atlanta Braves: Spencer Strider, RHP
Had we done that a week ago, the choice here would definitely have been William Contreras. However, the Braves have already received that message, starting both of Atlanta’s last six games and 11 of their last 15 games.
But the man they haven’t spotted who should start the games is Strider.
While fifth in this spin was a hot mess between Bryce Elder, Huascar Ynoa, Tucker Davidson and Kyle Muller, there Strider sits in the Bullpen with a 2.22 ERA and 13.7K/9 through 24.1 runs of action. He made 21 starts last year with a 3.64 ERA and 153 strokes in 94.0 runs, so it’s not like he lacked experience as a rookie.
If Mike Soroka (Achilles) was closer to a comeback, if Ynoa performed better in the minors or if they at least had a winning record, I would have understood. But this constant refusal to even give Strider a baffling opportunity.
Miami Marlins: Lewis Head, RHP
After nearly a decade making his way among the minors, Head was an unexpected surprise for the Rays last season. As a 31-year-old rookie, he scored 35.0 runs using a 2.31 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. But then they traded him for Marlins for PTBNL, and he was even better at his new home in Florida.
In 13 out of 14 appearances, he did not allow a single round, boasting a 1.20 ERA. But for all his zeros, he has one grip and one save, while many of the shooters that Marlins used are in high-leverage situations (especially the closest Anthony Bender). For a team that has suffered 14 out of 25 losses in exactly one round, using a better Head can change the rules of the game.
New York Mets: Lewis Gillorm, IF
The Mets assigned Robinson Cano to the task in late April, opening the door for more playtime for Guillorme. And he hasn’t disappointed, hitting the .409 so far in May.
But he still starts only about 50 percent of New York games.
Yes, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Francisco Lindor and Eduardo Escobar have their four starting points closed well. But with the exception of performing four times on May 23, JD Davis struggled hard as the primary DH. And Escobar doesn’t exactly have Brooks Robinson’s gauntlet in the hot corner, saddled with a hood Second worst participation rate Among the third basemen to score at least 850 runs since the start of last season. Let him and Alonso platoon in DH and get Guillorme in the squad every day.
Philadelphia Phillies: Garrett Stubbs, C/LF
It’s understandably difficult for the Feliz to find a place for this man. Bryce Harper is at least temporarily the permanent DH due to his UCL injury, and JT Realmuto is the daily catcher. But the Stubbs have occasionally appeared on the left field over the past three seasons in Houston, so there must be some Way to get hit average .379 and 1.162 OPS in lineup more than once in a blue moon.
Thirty-three board backs is a small sample size of course. He was just a .182 hitter in the major leagues during his time with the Astros. Until it cools down, be creative to get it in there.
Washington citizens: Luis Garcia,
This is the only place we go with a player who hasn’t appeared in a major league game so far this season, but for the sake of shouting out loud, how come the 17-31 Patriots don’t give this 22-year-old phenomenon a shot?
Garcia has played 110 games for the Big League Nats over the past two seasons, scoring 0.254 with eight home runs. So far this season in Rochester, he hits 327 with eight zingers. Meanwhile, 35-year-old Alcides Escobar plays pretty much every day on the shortstop and hits the .220 with no home runs. Please give fans something to cheer them up.