Rich Hill (LAD)
Hill has been plagued by injuries throughout the 2018 season. His most recent trip to the DL was due to a blister on his middle finger, which forced the left-hander to leave after throwing only 2 pitches back on May 19. While rehabbing, Hill told reporters that he had been working on his delivery mechanics after pitching coach Rick Honeycutt noticed a flaw in Hill’s alignment. The tweak may have righted the ship as Hill’s recent start in High-A Rancho Cucamonga saw the veteran amass 10 strikeouts in just 4 2/3 innings. Following that outing, he fired 6 scoreless innings on the road vs. the Cubs in his return to the majors. With Hill looking more like his vintage self, it shouldn’t be long before he is a staple in the Dodgers rotation yet again. He has incredible upside and should be picked up immediately.
The Cardinals are finally coming along this season with much of their success stemming from newcomers like Jose Martinez, Marcell Ozuna, and Jack Flaherty. For Flaherty, talent has never been an issue. Instead, it was finding a rotation spot for the young prospect. With Adam Wainwright being transferred to the 60-day DL with elbow inflammation, Flaherty’s time is now. On the season, the 22-year-old has a dazzling 2.66 ERA with a healthy 9.77 K/9. In his most recent outing, Flaherty shut out the Cubs through 5 innings and accrued 7 strikeouts. He is a proven commodity at this point in the season and somebody who should be picked up if somehow still available.
Bundy had some well-deserved hype coming into the 2018 season after closing out the previous year with a 4.24 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and nearly a strikeout per inning. But a three-game stretch back in May saw the right-hander give up a total of 19 runs in just nine innings. Over his last seven outings however, Bundy has been nothing short of spectacular, dropping his ERA from an ugly 5.31 to a respectable 3.81, allowing 14 total runs in that span. Though his team currently sits in last place in the AL East, Bundy is trending up and should be added in any league where he may have been dropped. His K/9 currently sits at 10.04, his GB% is up from last year, and his BABIP and BB/9 are on par with his 2017 numbers. In short, nothing seems to be wrong with the Oriole. He should have more stable outings moving forward.
With Hector Neris being demoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Dominguez seems to be next in line for saves. He is easily Philadelphia’s best reliever and should find immediate success in the closer role. On the season, Dominguez has registered a superb 1.27 ERA to go along with an eye-popping 12.46 K/9. The Phillies are currently sitting in 2nd in the NL East and should continue to provide opportunities for their new closer. There is no guarantee Neris inherits the job when he is called back up, and with the Phillies in contention it wouldn’t make sense for manager Gabe Kapler to rock the boat if Dominguez hits the ground running. Dominguez is a must-add as he could retain the closer role for the rest of the season.
Hunter Strickland landed on the DL with a broken hand after blowing a save against Miami and punching a wall out of frustration. With Strickland out for the next two months, Sam Dyson will get the first opportunity to close for the Giants. On the season, the right-hander holds a sparkling 2.45 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP, though his 7.09 K/9 could be better. He is worthy of an add while Strickland recovers however if Dyson should falter, Tony Watson and former closer Mark Melancon would be next up.