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Ben Rosener’s Fantasy Baseball Beat: Mason Miller and Austin Slater News Updates

Mason Miller - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Prospects, Draft Sleepers

The MLB offseason and Spring training are officially over. The regular season is here, and with it comes the daily influx of baseball news that fantasy managers missed in the winter months. Lineup news, actual games happening, constant waiver wire moves, pitching assignments, and bullpen usage.

Baseball is back, and so too is fantasy baseball, with the draft season having just wrapped up, or otherwise being very close to being wrapped up. This column aims to cover any and all fantasy baseball news, big or small, and how it pertains to your fantasy team. Spring training or the regular season, it's covered here.

Has a player who's usually been hitting in the middle of a lineup suddenly batting eighth or ninth for an extended period? The fantasy implications will be covered here. The same goes for injuries and injured placements and whether or not you should consider picking up a player who was recently called up. Basically, any kernel of fantasy news and its relevance to fantasy managers could be covered here. Today, the news of the day is the fantasy impact of Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Mason Miller and San Francisco Giants outfielder Austin Slater respectively being placed on the injured list.

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Fantasy Baseball Impact Of Mason Miller Being Placed On The Injured List

The Oakland A’s transferred right-handed starting pitcher Mason Miller on the 15-day injured list on Thursday, per a tweet from the American League West club’s official Twitter account. The move was one of a number made by the Athletics. The team also recalled right-hander Luis Medina from Triple-A and selected fellow pitcher Zach Neal from Triple-A. Elsewhere, reliever Rico Garcia was optioned to Triple-A while catcher Manny Pina was transferred to the 60-day injured list.

Per the tweet from the Athletics, the move is “retroactive to May 8.”

According to a tweet from The San Francisco Chronicle’s Matt Kawahara on Thursday, Miller was reportedly placed on the injured list due to “right forearm tightness.”

The 24-year-old has shown plenty of promise, both in real-life baseball for the A’s and for fantasy managers in his first four major league starts this season. The former top prospect has pitched to a 3.38 ERA, a 3.12 FIP, 22 strikeouts, and seven walks in 21.1 innings of work.

Fantasy managers and the A’s alike will both now have to look elsewhere for rotation options. As of now, Medina and Neal are both candidates to see starts for Oakland.

Medina, who was mentioned in this column a few weeks ago, made his major league debut on April 26 for the club. He allowed eight hits, eight runs, seven earned runs, three walks, and two home runs in five innings while striking out six batters against the Los Angeles Angels. He fared much better on Thursday, limiting the Texas Rangers to five hits, three earned runs, and a home run in six innings while chipping in with three strikeouts.

The right-hander has a history of high walk rates in the minors, so not handing out a free pass in his return to the majors was definitely a positive.

Neal, meanwhile, has made 31 career major league appearances, logging a 4.94 ERA and a 4.84 FIP in 85.2 innings. Unlike Medina, he hasn’t had issues with walks, allowing just seven in his major league career. But at the same time, he’s also registered just 37 strikeouts in his 85.2 innings at the game’s highest level.

Of his 31 major league appearances, six were starts, and he’s made two starts (plus a relief appearance) with Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate so far this year.

In those two starts plus a relief appearance, Neal has struck out 11 batters while allowing eight hits, seven earned runs, five walks, and two home runs.

All told, fantasy managers are probably better off looking elsewhere for streaming options, especially if Medina struggles with allowing walks or Neal doesn’t rack up all that much in the way of strikeouts. The A’s also don’t have the league’s easiest schedule over the next few weeks. After the team’s series with Texas wraps up, they’ll play three games at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks before 10 straight division contests against the Houston Astros (six games) and Seattle Mariners (four games).


Fantasy Baseball Impact Of Austin Slater Being Placed On The Injured List

The San Francisco Giants placed outfielder Austin Slater on the 10-day injured list on Thursday, per a tweet from the club’s official Twitter account.

Slater was off to a strong start for San Francisco this season, hitting .368 with a .455 on-base percentage and a pair of stolen bases in 22 plate appearances.

According to a tweet from NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic on Thursday, Slater is reportedly heading to the injured list due to a “left hamstring strain.”

In Slater’s place, Bryce Johnson is joining the club. The outfielder has appeared in 10 games for the National League West club so far, hitting .150 with no walks and a home run in 20 plate appearances. He’s been much more productive at the Triple-A level this season, hitting .385 with a .467 on-base percentage, a home run, and three stolen bases in 15 plate appearances this year.

Johnson has never hit more than nine home runs in a season in the minors before. He has stolen at least 25 bases at four different minor league stops, including 31 in 94 games and 352 plate appearances at Triple-A last season.

With Slater and Mike Yastrzemski on the injured list, it’s possible the 27-year-old could see extended playing time in center field alongside corner outfielders Mitch Haniger and Michael Conforto. Though for now, he's only an option in deeper fantasy leagues given his lack of power.

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