Closing Time: Joe Ross re-arrives in Washington

Joe Ross pitched eight strong innings in his return to Washington’s rotation. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)

Washington right-hander Joe Ross stumbled out of the blocks this year, allowing 13 earned runs over three April starts for the Nats, resulting in a demotion to Triple-A. He wasn’t exactly lights-out at Syracuse, either, but he was there to adjust his arm slot and recover lost velocity. Ross was recalled for a home start against Seattle on Tuesday night, and he was mostly terrific, torturing a struggling Mariners lineup. Check the highlights here.

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Run support was plentiful for Ross — Washington scored eight in the fourth inning — not that he needed much help. He struck out six batters over 8.0 frames, allowing five hits, no walks and one run. He opened the game throwing 93-94 mph, but dipped to 89-90 by the middle innings, so that’s a small concern. Still, no one is gonna complain about Tuesday’s stat line.

At 24, Ross is an ascending talent with swing-and-miss stuff who happens to pitch for the highest scoring team in MLB. He has a clear path to rest-of-season fantasy relevance, and he has a friendly start upcoming against the Padres on Sunday. Add as needed.

Jorge Bonifacio won’t stop homering. The 23-year-old outfielder has gone deep in four of his last five games for the Royals, and is now slashing .267/.326/.488. He hit 19 homers at Triple-A Omaha last season, so the power surge isn’t too crazy. He doesn’t project to hit for a useful average (for fantasy purposes), but the pop is legit.

Matt Adams, shortly after finishing the Bucs with a walk-off single. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Matt Adams seems to be enjoying life in Atlanta so far. He’s gone 5-for-13 over his first three games for the Braves, hitting a pair of home runs and delivering a walk-off opposite-field liner on Tuesday against Bucs closer Tony Watson — lefty-vs.-lefty success, you’ll note. Adams’ power is well known to the fantasy community at this stage; the man hit 16 homers in just 297 at-bats last season. He has a full-time gig for the next 2-3 months, while Freddie Freeman (wrist) is sidelined. If you need a power boost, go get him. Adams is owned in just 7 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Boston called up first base prospect Sam Travis from Triple-A, presumably to handle the light side of a platoon with Mitch Moreland. Travis hasn’t displayed significant power at any stop, but he’s hit for average in the minors and he’s a willing walker (.301/.362/.453 career slash). He’s of interest in A.L.-only, though his call-up is not an actionable event for mixed leaguers.

In news that might be meaningful to mixed league owners, at least down the road, the Padres are promoting right-hander Dinelson Lamet for a Thursday start. No promises here, but Lamet has struck out 50 batters over 39.0 innings for Triple-A El Paso. Of course he’s also walked 20, and his fantasy ratios, while fine, are not spectacular (3.23, 1.33). It’s the Ks that make him worth a look.

OK, I realize you guys may not be fervent Schwarbists like me, but hopefully we can all appreciate a 470-something foot home run…


Schwarber really exit-velocity’d the hell outta that thing. That was the first homer to reach Sheffield Avenue since the bleacher restoration, nearly three years ago.

Devon Travis extended his hitting streak to eight games on Tuesday, and he’s now batting .362 for the month. He has six multi-hit games and nine XBHs during his streak.

Ryan Schimpf just hit his eleventh home run of the season, which leaves him on pace to hit 38 for the year with only 76 total hits. He’s batting just .169. Schimpf is quite possibly the game’s purest three-true-outcomes hitter, as he’s also on pace for 90 walks and 180 Ks.

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