Happy Friday, everyone! It's finally time to ask ourselves the question -- what in the world is going on with Phillies sp Aaron Nola? Drafted to be your ace, or at least an SP2, Nola has not been the quality innings eater Fantasy Baseball managers were expecting to get. Nola had another disappointing outing on Thursday. 

Pitching against the Braves Braves, Nola once again struggled. He lasted six innings but surrendered eight hits, including three home runs, resulting in five earned runs allowed. Despite recording seven strikeouts, Nola's command was off. Nola's overall numbers this season are not up to par with the draft capital or trade capital used to acquire him. He's got a 4.59 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 4.31 FIP. If you're looking for some kind of silver lining, Nola's curveball usage showed promise and generated 11 swinging strikes on Thursday. Overall, Nola's underlying metrics suggest the ratios will get better, but something just isn't quite right.

Meanwhile, several intriguing hitters emerge on the waiver wire, offering potential value to fantasy managers. Also, the Diamondbacks are planning to recall OF Jake McCarthy from Triple-A, presenting an opportunity for managers in need of outfield depth. We'll talk more about that plus a bit of a lookahead below.

Waiver wire hitters to consider

Riley Greene (OF, Tigers, 73% rostered)

Greene has been on fire in May, batting .385 with three home runs, seven doubles, and three stolen bases, resulting in an impressive 1.045 OPS. With favorable matchups ahead and a solid batted ball profile, Greene is a valuable addition to Fantasy rosters.

Spencer Torkelson (1B/3B, Tigers, 44% rostered)

Torkelson quietly put together a strong May, hitting .284 with two home runs and seven doubles, accompanied by an .807 OPS. His consistently strong average exit velocity (91.4 AVG EV) and hard-hit rate (48.6%) suggest continued success. Like Greene, he is one of the best prospects in the Tigers organization.

Akil Baddoo (OF, Tigers, 3% rostered)

Baddoo has shown improvements in plate discipline this year, reflected in his 13% walk rate and a career-high 40% hard-hit rate. He recently launched his second home run of the season and is batting .257 with four stolen bases. Badoo is better in daily lineup change leagues since he's still not playing much against lefties, but we've seen him go through these Roto-friendly stretches before. Ride it while it's hot.

Michael Conforto (OF, Giants, 64% rostered)

Conforto's four-hit performance, including his 11th home run, highlights his resurgence in May. With a reduced strikeout rate and solid power numbers, Conforto could be a valuable asset. His power has come back and he's managing to keep the strikeouts down -- I can't think of a healthier recipe for a hitter's success.

LaMonte Wade (OF, Giants, 43% rostered)

Wade contributed three hits in his recent game and boasts a .277 average along with an impressive .898 OPS. With six home games next week and a favorable matchup against left-handed pitching, Wade could be a sneaky play as a starter for this specific week.

McCarthy gets another chance

Diamondbacks OF Jake McCarthy was a league winner last season off the waiver wire, and despite some high expectations coming into 2023, he was sent down to the minors early. Well, he's on his way back up to the majors now. McCarthy has shined in his time at Triple-A, batting .333 with four home runs, four stolen bases, and a .952 OPS in 22 games. McCarthy's previous minor league season showcased his potential with a .283 average, eight home runs, and 23 stolen bases. We already know he can get really hot for stretches and is a massive contributor in the stolen base category based on his 2022 season run in the second half. Scoop McCarthy up now as one of the higher upside adds.

News & notes

  • Max Fried played catch on flat ground Thursday. The initial expectation was that Fried would miss a couple of months but he might be ready to return sometime before the end of June, assuming everything goes well.
  • Padres manager Bob Melvin said he doesn't expect Manny Machado to be ready for activation from the IL when first eligible Friday. He remains out with that small fracture in his left hand.
  • Logan Webb, who was initially lined up to start Thursday, will instead start Saturday against the Brewers. He'll get a few more days to recover from lower-back soreness.
  • Tyler Glasnow is listed as the Rays probable pitcher Saturday against the Dodgers.
  • Liam Hendriks will throw live batting practice Friday and seems to be on the brink of activation.
  • Giancarlo Stanton is hoping to begin a rehab assignment early next week.
  • Jose Alvarado will throw another bullpen session Saturday. If all goes well, he'll move to live batting practice next week.
  • Anthony Rendon is not expected to need a rehab assignment before returning. He's yet to take batting practice but went through agility drills Wednesday. 
  • Gavin Stone will make another start this Sunday at the Rays.
  • Ha-seong Kim was carted off the field after fouling a ball off his knee. X-rays came back negative and the hope is that he'll avoid the IL.
  • Brenton Doyle was also carted off the field after crashing hard into the center field while attempting to rob a homer. Early indication is that he only suffered a knee contusion and will be able to avoid the IL.
  • Darick Hall could start a rehab assignment early next week. He had surgery April 12 to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and could be activated as early as June 5.
  • The Cubs officially released Eric Hosmer Thursday.
  • Randy Vasquez will make his major-league debut for the Yankees on Friday versus the Padres.