Shogo Akiyama, OF, CIN (CBS: 15% rostered): In the past week Akiyama has gone 6-for-16 with a pair of stolen bases. He has also walked four times. It took a while, but the Akiyama we thought we were going to see out-of-the-gate appears to be finally arriving.
Sherten Apostel, 3B, TEX (CBS: 3% rostered): In a rather surprising move, the Rangers have called up our #15 ranked Rangers prospect, Sherten Apostel. With only 135 at-bat at High-A, it’s safe to say Texas has moved into audition time!
Daz Cameron, OF, DET (CBS: 3% rostered): So far, the assessment at prospect361.com looks bang on. We said…“He’s a plus runner that allows him to play a great outfield and steal plenty of bases. While there is power, the swing lacks loft, so I would put his power output more in the 15 to 18 range assuming the current Major League baseball. His problem is his ability to make consistent contact. The swing looks ok, but he does expand the strike zone and that is leading to a poor contact rate.” You can be guaranteed that Cameron will see a steady diet of at-bats over the next two weeks and hopefully can contribute in the stolen base category.
Jeimer Candelario, 1B/3B, DET (CBS: 48% rostered): Jeimer Candelario has been hot. How hot? In 43 September at-bats he has hit 3 homers, driven in 13 runs, and scored ten runs. It’s worth a look to see if he’s still sitting in your Free Agent pool.
Stefan Crichton, RP, ARZ (CBS: 2% rostered): That “long leash” that we mentioned last week wasn’t very long. Kevin Ginkel went from closer to the alternate site in less than a week. Such is the life of a closer in today’s game. Crichton got the last save chance and converted it successfully, so we’ll give him the slight edge over Travis Bergen in the chase for saves in Arizona.
Rafael Dolis, RP, TOR (CBS: 13% rostered): Ken Giles has been activated, but with Dolis pitching well there is no rush to force Giles into the ninth inning role. Dolis has not allowed an earned run since August 12, and with three saves in the past week, is definitely the late-inning option in the Jays bullpen you should covet.
Bryan Garcia, RP, DET (CBS: 2% rostered): Gregory Soto looked to be in a good position to earn saves down the stretch, and then blew a save opportunity against the Twins. Ron Gardenhire turned to Bryan Garcia in the next opportunity and he successfully converted that save and the next opportunity. It’s definitely a bullpen-by-committee in the Motor City.
Victor Gonzalez, RP, LAD (CBS: 1% rostered): The Dodgers rotation is currently in a state of flux, and with a huge lead in the Division there could be solid value in a quality middle-reliever. Victor Gonzalez could be just what the Doctor ordered. In nine games since getting called up, he has allowed only two earned runs, is sporting a 2-0 won/loss record, and has 15 strikeouts in 14 IP.
Alejandro Kirk, C, TOR (CBS: 2% rostered): At 5’8” and 265 pounds, stocky would be an apt description. Don’t let the size fool you, the kid can hit. The Jays obviously believe that to be the case as they DFA’d Caleb Joseph to make room for him in a backup role as they march towards a playoff berth.
Dean Kremer, SP, BAL (CBS: 18% rostered): Team owners were obviously a bit concerned about back-to-back outings against the Yankees, but after yesterday, those fears can be put aside. Kremer worked his four-seamer and curve to a ‘t’ keeping the New York bats out of sync. There is also the potential for three starts over the last two weeks. Go get him!
Reynaldo Lopez, SP, CWS (CBS: 15% rostered): Is a five-inning shutout start against the Tigers considered turning-the-corner? He’s a risky play, with the Twins and Indians next up on the schedule, but in deep Leagues he’s also one of the few starters available in the Free Agent pool.
Jose Marmolejos, 1B/OF, SEA (CBS: 3% rostered): He keeps on hitting and keeps on working his way into the Mariners lineup. If one is looking for a cheap option with both 1B and OF eligibility, give him a look.
Caleb Smith, SP, ARZ (CBS: 34% rostered): After a lengthy stint on the Covid-IL, Smith finally saw his first action of 2020 and responded in fine form, tossing three-innings of one-hit one-run ball with three strikeouts. He was on a strict pitch count, which should be gradually increased over his final three starts of 2020. He has the Angels, Rangers, and Dodgers on the schedule and if one is looking for strikeouts down the stretch, makes for a very good SP option.
DJ Stewart, OF, BAL (CBS: 17% rostered): Since getting the call on September 4, Stewart has gone 10-for-22 with six, yes six homers, and driven in eight runs. Why is he available in 83% of the leagues playing at CBS?
Jared Walsh, 1B, LAA (CBS: 3% rostered): In the past two weeks, Walsh has pounded five home runs, driven in 12 runs, and is the proud owner of a .353 BA. He’s also rostered in only 3% of the Leagues using CBS. It’s time to part with some of your FAAB.
Luis Campusano, C, SDP (CBS: 8% rostered): In a bit of a surprise move, especially with the Padres adding Austin Nola and Jason Castro at the trade deadline, the Padres called up their “catcher-of-the-future” Luis Campusano and he promptly goes deep in his first game. Will Campusano get the playing time down the stretch? Not likely, but for those in Keeper/Dynasty Leagues this should serve as a reminder that his time isn’t far off.
Aledmys Diaz, 1B/2B/3B, HOU (CBS: 6% rostered): The sprained right knee suffered by Jose Altuve has sent him to the 10-day IL. What an incredibly disappointing year it has been for Altuve. Diaz should see the bulk of the at-bats until the return of the diminutive one.
Alex Dickerson, OF, SFG (CBS: 25% rostered): Dickerson did have the one monster game last week where he went 5-for-6 with three homers and five RBI, but he has hit seven bombs on the year with 21 RBI and a solid .351 OBP. Why is he rostered in only 25% of the Leagues using CBS?
Kevin Ginkel, RP, ARZ (CBS: 6% rostered): Ginkel blew his first save chance following the trade of Archie Bradley to the Reds, but Arizona stuck with him and that 7+ ERA, giving him a second shot Saturday that he converted. It appears that the DBacks are running auditions for 2021 and could give Ginkel a fairly long leash as he acclimates himself to the new role.
Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, PIT (CBS: 18% rostered): In what seemed like an eternity, the long awaited callup of Hayes finally occurred this past week. “He’s never posted a K/9 over 20% and has posted a walk rate usually over 10% (in 2019, it was 9.0%).” In the four games since getting the call, he has gone 5-for-14 with a homer and four runs scored.
Jason Heyward, OF, CHC (CBS: 28% rostered): On the year, Heyward has five homers, 17 RBI, scored 16 runs and has posted a stellar .417 OBP. He has played consistently good ball since the last week of August and is worthy of a roster spot in all deeper formats.
Dylan Moore, 2B/SS/3B/OF, SEA (CBS: 48% rostered): Moore was activated off of the 10-day IL on Friday after missing two weeks with a sprained right wrist, and promptly resumed where he left off. He stole a base in that first game and with five homers in his first 83 at-bats provides some power to go along with the obvious speed. Hitting in the two-hole has also allowed him to score 16 runs. This “super-utility” player is a must own for the stretch run.
Tyler Naquin, OF, CLE (CBS: 7% rostered): The Indians have tried any and everybody in the outfield this year and it is apparently Tyler Naquin’s kick-at-the-can. In his past seven games he’s 6-for-26 with three homers and nine RBI. If he continues hitting in that fashion he won’t have any concerns about full-time employment.
David Phelps, RP, PHI (CBS: 4% rostered): Mr. Phelps. Your mission should you decide to accept it is to help the Phillies bullpen hold a lead, something they didn’t do very well for the first six weeks of the season. Should you be detected, Joe Girardi will disavow any knowledge of your actions.
Yohan Ramirez, RP, SEA (CBS: 1% rostered): The Rule 5 pickup from the Astros has never had problems throwing strikes, as evident by the 158 strikeouts in 106 IP at High and Double-A last year in the Astros system. The problem was finding the strike zone, as he allowed 74 walks and hit 15 batters. With the Mariners thinning their bullpen at the trade deadline it’s time for the M’s to be auditioning a closer-of-the-future and with two saves in the past week the future appears to be commencing.
Victor Reyes, OF, DET (CBS: 26% rostered): We mentioned Victor Reyes back in Week Six. At that time he was near the top of the leader board in stolen bases with five and was rostered in 13% of the Leagues using CBS. Since our mention, he is hitting .346 with ten runs scored and has moved into the leadoff spot for the Tigers. It’s time to give your Leagues free agent pool another look and find a home for Reyes should he be available.
Five Under Five%
Logan Webb, SP, SFG (CBS: 15% rostered): In deeper Leagues, it’s getting tough to find starting pitching options. The 23-year-old has experienced an up-and-down season, but the strikeout-per-inning potential is intriguing. Webb is also facing off against the Mariners and Padres next week, which isn’t half bad.
J.T. Brubaker, SP, PIT (CBS: 3% rostered): The start against the White Sox next week is tough, but then Brubaker rolls into a two-start week against the Reds and Cardinals before finishing the year against the Cubs. In his past two starts against Milwaukee and the Cubs he has gone five innings in both allowing a total of only three earned runs. That two-start week has its charms.
Kyle Cody, SP, TEX (CBS: 1% rostered): The Rangers Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2017, saw the promising start fade quickly as he went under the knife for Tommy John Surgery the following year. Now back and finally healthy, the 6’7” Cody and that 96 mph fastball are looking at the balance of 2020 as an audition for the 2021 rotation.
Derek Fisher, OF, TOR (CBS: 4% rostered): The injury suffered by Teoscar Hernandez is a tough pill for both the Jays and his Fantasy team owners to swallow and even tougher to fill. Fisher looks to be the principal beneficiary of this unfortunate injury and should get a steady diet of at-bats in an attempt to fill the void.
Dean Kremer, SP, BAL (CBS: 1% rostered): The Orioles have decided that it’s high time to give the future an audition and have called up Kremer to start today against the Yankees. 2019 was a very good year for the now 24-year-old righty, acquired from the Dodgers in the Manny Machado trade. We wrote when he was in the minor leagues that “Kremer has a good arsenal but it’s more back-of-the-rotation. His fastball sits at 92-to-94 mph and will scrape higher with an average curveball. He’s still trying to find a feel for the change-up. The delivery has some crossfire, and while that provides some deception it could leave him vulnerable to arm-side bats.”
Yairo Munoz, SS/3B/OF, BOS (CBS: 1% rostered): Andrew Benintendi’s disappointing 2020 season looks to be concluded, with the rib injury suffered August 11. Munoz is looking to fill the void in the Boston outfield and is off to a great start going 9-for-20 with a homer and four RBI in his first five games. The former Cards utility player should see a steady diet of at-bats down the stretch.
Anthony Bass, RP, TOR (CBS: 34% rostered): Jordan Romano has hit the 10-day IL with a finger issue and is likely to be lost for the next 2-to-4 weeks. This thrusts Anthony Bass back into sole ownership of the ninth inning for the Jays until the return of Ken Giles.
Garrett Cooper, OF, MIA (CBS: 10% rostered): Cooper missed a month due to the early season Covid-19 problem in Miami, returned Friday, and was immediately inserted into the Marlins lineup. In 381 at-bats last year, Cooper hit 15 homers and drove in 50 runs. He’ll hit in the heart of the Marlins order and based on his past production should be a decent power source for your Fantasy squad down the stretch.
Bobby Dalbec, 3B, BOS (CBS: 5% rostered): The trade of Mitch Moreland to the Padres has opened up an opportunity for Dalbec. In the offseason, we had this to say about the Red Sox #3 prospect. “In his three previous seasons, he never posted a strikeout rate of lower than 30%. However, in 135 games across Double and Triple-A, he posted a 25% strikeout rate. That’s not great, but assuming a reasonable BABIP, he might be able to hit enough to get to his 30 plus home run power.” The Red Sox will definitely be giving the youngster everyday at-bats down the stretch.
Justin Dunn, SP, SEA (CBS: 9% rostered): We were big fans of Justin Dunn when he was with the Mets and saw him as a potential mid-rotation starter. He has very good stuff but never put it all together to show the potential. That changed in 2019 as he pitched extremely well in 25 starts in Double-A. In 131.2 innings, he pitched to a 3.55 ERA striking out nearly 11 per nine while walking 2.7 per nine. In his last start, Dunn tossed six shutout innings of one-hit ball against the Rangers. He has the struggling Angels and a return engagement with the Rangers this coming week, making him a great two-start option.
Josh Fleming, SP, TBR (CBS: 7% rostered): Coming out of nowhere, we’ve now witnessed two solid outings from the unranked prospect. His two principal weapons are a sinker (53.4%) and slider (31.5%). As long as that sinker keeps sinking, Fleming could prove to be a solid option heading into September.
Jose Garcia, SS, CIN (CBS: 8% rostered): In the off-season, we had this to say about our #8 Red prospect. “If you’re looking for optimism, he was red-hot to end the year, hitting .378 in August with a .571 SLG. While I did not see him play, I was told by someone who did that he looked much better than at anytime prior to that. It could be a small sample size, but perhaps he finally is knocking off the rust. Time will tell.” The Reds obviously liked what they saw both last year and at the “alternate site”, as he has now displaced Freddy Galvis as their everyday shortstop.
Tony Gonsolin, SP, LAD (CBS: 35% rostered): It was only a matter of time before we saw the return of Gonsolin to the Dodgers rotation. How do you keep a player at the alternate site that in 14 innings this year with the Dodgers has yet to allow an earned run?
Sam Haggerty, 2B/OF, SEA (CBS: 7% rostered): Haggerty went from “not rostered” at all last week to 7% this week. When you’ve stolen four bases in your first 39 at-bats, that deserves much more of our attention.
Hunter Harvey, RP, BAL (CBS: 17% rostered): Injuries have made it a long and hard road for Hunter Harvey. We suggested in the offseason that Harvey had a chance to be the closer in Baltimore and that is exactly what the Orioles have in mind for Harvey when he returns from the IL. Cole Sulser owners should be aware that his days of closing for the O’s are numbered.
Chad Kuhl, SP, PIT (CBS: 21% rostered): Kuhl is working his way back from TJS and with his last outing, a six-inning gem against the Cards, he’s currently sporting a 2.52 ERA on the season. Next up he has the Cubs and Reds in a two-start week, which makes for an intriguing streaming option in deeper formats.
Tyler Mahle, SP, CIN (CBS: 23% rostered): Wade Miley hits the 10-day IL with a left shoulder sprain and the Reds will turn to Mahle to hold down the fort. He got off to a rather poor start against the Cubs last week allowing back-to-back solo homers to Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber, and then shut the Cubs down over 6 2/3 innings, tossing in 11 strikeouts for good measure. It’s time to once again be investing in Mahle.
Reyes Moronta, RP, SFG (CBS: 1% rostered): Moronta is working his way back from shoulder surgery and live BP is just around the corner. Prior to the injury, Moronta was looking very much like a closer-of-the-future for the Giants and with no one stepping up this year and laying claim to the job, he could be an interesting stash for those in Keeper/Dynasty Leagues for next season.
Michal Pineda, SP, MIN (19% rostered): The 60-game PED suspension is coming to an end, and by next weekend he’ll be eligible to return to his spot in the Twins rotation, just in time to help the Twins in their September push in a very tight Division.
Trevor Rogers, SP, MIA (CBS: 4% rostered): This season, he showed good swing and miss stuff in both the Florida State and Southern League with much-improved control. The stuff still looks solid with a fastball that can scrape the mid-90s and both a slider and change-up that show promise. Rogers made his MLB debut last week and tossed four innings of one-hit ball, albeit with five walks. The Marlins keep going to the well, and the well is delivering.
Sergio Romo, RP, MIN (CBS: 25% rostered): Taylor Rogers is currently sporting a 4.76 ERA and has allowed earned runs in three of his past six appearances. Twins Manager, Rocco Baldelli has never been shy about turning the ball over to Romo in the ninth, and that trend should continue down the stretch.
Josh Staumont, RP, KCR (CBS: 13% rostered): As we mentioned last week, “The fact that Trevor Rosenthal is rumored to be a hot commodity for teams looking to upgrade their bullpens, should up the ante.” Trevor Rosenthal was definitely as advertised and he’s now a Padre, elevating Staumont and possibly Scott Barlow into the ninth-inning role in Kansas City.
Tarik Skubal, SP, DET (CBS: 26% owned): After two shaky starts in which he failed to get out of the third inning, Skubal bounced back nicely against a tough Twins offense. He tossed five-innings of two-run ball, allowing three hits and no walks, in gaining his first win. For those that walked away after those first two outings, try buying him back this week!
Leody Taveras, OF, TEX (CBS: 5% rostered): On Friday night he stole his first base. On Saturday, he hit his first homer. Over the off-season, we indicated that we saw upside with Taveras as a full-time regular, and because of his speed, a potential impact fantasy performer. There is speed, good contact skills with the chance to hit a handful of home runs. A player with that level of potential has to be chased hard in the Waiver Wire battles this week.
Taijuan Walker, SP, TOR (CBS: 51% rostered): The Blue Jays acquired Walker for a PTBNL or cash and he immediately made his presence felt. He tossed six-innings of four-hit shutout ball in his debut and cruised to his first victory in Buffalo. The Jays will need more like results as they attempt to chase down a playoff berth in the tough AL East.
Matt Barnes, RP, BOS (CBS: 27% rostered): The Red Sox moved Brandon Workman to the Phillies on Friday, and the logical option for the Red Sox would be for Matt Barnes to move into the closer role. Barnes promptly responded by blowing a save opportunity Saturday night and taking the loss. This could evolve into a committee very quickly, with Ryan Brasier and possibly even Darwinzon Hernandez working their way into the mix.
Joey Bart, C, SFG (CBS: 52% rostered): The top prospect in the Giants organization went 1-for-4 in his debut. However, what should have our attention is the fact that hit left his barrel at 109.5 mph, the hardest-hit ball of the evening. Bart can hit and the Giants didn’t call him up to ride the pine. If he’s still sitting in your free agent pool, he shouldn’t be.
Diego Castillo, RP, TBR (CBS: 14% rostered): The closer carousel keeps on spinning, as Nick Anderson finds his way to the 10-day IL with right forearm inflammation. Diego Castillo is the likely favorite to garner the bulk of the saves for the Rays, remembering that in Tampa Bay there rarely is a favorite?
Dane Dunning, SP, CWS (CBS: 12% rostered): Dunning matched Casey Mize pitch for pitch in their head-to-head debut this past week. Dunning tossed 4 1/3 solid innings in which he allowed three earned runs, tossing in seven strikeouts for good measure. Dunning missed the last 18 months recovering from TJ Surgery, but he remained #5 on our White Sox prospect list and now you know why. While Mize deserves a lot of love, Dunning does as well.
Jake Fraley, OF, SEA (CBS: 4% rostered): We finally have a Jake Fraley sighting, as he got the call to replace Dylan Moore, who wound up on the 10-day IL with a sprained wrist. Fraley brings a little pop and speed potential to the table, but for now, is best left for AL-only formats.
Chad Green, RP, NYY (CBS: 35% rostered): Chad Green has very quietly been enjoying a great year. In 12 2/3 IP, he’s sporting a .71 ERA and a .47 WHIP. He’s also struck out 17 batters. Zack Britton has made his way to the 10-day IL with a hamstring strain, elevating Green into the setup role and next-in-line for saves.
Triston McKenzie, SP, CLE (CBS: 31% rostered): At the beginning of the week, Triston McKenzie was rostered in 8% of the Leagues using CBS. By Saturday night at midnight, that rate had soared to 31% rostered. By Sunday after this week’s Waiver Wire run, I’ll guess at 85% rostered? We loved his size and athleticism as he was going through the minor leagues and when he started hitting 97 on the radar gun, we finally saw the increase in velocity that was anticipated. We are anxious to see what he can do for his follow-up.
Ryan Mountcastle, 1B, BAL (CBS: 22% rostered): There is no doubt that Mountcastle can hit for power. The 25 homers last year in 520 at-bats at Triple-A Norfolk proves that point. He’s also proven to be a free swinger, with 130 strikeouts last year. The power will be an asset. Don’t count on the BA to be the same.
Isaac Paredes, 3B, DET (CBS: 7% rostered): The future at the “hot corner” in Detroit has arrived. It was great to see him power up, with a grand slam in his fourth game, but the key to his success will be in his ability to control the strike zone. The 61/57 K/BB at Double-A in 2019 is a good indicator that he’ll enjoy success.
Victor Reyes, OF, DET (CBS: 13% rostered): The stolen base leader is currently Jonathan Villar, with seven. Victor Reyes is currently sitting with five thefts on the year. If you need a boost in the stolen base category, go get him.
Jesus Sanchez, OF, MIA (CBS: 9% rostered): The Marlins continue to shuffle their outfield deck, and have handed the opportunity off to former Ray, Jesus Sanchez. He has the skills to hit for plus-power. The big question being, will the Marlins give the youngster a decent audition to display those skills?
Sixto Sanchez, SP, MIA (CBS: 44% rostered): Sixto Sanchez was the principal player the Marlins received from the Phillies in the J.T. Realmuto deal. He made his debut this week and flashed that triple-digit high heat and quality slider in gaining his first big league victory. Expect to see the top-prospect take a regular turn in the Marlins rotation for the balance of the season.
Josh Staumont, RP, KCR (CBS: 8% rostered): The 23 strikeouts in 11 1/3 IP with four holds should have your attention. The fact that Trevor Rosenthal is rumored to be a hot commodity for teams looking to upgrade their bullpens, should up the ante.
Raimel Tapia, OF, COL (CBS: 10% rostered): Just when it appeared that Garrett Hampson had taken sole ownership of the leadoff gig in Colorado, Raimel Tapia enters the fray. The 11/10 K/BB ratio and three thefts might be why he has found his way to the top-of-the-order?
Evan White, 1B, SEA (CBS: 21% rostered): Yes, there have been plenty of both ups-and-downs in the youngster’s debut season, but when you’re hot, you’re hot. In his past six games he has hit four homers and driven in ten runs. That’s scorching hot!
Tyler Anderson, SP, SFG (CBS: 5% rostered): Anderson dealt with knee issues for years and looks to finally have put them behind him. The one-time Rockie top-prospect tossed the first complete game of his career last night against the DBacks and has a return meeting with them this coming week.
Sam Haggerty, 2B, SEA (CBS: not rostered): Shed Long is really struggling, so we could see a steady run of at-bats from Haggerty. He’s likely a utility-type player long-term, but short-term the speed will play.
Cedric Mullins, OF, BAL (CBS: 2% rostered): Mullins has gone 9-for-21 with three runs scored, one homer, and one stolen base in the past six games. The Orioles have moved him into the leadoff spot today. He’s earned the opportunity; can he now take advantage of it and hold the job?
Richard Rodriguez, RP, PIT (CBS: 2% rostered): In Week Four we mentioned the imminent return of Keone Kela to the active roster and closer role. On Friday night, Kela left after five pitches due to forearm tightness. The opportunities will be few and far between, but at least for now, Rodriguez could be in line to get them.
Magneuris Sierra, SS, MIA (CBS: 4% rostered): Sierra stole 33 bases between Double and Triple-A last year. He’s all about the wheels and with three stolen bases in his past five outings, could provide respite for those looking to move up in the stolen base category.
Jesus Aguilar, 1B, MIA (CBS: 47% rostered): In his past seven games, Aguilar has gone 11-for-29 with a homer and nine RBI. During this span, he has only struck out a total of three times. On the season he’s sporting a .302 BA. Why is he rostered in only 47% of the Leagues at CBS?
Alec Bohm, 3B, PHI (CBS: 23% rostered): The Phillies are hoping that Alec Bohm can provide their rather anemic offense with a spark. The swing is a tad long so BA expectations should be tempered, but there is no doubting that immense power potential.
Dylan Carlson, OF, STL (CBS: 51% rostered): The Cards have finally called up young phenom Dylan Carlson and it won’t be to ride the pine. With a double-header every other day, you can rest assured that Carlson will get plenty of opportunities to ply his trade.
Dylan Cease, SP, CWS (CBS: 54% rostered): After a dreadful 2020 debut against Cleveland, Cease has quietly reeled off three outstanding efforts. In 17 IP he has allowed only three earned runs and has now reeled off a string of three consecutive victories. It’s time to find a home for him if he’s hanging out in your League’s Free Agent pool.
Lewin Diaz, 1B, MIA (CBS: 6% rostered): Corey Dickerson has been placed on the bereavement list, so the Marlins are giving their future at 1B a look. Diaz profile took a huge boost last year when he mashed 27 homers in 455 at-bats down on the farm. It’s more than likely a short stint for the 23-year-old slugger, but at the same time, Garrett Cooper is currently nowhere to be found, so a hot start could dictate a longer look. If you have the room in 15-team formats, a cheap stash has the potential to reap some decent rewards.
Clint Frazier, OF, NYY (CBS: 22% rostered): There are three certainties in life. Death, Taxes, and that Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge (sometimes both at the same time) will spend time on the IL. With Stanton and Judge both on the IL, the Yankees called up Frazier last Wednesday and in his first game, he goes 3-for-4 with a solo shot. Game Two he goes 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI. In his third game, he ups the ante, going 3-for-3 with a homer and five RBI. Come on Yankees, do what it takes and find a permanent home for this extremely talented youngster.
Luis Garcia, SS, WAS (CBS: 9% rostered): The 20-year-old Garcia is far from a finished product, but the broken right wrist suffered by Starlin Castro Friday night has forced Washington’s hand. In NL-only Leagues, the speed numbers could prove to be an asset.
Kevin Gausman, SP, SFG (CBS: 27% rostered): On the surface, Gausman is looking very much like an average starting pitcher. He’s currently sporting a 4.21 ERA and 1.17 WHIP over his first 25 2/3 IP. What should have your attention is the 34/5 K/BB ratio.
Robbie Grossman, OF, OAK (CBS: 7% rostered): Grossman has always been able to find his way to first base, and that has continued into 2020 where he’s currently posting a 16.2% walk rate. He’s also contributed three homers and four stolen bases in his first 53 at-bats. He should be rostered and active in all Leagues using OBP.
Nick Markakis, OF, ATL (CBS: 19% rostered): Ronald Acuna was anticipated to return on Monday from the nagging wrist injury, but has now been moved to the 10-day IL. In the meantime expect a steady diet of at-bats and solid production from Markakis.
Casey Mize, SP, DET (CBS: 41% rostered): With the news that Ivan Nova has been placed on the 10-day IL with right triceps tendinitis and Tyler Alexander likely returning to a long-relief role, I wonder what young phenom might be looking at making his MLB debut this coming week?
Freddy Peralta, SP/RP, MIL (CBS: 14% rostered): Peralta is currently working in long relief and in his past three appearances totaling nine innings, he has allowed three hits, walked two, has allowed no earned runs, and struck out an amazing 19 batters. Don’t let the fact that he’s not starting every fifth day sway you from finding a spot in your Fantasy rotation.
Drew Pomeranz, RP, SDP (CBS: 55% rostered): Kirby Yates is dealing with bone spurs on his elbow, necessitating what could potentially be a long IL stint. Drew Pomeranz already has four saves on the year and in 7 2/3 IP has yet to allow a run. He’s only allowed but a single hit. I think it’s safe to say that Pomeranz will enjoy his time spent in the ninth inning a lot more than the opposition.
Alex Reyes, RP, STL (CBS: 15% rostered): The rather thin St. Louis bullpen gets a huge boost when Alex Reyes and that 99 mph high heat enters into the discussion. Last night he struck out the side in his 2020 debut. The Cards will need every arm they can find with their double-header heavy schedule and a healthy Reyes would give them and Fantasy Managers a huge boost.
Keibert Ruiz, C, LAD (CBS: 9% rostered): Will Smith has now moved from day-to-day to the 10-day IL with neck inflammation. During his absence, the Dodgers will call on the 22-year-old Ruiz to share the workload with Austin Barnes. Last year down on the farm, Ruiz posted a 22/30 K/BB ratio. Even in a short burst, that hit tool is intriguing.
Dominic Smith, 1B/OF, NYM (CBS: 33% rostered): In his past four games, Smith has hit four homers driven in eight runs and gone 8-for-17 at the dish. A .212 BA heading into the week is now at an even .300. I’m thinking that Yoenis Cespedes will be on Dominic Smith’s Christmas card list this year.
Nick Solak, 2B/3B/OF, TEX (CBS: 38% rostered): In his past seven games, Solak is 12-for-25 with a homer and stolen base. Rougned Odor should be concerned…….very concerned.
Gregory Soto, RP, DET (CBS: 6% rostered): Soto has now pitched 10 shutout innings in which he has allowed only two hits and an equal number of walks. He has struck out 14 batters. He has also moved into the setup role with Buck Farmer on the 10-day IL. He should be active and rolling in all Leagues that count holds.
Rowdy Tellez, 1B, TOR (CBS: 7% rostered): It would appear that Rowdy Tellez is taking a shining to “Coors North”. Two games in the books and he has blasted two homers with four RBI. Tellez has always been streaky and this looks like the beginning of one.
Luis Urias, 2B/SS, MIL (CBS: 16% rostered): Urias has finally worked his way back to the active roster, after testing positive for Covid-19 at Summer Camp. In a season where BA is down, Urias and that solid hit tool should bring some relief.
Tony Watson, RP, SFG (CBS: 18% rostered): Trevor Gott was sailing along owning the closer role until Friday night when he allowed five earned runs in 1/3 IP. Saturday it wasn’t any better, as he allowed four earned runs in 2/3 IP, inflating his ERA to 12 .86 on the season. It looks like a change could be in order, with either Tony Watson or Tyler Rogers or both in a bullpen-by-committee scenario. I’ll give Watson a slight edge.
Five Under Five
Mike Brosseau, 1B/2B/3B/OF, TBR (CBS: 3% rostered): Brosseau is coming off a solid 2019 season at Triple-A, with 16 homers and 60 RBI in 270 at-bats. In AL-only formats, his ability to play at multiple positions and hit southpaws will prove to be an asset.
Ryan Castellani, SP, COL (CBS: 3% rostered): After getting absolutely destroyed at Triple-A Albuquerque last year, Castellani and that 94 mph fastball has proven to be a pleasant surprise. In two starts totaling 8 2/3 IP he’s allowed only one earned run and chipped in with ten strikeouts. Yes, it’s early, and he is pitching half his games at Coors, but so far so good.
Danny Mendick, 2B/SS, CWS (CBS: 1% rostered): Our on-again, off-again love affair with Leury Garcia has ended. Garcia hit the 45-day IL with a sprained thumb, leaving Danny Mendick to handle 2B for the White Sox. The power/speed combination and above-average hit tool makes Mendick a solid play in 15-team formats.
Roman Quinn, OF, PHI (CBS: 2% rostered): Scott Kingery is hurting. Adam Hasely is on the IL. Quinn should find his way into steady at-bats for at least the next week, maybe two. The cheap speed is always intriguing.
Chance Sisco, C, BAL (CBS: 5% rostered): Sisco is doing something that most catchers aren’t doing in 2020, he’s hitting for average. Toss in a couple of homers, and one could do much worse when looking at a second catcher.
Miguel Andujar, DH, NYY (CBS: 47% rostered): Just when we think that Miguel Andujar is headed for a potentially long stint at the “alternate” site, Giancarlo Stanton goes and pulls a hammy and is off to the 10-day IL. There’s at least a glimmer of hope that Andujar could find his way into regular at-bats.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, DET (CBS: 36% rostered): He’s not the “Miggy” that we came to know and love, but with four homers in his first 43 at-bats, he can still help pad those power numbers in deeper formats.
Jake Cronenworth, 1B/SS, SDP (CBS: 7% rostered): One would think that with the return of Eric Hosmer from his stint on the IL, Cronenworth would struggle to find at-bats. The last I looked, Jurickson Profar was really struggling, posting a .098 BA over his first 41 at-bats. Don’t rule Jake Cronenworth out in his chase for full-time at-bats just yet.
Leury Garcia, 2B/SS/OF, CWS (CBS: 31% rostered): The addition of Nick Madrigal into the White Sox lineup was unfortunately short-lived, as the youngster suffered a separated shoulder in his fifth game. Leury Garcia now moves back into a full-time role and with his ability to hit for some pop, swipe some bags, and play all over the place, should be back in our plans for 2020.
Andres Gimenez, 2B/SS, NYM (CBS: 7% rostered): The 21-year-old speedster is doing exactly what the Mets anticipated. He’s now 3-for-3 stealing bases and should continue to provide a decent BA and run. If you feel the need for speed, go get him.
Spencer Howard, SP PHI (CBS: 51% rostered): It’s always exciting to see a top-prospect make his MLB debut. Today is that day for the 24-year-old Howard.
Keone Kela, RP, PIT (CBS: 50% rostered): Derek Shelton, the Pirates field boss, has stated that as soon as he’s ready to roll, the “Kela Monster” will return to the closer role. That could be as early as this coming week.
Josh Lindblom, SP, MIL (CBS: 31% rostered): Lindblom struggled through his first start, dealing with back cramps that cut his outing short. In his second start we saw the former KBO star go a full five innings, allowing four hits, one walk, two earned runs and chipping in with seven strikeouts. Better days are ahead.
Pablo Lopez, SP, MIA (CBS: 27% rostered): The 24-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance in the past, and this week showed them again by tossing five innings of two-hit shutout ball against the Orioles. Can he sustain that great first start and avoid the inconsistencies he has demonstrated in the past? At 24-years-of-age, and with great raw skills, it’s worth the investment to find out.
Evan Marshall, RP, CWS (CBS: 2% rostered): Aaron Bummer was well on his way to establishing himself as a premier setup man and next in line for saves on the South Side, until a left biceps strain put him on the shelf. Marshall has now amassed three holds in his first seven shutout appearances with ten strikeouts and is now next-in-line for saves. It’s time to find a home for the veteran righty in all deeper formats.
Rafael Montero, RP, TEX (CBS: 11% rostered): Montero returned from the IL on Friday and with Jose Leclerc on the IL with a shoulder issue it was assumed that Montero would get a shot at being part of the bullpen-by-committee in Texas. Two days later, with two shutdown innings of work in the ninth and the corresponding two saves, and Rangers Manager Chris Woodward is now going with a committee-of-one, Rafael Montero.
Dylan Moore, 2B/SS/3B/OF, SEA (CBS: 13% rostered): A little pop, little speed, and a lot of opportunity. Moore now has one homer and three stolen bases in his past six games. The lack of walks (13/0 K/BB ratio) indicates that the current .289 BA will likely fall, but as a super-sub type, he could still hold value in daily transaction Leagues and deeper formats.
Justin Romano, RP, TOR (CBS: 4% rostered): Dynasty League owners take notice. Justin Romano has now tossed seven innings of shutout ball this year. Over those seven appearances, he has yet to allow a hit. Oh, he has also struck out ten batters and has added four holds to his resume. Ken Giles is heading into Free Agency and Anthony Bass has done an outstanding job filling in for Giles, but is he the future? It’s time to find room for Romano in Keeper/Dynasty Leagues.
Trevor Rosenthal, RP, KCR (CBS: 16% rostered): Back-to-back successful save opportunities on Friday and Saturday and it appears that Trevor Rosenthal has now come full circle and owns the ninth inning in Kansas City. The fact that he has allowed only four hits and no walks in his first seven appearances bodes well for his chances to hold the job.
Clarke Schmidt, SP, NYY (CBS: 12% rostered): J.A. Happ is really struggling. In his first two starts he has allowed eight earned runs in seven innings pitched and has walked a total of eight batters. Clarke Schmidt is chomping at the bit and unless we see improvement from Happ and quickly at that, Schmidt could be looking at his MLB debut sooner as compared to later.
Austin Slater, 1B/OF, SFG (CBS: 1% rostered): It’s time for my annual Austin Slater mention. Taking Clayton Kershaw deep not once, but twice, on Saturday will earn you that mention.
Max Stassi, C, LAA (CBS: 26% rostered): There is no doubt that the 29-year-old Stassi is on a tear. He has gone 8-for-27 at the dish with four homers and ten RBI. Find a home for him right smartly and take advantage of that hot streak.
Framber Valdez, SP, HOU (CBS: 33% rostered): Tough times abound in Houston, with both the rotation and bullpen in disarray. In his past two starts, Valdez has allowed a scant three earned runs and only two free passes in 13 1/3 innings while chipping in with 17 strikeouts. Toss in the fact that he has the Mariners next up on the schedule and spending some of that FAAB this week on Valdez is a wise investment.
Joey Bart, C, SFG (CBS: 19% rostered): Currently there are 34 catchers with ten or more at-bats. Of those 34 catchers, 16 are currently hitting below the Mendoza line. Only 11 have a BA of .250 or better. A callup for Joey Bart is likely still a couple of weeks down the road, but when the phone rings, you’ll want that bat in your everyday lineup.
Anthony Bass, RP, TOR (CBS: 30% rostered): Ken Giles is dealing with a forearm strain and is likely to be lost for an extended period. The Jays have turned to Anthony Bass to hold down the fort and for good cause. In four appearances he’s allowed but a scant one-hit. He’s already got that first save in the books and should have a solid hold on the job until the return of Giles.
Alec Bohm, 3B, PHI (CBS: 18% owned): If the Phillies had actually played more than three games, Bohm might already be on the active roster. In what should be a tight battle for a playoff spot in the NL East, the Phillies will look to their young slugger sooner rather than later.
Kris Bubic, SP, KCR (CBS: 7% rostered): The parade of young starters in Kansas City continues, with Kris Bubic following Brady Singer. Bubic scattered three hits and a walk while allowing a pair of earned runs over four innings in his debut against the White Sox. That will earn him a second start.
Dylan Carlson, OF, STL (CBS: 40% owned): Harrison Bader is sporting a .091 BA with one stolen base. Dexter Fowler is dealing with a wonky back and has one homer with a .294 OBP. Come on Cards. If you’re in it to win it, do something to prove that point and call up Carlson.
Tyler Chatwood, SP, CHC (CBS: 46% rostered): 2018 was an unmitigated disaster. 2019 showed an improvement, as he split his role between starting and the bullpen. In two starts this year, he is 2-0 with 19 strikeouts in 12 2/3 IP and has allowed only one earned run. He’s likely to slow down at some point, but in the meantime ride the hot hand and find a home for him in your starting nine.
J.P. Crawford, SS, SEA (CBS: 21% rostered): Crawford is off to an amazing start. He is currently 12-for-33 at the dish and tied for the MLB lead in runs scored with ten. Toss in the pair of thefts and it will be cause to garner the attention of many a Fantasy player this Sunday. The Mariners young shortstop looks to finally be fulfilling that sky-high potential the Phillies saw in him when they made him the 16’th overall pick in the 2013 June Amateur Draft.
Brian Goodwin, OF, LAA (CBS: 25% rostered): While Jo Adell works on rounding out his game at the alternate site, Brian Goodwin is giving the Angels no reason to rush Adell into the lineup. A 7-for-18 week with two homers and six RBI is definitely getting the job done!
Nick Goody, RP, TEX (CBS: 9% rostered): Jose Leclerc joins Corey Kluber on the IL with a teres major strain in his right shoulder. Leclerc will be shut down for four weeks likely resulting in ending his 2020 campaign. Texas Manager Chris Woodward has already stated that he’s comfortable using a committee approach, so Jonathan Hernandez and Edison Volquez will also be in the mix. Goody successfully converted his first save opportunity, so we’ll give him a slight edge.
MacKenzie Gore, SP, SDP (CBS: 34% rostered): Joey Lucchesi is struggling badly, failing to get out of the second inning last night against the Rockies. The Padres are in a tough battle with the Dodgers and Rockies for a playoff spot in the NL West and will only exercise so much patience. How long will it be until we see MacKenzie Gore making his Padres debut? Not very long, should Lucchesi continue to struggle.
Cristian Javier, SP, HOU (CBS: 37% rostered): Javier enjoyed a strong MLB debut, allowing only two hits, one walk, and one earned run while striking out eight over 5 2/3 innings against the high-powered Dodgers offense. He has a two-start week on the horizon with the struggling Arizona and Oakland offense on the table. Parting with some of that FAAB to ensure you have him in your active lineup next week is a solid plan.
Jeremy Jeffress, RP, CHC (CBS: 9% owned): Craig Kimbrel is struggling and very badly at that. The Cubbies are off to a great start, leading the NL Central with six victories in their first eight games and can’t afford to be turning victories into losses in the ninth inning. In the event that Kimbrel is replaced the most likely scenario is a committee. We mentioned Rowan Wick in Week One, so in Week Three let’s cover off on the balance of the current options for that committee and give Jeremy Jeffress a shout out.
Daniel Hudson, RP, WAS (CBS: 29% rostered): Sean Doolittle is struggling early-on getting that fastball velocity ramped up and into game day shape, so the Nationals have turned to Daniel Hudson in the interim to work the ninth. He more than held his own after the trade from Toronto last year and should continue that form into 2020.
James Karinchak, RP, CLE (CBS: 24% rostered): Brad Hand isn’t currently in danger of losing his job as closer, but he’s working on it. Karinchak already has one save under-his-belt this season, with a three-up three-down performance against the Twins. In three appearances this season totaling four innings, he is yet to allow a hit. Any extended struggles by Brad Hand and Karinchak could be manning the ninth inning on a regular basis.
Yusei Kikuchi, SP, SEA (CBS: 17% rostered): Kikuchi is coming off a strong six-inning shutout performance Saturday evening against the slumping A’s. Isn’t it amazing what happens when the fastball velocity is back into the mid-90s?
Seth Lugo, RP, NYM (CBS: 49% rostered): Edwin Diaz has allowed an earned run in each of his last two appearances and could be on the verge of losing his ninth-inning gig. Not that Seth Lugo has been on fire, because he hasn’t, but right now he’s probably the first option should the Mets determine a closer change is in order.
Nick Madrigal, 2B, CWS (CBS: 34% rostered): A Madrigal sighting has occurred, with the ChiSox promoting him Friday. Those elite contact skills and stolen base potential are oh so enticing.
Casey Mize, SP, DET (CBS: 31% rostered): Ron Gardenhire has done nothing to discourage that a Mize debut could be right around the corner. The Tigers were considering Mize as an option for today’s double-header but eventually decided to head in another direction. Spend a little of that FAAB now and save spending a lot in the near future.
Colin Moran, 3B, PIT (CBS: 28% rostered): Raise your hand if ten days into the 2020 season you had Colin Moran leading all of baseball with five homers.
Daniel Ponce de Leon, SP, STL (CBS: 9% rostered): The Cards are currently dealing with a coronavirus shortened pitching staff, forcing them into once more visiting the fountain of youth and a Ponce de Leon start. The three walks in 3 1/3 IP is concerning. The eight strikeouts should have your attention. He should be looking at a regular turn in the Cards rotation until the pitching is back to full strength.
Ryan Pressly, RP, HOU (CBS: 22% rostered): Roberto Osuna was pulled from his appearance Saturday night and is looking at an MRI today. The Astros bullpen is a mess and even though Pressly is currently banged up, has to be first-in-line should Osuna be looking at an IL stint. In the event that Pressly can’t answer the call, Bryan Abreu or the recently signed (gulp) Fernando Rodney are likely next-in-line.
Trevor Rosenthal, RP, KCR (CBS: 7% rostered): Mike Matheny looks to be going with a bullpen-by-committee approach with Rosenthal, Greg Holland, and Ian Kennedy all in the mix. In four appearances, Rosenthal has allowed no runs, earned a save Thursday against the Tigers, and most importantly has yet to allow a free pass. Could we be witnessing a return to the form that saw Rosenthal save a total of 93 games in 2014 and 2015?
Touki Toussaint, SP, ATL (CBS: 6% rostered): He got absolutely smoked in his 2020 debut against the Rays, but bounced back nicely in his second start against the Mets, tossing four shutout innings. He has the Jays next up on the schedule. I’ll roll the dice and bet on back-to-back solid outings.
Spencer Turnbull, SP, DET (CBS: 23% rostered): We’ve now witnessed two solid starts against the Reds in which Turnbull has worked 11 innings and allowed a total of only three earned runs. The 14 strikeouts are most impressive. The anemic Cards offense is next on the schedule. The odds are good he’ll have three solid starts under his belt by next week at this time.
Daulton Varsho, C, ARZ (CBS: 13% rostered): How valuable is a player that has catcher eligibility with double-digit stolen base potential over a full season? Very, very valuable. Find a home for him as your second catcher and enjoy the ride.
Five Under Five
Jairo Diaz, RP, COL (CBS: 3% rostered): Just when it was looking like Scott Oberg was on the verge of a return, he experiences a return of the blood clots in his right arm that sidelined him in 2019, and his 2020 season is finished. Wade Miley had a rough last outing in which he allowed four earned runs in 2/3 IP and just this morning was placed on the IL with a right shoulder strain. Jairo Diaz currently has three holds and has yet to allow a run in four appearances this year, making him the early favorite to close out games for the Rockies. Should he struggle, Carlos Estevez appears to be “Plan B”.
Ty France, 2B/3B, SDP (CBS: 4% rostered): Eric Hosmer has been dealing with stomach issues that have forced him to the IL. In the interim, it appears that Ty France will be sliding into his slot in the lineup. The BA should definitely a concern, but he did hit a total of 27 homers at Triple-A in 2019 and a further seven in 184 at-bats with the Padres.
Ben Gamel, OF, MIL (CBS: 2% rostered): The news that Lorenzo Cain has opted out of the remainder of 2020 creates an opportunity for journeyman Ben Gamel. A little pop, a little speed, and a guarantee of everyday at-bats makes for a solid acquisition in deeper formats.
Cole Sulser, RP, BAL (CBS: 2% rostered): “It would appear that Mychal Givens will be working the ninth-inning to start the season for the O’s.” It would appear that we were wrong. Sulser has now converted back-to-back save opportunities and looks to have secured the closer role in Baltimore.
Taylor Williams, RP, SEA (CBS: 3% owned): Remember when Yoshi Hirano, Austin Adams, and Matt Magill were going to be fighting for saves in the Mariners bullpen? Ten days in and Taylor Williams is leading the bullpen with two saves. It’s time to get him rostered in all formats.
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B/3B, WAS (CBS: 32% rostered): It would appear that we’ll have to wait a while for full-time at-bats from Carter Kieboom. That day will eventually arrive, but for now, it appears that Asdrubal Cabrera will get the bulk of the at-bats at third base for the Nationals.
Victor Caratini, C, CHC (CBS: 11% rostered): Not only does he provide solid numbers as a catcher, but it also appears that he’ll benefit from extra at-bats at either first base or DH. As a second catcher in two-catcher formats, he’s not getting nearly the respect that he deserves.
Alex Cobb, SP, BAL (CBS: 5% rostered): Okay, I know it’s only one start, but Cobb looked very good in his 2020 debut at Fenway. He limited the Bosox to one run over 5 1/3 IP in gaining the victory. In deeper leagues, he’s worth a small bid in the hopes that he can replicate some of those strong early years as a Ray.
Freddy Galvis, 2B/SS, CIN (CBS: 22% rostered): The fact that Freddy Galvis is available in 78% of the Leagues using CBS as a stat service is testament to the depth at middle-infield. He’s coming off of a strong 23 home run season and already has one long-ball in the books.
Leury Garcia, OF/SS, CHW (CBS: 6% rostered): You mean Nick Madrigal doesn’t own the gig at the keystone corner for the White Sox? That day will come, but in the interim Leury Garcia will give you some pop and speed as evident by his two-homer game Saturday against the Twins.
Mychal Givens, RP, BAL (CBS: 19% rostered): It would appear that Mychal Givens will be working the ninth-inning to start the season for the O’s. Poor Hunter Harvey simply can’t stay healthy.
Trent Grisham, OF, SDP (CBS: 40% rostered): As one of the few left-handed bats in the Padres lineup, those strong on-base skills should be rostered in more than just forty percent of the Leagues at CBS.
Enrique Hernandez, 2B/SS/OF, LAD (CBS: 21% rostered): A 5-for-14 start to the season with a homer, five RBI, and four runs scored begs us to ask the question, Gavin who?
Kwang-Hyun Kim, SP, STL (CBS: 47% rostered): Kim had no saves in a KBO career dating back to 2007 and Cards Manager Mike Shildt hands him the ball and asks him to close games for the Cards. It could be a short audition, with Giovanny Gallegos getting close to being game-ready, but for now, he has the job and should be rostered in all formats.
Kyle Lewis, OF, SEA (CBS: 35% rostered): The scorching late-season run we witnessed in 2019 has continued into the 2020 campaign. Two games….two homers. If he’s available in your league, he won’t be after this evening’s Waiver Wire run.
Wil Myers, OF, SDP (CBS: 44% rostered): It’s all about Myers staying healthy, something that hasn’t happened enough over the past several seasons. So far this season, so good. The power/speed combination is one that shouldn’t be ignored.
Brady Singer, SP, KCR (CBS: 16% rostered): The one advantage that the Royals have playing in the AL Central is that they get to play a host of games against the Tigers. This would be one of those weeks. Singer looked very good in his MLB debut tossing five innings of two-run ball and chipping in with seven strikeouts. Take advantage of the matchup and get him rostered and active this week.
Justin Smoak, 1B, MIL (CBS: 35% rostered): The Brewers got a relative bargain when they inked Justin Smoak to a $4 million one-year deal with an option year. One homer down…another ten or so by years end.
Three Under Five
Oliver Drake, RP, TBR (CBS: 2% rostered): Did we ever mention that the Rays like to be flexible with their bullpen options? Saturday night was the perfect example, as supposed closer Nick Anderson is brought into the game in the seventh inning and Oliver Drake works the ninth inning for the save. The Rays are definitely consistent in their inconsistencies. It’s time to give Drake a gander and drop a couple bills on him.
JaCoby Jones, OF, DET (CBS: 2% rostered): A little pop, a little speed, and guaranteed full-time at-bats.
Bradley Zimmer, OF, CLE (CBS: 4% rostered): The shoulder injury that has kept Zimmer out of the game for the past couple of seasons. Finally healthy and with a change in his mechanics, he enjoyed a great “Summer Camp” and looks to have at the very least a semi-regular role in the Cleveland outfield. That speed potential could prove to be an asset in deeper formats.
It has been a long time since most of us drafted our 2020 teams and a lot has happened in the interim. There is no shortage of options available this week to round out Fantasy squads. Power, speed starting pitching, and the usual mix of closers are all available. Spend wisely and spend lots this week. In this 60-game sprint, he who hesitates will be taking a rather huge loss.
Zack Britton, RP, NYY (CBS: 23% rostered): Aroldis Chapman has tested positive for Covid-19 and displaying mild symptoms, leaving his ability to be ready to start the 2020 season in doubt. Zack Britton’s solid history of closing out games in Baltimore makes him a great short-term investment for those chasing saves.
Corbin Burnes, RP, MIL (CBS: 12% rostered): A strong camp has Burnes on the cusp of earning the final spot in the Brewers rotation. The 70 strikeouts in 49 IP in 2019 is impressive. The 17 homers allowed, not so much. That strikeout potential is simply too alluring to pass up.
Diego Castillo, RP, TAM (CBS: 11% rostered): The assumption was that Nick Anderson would get the bulk of the save opportunities for the Rays in 2020. We still haven’t seen that fact confirmed. The Rays do have a history of spreading the saves around and Castillo was more than up to the task in 2019, amassing eight saves and a double-digit strikeout rate.
Yoenis Cespedes, OF, NYM (CBS: 25% rostered): We weren’t expecting to see Yoenis Cespedes this season, but it appears we were wrong. If healthy, and so far so good, the immense power potential from Cespedes will generate big FAAB spending this weekend.
Kyle Crick, RP, PIT (CBS: 3% rostered): Incumbent closer Keone Kela has yet to make an appearance at Summer Camp and on Friday was placed on the 10-day IL. Kyle Crick appears to be the early favorite to garner saves in Pittsburgh, but don’t rule out the possibility of a job share with Nick Burdi and that triple-digit high heat.
Rafael Dolis, RP, TOR (CBS: not rostered): We didn’t think that Ken Giles would be in Toronto at the trade deadline last year. Our thoughts haven’t changed. Dolis has one of the best splitters on the planet and we’ll see plenty of it in 2020.
Mauricio Dubon, 2B/SS, SFG (CBS: 10% rostered): Finally, Mauricio Dubon is going to find his way into full-time at-bats. The Brewers loss will be the Giants gain.
Ian Happ, OF, CHC (CBS: 30% rostered): The combination of solid power, good wheels, and a career .340 OBP makes one wonder if Happ shouldn’t be hitting at the top-of-the-order for the Cubs?
Ryan Helsley, RP, STL (CBS: 14% rostered): Jordan Hicks has opted out of the 2020 season. Giovanny Gallegos finally reported to camp, but can he be ready to roll for the start of the season. Carlos Martinez still holds visions of returning to a starting role. At the very least, a job share in the closer role beckons for Helsely to start the 2020 campaign.
Aaron Hicks, OF, NYY (CBS: 19% rostered): Hicks looks to be on schedule in his return from TJS and should be ready to roll to start the season. Any bat garnering steady at-bats in that Yankees high-powered offense should not be overlooked.
Sam Hilliard, OF, COL (CBS: 26% rostered): In 2019, Hilliard hit 35 homers at Triple-A and followed that up with seven homers in a brief stint at Colorado to end the year. He swiped a total of 24 bases. Ian Desmond has opted out of 2020 and Hilliard appears to own the gig in left field. Why does my gut say that Matt Kemp will work his way into the mix?
Josh James, SP/RP, HOU (CBS: 50% rostered): James was late in reporting to camp but hasn’t looked the worse for it. The Astros better hope that he’s ready to roll and a repeat of those stellar strikeout rates (100 strikeouts in 61 1/3 IP) is forthcoming.
Howie Kendrick, 1B/2B/3B, WAS (CBS: 26% rostered): The DH being in play in the NL this season is the perfect situation for the again vet to enjoy yet another great year.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 3B/C, TEX (CBS: 10% rostered): He hit well in the Spring and has continued this trend into “Summer Camp”. He’s hit so well that it appears as if the Rangers are going to move Todd Frazier to First Base, creating at-bats for Kiner-Falefa at third. A catcher eligible bat getting everyday at-bats is very intriguing.
Sean Newcomb, SP, ATL (CBS: 15% rostered): Newcomb enjoyed a successful transition to his role as a reliever. It appears that the Braves are looking at giving him another opportunity to start. Will the transition back to a rotation spot be as successful?
Edward Olivares, OF, SDP (CBS: 1% rostered): It would appear that the Padres like Edward Olivares a lot more than Franchy Cordero.
Tyler O’Neil, OF, STL (CBS: 30% rostered): Apparently, Dylan Carlson needs another week or so of seasoning before he’ll be ready to roll. Go figure?
Nate Pearson, SP, TOR (CBS: 36% rostered): A week or so down on the farm and Pearson should be ready to roll and begin what should be a long run as a top-of-the-rotation starter.
Jose Peraza, 2B/SS/OF, BOS (CBS: 49% rostered): Peraza looks to have the starting job at second to start the season for the Bosox. He’s only one year removed from a 14 homer, 85 runs scored, and 23 stolen base campaign.
Stephen Piscotty, OF, OAK (CBS: 10% rostered): An injury-plagued 2019 ruined the promise that we saw in 2018 when Piscotty hit 27 homers and drove in 88 runs. Now healthy, will a bounce-back season be in the cards for the 29-year-old outfielder?
Ryan Pressly, RP, HOU (CBS: 15% rostered): Ryan Pressly has been one of the best relievers in the game over the past several seasons. He’s currently dealing with a blister issue, but hopefully, it heals quickly as Roberto Osuna has yet to throw off the mound and is running late in his prep for the regular season. The Astros will need Pressly to pitch well if they hope to challenge for a title in 2020.
Matt Shoemaker, SP, TOR (CBS: 30% rostered): Shoemaker was off to a great start in 2019 before a torn ACL in his fifth start was cause for him to miss the duration of the season. A small bid could secure some rather solid starts.
Nick Solak, 3B, TEX (CBS: 33% rostered): Willie Calhoun is dealing with a Grade 1 hip flexor strain and is not likely to be ready out-of-the-gate. Nick Solak will slide into Calhoun’s spot in the outfield. Those 32 homers last year between the Minors and a 116 at-bat stint with the Rangers is impressive.
Ross Stripling, SP, LAD (CBS: 30% rostered): Stripling was in the running for a spot in the Dodgers rotation, but David Price opting out of the 2020 season locks down a spot. A 3.02 and 3.47 ERA over the past two seasons with better than a strikeout per inning in a swingman role, should be cause for one to spend a good chunk of that FAAB this evening.
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, OF, TAM (CBS: 22% rostered): Austin Meadows is doubtful to start the season, leaving no doubt that Tsutsugo will get plenty of at-bats in the early going.
Daulton Varsho, C, ARZ (CBS: 6% rostered): It looks like the DBacks have figured out that somehow and somewhere they have to find the room to get Varsho into the lineup. A catcher eligible bat with double-digit stolen base potential should be on everyone’s radar.
Taijuan Walker, SP, SEA (CBS: 11% rostered): Walker is now two-plus years from the TJS that derailed his career. That breakout 2017 campaign is still relatively fresh in my mind.
Evan White, 1B, SEA (CBS: 21% rostered): The service time concerns should not be an issue with the ink still wet from the 6-year offseason extension. The youthful M’s should be looking at giving White every opportunity to hone his craft on the fly.
Five Under Five
Austin Adams, RP, SEA (CBS: 2% rostered): M’s Manager Scott Servais has indicated that he will be using a bullpen-by-committee approach this year and with Yoshihisa Hirano currently not in camp, it appears that that committee is going to be made up of Austin Adams and Matt Magill. The 14.91 K per nine that Adams amassed in 2019 is most intriguing.
Franchy Cordero, OF, KCR (CBS: 4% rostered): The power/speed potential we’ve been waiting for from Cordero is finally going to be on display in a full-time capacity in Kansas City.
Buck Farmer, RP, DET (CBS: 1% rostered): The Tigers have placed Jordan Zimmermann on the 45-day IL with a right forearm strain. Daniel Norris tested positive for Covid-19 and likely won’t be ready to start the season. Michael Fullmer is working his way back from TJS. The Tigers bullpen will get plenty of work in 2020, and Buck Farmer will garner more than his fair share of that workload.
Cameron Maybin, OF, DET (CBS: 2% rostered): Anywhere else, Maybin would be coming off the bench as a fourth outfielder. In Detroit, he’s penciled into the leadoff slot.
Rowan Wick, RP, CHC (CBS: 3% rostered): How long do we wait for Craig Kimbrel to get untracked? We’ve now officially moved to the very concerned stage of the program. Rowan Wick appears to be next-in-line for saves in the Windy City and buying some saves insurance could prove to be a solid investment.
We’re heading into a season the likes of which we’ve never witnessed. Spring Training in July? What does that mean for the pitching component of our game? Will we see six-man rotations? Will starters, at least initially, be looking at shorter stints on the hill? The Tampa Bay Rays model of using an opener could be an everyday occurrence in 2020. If so, numerous relievers could be the beneficiary of this practice and thus should be on our radar as we attempt to mold our pitching heading into this rather unique season.
Kolby Allard, TEX (CBS: 5% rostered): There appears to be no path to a starting gig, at least to start the season, but that doesn’t mean the former Braves top-prospect won’t hold value in middle-relief.
Corbin Burnes, MIL (CBS: 11% rostered): The gopher ball plagued him in 2019, as did the free passes, but he’s definitely trending upwards after a very strong Spring. The 70 strikeouts in 49 IP last season should have your attention.
Darwinzon Hernandez, BOS (CBS: 3% rostered): A starting rotation anchored by Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez is going to be cause for the Boston bullpen to get plenty of work in 2020. The 57 strikeouts in 30 1/3 IP in 2019 was outstanding. The 26 walks, not so much. Hernandez has tested positive for Covid-19 which could delay his start to the 2020 season, but pending a return to health he should get plenty of work as a result of that depleted Boston rotation.
Spencer Howard, PHI (CBS: 18% rostered): Howard’s future is definitely that of a starter, but if he doesn’t break camp owning the fifth starter gig, you know the Phillies will be using him in multiple inning stints.
Pierce Johnson, SDP (CBS: not rostered): The Padres bullpen is both talented and very deep, limiting his opportunities to pitch in the late innings, but the combination of that 95 mph heater and very nasty 84 mph hook could reap dividends for the Padres in the middle innings.
Kwang-hyun Kim, STL (CBS: 7% rostered): It took a long while, but Kim appears to have laid to rest his principle bugaboo, the free pass. He’s currently competing with Carlos Martinez for the fifth starter job, but Martinez’s late arrival to camp could make his desire to start a moot point.
Chad Kuhl, PIT (CBS: 1% rostered): He’s coming off TJS and will be worked back into the Pirates rotation slowly, building up arm strength. It’s the perfect situation for Kuhl to get in 2-to-3 inning stints.
Tyler Mahle, CIN (CBS: 4% rostered): Squeezed out of the rotation, Mahle should still get ample work in this unique season. The 5.14 ERA in 2019 was rather disappointing, but the 129/34 K/BB ratio leaves us with the hope that there could be better days ahead.
Dustin May, LAD (CBS: 42% rostered): Yes, he’s going to get opportunities to start. No, it probably won’t be right out of the gate. Ross Stripling appears to be the front runner for the fifth starter job, but don’t let that dissuade you from rostering Dustin May. Until he assumes his spot in the Dodgers rotation, he’ll find plenty of opportunities to shine working out of the bullpen.
Brendan McKay, TAM (CBS: 36% rostered): The contending Rays have a plethora of solid options to start, but that doesn’t mean that Brendan McKay won’t get in his work. The Rays haven’t been shy about using the “opener” strategy in the past and that won’t change moving forward. McKay would be a perfect fit to work extended innings following the opener.
Sean Newcomb, ATL (CBS: 15% rostered): For the second consecutive year, Newcomb has reduced his walk rates. That great 3.16 ERA posted in 2019 confirms that the one-time starter has now made a successful transformation to the bullpen.
Brad Peacock, HOU (CBS: 6% rostered): We have seen success in both a starting and relief role from Peacock in the past. Toss in the fact that the Houston rotation after Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke has a slew of question marks and Peacock has the potential to fit nicely into the ‘Stros plans for 2020.
Clarke Schmidt, NYY (CBS: 6% rostered): It appears that the wait will be worth it. A strong first full year returning from TJS combined with a solid showing this Spring/Summer and Schmidt could find himself one injury away from a spot in the Yankees rotation. In the meantime, he will be a valuable part of that bullpen pitching multiple innings.
Lewis Thorpe, MIN (CBS: 1% rostered): When the #4/5 guys in your rotation are Homer Bailey and Rich Hill and you’re looking to contend for the AL Central title, the odds that the bullpen will come into play are rather high. The Twins ‘pen is deep enough to sustain going with an opener approach, so the combination of Lewis Thorpe, Randy Dobnak, and Devin Smeltzer are likely to get in plenty of work. We’ll toss our support behind the young Aussie southpaw, Thorpe.
Austin Voth, WAS (CBS: 10% rostered): The one-time soft tosser has found a bit more velocity. He’s now got the four-seamer touching 93 mph, a rather large factor in his 3.30 ERA and a strikeout per inning over 43 2/3 innings in 2019. The Nats are going to win a lot of games in 2020.
Logan Webb, SFG (CBS: 3% rostered): The stellar 2019 Minor League record didn’t translate smoothly with the big league club, but the 23-year-old still has a bright future in San Francisco. The Giants are using the term “bulk-innings” to describe his 2020 role, making Webb an intriguing option in deeper formats.
Shun Yamaguchi, TOR (CBS: 2% rostered): The Jays seem content, at least for now, to be using the former NPB star in a long-relief role. Let’s hope that he can repeat the strong showing demonstrated in 2019 as a Yomiuri Giant.
Alex Young, ARZ (CBS: 7% rostered): One of Merrill Kelly or Alex Young will open the season as the DBacks fifth starter. The other will be pitching in a long-relief role. We’re betting on Kelly winning a spot in the rotation.