Miguel Amaya, C, CHC (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): The 24-year-old Amaya has dealt with a slew of injuries over the past several years but should prove to be an asset in both the real game and ours. Moderate power with solid strike zone judgment skills adds to a solid #2 Catcher with potentially #1 upside.
Orlando Arcia, 2B/SS, ATL (CBS: 37% rostered, ESPN: 22% rostered): Arcia returns to the Braves lineup after missing nearly a month with a microfracture in his left wrist. His replacement, Vaughn Grissom, has been demoted, so he can continue to work on his defensive chops. Arcia will get the lion’s share of playing time at shortstop and should be activated immediately; hoping for a continuation of the solid start for his 2023 campaign.
J.J. Bleday, OF, OAK (CBS: 9% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): The former Marlin top pick seems to have found a home in the A’s outfield. The A’s called him up at the beginning of this week, and so far, he has gone 6-for-16 with two solo homers. Bleday was off to a hot start at Triple-A Vegas, with seven homers in 98 at-bats and a stellar 15/20 K/BB ratio. It’s worth a small bid to find out if he can replicate that level of play in Oakland.
J.P. France, SP, HOU (CBS: 7% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): The loss of Jose Urquidy and Luis Garcia leaves the Astros rotation in a rather precarious position they have turned to J.P. France for help. France was enjoying a good year at Triple-A Sugarland with 26 strikeouts in 19 1/3 IP, with a 2.33 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. He didn’t disappoint, tossing five shutout innings in his 2023 debut against the Mariners. The Astros must be happy and will be counting on him to take a regular turn in that injury-depleted rotation.
Maikel Garcia, SS, KCR (CBS: 6% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): The Royals are now tied with the Oakland A’s for the worst record in baseball. Something had to be done, and with Nicky Lopez finding his way to the IL, the first step was finding some offense in the middle-infield. Maikel Garcia got the call, and what he lacks in power, he’ll do more than makeup with his stellar defense and running game. He did steal 39 bases last year between Double and Triple-A. Nicky Lopez might not have a full-time role with the Royals when he returns from the IL.
Matt Mervis, 1B, CHC (CBS: 60% rostered, ESPN: 10% rostered): It took a bit longer than most thought, but the Cubs have finally called up Matt Mervis. He hit 36 homers and drove in 119 runs down on the farm last year while sporting a .984 OPS. He then proceeded to tear up the AFL. So what do the Cubs do in the off-season? They signed Eric Hosmer. Five weeks in, all is good as Mervis looks to be moving into a full-time role at 1B. Pay a premium for that power potential if he’s available in your league.
Bryce Miller, SP, SEA (CBS: 62% rostered, ESPN: 16% rostered): Miller versus Miller proved to be quite the game last week, with both starters tossing goose eggs into the middle innings. That 10-strikeout performance by Miller in his 2023 debut last week will cost you a serious chunk of change but could prove to be well worth the investment.
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Atlanta (CBS: 11% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): We finally have a Marcell Ozuna sighting. Last week he went 7-for-21 with four homers and 7 RBI, most likely on either your bench or sitting in the Free Agent pool. There might be another 25-home run season left in that bat after all.
Luke Raley, OF, TBR (CBS: 7% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): There is currently no shortage of outfielders fighting for playing time in Tampa Bay, but don’t forget about Luke Raley, especially in deeper formats. Yeah, there’s a lot of miss in his swing-and-miss game, so temper the BA expectations, but as evident in the seven homers he has slugged in his first 73 at-bats, the power is very real.
Gavin Sheets, OF, CWS (CBS: 6% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): Just when Eloy Jimenez was starting to heat up, he winds up in the hospital and will now miss the next 4-to-6 weeks recovering from an appendectomy. Sheets is likely to be the principal beneficiary and, in deeper Leagues, could prove to be a solid source of power until the return of Jimenez.
Enmanuel Valdez, 2B, BOS (CBS: 7% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): The middle-infield is starting to get a bit thin in Boston with both Yu Chang and Christian Arroyo on the IL. The Red Sox have turned to the 24-year-old Valdez, and since getting the call, he has gone 12-for-35 with one homer, 6 RBI, and three stolen bases. He did hit 28 homers and drive in 107 runs down on the farm last year, making for a very intriguing option in all formats now.
Louie Varland, SP, MIN (CBS: 15% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): Kenta Maeda and Tyler Mahle have both hit the 15-day IL, with the Twins looking at Bailey Ober and Louie Varland filling in. They have to be happy with the job Ober has done thus far. The jury is still out on Varland. The strikeout potential is solid, but Varland must keep the ball in the park, and thus far, those four homers in his first 10 2/3 IP won’t cut the mustard. Bid small and hope that better days are ahead.
LaMonte Wade Jr., 1B/OF, SFG (CBS: 25% rostered, ESPN: 10% rostered): In his past seven games, Wade Jr. has gone 6-for-21 with three solo homers and seven runs scored. He’s settling in nicely at the top-of-the-order in the Giants lineup and should be doing the same in your Fantasy lineup.
The Closer Report
Jason Adam, RP, TBR (CBS: 33% rostered, ESPN: 15% rostered): The Rays decided to place closer Peter Fairbanks on the IL, opening an opportunity for Jason Adam to move into the ninth inning. This past week he has been a perfect 3-for-3 saving game and has settled nicely into his new role. After Fairbanks returns, and we have not established a timetable, the Rays could look at their proven modus operandi, making Adam a solid short and long-term acquisition.
Hunter Harvey, RP, WAS (CBS: 4% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Kyle Finnegan still has the closer gig but always seems to be living on the edge. Hunter Harvey, the one-time Baltimore top-prospect, has quietly been doing his business, sporting a 2.45 ERA, seven holds, and 17 strikeouts in 14 2/3 IPs. Don’t be surprised if we see Harvey adding saves to his resume this season.
Zach Jackson, RP, OAK (CBS: 5% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Someone has to work the ninth inning in Oakland, and a combination of ineffectiveness and injury has led the A’s to their current option, Zach Jackson. The opportunities may be few and far between, but Jackson and that 2.25 ERA appears to be up for the task.
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