Week 18

We hit the ground running in the second half with a ton of potential pickups.  We are big fans of Willie Calhoun and glad to see him finally getting the call.  However, we are really excited about Garrett Hampson.  He has plus speed, can really hit and has a motor that won’t quit.  Plus, oblique strains can take a while, so he might be up longer than 10 days.

Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player. 

Willie Calhoun, OF, TEX (CBS: 39% owned): Nomar Mazara couldn’t get out of the gate in the second half because of a sprained thumb, and the Rangers have promoted Calhoun from his extended stint at Triple-A. He has a week to prove he belongs, as Mazara is scheduled to return next weekend. In deeper Leagues, it’s worth the gamble to see if his visit to the Rangers is an extended one.

Luis Cessa, SP, NYY (CBS: 2% owned): The Domingo German experiment has come and gone, and for at least now Cessa is going to slide into his spot in the rotation. The trade deadline isn’t far off, and the Yankees will be looking to upgrade their rotation, so job security is far from a given for Cessa.

Yandy Diaz, 3B, CLE (CBS: 2% owned): The “King of the Ground Ball Hit” returns. He’ll spray the ball all over the place when he gets the opportunity, but someone really needs to sit down with the kid and explain the concept of ”loft”.

Garrett Hampson, 2B, COL (CBS: 6% owned): DJ LeMahieu hits the 10-day DL with a left oblique strain, and as we’ve come to realize, any and all oblique issues usually mean a lengthy stint away from the game. The Rox have turned to speedster Hampson, and so should you.  He stole 51 bases down on the farm in 2017, and to prove that was no fluke, he has 33 thefts under-his-belt this season. Hampson will fill that “need for speed.”

Danny Jansen, C, TOR (CBS: 5% owned): The Jays aren’t going anywhere, and with Russell Martin heading into his final year of that long-term contract, the time to be mentoring Danny Jansen is quickly at hand. I think a second-half call-up is in the works, so a cheap bid now in ReDraft Leagues could provide some relief from the sub-Mendoza line type catchers lurking on the Wire.

Austin Gomber, SP, STL (CBS: 1% owned): Why do I think of Jim Nabors every time I see the name Austin Gomber? He’s penciled in for a Tuesday start, and pending the results of the Poncedeleon start Monday, could potentially be sticking around for a bit in the injury-depleted Cards rotation.

Robert Gsellman, RP, NYM (CBS: 30% owned): The short stay in the closer role that we mentioned back in Week 12, has changed considerably with Jeurys Familia being shipped off to the A’s. Gsellman has the closer job and the skills to run with it over the duration of 2018.

Jose Leclerc, RP, TEX (CBS: 2% owned): It’s time to do some speculating. Does Keone Kela remain in Texas after the trade deadline? If you believe the answer to that question is no, spend a buck or two now on the likely replacement.

Evan Longoria, 3B, SF (CBS: 53% owned): It’s worth taking a quick look to see if he got dropped during his lengthy DL stint. He did hit ten homers in 256 at-bats prior to the broken hand and it’s a lock that he will return to a spot in the batting order that will provide RBI opportunities.

A.J. Minter, RP, ATL (CBS: 41% owned): In Week 14 I took the righty Dan Winkler over the lefty Minter. Oops? Arodys Vizcaino has returned to the 10-day DL with a reoccurrence of his shoulder woes, leaving Minter in the driver’s seat for saves in Atlanta moving forward.

Tyler Naquin, OF, CLE (CBS: 3% owned): If you’re waiting for the return of Bradley Zimmer, don’t. He went under the knife this week to repair his shoulder and will be out for the next 8-to-12 months. The Indians are hurting at outfield and barring any last minute trades, should guarantee Naquin steady at-bats. He did hit 14 homers back in 2016 in half a season for the Tribe.

Drew Pomeranz, SP, BOS (CBS: 44% owned): It has been a long time between starts for Pomeranz, but he’s penciled in to return to the rotation this week against Baltimore. It doesn’t get much better than a return against the sad-sack O’s.

Daniel Poncedeleon, SP, STL (CBS: 2% owned): It would have been much more fitting if Poncedeleon made his debut in Florida. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, but in what could be a two-start week, give the youngster a spy. He has enjoyed a great year at Memphis, and the oblique injury that currently has Carlos Martinez on the 10-day DL might keep him out for a while.

Ervin Santana, SP, MIN (CBS: 48% owned): The Twins will definitely be looking forward to getting “Big Erv” back in the lineup this week. It’s worth a quick look to see if he’s available, but you might want to keep him on your bench this week as his debut is scheduled for Wednesday in Toronto. The Jays at home is never an easy task.

Mallex Smith, OF, TAM (CBS: 25% owned): Kevin Kiermaier is hurt again, this time dealing with a deep bone bruise in his foot. Smith is the winner in the fight for at-bats and has responded by going 9-for-21 with a pair of stolen bases in his past six games.

DJ Stewart, OF, BAL (CBS: 1% owned): Isn’t it about time that we see some of the young outfield talent in the O’s organization? Joey Rickard and Jace Peterson aren’t the answer.

Joey Wendle, tB, 2B/3B/OF (CBS: 10% owned): Very quietly, Wendle has been getting it done. In his past seven games, he has gone 9-for-29 with two homers and seven RBI. He also covers three positions which is a nice bonus in Leagues with short benches.

Kirby Yates, RP, SD (CBS: 44% owned): The trade of Brad Hand to the Indians looks to have handed Yates first shot at the closer gig in San Diego. Just be wary that Yates stay in that role could be a short one, pending last minute deals at the trade deadline.


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