With both Clayton Kershaw and Jacob DeGrom out for at least the next 10 days, fantasy owners will be scouring the waiver wire for a replacement. In deeper leagues, you might want to consider Twins right-hander Fernando Romero or Dodgers right-hander, Brock Stewart. We have liked both for a while and think they could be nice replacements, perhaps more if they can stick. Yadier Molina…ouch! Like, really ouch! Anyway, we have listed a number of pickups, including Carson Kelly. While Kelly hasn’t torn up Triple-A this season, we have liked him for a while and he should get a run.
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Kolby Allard, SP, ATL (CBS: 10% owned): The Braves haven’t been shy about promoting the youngsters, and Allard is getting closer with each outing to joining Mike Soroka in the Atlanta rotation. The 20-year-old southpaw is more than holding his own at Triple-A Gwinnett. In five games he’s currently sporting a 2.25 ERA, 1.11 Whip and has 22 strikeouts in 28 IP. Could Allard be the next young Brave to see action at the big league level? I’m betting on it!
Harrison Bader, OF, STL (CBS: 4% owned): Tommy Pham has been beaten up off-and-on most of the season and now can add a case of groin tightness to his resume. Bader, as a short-term substitute, makes a lot of sense, and in limited playing time has four stolen bases on the year. An ounce of prevention could very well be worth a pound of cure.
Jose Bautista, OF, ATL (CBS: 25% owned): He worked his way into game shape and the Braves have called him up to man the hot corner. There’s potential for decent power numbers, but at the same time, he won’t help you in the BA category. He’s best left for NL-Only formats at this stage of his career.
Melky Cabrera, OF, CLE (CBS: 4% owned): Right field has been a revolving door for the Tribe in 2018. Cabrera is still working his way into game shape, but memories of that solid 17 homer, 85 RBI 2017 season should be still fresh in your mind. A pre-emptive cheap bid has the potential to return solid dividends.
Elias Diaz, C, PIT (CBS: 2% owned): The power potential is not great, but thus far he’s gone 15-for-38 at the dish in a part-time capacity. In a world where most of the free-agent catchers are looking up at the Mendoza line, that BA has value.
Leury Garcia, OF, CWS (CBS: 3% owned): Garcia now has six stolen bases in six attempts. He also could be getting more at-bats at the top-of-the-order while Yoan Moncada is on the 10-day DL dealing with a left hamstring strain. Cheap speed and runs scored are there for the taking.
Domingo German, RP, NYY (CBS: 18% owned): Six no-hit innings with nine strikeouts in his first start replacing the injured Jordan Montgomery, who could be out for an extended period, will guarantee a spot in the Yankees rotation moving forward. You know he won’t lack for offensive support.
Jeremy Hellickson, SP, WAS (CBS: 22% owned): We’ve now seen four fairly effective starts from the journeyman righty. It would appear that not going deep into games and avoiding the “third time through the lineup” could have its merits.
John Hicks, C/1B, DET (CBS: 3% owned): Miggy Cabrera hits the 10-day DL with a right hamstring strain, and John Hicks should benefit with a steady diet of at-bats. The fact that Hicks is catcher eligible shouldn’t be lost on those looking to either upgrade or find an injury replacement at that position.
Nick Hundley, C, SF (CBS: 3% owned): Hundley has smacked three homers and driven in 11 runs backing up Buster Posey this season. He’s also hitting to the tune of a .340 BA. A catcher that provides a decent batting average and has power potential should find a home this week.
Carson Kelly, C, STL (CBS: 7% owned): He hasn’t been exactly tearing it up down on the farm (2 HR, .237 BA), but with Yadier Molina sidelined for at least a month, the opportunities for the former second-rounder will be there. The 10 homers in 244 at-bats he hit with a .834 OPS in 2017 at Triple-A Memphis makes Kelly worthy of some of your FAAB dollars.
Victor Martinez, UT, DET (CBS: 6% owned): He’s not the Victor Martinez we came to know and love, but in brief spurts (7-for-19 last week) he’s still capable of being an asset in the BA/RBI categories.
Fernando Romero, SP, MIN (CBS: 45% owned): The Twins turned to their young righthander to try and provide a spark in what has been an abysmal start, and he did exactly that. In his debut Wednesday against the Jays he tossed 5 2/3 shutout innings of four-hit, three walk ball, chipping in five strikeouts and securing his first MLB win. He has the Cards and Angels on the schedule this week, in what should prove to be a good test.
Caleb Smith, SP, MIA (CBS: 40% owned): In his past three starts, against Cincinnati, Colorado, and the Brewers, Smith has been flat-out dominant. In 18 2/3 IP he has allowed a total of seven hits, two walks, only two earned runs and has struck out 26 batters. Oh, he also won two of those outings. Grab him while he’s on a tear!
Brock Stewart, SP, LAD (CBS: 2% owned): Walker Buehler will be taking over for the injured Hyun-Jin Ryu, leaving Brock Stewart as the likely candidate to fill in for Clayton Kershaw who found his way to the DL on Sunday with left biceps tendinitis. Stewart has been dominant at Triple-A, sporting a 2.41 ERA and striking out 20 over 18 2/3 innings. The Dodgers are hoping for more of the same at the big league level.
Ryan Yarbrough, RP, TB (CBS: 2% owned): He’s coming off an outstanding effort against the Jays, limiting them to one hit over five shutout innings. With Yonny Chirinos hitting the DL, the Rays are going to need starting pitching help, with Yarbrough the likely candidate to fill the void in the Rays injury-riddled rotation.