Instead of trying to talk about all the injuries affecting your Fantasy Baseball team, I’m going to tell you to read Graham Briggs’s most recent injury article. Graham does a fantastic job of summarizing all the injuries in baseball right now.
With all of these injuries, a lot of the waiver wire targets I am recommending this week are going to be replacements and not just any replacement. They are all very capable of putting up good numbers now that they are receiving consistent at bats.
Before we move on though, I want to rant a little, if you allow me to. Honestly you don’t have much of a choice so just sit back and enjoy.
If any of you play Fantasy Baseball on ESPN, I’m sure you have noticed the ‘Game Notice’ that is above your team. It reads: “We have refined the player ownership, trending (+/-) and start percentages. These numbers now provide a better reflection of player usage in ESPN leagues”. That sounds great and all, but then you look at the ownership percentages and notice that not a single player is owned in 100% of leagues. Not even Mike Trout. WHAT!
Come on ESPN how is this possible? I would love to see how you calculate this. Actually please tell me how you are calculating this because it just does not seem possible that players the likes of Mike Trout are not owned in 100% of leagues and it is bothering me. I guess at least the lower ownership percentage is going to give me a larger pool of players to choose from.
Anyway rant over. Let’s get back on track with waiver wire targets.
Waiver Wire Targets
All players I am suggesting are owned in 30% or less of ESPN leagues. Of course if there are better players available in your league that are owned in more than 30% of leagues, by all means get them first.
Michael Taylor, OF, Washington Nationals Owned in 3.5% of ESPN Leagues
Taylor filled in admirably early this season when Jason Werth was on the DL to start the season hitting .271 with two home runs, eight RBI and two steals in 12 games. He has played sparingly since then, but will now get to play more regularly again now that Werth is back on the DL with a wrist injury. I expect him to provide a good combination of power and speed much like early this season for the next few weeks again.
Danny Espinosa, 2B, Washington Nationals 9.7%
He did not start the season as the starting second baseman, even with Anthony Rendon on the DL, but he has been playing so well they have decided to move Yunel Escobar to third and keep Espinosa at second until Rendon returns, because of his hot bat.
If you need some extra pop from your second baseman or middle infielder, and I’m sure there are plenty of you that do, look at him as a fill-in until Rendon returns, which who knows when that will be.
Drew Stubbs, OF, Colorado Rockies 1.1%
Corey Dickerson finally landed on the DL, so in moves Drew Stubbs. Stubbs is one of those sneaky good players when given the playing time. Just last season he hit .289 with 15 home runs and 20 steals in only 388 at bats.
This year has not started off so great, only hitting .118, but I fully expect that to turn around now that he will be given regular playing time. The pickup might be temporary, but he definitely has the talent to help you in multiple categories to make the pickup worth it.
Wil Venable, OF, San Diego Padres 0.7%
Venable will be filling in for the injured Wil Myers. He has already had a pretty successful season given he only has 56 at bats.
He is another five tool type player that can help you in the interim. Myers is eligible to return in just a few days, but all signs are pointing toward him missing more than the minimum. Until then deploy Venable and enjoy.
Mike Bolsinger, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers 19.2%
The lone pitcher that I am recommending this week.
Bolsinger was re-called up two weeks ago as part of the ripple effect the injury to both Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy has had on the Dodger’s rotation. He has not disappointed either with a 1.04 ERA and 1.10 WHIP after three total starts now.
He was a fairly successful pitcher in the minor leagues, so the success in the majors is not completely a surprise. Of course we don’t expect an ERA of 1.04 to continue, but I like what I see so far.
Now with Ryu now getting season ending shoulder surgery, Bolsinger should be scooped up in more leagues.
Rusney Castillo, OF, Boston Red Sox 27.8%
Let me start by sharing a tweet with you that includes a quote from manager John Farrell and then giving you the second part of that quote, which was given on Tuesday.
— NESN (@NESN) May 19, 2015
“He’s returned home obviously for the birth of his child. That’s going to be a couple of days. Whether or not we allow him to get a game under his belt at Pawtucket before possibly looking at a change here, those are all possibilities.”
That to me sounds like the 27 year old, $72.5 million man is getting called up soon, very soon. Now is the time to stash him if he is sitting out there in your league.
After a slow start, hampered by injuries, Castillo has turned it on. Now the owner of a .304/.355/.449 with two home runs and six steals. He looks more than ready to contribute in the majors.
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