I’m going to call this one the Return Edition of the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire, as four of the six players that will be featured are either coming back from injury, suspension, or the Minor Leagues. As damaging as it can be to your team to lose a player to injury, it could help you out even more if you are able to grab a guy coming back before anyone else in your league thinks of it.
We have already seen a number of waiver wire grabs turn into gems this season like Jeanmar Gomez, Chris Carter, and Aledmys Diaz. These guys largely weren’t drafted, but all three and many others are now starting Fantasy Baseball players, and helping teams to victory on a week-to-week basis. Who are the next guys to pluck that will make a difference?
Our pitchers in Week 7 are a new closer in the National League Central, a starting pitcher who has missed over a year due to a major shoulder injury, and a young starter who was overshadowed by a hot shot prospect, but is actually performing much better.
When it comes to the hitters, we have a power hitting DH who is being turned back into a catcher, which will explode his Fantasy value. There’s also a suspended shortstop who will be back sooner than expected and is looking for a new home. Finally, a second baseman with a lot of potential who is less than a week away from returning from a major shoulder injury who could really help your middle infield.
If you aren’t working the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire, even if you are in first place, you aren’t really playing the game and it is only a matter of time before you are caught. You always have to put the best possible team on the field. As always you can follow me on Twitter @fightingchance.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Week 7
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
It has been since 2014 since Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a pitch in a Major League game after a shoulder injury and some complications have cost him a ton of time. The two seasons that he pitched for the Dodgers, he was a pretty attractive Fantasy option. He was 28-15 with a 3.17 ERA and 293 strikeouts in 344 innings.
His first rehab start went very well as he allowed just one hit in two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. He threw 22 pitches in the game and then 10 more in the bullpen after. He will likely need four to five more rehab starts before he is ready to return to Los Angeles, but the way pitchers have disappointed this season and traditionally become injured, you are probably best served to stash Ryu now rather than wait for someone to snatch him out from under you.
Tyler Duffey, SP, Minnesota Twins
It wasn’t a great first start for Duffey when he could only last four innings against Washington, and then he was overshadowed by the potential of Jose Berrios. Well, sometimes all that glitters isn’t gold, as Berrios has been sent back to the Minors, and Duffey is starting to heat up and grab some Fantasy attention.
After striking out nine White Sox over seven innings, Duffey blanked the Indians in seven innings with six strikeouts and just a single walk. He has walked just five batters in 24.1 innings, which is great for a young pitcher. With the uncertainty and just plain mediocrity in the Twins rotation, Duffey has a spot solidified. He is currently owned in less than 20-percent of leagues, but unless you are in a really shallow league, you should be giving him a look right now.
Tony Cingrani, RP, Cincinnati Reds
The closer situation in Cincinnati has been in flux for most of the season. J.J. Hoover was given first crack, but I don’t think anyone was surprised when he couldn’t hold the job all season. Hoover is the only other pitcher on the Reds who has closed a game, so they aren’t exactly a great source of saves. Cingrani is a failed starter who has a ton of potential, but could never be consistent enough to get through lineups the second and third time around. He could be tailor made for the ninth inning.
He has blown one of his four opportunities so far, but the Reds still won that game. Other than that, he has three saves in the last week while striking out four guys in just over five innings. Again, the Reds are in last place, so Cingrani is not going to threaten for the league lead in saves. However, there are often guys who close for bad teams who top 30 saves because they don’t blow many.
Cingrani has shown good strikeout potential in the past and is owned in only about one-third of leagues. If you are in need of saves, give him a long look.
Evan Gattis, C, Houston Astros
Apparently the Astros just couldn’t handle Jason Castro and his .209 batting average at catcher anymore, because they sent Evan Gattis down to the Minors to sharpen his catching skills. You can feel the desperation in Houston with this is a gutsy move, and they didn’t leave him down there long. Gattis has a big time power bat, and he should energize the Astros.
Gattis is likely only outfield eligible in your league, or he could be only utility as well. Once he becomes catcher eligible, his value is going to go way up! He has hit at least 20 home runs in each of his first three Major League seasons, and there is a very good chance he will do it again. I would grab him even if you already have a good catcher. A guy like Gattis is great to have on your bench in case of injury, or as trade bait for someone with a terrible starting catcher. There aren’t too many Fantasy backstops that have the capability to hit 25 homers or more and he’s owned in less than 40-percent of leagues.
Devon Travis, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays
Travis lit a fire under Fantasy Baseball last season when he got off to a scorching start. On May 3, he had seven home runs and was hitting .318. With second base being such a shallow Fantasy Baseball position, he was the darling of 2015. Well, the clock struck midnight on the fairy tale not long after, as Travis had major shoulder surgery that ended his season for good at the end of July in 2015.
Second base is a bit more stable this year, but Travis is still an attractive option. He did very well with his rehab assignment at High-A Dunedin as he hit .357 with five RBIs in four games. He will play a few games at Triple-A and could return for the Blue Jays this weekend. If you are in need of a quality second baseman with some power potential and a little bit of speed, look for Travis now. He is owned in about 20-percent of leagues, but could be a difference maker.
Jose Reyes, SS, Colorado Rockies
— RantSports (@RantSports) May 13, 2016
I have to say that I am surprised by how short Jose Reyes’ suspension was for domestic violence. I was expecting him to be suspended well into August, but it will be over on May 31. There doesn’t seem to be anywhere for him to play in Colorado anymore, nor do the Rockies want him on their team. However, the idea of a trade is already being discussed.
The move to Colorado was a terrible one for Reyes’ Fantasy value, but it looks like he will get a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over somewhere else. If it is in the right place, he could be a great Fantasy player again. He will be 33 in June, which isn’t great for a speed player, but Reyes still has talent and with shortstop being a disaster in Fantasy Baseball, he is worth picking up on the waiver wire if you play in one of the 75-percent of leagues where he is available.