It has been a rough week of injuries. Sonny Gray went on the DL, Lucas Duda and Shin-Soo Choo joined him as well, and that is only to name a few. It feels like the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire is more important this week than at any point so far in 2016.
Injuries aren’t the only reason to head to the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire though. We are just about to Memorial Day weekend and at this point if you still have guys you drafted who are disappointing you, it might be time to cut bait with them and find a new player that can help your team towards the title.
This week our pitchers include two closers, one who was injured before the season even started, and another who didn’t get the job we all knew he was going to get. However, the former is healthy and ready to reclaim his job, while the latter is pitching much better and wants the job that is rightfully his. Finally we have a starter who got off to a really rough start, but has been smoking hot lately.
The hitters this week include two hotshot prospects, one who was just called to the Majors without guaranteed playing time, while the other still is in the Minors but is begging to get his chance with the big club as he is just wearing out Minor League pitching. The final choice is an outfielder who always was a big base stealer but is now hitting the long ball as well.
Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend, but while you are enjoying your barbecues and time off, don’t forget about your Fantasy Baseball teams. Even as you celebrate the unofficial start of summer, remember that the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire is your friend. As always you can follow me on Twitter @fightingchance.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire
Brad Boxberger, RP, Tampa Bay Rays
A year after saving 41 games, many were hoping that Boxberger was going to again be a great source of saves even if the Rays weren’t going to be good. Unfortunately, an abdominal injury halted him before the season even started, and Alex Colome has done an awesome job with double digit saves and eye popping strikeout numbers. There are many that wonder if Colome will hold the job once he returns.
Boxberger has completed his rehab assignment, and is set to rejoin the team. He ended his quest back by pitching on back to back nights, and in the second outing he needed just nine pitches to get the three outs. He has averaged well over a strikeout an inning over his career, and despite the fact that Tampa isn’t a good team, Boxberger has a shot at saving 25-28 games despite missing the first two months of the year.
Somehow he is owned in only about 35-percent of leagues on ESPN, and if you need any help in saves, you need to grab him now.
Alex Wood, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
After a rocky start to the season, it has been a great month of May for Wood. He came over from the Atlanta Braves, but allowed 14 earned runs in his first four starts. Wood was always a good pitcher for Atlanta, but his Fantasy value was limited because the team wasn’t very good. He got off to a shaky start after being traded to the Dodgers, and his rough start had Fantasy owners forgetting him.
However, in six games, beginning on April 29, Wood has allowed more than two earned runs once, and has racked up 43 strikeouts in 30 innings! He’s always had good strikeout stuff and pitched very well in the Minors. The Dodgers haven’t been as dominant as we would like, but they are still a good team. Wood’s 4.09 ERA might look inflated, but it really was in large part to just a couple of bad outings.
With the Dodgers offense behind him and coming off a 13 strikeout effort against the Padres, give Wood a real hard look if you have a need in the starting pitching department.
Ken Giles, RP, Houston Astros
Giles was given the chance to close for the Phillies late last season after the team traded away Jonathan Papelbon. He did pretty well and struck everyone out and he was all set to be a good closer on a bad team. He was traded to Houston in the offseason, and Fantasy owners were salivating at the thought of him on a good team. However, a funny thing happened on the way to Fantasy greatness. Giles was beat out for the job in Spring Training by Luke Gregerson, and Fantasy owners were left crying in their beers from coast to coast.
A bad situation was made worse when Giles couldn’t even get anyone out in the eighth inning either, and was in danger of being banished to mop up duty. Since the calendar has turned to May, Giles has gotten it together. He has allowed just two earned runs this month, and all of a sudden Mr. Gregerson is looking shaky. The Astros didn’t trade away all of those prospects for nothing, and I think if Gregerson blows two more, or maybe even one more, we could see Giles back slamming the door in the ninth inning.
Joey Gallo, OF, Texas Rangers
The Rangers are a basket of injuries, and that has caused them to recall their prized prospect in Joey Gallo. He has a very deserved reputation as a guy with a world of power, but also strikes out at a ridiculous rate. His time in 2015 with the Rangers saw him strike out 57 times in only 108 at-bats. That is more than every other trip to the plate! At the same time he has hit home runs at an eye popping rate as well.
So far in 2016 he has his strikeouts under control by his standards as he only whiffed 24 times in 83 at-bats, which is so much better than last season. The Rangers also called up outfield prospect Jared Hoying, but they have also toyed with the idea of Gallo getting some time at first base where they have had Mitch Moreland disappoint and Prince Fielder unable to hit at all.
There isn’t a guarantee that Gallo is going to get regular playing time, but his power potential makes him an intriguing pickup in all leagues.
Trea Turner, 2B/SS, Washington Nationals
This Espinosa at bat being brought to you by Trea Turner: .322/.383/.477 and 14-for-14 steals in AAA. #Nationals
— Michael Salfino (@MichaelSalfino) May 19, 2016
Turner could have won the starting job out of Spring Training, but the Nationals wanted to give him some more time in the Minors to be sure that he was ready for big league competition. I don’t know how much longer they can wait as Danny Espinosa is just really, really bad. He has three hits in the last week, his batting average for the season is just over .200, and he has driven in just 16 runs in two months.
Turner, on the other hand, is raking at Triple-A. In 41 games he is hitting .317 with three triples, three home runs, 17 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases. He would be a great addition to the top of the Nationals’ batting order right now, and I have to imagine that Turner won’t be spending too much more time on the farm. He is owned in only about 33-percent of leagues across the major sites, but if you are looking for a middle infielder with some speed to help your team, grab Turner now as you shouldn’t have to hold him long.
Leonys Martin, OF, Seattle Mariners
In 2013 and 2014 when he was healthy, Leonys Martin was able to steal 36 and 31 bases, respectively. He was never much help in the power department, and even though he didn’t hit double digit home runs, his batting average was around .265-.270, which won’t hurt you. He has been perched at the top of the Mariners batting order of late, and he is offering you some amazing production.
The power game is all of a sudden part of Martin’s game, and in just two months he already has matched his career high in home runs. Martin has been on fire with three home runs since May 18, and while I don’t expect him to challenge 20 home runs, Martin is stealing bases at a solid clip. As long as he is leading off, I expect him to continue to be a good source of runs scored, stolen bases, and the occasional home run ball.