Next Stop for Nathan Eovaldi the Red Sox Bullpen?
Who's Hot, Who's Not and Who's Not in Fantasy Baseball, and How to React
Last week, we discussed what type of player you might want to pick up should one of your guys end up on the disabled list. This week, we’ll take a quick look at some other reasons you may have to acquire players. As we have seen over the past week, trades can still happen in Major League Baseball. The Cubs just acquired Daniel Murphy from the Nationals on Tuesday. In about 10 days, we will likely see a new influx of talent as teams can expand their MLB rosters to 40-men. Maybe Eloy Jimenez finally gets his first taste of big league pitching. With the trades and call-ups that are bound to happen over the next 10-14 days, you may need to look beyond your waiver wire for replacements. With each trade, it could open up playing time for a guy you never really thought about and, depending upon the site and filter/s that you use, top prospects may not be listed at the top of those rankings. Personally, if Jimenez is available and you have a dead spot on your roster, you might want to try a preemptive strike and add him before he gets called up. Sure, it’s a gamble and the White Sox could decide to keep him down in Triple-A to protect his service time, plus there is no guarantee that he performs well even when called up, but he could also be a chance worth taking.
- Wilmer Difo, Washington Nationals: With Murphy sent to the Cubs, Difo is expected to play 2B full-time for Washington. His overall numbers aren’t noteworthy, but if you’re in a deep or NL only league, it’s rare that a starting job changes hands at this point in the season. Over a full season, and playing regularly, Difo could hit double digit steals and homers with an average that wouldn’t hurt your team.
- Mike Fiers, Oakland Athletics: Do the Athletics ever lose anymore? It certainly doesn’t seem like it, and their recent hot streak has them going back and forth with the Astros atop American League West. Fiers was a key SP addition at the trade deadline. He’s nowhere near comparable to the Astros addition of Justin Verlander last season, but he has lengthened the Athletics rotation and might be the SP they turn to should they have to play a one-game playoff versus the Yankees.
- Kevin Gausman, Atlanta Braves: It was speculated at the trade deadline that the best thing for Gausman might be the trade to Atlanta, as it got him out of the hitter-heavy AL East and out of Camden Yards, one of the best hitter’s parks in the game. In his four starts for Atlanta, Gausman has only allowed six runs in 27 IP. Baltimore may have been right about his potential; it’s unfortunate for them that he might realize it in another uniform.
- Neil Walker, New York Yankees: The Yankees suffered another blow to a team already riddled with injuries over the weekend when Didi Gregorius had to be placed on the DL due to a heel bruise. The beneficiary of that injury will be Walker. His hot bat had already forced the Yankees to find a place for him in their lineup, as they had been using him in right-field for the past couple of weeks. Now that Gregorius is out, the Yankees no longer need to find room for Walker. Gleyber Torres has been moved to shortstop and Walker should be the full-time 2B until if/when Gregorius returns.
- Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds: Suarez played shortstop during the game Tuesday. Why, you might ask? Because the Reds are making plans for next season. Those plans may include top prospect Nick Senzel playing 3B and, if that’s so, the Reds will either need to trade Suarez or find another position for him. With 28 HR and 92 RBI this season, the timing may be right for a trade, should they not feel comfortable moving Suarez off third for Senzel, or vice versa.
- Nathan Eovaldi, Boston Red Sox: It wasn’t that long ago that Eovaldi was on the other side of this list. Eovaldi has given up nine earned runs and 27 hits in 13 IP over his last three starts. He has also only struck out seven batters over that time span. It was assumed that Brian Johnson would be removed from the starting rotation when Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale return from the DL, but one more poor start could force the Red Sox to think about sending Eovaldi to the bullpen instead.
- Justin Bour, Philadelphia Phillies: Bour was a starting 1B with Miami, not so much with Philly. He was only going to see a start or two per week, but now he’s out with an oblique injury. This was a situation that seemed destined to come down to playing the hot hand, and now Carlos Santana will have all the more opportunity while Bour is on the DL.
- Addison Russell, Chicago Cubs: Russell was placed on the disabled list Wednesday and that might not be such a bad thing for his Fantasy owners. At least now you won’t have much hesitation in finally removing him from your lineup. The addition of Murphy means that Javier Baez is likely to move to shortstop full-time, so Russell was going to be the odd man out as far as playing time is concerned anyway. Even if you don’t have a DL slot, you can release Russell and move on.
- Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees: After throwing just six pitches Tuesday night, Chapman motioned to the trainers and had to be removed from the game. On Wednesday, the Yankees placed him on the disabled list with tendonitis in his left knee.
- Tommy Pham, Tampa Bay Rays: Pham being included on this list has nothing to do with his play on the field. Pham only returned from a fractured foot about a week ago before dislocating his ring finger Tuesday. The injury isn’t likely to force Pham back to the DL, but as always, I have a hard time trusting anyone coming back from any hand, wrist, or finger injury.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.
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