Well, it’s hard to believe, but both my real-life calendar and my baseball calendar tell me that we’ve reached September. End of season call-ups aren’t what they once were, but that doesn’t mean there might not be a player or two floating around the waiver wire that’s worth watching for what’s left of the season, or for next year or beyond. While the Corbin Carrolls and Gunnar Hendersons of the world may be long gone in most NL and AL-only formats, let’s do our RITD thing and dig a little deeper.  We’ll attempt to find a lower profile name or two (everyone on this list is owned in fewer than 5% of CBS leagues) that may still have something to offer the deep-league world in 2022.


Spencer Steer. I don’t know much about Steer, except that he was hitting very well in the minors (.274 average, .364 OBP, and 23 home runs), and he’s on a team that is likely to be throwing whatever they can find up against the wall over the coming weeks in case anything interesting sticks. Sometimes opportunity is all we deep-leaguers need to see to have our heads turned, and Steer’s call-up by the Reds when rosters expanded on Thursday gave him some of that if nothing else. A few more details, if you’re into that kind of thing: he’s 24, was originally drafted in the third round and came over from the Twins in the Tyler Mahle trade, and he qualifies at 3B in most leagues. In addition to third, he played both second and short — where it seems unlikely he could be much less impressive than Jose Barrero has been of late — this year at triple A.

Javier Assad.  Assad has now made two starts for the Cubs, and since they’ve both gone quite well it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him continue in their starting rotation. Now, it’s a matter of semantics what you take the word “well” to mean in this case; Assad has pitched 9 innings without allowing a run, which is obviously a good thing in the world of real-life as well as fantasy baseball. His WHIP, however, is 1.56, which is obviously horrible in any version of the game. This is due largely to the 6 walks (vs. just 4 strikeouts) Assad has issued over those 9 innings, and is the reason I don’t think I’ll touch him even in my NL-only league where I could really, really use a starter. Walks are often a dealbreaker for me, and it took only a quick glance at Assad’s minor league player page and the revelation that his career milb WHIP is 1.56 to consider this relationship over before it started.

Alex Vesia / Chris Martin. Thinking about what a bad starter could quickly do to my NL-only ratios leads me to plan B or C, which is the path I’m taking for a few weeks in a couple deep leagues… namely, just pick up a reliever who’s been pitching well and hope beyond hope for some quality innings, a few Ks, and a sweet sweet vulture win or two. I’ve turned to Vesia and Martin not just because they’ve both been pitching quite well of late (Vesia has been somewhat inconsistent this year but he does have an impressive 61 Ks in 43.1 innings and hasn’t allowed a run since July 21st), but also because they are on a team (that would be the Dodgers) that is winning so many games that it seems they have more W’s, not to mention a few saves, to hand out to their pitchers than they know what to do with. They also have a starting staff that is a bit beat up — or at least that they are cognizant of not overusing right now — and a closer who has been all over the place all year, to the point where fellow reliever/saves vulture Evan Phillips is now a 22% owned player himself. I’ll also mention that Brusdar Graterol was IL’d on Thursday, while Blake Treinen is theoretically recovered from his shoulder injury and is rejoining their bullpen this weekend. Does it all make a giant mess for fantasy purposes? Yes, but in the deepest leagues, we occasionally need to take a piece of an ugly mess and just hope we can repurpose it into something useful, if not particularly pretty.


Dermis Garcia. I’m not super optimistic that Garcia (1% owned in CBS leagues) is going to establish himself as a long-term major league starter; even for those who don’t care about batting average, seeing his .232 career mark in the minors has to be concerning. I am optimistic, however, that the 24 year old A’s outfielder (who’s listed at 6’3”/200 pounds), has the potential to hit some homers, so we’ll see how the rest of the season goes. He’s off to a good start with the big club, with 10 hits (including two of those homers) in 30 at bats, which may be a minuscule sample size but is significant in terms of potentially already buying him more playing time as the A’s play out a meaningless season. If he manages to run into a run of weak pitching on opposing teams that also have little or nothing to play for, he could deliver some cheap deep-league power over the next month.

David Hensley. Hensley is still listed as 0% owned in CBS leagues, but I’ve already got a bid in on him in one league this weekend, so maybe I’ll singlehandedly be able to bump that number up a notch. He is kind of the opposite of Garcia in that he has a very impressive minor league batting average this year (.298, with a .420 OBP; he also has 10 homers and 20 steals in 379 at bats) but may not have the opportunity for playing time with the Astros that Garcia does with the A’s. Hensley may not even stick with the big club through September, but if Aledmys Diaz and Yordan Alvarez continue to fight injuries and/or just need more rest while the team prepares for a playoff run, Hensley could continue to see at bats (he’s 4 for his first 10 at the MLB level, for what that’s worth) and help me at the middle infield spot, where I’ve basically had a complete zero for around a month now, in my deepest AL-only league.

Jimmy Herget (4% owned) and Joe Jimenez (2% owned). I felt like Herget deserved a shout-out after realizing that he has three saves for the Angels in his last three appearances (and five total on the year), including polishing off the Yankees on Wednesday. His numbers on the season are surprisingly solid as well: 2.70 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, with 52 Ks in 53.1 innings. Jimenez, meanwhile, has just two saves on the year (including one on Wednesday) but has also pitched fairly effectively all season long, with 70 Ks in 50.1 innings and a K/BB ratio of almost 3 and a half. (Gregory Soto, meanwhile, has continued to be his at times electric, but always erratic self, and he now has a 1.32 WHIP on the year and just under a strikeout per inning). It feels like it’s been about a decade since I first thought Jimenez was destined to be the closer of the future in Detroit – while that hasn’t panned out, I may grab him in a deep league where I am chasing saves, in case he gets a few more chances over the final month of the season.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 months ago

Just searched for Steer in our keeper…Welp! Not gonna get him when the person telling you about him is in your league

Reply to  Laura Holt
6 months ago

Haha, oops!