I don’t know about you, but it seems to me like the waiver wire is running extra thin these days. Not that there’s ever too much to choose from in deeper leagues, but this is the first week where I’m having trouble finding even the weakest replacements to help cover injuries, at least on my AL-only team. I’m just feeling a free agent lull… Kimbrel and Keuchel have signed, there haven’t been any Yordan Alvarez-level promotions in the last few weeks, and some injured stars are finally returning – often bumping part-time players who had gained some temporary deep-league relevance out of a gig. For now, I’m just trying to tread water in the leagues I’m doing well in, and trying to keep an eye out for any possible addition that could help my teams that have been floundering. That, then, brings us to this week’s list of players that may be available to assist owners in NL-only, AL-only, and other particuarly deep fantasy baseball leagues.
Eric Sogard. Sogard was a hot pickup a while back when he was hitting everything in sight, but many owners dropped him once he inevitably cooled off, as his CBS ownership is back down to just 8%. He may not have another stretch like he did from mid-April to early May, but he’s been playing regularly and hitting of late, as he’s 12 for his last 33 through Thursday. The counting stats haven’t really been there like they were earlier in the year, but he could still provide some deep-ish league value. (Note: Sogard has 3 more hits including a homer, plus 2 more runs scored in the 12 hours since I wrote this, so I guess he’s trying to prove me wrong about that counting stat thing).
Tanner Anderson. Anderson has made 2 starts for the A’s (his first 2 MLB starts), and so far, so good – well, at least so not horrible. He hasn’t exactly dominated (8 Ks in 11 innings), but he held both the Rays and the Mariners to 2 runs, in 5.2 and 5.1 innings. I’m not holding my breath for a gem Friday, when he is scheduled to face the Rays again, and we’ll have to wait and see if he sticks in the rotation beyond that, but I’ve stashed him in my deepest AL-only league in case he gets more opportunities and has a nice-looking matchup.
Cam Bedrosian. I usually don’t like to dabble too much in the Angels’ bullpen (much like the Reds, as you’ll see below), although I did take a chance on Hansel Robles in a couple leagues earlier this year and that decision has (somewhat shockingly) paid off. While Robles seems locked in to the 9th for the time being, in the deepest leagues, anyone who is pitching well fairly late in games and has some saves in his career (9 in Bedrosian’s case) is usually at least on my radar. Bedrosian has been seriously overperforming compared to his career numbers (he’s now at 2.55 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 41 Ks in 35.1 innings for 2019), but one only needs to look at what Kirby Yates’ career numbers were heading in to 2017 to believe in middle reliever miracles.
Zack Collins. White Sox catching prospect Collins was recalled this week after Welington Castillo hit the IL with an oblique strain. He may not get a ton of at bats backing up James McCann (though it wouldn’t be a shock to see him DH a time or two while he’s around), and I should probably mention that his career average in the minors is .234. But, with the catching landscape what it is these days, particularly in the junior circuit, any catcher with some upside warrants attention in even a semi-deep league – and Collins does have an interestingly high .378 OBP in the minors, as well as 49 homers in 324 games.
Michael Lorenzen. I try to own members of the Reds’ bullpen as infrequently as possible as it always seems to lead to heartache one way or another. I avoided Raisel Iglesias this season due to this policy, and now am I remembering why, as he was used “with the game on the line” (i.e. a not-save situation) twice in a row this week, with Lorenzen coming in for the save on both Monday and Tuesday. Will Lorenzen get more saves? Who knows, but this situation bears some deep-league monitoring.
Scott Oberg. If you’re not a Wade Davis owner, you made not have realized that he A) was on the IL with an oblique strain last month, and B) has been absolutely horrible since returning, giving up at least one run in his last four apperances (8 ER total in 3.1 innings). Oberg, meanwhile, has been cruising along while setting Davis up, as he now has a 1.59 ERA and 0.97 WHIP on the year (and that was before his two scoreless innings on Thursday, where he picked up a win and 3 Ks). His ownership has, not surprisingly, skyrocketed of late, but if you’re looking for a solid reliever who may have some saves potential and he was thrown to the waiver wire when Davis returned, you may want to give him a look-see.
Kyle Garlick. Don’t ask me where the Dodgers keep getting these under-the-radar guys, some of whom have funnier names than others, who come up and make a splash or two in the big leagues, but they seem to have an endless supply of them. Garlick started in the Dodgers’ outfield and had 2 hits — including his first MLB homer — on Wednesday against the Giants, and I was mildly surprised to see that he’s appeared in 13 games in 2019. He’s 27 and not exactly a big-time prospect, but he was hitting up a storm in triple A (.290 average, .380 OBP with 12 homers in 43 games) so he’s on my NL-only radar in case he keeps getting chances to play this summer.
Tyler Austin. The Giants have had quite the revolving door in the outfield this year, and it’s currently Austin’s turn to get semi-regular playing time. He’s played 10 games at 1B and qualified there going in to the season, and now has 18 games in the OF as I write this. The bad news: he’s hitting just .211, which isn’t too far from his .227 career average (462 total at bats since 2016 with the Yankees, Twins, and now San Francisco). The good news: he does have 6 homers in his 95 at bats this year, so if you’re power-starved in a very deep league, he wouldn’t be the craziest flyer you could take.