Happy August! The trade deadline has come and gone, and there’s eight weeks of baseball left. Hopefully if you’re reading this, you’re still in the thick of things in a deep league or two, so let’s do what we like to do here and take a look at some players that may be available and/or of interest to those of us in particularly deep leagues. Since I realized most of the players I thought I’d mention are in the AL, we’re gonna go ahead and make it a theme, keeping it strictly in the junior circuit for this week.
Edward Olivares. No punny lede for Edward, just thought I’d get right to the point instead. I know Olivares has some big fans here at Razzball, and why wouldn’t he, given the fact that all he’s shown is a great hit tool, a good eye, and plenty of speed and power. I assume he’s getting added to fantasy teams, but am fairly shocked that he’s only owned in 5% of CBS leagues as I write this on Monday. Now that Jorge Soler has been moved, Olivares is back up with the Royals and should have the opportunity to patrol right field for them, as they say. He probably should have been given the chance much earlier; he’s 25 now and has had a huge minor league year, hitting .322/.395 OBP with 13 homers and 12 steals.
Phil Gosselin. I was going to give Matt Thaiss a shout out here as a fellow who’ll have a playing time benefit for the Angels with Jared Walsh hurt, but Thaiss was demoted back to the minors before I could even get this posted. So, we’ll mention Gosselin instead… you’re not going to read about “upside” when it comes to Gosselin, but the Angels seem content to play him for now, and he is hitting an un-embarrassing .276 on the year and qualifies at 1B, 3B, and OF in most leagues.
Matt Harvey. Don’t look now, but the current Oriole and former Dark Knight has been pitching really well of late. He’s still on the waiver wire in even my deepest AL-only league, so not everyone’s buying in to the resurgence, but let’s make note of it at least. He’s gone 6 innings in each of his last three starts (not the toughest opponents in the world: DET, WAS, KC) and hasn’t allowed a run (though he has just 11 Ks in those 18.1 innings). This feels like a big beautiful bubble that’s about to burst in spectacular fashion, but like I said, one we’ll take note of in what continues to be a pitching-needy deep league fantasy landscape.
Jamie Barria. Speaking of a pitching-needy landscape and things that may come crashing down soon, Barria is another pitcher who is in the middle of a surprisingly good run (for the Angels). He has two wins in his two starts (four appearances and 19.2 innings total this year), as he’s managed to keep the walks and hits to a relative minimum with a 1.17 overall WHIP. He only has 8 strikeouts, so this has a definite smoke and mirrors feel to it, but he does have a good-on-paper upcoming matchup at Texas this week, so maybe the magic will continue a little longer.
Chas McCormick. More at bats for McCormick have opened up as the Astros’ center fielder with their (somewhat surprising?) trade of Miles Straw. In 66 games/163 at bats this year, he’s hitting just .239 with a .301 OBP, but the counting stats are way better than I realized: 32 runs, 10 homers, 35 RBI, and 2 steals. He’s basically been in a huge slump since the All Star break but he feels like a guy that should be owned in way more than 5% of CBS leagues in case he gets back into a groove.
Matt Wisler. Wisler got a save the other day in a Rays’ bullpen that’s been hit hard with injury/trade losses, which in Tampa of course doesn’t mean he’ll get another one, and doesn’t mean he won’t. His numbers on the year are solid either way though, as he’s rocking a 1.08 WHIP with 55 Ks in 42.2 innings. I’m not sure how Andrew Kittredge only has 39 appearances on the year because I feel like he’s pitching every time I turn on a Rays game or check their live scoring – but they can’t use him more than once a game, so we’ll see who gets what role on what day. Also, Nick Anderson’s on the mend and could return soon… but no matter what, Wisler should be a big part of their bullpen as the season continues.
Owen Miller/Ernie Clement. We’ll conclude with a 1% owned guy, and a classic “zero percent owned in CBS” guy, who I know is not actually zero percent owned since he is rostered in at least two of my leagues. I for one have been having some positional eligibility issues when it comes to setting a roster full of active players in my deeper leagues, and Miller and Clement both qualify at 2B, SS, and 3B in most leagues, so they’ve got something going for them right from the get go. Clement has now played in 23 games (65 at bats), often to rest Jose Ramirez at third, and doesn’t have a homer or a steal, so you can kinda see where that whole 0% owned thing is coming from. Miller has filled in at all four infield spots and does have a homer, but is hitting .111 in 54 at bats. Hey, when you’re looking for a hitter who might actually be available in an ultra deep league, it’s hard to expect them to actually be good at baseball as well!