We are midway through August, and the fantasy baseball trade deadline has come and gone in most leagues. It’s now or never for some, as any acquisitions you make must be done through the waiver wire and FAAB. Now, more than ever, you’ll need to be sly, aware, and ready to pounce should opportunities arise. And it’s being opportune that can win you your fantasy league since changing your roster when needed is key to success. Here are some chances that you can take while managing your roster based on some injury opportunities that have presented themselves.
Orlando Arcia in 2022 has had a season much like the rest of his career: filled with ups and downs. It’s unfortunate for him because when he is on a hot streak, it’s hard to find anyone better than him in that time period, but through injury or lack of adjustment, his cold streaks are seemingly ice cold. Recently, Arcia hurt his hamstring while rounding first base, stating afterward that he heard it “pop” when it became injured. It’s been revealed that he won’t return until at least September, and as such, the Braves were forced to go to their farm system and call up Vaughn Grissom to the team.
Ranked as the team’s best prospect, Grissom is someone who is scouted as a player who can do a bit of everything. While working the field with his glove, he’s a natural shortstop by trade but has dabbled at second base and third base this year. At the plate, however, he’s developing his offensive game and has hit fourteen home runs and stolen twenty-seven bases over two levels in 2022. Additionally, he doesn’t strike out a lot, shows decent patience at the plate, and has only hit under .300 once in his professional career. He could be the real deal, and he helped assuage any doubts with his first ever hit traveling 412 feet, marking his entrance to the league in a big way.
Vaughn Grissom’s major-league career could go any which way and he’ll still have this. Wow, what a moment. pic.twitter.com/NWeKwGOUr8
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) August 11, 2022
Conclusion: Vaughn Grissom is the next in line of Braves’ prospects that get the call and make an immediate impact. Both Spencer Strider and Michael Harris III have recently made their way to Atlanta and provided the stability needed to make another postseason run. While Vaughn Grissom could be the next in line to do so, there is some caution attached here, as Ozzie Albies is scheduled to return within the next little while. Grissom should be given his fair share of opportunities to make an impact and may get a chance to stay with the team even after Albies returns. That said, there is also the chance that he gets sent back down to the minors as well.
Chances are that you weren’t rostering Jason Heyward on most of your teams. In fact, he’s been bad for a while now, so he is likely a fixture on most waiver wires, and will continue to be there even after you read this. The Cubs have been paying him a lot of money for years, and he’s been a fixture in right field for them despite being a very disappointing commodity. Since his season-ending injury earlier this year, Chicago has been mixing and matching players in their outfield and designated hitter spots to find a combination that works. Recently, they acquired Franmil Reyes after he was designated for assignment by the Guardians, making him worthy of a pickup if he’s available.
Franmil Reyes came into the season after hitting thirty home runs last season despite missing almost fifty games due to injury. He has struggled to produce much of anything this year, but one look under the hood will tell you that it could be fluky. A lot of his batted ball characteristics look somewhat similar to his numbers last year, such as how hard he’s hitting the ball. In fact, looking at the numbers, it seems that he’s barely missing the ball and either going just under or over the sweet spot, resulting in more popups than usual. Everything else looks relatively similar and shouldn’t be the reason for a significant drop in batting average and power.
Conclusion: It would seem that Franmil Reyes is in the midst of a massive slump that has some contributing bad luck. For the past three years, he has produced massive power at the plate with moderate batting average production. Heading to Chicago now, it’s not only a big playing time bump, in that he should play almost every day, but he receives a good ballpark boost as well due to the wind flowing outward. If Reyes is available in your league, he’s worth a shot to see if he can get back to his old ways in a new setting.
Tarik Skubal had recently turned his short career around by significantly lowering his ERA and limiting his home runs allowed in 2022. With his recent elbow injury, it was a reminder of just how volatile pitching can be, and how one can never have enough of it to succeed. It has been revealed that Skubal won’t return to the team this year, leaving a hole in the rotation to be filled. While Detroit is seemingly patchworking their starters right now, there is a pitcher of interest rehabbing in the minor leagues and is someone that should be rostered where available: Eduardo Rodriguez.
Looking back, Eduardo Rodriguez had some personal problems earlier in the season and moved away from the team. While not much is known about why he was away (nor should it be known, since it is his personal life), we do know that he has returned to the team in order to ramp his arm back up. His numbers have been dominant, as he has struck out twenty batters over twelve innings pitched. While we don’t know much about his velocity, he has looked the part and could be back soon.
Here’s video of Eduardo Rodriguez’s full rehab start for Toledo tonight.https://t.co/z4HopI6ILV
— Tigers Minor League Report (@tigersMLreport) August 12, 2022
Conclusion: Eduardo Rodriguez has a proven track record of providing strikeouts and innings pitched. Chances are that he is on your waiver wire because he wasn’t able to be placed on the Injured Reserve due to the situation he was in. If he is available, and you have a roster spot, he’s worth an add to hopefully be used in September, though there are rumors of him returning within the next week or so.
Alex Kirilloff recently underwent season-ending surgery for a wrist injury that doesn’t seem to want to heal. After undergoing the same sort of thing last year, Kirilloff will miss the rest of 2022 in order to hopefully fix the problems he has permanently. In the meantime, the Twins’ outfield is an absolute mess right now, with people coming and going. While a popular add right now is utility-man Nick Gordon, there’s someone else to keep an eye on. That man is Gilberto Celestino.
The speedy outfielder finished off a successful 2019 minor league season with double-digit power and speed, bringing promise to the franchise that drafted him. He, like many others, missed out on a year of proper development in 2020 and was subsequently called up prematurely in 2021, being forced to learn on the fly at a level at which he wasn’t ready. This season, he’s been able to maintain a solid batting average in limited playing time, but due to injuries on the team, he’s been given more consistent time to play and has been succeeding. In fact, over the past two weeks, he’s played in eleven games and hit .296 with one home run and four runs batted in. While it’s not overpowering, it’s still substantial.
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) August 13, 2022
Conclusion: Celestino is someone to monitor going forward. He is getting comfortable at the plate and has learned how to develop his game through MLB experience. With the way the Twins have been managing their injuries, there’s a chance that he gets additional playing time come September, and helps provide owners with batting average and a bit of speed. That being said, this is a bit of a long shot, but in the deepest of leagues where at-bats matter, he could be a sneaky source down the stretch.
For a while now, Michael Brantley has been on the Injured List with an ailing shoulder, and recently it was revealed that he would have season-ending surgery. In his absence, the Astros have mixed and matched combinations to fill the void, but one constant has remained true: the versatile Aledmys Diaz.
Recommended earlier this season in this column for an opportunity, his second time around comes with increased confidence as his current production will be in focus here. His value on the field is huge, as he qualifies at second base, shortstop, third base, and the outfield. At the plate, over the past 41 games, Diaz has raised his batting average over forty points while hitting seven home runs. He’s also shown added patience at the plate and reduced his strikeout rate slightly. As was said about his production last season, when he plays consistently, he produces.
Conclusion: Aledmys Diaz has a lot of things going for him, one of which is a great attitude. He has gone on record stating that he wants to do what he can to help the team, which includes playing wherever and whenever he is needed. That mindset has helped him become a valuable asset due to his versatility, eligibility, and production on the field. He should continue to be a steady force for opportunity going down the stretch run.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)