This was a week to be remembered in fantasy baseball season. With three weeks to go I made it to the top, first place! Against my husband who was in first place, I won 17-1. My pitching was incredible and my hitting came alive at the perfect time. The top two teams have the first week off in the fantasy playoffs and have a bye, the fantasy trading deadline has now passed, and soon the September callups but we still have the waiver wire. Here are some players that I like that might be able to help your team if they are available. I share with you part of the article from D.J. Short of Rotoworld. Called Jaime Time.
Jaime Garcia SP, Cardinals
Garcia has become something of a forgotten man after missing the past two months due to a sprained left shoulder, but he should be back on your fantasy radar. The 26-year-old southpaw notched eight strikeouts while allowing two runs over five innings Tuesday in a rehab start with Triple-A Memphis and is currently on track to rejoin the Cardinals’ rotation on Sunday against the Pirates. He had a 4.48 ERA in 11 starts this season prior to going on the disabled list, but this is a guy with a 3.45 career ERA. If he’s healthy, expect better results.
Todd Frazier 1B/3B/OF, Reds
Seriously, what else does this guy have to do to be owned in the majority of mixed leagues? Frazier has hit safely in six straight games, five of them multi-hit performances, and is now batting .286/.343/.541 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI on the year. Rookie of the Year, anyone? As I noted on Twitter on Wednesday night, his .884 OPS is higher than Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira, Jason Heyward and teammate Jay Bruce, just to name a few. It might not be an issue for a couple of weeks, but let’s hope Reds manager Dusty Baker finally breaks from his veteran fixation and gives Frazier regular starts at third base over Scott Rolen when Joey Votto returns from the disabled list. Fingers crossed.
Dale Thayer RP, Padres
Huston Street suffered a strained left calf while trying to cover first base last Friday and is expected to be out until September. The Padres haven’t named an official replacement at closer, but Luke Gregerson got one out in the eighth inning against the Braves on Monday night before Thayer tossed a scoreless ninth to notch the save. Thayer went 5-for-5 in save chances in May while Street was on the disabled list with a lat strain, so he looks like the one to own here, even though Gregerson is the superior pitcher. Hey, that’s just the way it goes sometimes.
Brandon Belt 1B/OF, Giants
The last time I mentioned Belt in Waiver Wired on June 21, he had homered in three straight games. The bad news is that he has only homered once since that day, but his bat is at least showing some signs of life recently. The 24-year-old is hitting a cool .450 (18-for-40) with five doubles, one triple and four RBI this month. I’m not exactly holding my breath here, but given his patience, he deserves a shot out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Either way, he’s worth consideration in mixed leagues with a CI (corner infielder) spot.
Jon Jay OF, Cardinals
Jay may have heard the whispers that the Cardinals were considering calling up top prospect outfielder Oscar Taveras. The 27-year-old batted .531 (17-for-32) during an eight-game hitting streak which came to an end on Wednesday night. His recent surge has led to Cardinals manager Mike Matheny using him out of the leadoff spot, which is an excellent development for his fantasy value moving forward. Jay isn’t going to help much in the power department, but he has some speed and is a .302 career hitter in the big leagues. He’s a decent alternative if you were forced to drop Melky Cabrera on Wednesday.
Alex Cobb SP, Rays
The Rays are going to have a tough decision to make when Jeff Niemann is ready to return from a fractured leg. Cobb has allowed one run over seven innings in each of his last three starts and now owns a 4.08 ERA and 67/28 K/BB ratio over 90 1/3 innings. The 24-year-old right-hander has allowed just four home runs all season while posting an outstanding 58.5 percent ground ball rate. Things could get complicated when Niemann returns later this month, but Cobb is at least worth using for upcoming starts against the Angels and Athletics.
Rajai Davis OF, Blue Jays
Davis continues to go overlooked in most fantasy leagues despite ranking second in the majors with 35 stolen bases. The 31-year-old speedster has been a staple in Toronto’s starting lineup over the past few weeks and has batted leadoff in 10 straight games. Davis figures to lose some playing time once Jose Bautista is able to return from wrist inflammation, but we’re still likely a week or two away from that situation coming to a head. His speed should continue to come in handy in most formats, anyway.
Ruben Tejada 2B/SS, Mets
While the Mets have faded in a big way since the All-Star break, Tejada has managed to remain productive. The 22-year-old hasn’t been as patient as his first two seasons in the big leagues, but he has hit safely in 37 out of 45 games since returning from the disabled list on June 24 and is batting .320 overall. Tejada doesn’t hit for power and isn’t a threat to steal, so he doesn’t do enough to justify a spot in shallow mixed leagues, but he’s a pretty safe option if you need to fill a MI (middle infielder) spot.
Andy Dirks OF, Tigers
It looks like Dirks has picked up from where he left off in May. After missing two months due to a strained right Achilles tendon, the 26-year-old outfielder is hitting .366 (15-for-41) with one home run, five doubles, seven RBI and nine runs scored over 12 games this month. He has batted second in five out of his last seven starts, which is a pretty nice place to be with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder right behind him. Dirks isn’t going to excel in any one category and he could sit occasionally as Quintin Berry and Brennan Boesch are mixed into the lineup, but he makes for a pretty cheap replacement for Melky Cabrera in deeper leagues.
Hisashi Iwakuma RP/SP, Mariners
Iwakuma hasn’t received much attention, likely because he plays for a last-place team on the West Coast, but he has pitched quite well since moving into the starting rotation. While the 31-year-old right-hander has an underwhelming 4.14 ERA and 1.37 WHIP during his first year stateside, he has a 3.73 ERA and 35/16 K/BB ratio in 41 innings across seven starts. I’m a bit concerned with his penchant for the long ball (he has allowed one home run in each of his last 10 appearances), but he makes for an excellent streaming option for upcoming home starts against the Twins and Indians.
Yasmani Grandal C, Padres
Grandal was a waiver wire sensation after hitting home runs from both sides of the plate in his second major league game on June 30, but a strained oblique on July 30 caused him to be dropped in many mixed leagues. The good news is that the 23-year-old backstop began a minor league rehab assignment with High-A Lake Elsinore on Wednesday and could rejoin the Padres as soon as this weekend. He should be able to help in most formats the rest of the way, so it would be wise to stash him away before somebody else beats you to it.
Brent Lillibridge 1B/3B/OF, Indians
After functioning as a spare part with both the White Sox and Red Sox this season, Lillibridge has landed in a pretty good spot with the Indians. The 28-year-old utility man has already made starts at second base, shortstop, third base and left field while collecting two homers, two doubles, three RBI, two stolen bases and nine runs scored in 14 games. Lillibridge managed 13 home runs and 10 stolen bases in just 97 games with the White Sox last year, so he could surprise if he continues to get chances.
Josh Donaldson C/3B, Athletics
Brandon Inge was placed on the disabled list this week with a dislocated right shoulder. The A’s are hopeful that he’ll be ready to return right around when he’s eligible, but Donaldson will hold down the starting third base job for now. The 26-year-old stumbled both offensively and defensively at the hot corner with the A’s earlier this year, but he batted .335/.402/.598 with 13 homers and a 1.000 OPS in 51 games after his demotion to Triple-A Sacramento. Granted, those numbers were accomplished in the Pacific Coast League, but Donaldson won’t have to do much to improve on his .173/.187/.279 batting line. He went 2-for-4 with a solo homer on Wednesday night against the Royals, so he’s already off to a pretty good start in that regard. His eligibility at catcher could come in handy in the short-term.
Bonnie Gortler is a successful stock market guru who is passionate about teaching others about social media, weight loss and wealth. Bonnie is also a huge sports fan who successfully lost over 60 pounds by applying the many lessons learned through her commitment toward personal growth. Choose your very own FREE down-loadable gift from Bonnie by visiting bit.ly/bgoffers. You may also connect with Bonnie via Twitter & Facebook plus subscribe to BonnieGortler.com.