There are MLB players—stars, even, having great seasons—going on the disabled list and coming off it, and there are productive players absent now from active rosters due to off-the-field issues like family drama and PED suspensions. What is a fantasy owner to do?
It’s always crazy, especially with pitchers—both relievers and starters. This is one reason never to emphasize pitching in the draft, since there is so much instability throughout the season, over six months of ups and downs.
All you can do is check your roster every day and make sure you’re on top of the injury shuffling and inactive-player movements while never being afraid to make the tough decisions to cut guys you love or drafted too high back in March.
Players to Get on Your Team Now
1. Hansel Robles, RP, Los Angeles Angels: Still need saves? We don’t know why Robles is available still in over two thirds of online fantasy leagues. All his numbers (11 saves, 3.06 ERA, 0.991 WHIP, 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings) are very good. Grab him if you need saves and enjoy the theft.
2. Oscar Mercado, OF, Cleveland Indians: Remember when some alleged expert(s) told you to draft Greg Allen? Neither do we. However, we are confident that Mercado can do what’s needed for Cleveland. Through 32 games, he is hitting .311 with some power (four home runs) and some speed (six steals). He needs to work on his walk rate, though.
3. Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres: This is the third Hunter we’ve recommended this season, and the other two went on the DL soon after we pimped them. Hopefully, our luck is better here, as Renfroe has 23 HRs already in just 70 games. He is basically the National League of Khris Davis, but you know he’s gonna hit a lot of homers, anyway.
4. Justin Upton, OF, Los Angeles Angels: He just made his delayed season debut, and Upton clubbed three HRs in his first six games. That’s not a bad power boost if you need it at the outfield/utility position on your roster. Remember, he did hit 30 dingers last year, so Upton is going to get his. You may want to share in the experience.
Players to Drop to Waivers Now
1. Frankie Montas, SP, Oakland Athletics: He got suspended for using PEDs, and his 80-game suspension will wipe out the rest of his year, basically. His improvement in ERA+ from 106 to 158 clearly was not a coincidence, so be thankful you got his great stats so far this season, perhaps.
2. Tim Beckham, IF, Seattle Mariners: He jumped onto everyone’s roster by late April after hitting six HRs and driving in 19 runs before May. Since then, however, Beckham has hit just .188 and disappeared from fantasy relevance. He walked just twice since the start of May, while striking out 35 times in 96 ABs.
3. Jerad Eickhoff, SP, Philadelphia Phillies: He hasn’t been good lately, giving up a league-high 18 HRs to opposing hitters, and now we know why. Eickhoff is on the DL with arm trouble. He won’t be doing any throwing for at least three weeks, and that is never a good sign. Injuries to SPs suck, but they happen all the time.
4. Clint Frazier, OF, New York Yankees: This is just a matter of depth and talent in the Bronx. Frazier hit a respectable 11 HRs in 53 games for the Yankees, but with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton coming back from injury, he lost out on playing time and was demoted to the minors. Oh well. Guys like this often help you win leagues, even if they’re not around at the end of the season.