With the Mid-Summer Classic in the rearview mirror, it is time for fantasy baseball owners to start making that second-half push and assess what it will take to bring home that title.
If you aren’t in contention and you play in a keeper league, now is the time to organize your trade chips and start making some offers to set yourself up for next year. Regardless of which situation you are in, your first stop on the waiver wire is to check out what players are coming off the 10-day injured list and if they are available.
The baseball community is buzzing over the imminent return of White Sox slugger Eloy Jimenez. The 24-year-old was a second-round draft pick in most leagues, but suffered a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery right before the season opened. The recovery time was supposed to be 5-6 months, so rather than stash him away until September, many owners just cut him, an understandable move in most situations.
As we headed into the final weekend of the first half, however, Jimenez started destroying baseballs during his rehab stint in High-A Winston-Salem and was quickly moved up to Triple-A Charlotte. He has since played just two games, and though he gone just 1-for-6 with a walk, the White Sox seem to be targeting a late July return to the big leagues.
It doesn’t matter how shallow your league might be, if he is available, there is not a single other player on your waiver wire capable of posting the numbers he can provide you down the final two months of the season.
But Jimenez isn’t alone, as the IL is chock full of impact players awaiting their return. White Sox teammate Luis Robert was recently cleared for baseball activities and is expected to begin a rehab assignment in late July for a mid-August return. With no Adam Eaton on the roster, guess who should be leading off?
If pitching is your need, then how about Mets right-hander Carlos Carrasco? After a successful 29-pitch simulated game last weekend in his return from a hamstring injury, Carrasco started his rehab assignment Thursday and could be up in early August. Over a seven-year career, he has posted a 3.77 ERA with more than a strikeout per inning. Any fantasy rotation would get a boost from an arm like this.
It might be difficult to stash a player for multiple weeks, but the final results should prove positive. Adding players such as Jeff McNeil, Luis Severino or the aforementioned three could be all you need. A small sacrifice today means big rewards tomorrow.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy baseball advice.
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