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MLB Fantasy Fixer-Uppers June 2nd 2015
MLB Fantasy Fixer-Uppers
Each week I try to pick out a few players who are widely available in fantasy leagues in hopes that they can help your team. This week we are going to take a bit of a different angle. We are going to scope out some players that are widely owned because they are on the disabled list. Sometimes stashing a player can prove valuable provided you have the available DL spot. That said, most of these players have either just been activated or will be in the near future. Most of them should be universally owned but since they are not it's a great opportunity to pluck them from the waiver wire.
Jose Fernandez, SP, Miami Marlins (85% owned standard ESPN leagues)
Let me start by saying I am shocked Fernandez is unowned in 15% of leagues. That blows me away. Sure he is on the mend from Tommy John surgery but the Marlins young stud is one of the best pitchers in the game when healthy. At just 22 years old the right-hander owns an impressive career 2.25 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 257 strikeouts in 224 1/3 innings. The Marlins may be scuffling so far this season but Fernandez is due back from the DL in early July and could make an immediate impact. There will probably be some rust early on but if Fernandez finds his rhythm he is a top of the rotation starter who could be had right now for nothing. I drafted him in one of my leagues and strongly advise you add him now if he is available especially in a keeper league.
Jonathan Lucroy, C, Milwaukee Brewers (79% owned)
Lucroy has played in just 13 games so far this season due to a broken toe but he has been activated from the disabled list and barring any setbacks should be good to go the rest of the way. Expectations were high following a breakout 2014 in which the catcher led the league with 53 doubles while finishing fourth in the MVP race. Catcher has traditionally been a weak position and the fact that Lucroy is available in over 20% of leagues is a bit crazy. Sometimes players are dropped due to a roster crunch when they can't be used but Lucroy was worth holding onto during his absence. If you are looking for help from the backstop position one of the top catchers drafted this year could be hanging out on your waiver wire right now.
Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers (76% owned)
Another guy who should be universally owned is available in nearly one quarter of all leagues. Wow. The former MVP and Cy Young award winner had an off year in 2014 and was looking to return to his old form when a triceps injury sidelined him during Spring Training. Verlander has started a rehab assignment in Triple-A and had an unimpressive outing allowing three runs on six hits with two walks in just 2 2/3 innings. He is slated to make his second rehab start on Saturday and if he looks better he could rejoin the Tigers as soon as next week. Detroit has a high-powered offense and should provide Verlander with a lot of run support when he does finally make it back to the bigs. If he returns to form it's as simple as adding an ace for nothing. If he performs like a number three starter odds are that's still better than the pitcher currently filling out your fantasy rotation.
Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore Orioles (51% owned)
Another player coming off of Tommy John surgery only this time it isn't a pitcher. Wieters has been out for nearly thirteen months but could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Friday. The former top prospect hasn't exactly lived up to expectations offensively but he has certainly been above average. He was off to a terrific start in 2014 before being injured slashing .308/.339/.500. He is in a contract year and is looking to prove himself to earn that big contract. That should be enough to make Wieters worth an add if you can't get Lucroy. He may not catch everyday as he should earn some starts at designated hitter but he will have catcher availability all season and that's all that matters in the fantasy world.
Travis d'Arnaud, C, New York Mets (45% owned)
Another catcher? You betcha. d'Arnaud was sent down to the minors last season but really turned in on in the second half. The expectation was that should continue in 2015 and he was somewhat of a sexy sleeper pick in drafts. That expectation looked like it was coming true through the first 11 games of the season when d'Arnaud was slashing .317/.356/.537 with two home runs and 10 RBI. Then he was hit by a pitch and suffered a broken finger. He also suffered a setback while rehabbing but the Mets are optimistic he will be able to resume his rehab this week. d'Arnaud could be back in the Mets lineup next week and could be a boost if you need help from the catcher position. I've listed three of them. Time to pick your poison.
Is there a player you had your eye on and I didn't cover them here? Please feel free to leave feedback in the comments and I will try and get back to you as soon as possible. If that's not quick enough you can always find me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy. Ask me questions, give me a follow, ridicule me. It's a free country.