Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 6
As the season trudges on, we need to find a way to replace these guys. Check out some folks who could help replace these injured studs.
Brad Brach - Baltimore Orioles (RP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 55.8%
Zach Britton to see Dr ElAttrache Monday. Said feels like he may have rushed back, but felt fine all the way through rehab. #Orioles
— Jon Meoli (@JonMeoli) May 6, 2017
The hits just keep on coming, and with any luck, Britton is given a clean bill of health. Going to see Dr. ElAttrache has to give fantasy owners some pause, though.
And it's not like Brach isn't talented -- since the beginning of the 2015 season, he has a strong 28.4% strikeout rate. So far in 2017, he's allowed only a .138 batting average to opposing hitters.
If you're looking for help at closer, Brach needs to be a primary target.
Eduardo Rodriguez - Boston Red Sox (SP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 47.9%
Those good feelings didn't last long, though -- Price was is dealing with a weak elbow, and he's been sidelined ever since. But when one door closes, another opens, and Eduardo Rodriguez has stepped in admirably.
Over 29 1/3 innings this year, Rodriguez has posted a 3.68 SIERA and a strong 30.3% strikeout rate. Following a 2016 season where he fired a 4.44 SIERA over 107 innings pitched, this type of performance wasn't exactly expected.
He's being aided by a healthy 83.3% strand rate. That's not likely to continue, but with all those strikeouts, Rodriguez is a fantastic back-end candidate for fantasy rotations.
Josh Harrison - Pittsburgh Pirates (2B)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 45.8%
Josh Harrison of the Pittsburgh Pirates is a player that often goes overlooked due to an overall lack of pop. In 2015 and 2016, Harrison racked up a combined 8 home runs over 971 plate appearances, but he does provide a strong floor in both the average and on-base percentage categories. He also provides us with some fun highlights while swiping bags.
All kidding aside, Harrison's speed is a real asset -- he stole 29 bases over the last two seasons, but so far in 2017, he may be putting the whole package together. Over 118 plate appearances, Harrison has posted a .373 OBP to go with 5 homers and 2 steals.
It's early, but Harrison's 133 wRC+ shows this could be the breakout campaign we've been waiting for.
Brett Gardner - New York Yankees (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 45.0%
Over the last week, Gardner has blasted three home runs (giving him five this season), and perhaps none were better than this jack late against the Chicago Cubs.
Coming off a 2016 campaign where Gardner posted only a .317 wOBA, fantasy owners weren't exactly beating down the door to grab him for their squad.
However, he's already racked up five steals to go with those homers en route to a .359 wOBA and 132 wRC+ over his first 115 plate appearances.
And don't forget -- over the last three seasons, Yankee Stadium ranks the best park in baseball with regard to home run factor. If you are looking for a sneaky source of power with some speed Gardner is your guy.
Michael Taylor - Washington Nationals (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 4.5%
It's nearly impossible to fully replace a player like Adam Eaton, who was lost last week to a season-ending knee injury. Michael Taylor is trying to live up to some of the past promise he's been known for since Eaton went down, though.
The young center fielder didn't do much with expanded big league playing time in 2015, posting just a .274 wOBA with a 30.9% strikeout rate in 511 plate appearances. He spent a good chunk of 2016 in Triple-A as a result, but this injury has opened the door for him. Coupled with the aforementioned injury to Harper, and the Nats will need Taylor's production.
Since taking over the starting role on April 29th, Taylor has ripped off a six-game hitting streak (10-for-27), throwing in two stolen bases to boot. When he gets flying around the bases, his speed is obviously an asset.
While Taylor is still striking out far too much -- he's whiffing 37.3% of the time -- he just needs to put the ball in play and get on base to be productive for an offense that's leading baseball with a .363 wOBA.