Domingo Santana has won fans over with his play at Colorado Springs, but may not be there much longer. (Kelsey Brunner/The Gazette)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. Now that we’re into mid-August, the homestretch is truly upon us, meaning you need that waiver wire more than ever.
This week, Houston revealed that star Jose Altuve (knee) still isn’t ready to return; Ronald Guzman became the first rookie ever to have a three-homer game against the Yankees; and Nolan Arenado (shoulder) had to come out early Friday, but he hopes to play Saturday.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations and analysis…
Domingo Santana, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (ESPN: 8.4 per cent; CBS: 19 per cent): Despite spanking 30 homers last year (see his power in the virtual world in the video below), Santana was farmed out at the end of June given his lack of pop this season. After a sluggish start at Triple-A he’s responded nicely to the demotion, batting .351 with five homers, 16 RBI and a whopping 1055 OPS in 21 games since the middle of July. This Dominican was a highly decorated prospect, and he’s proved he is capable of carrying a major league offense when he gets hot, so keep an eye on him — especially if an opening presents itself back in Sausage City.
Scott Alexander, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN: 16.5 per cent; CBS: 28 per cent): In his first season with the Dodgers, Alexander has emerged as a nice setup option. Now that Kenley Jansen (chest) is out for a month, Alexander will be asked to close, and he pitched a shutout frame to earn the save in his first crack since Jansen’s injury. Acquired by the Dodgers in a three-team deal in early January, Alexander was a huge part of KC’s bullpen last season, winning five games with career-bests in WHIP and ERA. This year, his strikeout rate has risen again (slightly) thanks to improved velocity, and he’s undefeated through 52 appearances (one start).
Touki Toussaint, SP, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: unowned; CBS: 8 per cent): Toussaint was scratched from his scheduled start at Triple-A on Friday as he’s expected to be recalled to make his MLB debut on Monday as part of Atlanta’s doubleheader against the Marlins. Arizona’s 2014 first round pick, traded to the Braves in June 2015, was pitching very well at Double-A, earning a promotion to Triple-A last month. Since then, Toussaint has gone undefeated through five starts, proving harder to hit than ever. This may be just a one-off start, but if you’re streaming pitchers, he’s a great choice. And who knows? Maybe Toussaint will stick.
- Milwaukee SP Zach Davies (shoulder) has had several false starts in his return from what was originally considered a very minor injury. However, he’s finally nearing a return, with three rehab starts under his belt in this current attempted comeback cycle. Davies could be an asset down the stretch.
- Now that Minnesota has dealt closer Fernando Rodney to Oakland, it will apparently shift to the dreaded bullpen by committee approach. Given that Trevor Hildenberger has the most minor league closing experience, we feel he’s the best bet.
- Ryan Zimmerman took an 0-fer on Friday, but has driven in 11 runs over the last 10 games and has really heated up in August. He’s widely available and is making a case for more PT down the stretch as the Nats fight for a wild card spot.
- Now that Brad Brach and Zack Britton have been traded, Mychal Givens has taken over as the closer in B-More, going 2-for-2 in save chances so far. Grab him if you need saves.
- When did Matt Carpenter suddenly morph into a 40-homer threat? Man, talk about turning around a season. This dude was batting .140 as of May 15.
- Xander Bogaerts snapped a power slump with a three-run jack Friday, remaining on track to top his career high. Better yet, he’s drawn nine walks in the last six games to raise his OBP up to .350.
- Ryan McMahon is finally starting to show why he was a top prospect. When Arenado got hurt Friday, McMahon replaced him and smoked a two-run homer. Combined with back-to-back multi-hit games earlier this week, McMahon is making a case for a bigger role.
- Minor league veteran 3B Dusty Coleman, who actually got 66 at-bats with the Padres last year, looks like he’s ready to slink off to Independent ball soon. After going 0-for-2 Friday, he’s batting just .179 over the last 10 games, taking his season BA down to .185. Oakland’s 28th rounder from 2008 has stuck around the minors for quite some time, and had two cups of coffee in the bigs, but it’s time to pack it in.
- Baltimore long reliever/spot starter Miguel Castro was actually having a decent season, but Friday sure was a forgettable outing. He walked three of the five batters he faced, and they all came around to score as he recorded a blown save and suffered a loss for the second straight outing.
- Guess which Dodger reliever is not a candidate to replace Jansen as closer? Zac Rosscup looked decent when first recalled, but has now given up three homers in his last two games (2 2/3 IP). This is the minor league veteran’s fifth season in the bigs, and he’s never looked worse.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
In the mid-to-late-’70s, Boney M. ruled the day as faux Reggae stars. In 1978, they turned a traditional West Indies’ children song, “Brown Girl in the Ring,” into a hit as the B-side for “Rivers of Babylon.”
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Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.