In a week all the teams in major league baseball will be able to expand their rosters to 40 players. Now some teams will just add a couple of extra bullpen arms and other teams will bring up 15 players and max their roster out at 40. The roster expansion coincides with a lot of fantasy leagues playoffs. So adding the right guy who was called up could be huge. Here are a few things to look for.
The veteran player looking for a new start. In this case take a chance on Carlos Gomez. He was released by the Houston Astros after hitting .210 in 85 games this season. The Texas Rangers signed him and he's hitting .308 in Triple-A Round Rock. If he's healthy and you get the Carlos Gomez that was a two-time All-Star when he was with the Milwaukee Brewers he could be a late season steal. Gomez is just one example, but look for those veterans trying to prove themselves with a second chance.
Stay away from starting pitching. While there have been some decent rookie starting pitchers that have been in the majors all season the top prospects who have been called up have struggled in short stints. There's nothing that points to them making a big impact in September. It does look as though Julio Urias of the Los Angeles Dodgers has figured it out I'm guessing some in your league already has him on their roster. I'm talking more about prospects like Aaron Blair of the Atlanta Braves and Jose Berrios of the Minnesota Twins. Blair has been up and down making 11 starts for the Braves this season. He went 0-5 with an ERA of 7.99 in those starts. Blair was suppose to be able to blow hitters away with his fastball.He struck out 29 guys over 50 2/3rd innings and sadly he also walked 29 guys. Berrios has made 8 starts for the Twins and is 2-3, but his ERA is 9.28. Now down the road these two pitchers could be top of the rotation starters for their teams, but I don;t believe they'll give you any type of value down the stretch.
Then there are the guys that are already here. I mentioned Urias with the Dodgers. The Astros have brought up a few of there top prospects already. Alex Bregman has played 28 games and is hitting .231 with 4 home runs and 14 RBI's. Teoscar Hernandez has played in 12 games and is hitting .263 with 3 home runs and 6 RBI's. Hernandez has pretty much taken over for Gomez after he was released. Yulieski Gurriel has played in 3 games getting 4 at bats and has 1 hit. Atlanta brought up their top prospect shortstop Dansby Swanson and he's played in 7 games and he is hitting .280 early on. The Milwaukee Brewers also called up their top shortstop prospect Orlando Arcia, but he has struggled a bit at the plate hitting .176 in 21 games. Sadly there may be an owner or owners in your league that have scooped up these guys; so here are a few more names you need to look out for with the bat. Matt Chapman of the Oakland A's. Chapman hit 29 home runs at Double-A before being promoted to Triple-A recently. I'm sure Oakland could find some at bats for him. Will the San Diego Padres call up either Hunter Renfroe or Manual Margot. Renfroe has shown power through his minor league career. He has 28 home runs at Triple-A to go along with 97 RBI's and a .309 average. Margot is hitting .302 at Triple-A and is more of a speed guy as his 27 steals show; he also has 159 steals over 5 minor league seasons. The Padres should bring both these guys up just to give their fans something to look forward to. Will the New York Yankees bring up top outfield prospect Clint Frazier. Frazier isn't hitting as well at Triple-A as he did at the other minor league levels, but he still could get a look with the big club. While te Cleveland Indians are in 1st place in the AL Central there outfield has been influx pretty much all season. Could a September call up like Bradley Zimmer help that situation. Zimmer is hitting .292 in 26 games since being promoted to Triple-A. One more young outfielder who should earlier in the season that he's ready to be here is Alberto Almora of the Chicago Cubs. Almora is hitting .309 in Triple-A and should be one of the first guys called up. The tough part with players like Zimmer and Almora is will they get enough at bats since they're on winning teams to help you in fantasy. It's a tough call, but if you're in a daily league you can watch the starting line ups and make changes accordingly.
While it's extremely tough to find a starting pitcher in the September call ups you can have better luck with relievers. It's doubtful you'll find a lights out closer, but you might get a guy who gets a save chance or two. Jason Stoffel has been good in Triple-A 12 saves with a 1.80 ERA, but he's with the Baltimore Orioles; so the best you can hope for is a hold or two out of him. James Hoyt may get a look in the Astros bullpen. He has 29 saves with an ERA of 1.53 in 47 games; so there may be an opportunity there. Milwaukee is a rebuilding team; so maybe Damien Magnifica gets a September look. He's 6-7 with a 3.22 ERA with 18 saves in Triple-A. Those are a few options you might see added to the bullpens when call ups are made.
Keep your eyes open on who's brought up for what team and be quick on the waiver wire to get the guys that can help you lock up a fantasy championship. Remember the worse the teams record the more opportunity for the young guys to get those important at bats or innings.
Good luck bringing home a winner and thanks for reading. Feel free to leave your comments.
Published by John Burke