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Shane Baz is set to make his major-league debut for the Rays on Monday. Wouldn't a prospect of his caliber automatically be must-add?

The short answer, for busy people with things to do, is no. The long answer, for those who can indulge in things like rationale, is a little more complicated.

Before we get into it, let me first just say that if you haven't added Cubs for baseman Frank Schwindel yet, get on it already. I've been banging the drum for him so hard and for so long that I can't afford to devote any more space to it. The same would be true for Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suarez except that his roster rate is now up to 78 percent, so I can move on him from him at least.

But anyway, Baz.

TB Tampa Bay • #11 • Age: 22
2021 minors
ERA
2.06
WHIP
0.80
INN
78.2
BB
13
K
113

There's no overstating the caliber of prospect he is. You see the numbers he's put up this year, gaining control of his already electric stuff to make him arguably the top pitching prospect in baseball. I might instead give the nod to the Orioles' Grayson Rodriguez, but this isn't about him. The point is it's close.

The issue with picking up Baz isn't a matter of ability but rather timing. He's arriving for his first stint in the majors during the second-to-last week of the season ... at the position with the most potential for harm ... for the team most known for handling up-and-coming pitchers with kid gloves.

There's a small chance he could throw a seven-inning gem (even though he only once lasted even six innings in the minors this year), but he more realistic possibility is that they cut him off at 4-5 innings -- and that's if he's pitching well.

Of course, there's no predicting whether he's up to the task given that he has yet to be tested at the highest level. It's especially true given that he'll be facing the Blue Jays in his first outing, who you may be aware are rather stacked offensively. If he navigates their lineup well enough, he'll face the Astros next time out, who present an even tougher matchup. Weighing all of those factors, how could you possibly have the confidence to start Baz, whether this week or next?

Granted, it's not as simple as even that. If the Rays decide to remove someone from the rotation with the arrival of Baz -- which I'm not counting on, but it's possible -- then he'll line up for two starts this week, with the second coming against the Marlins. And in that scenario, he would face the Yankees next week rather than the Astros. It would make the risk a more rewarding one, but of course, you can't count on him having that second start this week.

Ultimately, it's too big of a gamble to take with so much on the line. If Baz had arrived a month ago, it would be a different story. As it is, I'm advising these pickups instead ...

Possible waiver wire pickups
OAK Oakland • #40 • Age: 32
ROSTERED
74%
2021 season
W
12
ERA
3.22
WHIP
1.05
INN
151
BB
35
K
154
When Chris Bassitt got his face smashed by a line drive back in mid-August, most presumed he'd be out for the season, which is why he's as available as it is. Now that it looks like he'll be returning Thursday, you'll want to take advantage wherever he was dropped. It may not be wise to move him into your lineup for his return start even though it's against the Mariners. He hasn't had a rehab assignment and may not be ready to take on a full workload yet. But he'll face the Mariners in the final week of the season, too, and will be more stretched out by that point.
SEA Seattle • #36 • Age: 24
ROSTERED
67%
Sunday at Royals
INN
7
H
3
ER
1
BB
1
K
5
Sunday's outing followed a dominant one last time in which he struck out nine Red Sox over six innings, so Logan Gilbert seems to be finding his stride at just the right time. He's had an up-and-down rookie season, which is to be expected, but he'll be facing a spiraling Angels lineup this week. It doesn't seem like the Mariners are limiting his innings in any way either.
SEA Seattle • #10 • Age: 22
ROSTERED
63%
September 2021
AVG
.283
HR
6
SB
2
OPS
.998
AB
60
K
18
Another high-profile Mariners rookie who's finally delivering on all his potential, Jarred Kelenic is still batting just .178 for the year, but you see what he's done in September. He's putting the ball in the air a ton and not getting beaten by strikeouts as much, though it would still be a stretch at this point to say that plate discipline is his strong suit. The Mariners have middling matchups the rest of the way, but the pitchers on the slate this week are particularly prone to fly balls.
STL St. Louis • #65 • Age: 30
ROSTERED
61%
2021 season
SV
10
ERA
3.27
WHIP
0.87
INN
74.1
BB
16
K
88
Giovanny Gallegos' roster rate has risen only 10 points over the past week even though we now have confirmation he's the closer for the hottest team in baseball. OK, so no one has come out and said so, at least not to my knowledge, but he has recorded eight saves over a 19-game span, including two over the weekend. In terms of skill, he's everything you would want in a closer, and the only reason he's gotten passed over the past couple years is because he's such a workhorse. He deserves to be treated like a stud RP now.
COL Colorado • #7 • Age: 25
ROSTERED
57%
2021 season
AVG
.288
HR
14
OPS
.814
AB
337
BB
19
K
70
After an August power drought, Brendan Rodgers is up to four home runs in September thanks to a weekend surge that saw him go 6 for 13 with two homers and a double. He's waking up just in time for a favorable stretch of games to close out the season. The Rockies will be home for all of this week and the start of next week before traveling to Arizona to beat up on the Diamondbacks pitching staff. Most of Rodgers' power production has come on the road so far, but in an environment as hitter-friendly as Coors Field, he's due.
SF San Francisco • #9 • Age: 33
ROSTERED
55%
Past 23 games
AVG
.311
HR
10
OPS
1.104
AB
90
BB
10
K
25
Has there ever been a quieter 26 home runs than the ones hit by Brandon Belt, a 33-year-old whose previous career high was only 18? What's more is he's done it even while missing about a month and a half due to various injuries. He's been especially locked in for the past month or so, and while he's still known to sit against left-handers on occasion, the Giants have none of those on tap in a week that includes a visit to Coors Field.
MIL Milwaukee • #52 • Age: 26
ROSTERED
44%
Past 13 appearances
W
5
ERA
1.83
WHIP
0.99
INN
69
BB
23
K
64
Eric Lauer's numbers over his past 13 appearances are too good to believe, especially given that he's no better than an average bat-misser who generally puts the ball in the air. His 4.21 xFIP and 4.05 xERA would both suggest he's overachieving, and yet it's been going on for months now. His latest outing in which he allowed one run on one hit in 5 1/3 innings against the Cubs Sunday makes his next matchup against a bad Mets lineup all the more difficult to pass up.
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #9 • Age: 23
ROSTERED
35%
Since returning Sept. 8
AVG
.458
2B
1
3B
1
HR
1
AB
24
K
4
I'm not fully convinced Gavin Lux has turned the corner given that his production since returning from the minors a couple months ago has mostly come in the form of singles, but he did put a ball over the fence Sunday (against a lefty, no less). He's been swinging and missing less and says his timing has been better than earlier this season. With him seemingly holding down the left field job for the time being, he should be able to take advantage of the Dodgers' visit to Coors Field this week.