Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Julio Urias getting his chance?
The arrival of Zac Gallen and potential rotation return of Julio Urias highlight Thursday's Waiver Wire plus winners and losers from Wednesday.
Wednesday was a strange day around baseball, with last year's AL Cy Young winner struggling through a disastrous outing, and a number of high-profile injuries creating rotation spots for intriguing young options. We've already covered Zac Gallen's opportunity here, so let's get to Julio Urias and more players to add from Wednesday's actions, plus winners and losers from around the league.
Five players to add
Julio Urias (38) — With Hill headed to the IL with a forearm issue, this could be Urias' time to shine. He made four starts earlier in the season, racking up 22 strikeouts in 19.2 IP with a 3.66 ERA, and has similar numbers in his role as a multi-inning guy out of the bullpen. Throwing harder than ever and racking up swings and misses at a healthy pace, Urias has the potential to be a difference-making starter if he sticks.
Bryan Reynolds (50) — He just keeps hitting. Obviously, a .362 average and .446 BABIP aren't going to be sustainable for Reynolds, but he consistently ran up BABIPs in the .350-plus range in the minors, so it's not out of the question that he could be above average there. He's started six straight games for the Pirates, and if they just make him an everyday player, he's going to be a useful bat for Fantasy, especially with his average.
Tyler Mahle (28) — There are enough issues vs. LHP and getting through the lineup three times that Mahle probably has a fairly limited upside. On the other hand, he has a 4.17 ERA, more than a strikeout per inning, and a 1.197 WHIP. In this era, that's a starting-caliber Fantasy pitcher, especially against good matchups.
Daniel Ponce De Leon (8) — Sure, it was just the Marlins, but Ponce De Leon went for six shutout innings with six strikeouts and only one walk Wednesday night. In seven career MLB starts, Ponce De Leon has a 2.10 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 34.1 innings of work. It's not clear if he'll stay in the rotation when Adam Wainwright is back, but I'd prefer to see Ponce De Leon get a chance over Michael Wacha at this point.
Brian Dozier (55) — Dozier's season hit rock bottom on May 15, as his OPS fell to .601 during an 0-for-10 stretch with five strikeouts. In 29 games since, however, he's looked like himself, hitting .304/.363/.630 with an 18.6% strikeout rate and seven homers. That's a 40-homer pace for those of you keeping track. Is Dozier all the way back? No, he's still not running, for one. But coming off a two-homer day in Wednesday's doubleheader, I'd say he's firmly back in starting second baseman territory for Fantasy.
Winners and Losers
Shohei Ohtani — It took Ohtani a little while to get going as a hitter, but he's been everything we hoped he would be overall since coming back from his injury. And with a stolen base Wednesday, he now has three over his past nine games. That's what could take him from "solid utility option" to "must-start stud" for Fantasy. There's 20-steal potential here.
Patrick Corbin — It was nice to see Corbin bounce back from a dreadful run with seven strong innings Wednesday against the Phillies. I'm still not convinced he'll be the ace we were hoping for, but he's obviously still a very good pitcher.
Franmil Reyes — Reyes has been dealing with a neck issue lately, which might explain his limited playing time of late. After going 3 for 4 with a go-ahead homer Wednesday, hopefully he's good enough to get back to playing everyday. Despite his inconsistency, Reyes remains a must-roster player.
Blake Snell — Six runs in .1 innings is how you go about raising your season ERA by 0.70 runs in mid-June. It had been a disappointing season for Snell even before Wednesday's showing, and there has been talk about his command just not being there. Even still, he has the best swinging strike rate in baseball by a mile, and his peripherals all still point to ace level production coming up. Don't panic.
Roberto Osuna — Osuna's track record is long enough that I don't think he's at much risk of losing his role, but it's been a tough stretch, with three blown saves in his past 10 appearances, with seven runs allowed. Still, he's getting tons of strikeouts and not walking anyone, so let's call this a rare rough patch.
Andrew Heaney — Heaney still looks like he's not quite all there yet. The strikeouts were there in his first three starts, but now he has just four in his past two, with diminished command. I'll still roster him, but if you can't afford to at this point, I don't blame you.
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