Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Late play for Jose Ramirez, or is Garrett Hampson for real?
Turns out Jose Ramirez's injury wasn't a season-ender after all. Is he worth a gamble for the season's final week? And what about Garrett Hampson? Scott White shares his most worthwhile waiver wire pickups.
You knew this season wasn't going to end without one last plot twist, so here it is: Jose Ramirez, the same one left for dead when he broke his hamate bone in late August, is in fact not out for the season. He's expected to return to the lineup Tuesday, just in time for a six-game week.
Oh man. Oh boy. Oh baby.
Is it for sure?
"It's not set in stone," manager Terry Francona told MLB.com. "I think it's realistic."
Is it legit?
"He says right now, he feels better than he did when he got checked in New York [a week before the injury]," Francona said. "They gave him some kind of a little splint and he hit two home runs that day. And he goes, 'I feel better now than I did then.' So I think that's good news."
Apparently, the medical staff has signed off on it now that the wound from the surgery has closed, but it's worth pointing out the initial timetable would have put Ramirez out until October. He took some ground balls and did some cage work over the weekend.
He remains owned in 79 percent of CBS Sports leagues, but given the earlier reports of him being out for the season, it stands to reason he's a possible pickup in your league. So is he a worthwhile one?
It's not a bad idea, if only to keep your opponent from doing it. His season-long numbers are one thing, but he was invisible for the first three months of the season before springing to life with a .325 batting average 14 homers, six steals and a 1.077 OPS over his last 44 games. Those who picked him third overall this spring would suggest that version of Ramirez is closer to the real one.
But boy ... a lot of unknowns here. The Indians could certainly use him as they try to secure a wild card spot, but they may ultimately decide it's too aggressive. Or they may quickly discover he's not quite right and unlikely to put up numbers that would be of any help to us. And even if he does return, who's to say he'll play all six games?
I think if you already have a third baseman or corner infielder who you couldn't imagine sitting, you should continue to roll with him. But if you've been slumming it there, Ramirez may be your chance at a big score, risky as he is.
Mark Canha CF
OAK Oakland • #20 • Age: 30
Whatever doubts might have remained for a guy who's hit .308 with 14 homers and an OPS over .950 since becoming an everyday player just before the All-Star break were hopefully cleared up when Mark Canha went 8 for 17 with two home runs in the four games leading up to this week. Whether you view him as a hot-hand play or just a good player, he's someone you want in your lineup for six games against the Angels and Mariners rotations.
SD San Diego • #29 • Age: 27
Dinelson Lamet's chances of making two starts in the season's final week are looking highly iffy. His turn lines up for Tuesday, but there are indications the Padres might opt for a bullpen game that day. Still, he's coming off a 14-strikeout effort at Milwaukee and has what would be the the sixth-best swinging strike rate among qualifiers, behind only Gerrit Cole, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Luis Castillo, Jacob deGrom and Lucas Giolito. If you're looking for maximum impact off the waiver wire, the upside is there even with a less-than-favorable matchup. Just make sure Sean Manaea (at Seattle) is already owned first.
Cavan Biggio 2B
TOR Toronto • #8 • Age: 24
All the potential bubbling under the surface for Cavan Biggio appears to have risen to the top at the most opportune time. The rookie whose walk rate ranks up there with Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana and who's a perfect 13 for 13 in stolen bases is starting to get some hits now -- and not just over the fence. He's 19 for 45 (.422) over his past 11 games, making him clearly a hot-hand play, if not a turn-the-corner case. And because he excels in so many ways, he could be a monster contributor this week, particularly with three games against the Orioles at the start.
COL Colorado • #1 • Age: 25
If Jose Ramirez was left for dead, Garrett Hampson was buried and forgotten, undeserving of even a mention since those earliest weeks of the season when he still had some residual sleeper shine. Well, he's suddenly playing every day, splitting his time between second base and center field, and doing some big things with it. You see how his past 10 games have gone. Of particular note are the stolen bases. Where are else are you going to find someone who can make that sort of impact in that category over that span of time?
Tommy Edman 3B
STL St. Louis • #19 • Age: 24
If you play in a daily league, you could use some versatility for whatever nonsense is thrown your way this final week. Tommy Edman is eligible at second base, third base, shortstop and the outfield, and he's as hot as he's been all year, really solidifying himself as the Cardinals' primary third baseman over Matt Carpenter with a .354 (23 for 65) batting average, five home runs and three steals in his past 17 games. The performance isn't so outlandish, either, considering his low strikeout rate and high hard-hit and line-drive rates, according to FanGraphs.
Shed Long 2B
SEA Seattle • #39 • Age: 24
Speaking of hot streaks, Shed Long is riding one of his own, having collected multiple hits in eight of 10 games for a .422 (19 for 45) batting average. He has three home runs during that stretch and has seen the strikeout rate settle at something more than respectable. It's not exactly the profile he showed as a prospect in the Reds system, and the Mariners don't have the most inviting matchups this week. Still, if you play in a deeper league where all the other names listed here are already owned, his availability makes him worthy of your attention.
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