Anderson is indeed getting the call to start Tuesday's game — it's been confirmed — making him the latest in a parade of prospect call-ups. Is fatigue setting in yet? Should we be pursuing him with the same gusto? The answers aren't so straightforward.
Nobody's suggesting Anderson isn't of genuine prospect caliber. Most publications ranked him in the top 50 coming into the season, and he has been a fixture on top 100 lists since the Braves selected him third overall in 2016. It's just that we don't have any insight into the sort of progress he has made at minor-league camp, and the last time we did have insight into his progress, he seemed like he still had a ways to go.
Consider that the Braves have been without four-fifths of their intended starting rotation virtually all season and are only now calling him up. If they themselves were sure he was ready, he would have been up weeks ago.
Still, I could have said the same about Triston McKenzie, who hadn't even pitched in an actual game since 2018, and look how his debut went Saturday. Starting pitcher is a need for everybody, and Anderson will be a much more expensive pickup if it's in reaction to an impressive debut. I'm not saying adding him now is a high-probability play, but it's a calculated gamble if you have a roster spot to play with.
And after a quiet Monday, when few players emerged beyond the nine highlighted from the weekend, it makes Anderson the most attractive new pickup off the waiver wire.
Ian Anderson SP
ATL Atlanta • #48 • Age: 22
Ian Anderson's 2019 numbers look solid, but they looked better before a five-start trial at Triple-A Gwinnett, where he walked 18 in 24 2/3 innings en route to a 6.57 ERA. The velocity and secondary arsenal have been inconsistent, as has the command, but there's clearly swing-and-miss stuff here thanks in part to an over-the-top delivery.
TOR Toronto • #68 • Age: 27
Though the Blue Jays haven't officially named Jordan Romano their closer, things have been trending that way with Anthony Bass being used more like a setup man for the past couple weeks. And Romano has clearly been the team's most effective reliever, which made it not so surprising when they turned to him for the save Monday. He becomes the presumptive favorite, at least until Ken Giles is back.
Daniel Bard RP
COL Colorado • #52 • Age: 35
At last report, the Rockies were said to be taking a by-committee approach to the ninth inning. Daniel Bard is looking like the chairman of that committee, working a perfect ninth for his second save Monday while Carlos Estevez, the other leading candidate, has continued to work the eighth. Bard still has big velocity at age 35 and has at least managed to throw strikes with it.
Brad Miller 2B
STL St. Louis • #15 • Age: 31
We're far from the shallow now, but if you're hurting at third base, Brad Miller has a 30-homer season in his past and has been getting on base so often, reaching four times (three hits and a walk) again Monday, that the Cardinals can't seem to take him out of their lineup. He's effectively their starting third baseman now, at least against righties, and might be worth a flier in leagues with 15-plus teams.
MIL Milwaukee • #38 • Age: 26
The high-impact middle reliever is becoming more relevant in Fantasy, particularly categories leagues, at a time when only about 40-50 starting pitchers can offer hope for a win without tanking your ratios. Chances are you should be starting 4-5 relievers in those formats, and since they can't all be closers, Devin Williams, who struck out another three in his inning of work Monday, makes for an attractive candidate. Others include Matt Foster, Tanner Rainey and Jonathan Hernandez.