Remember that everyone’s waiver wire is different, so when you look at articles suggesting replacements for players it is important to check out your own wire and see what’s available. It’s possible that there’s a better option out there, or maybe you play in an extremely deep league and it’s truly slim pickings.
With that in mind fantasy owners took their second significant hit in as many days on Saturday, when we learned that the Reds’ Scooter Gennett would be sidelined for 8-12 weeks due to a strained groin (just 24 hours after the loss of Matt Olson, and you can find alternatives for him by clicking here). While it appears that Nick Senzel will still open the year at Triple-A, it likely is more a manipulation of service time than anything. Look for the team to alter the plans, moving Senzel back to 2B after expectations were for him to fill a void in centerfield. If he’s available in your league be quick to scoop him up (and this news also impacts the outlook for Scott Schebler), but for those who need more immediate help here’s a few names to look for:
Niko Goodrum –
CBS Sports – 34%, ESPN – 9.4%
The signing of Josh Harrison seemingly cost Goodrum his every day job, but his ability to play all across the diamond should keep him in the lineup on most days (he could see a lot of time at 1B, with Miguel Cabrera filling the DH spot). As long as the AB are there there’s no questioning his potential impact, after hitting .245 with 16 HR and 12 SB over 492 PA in ’18. There should be more upside in his average given these marks:
- SwSwtr% – 13.5% (though it was down to 11.9% in the second half)
- Hard% – 36.6%
- Oppo% – 28.3%
The key is going to be adjusting to non-fastballs, but at 27-years old it’s easy to envision. Being able to contribute across the board, he should be considered one of the better grabs if he’s available.
Adam Frazier –
CBS Sports – 21%, ESPN – 37.8%
While the arrival of Josh Harrison may have hurt the impact of Goodrum, his departure allowed Frazier to assume the starting second base job in Pittsburgh. He hit .277 with 10 HR over 318 AB last season, with the potential to add even more power (he added 27 doubles and 2 triples in ’18) at 27-years old and with the potential to improve his fly ball rate of 31.3%.
Frazier is not going to be a 30 HR stud, but could he hit 15-20 with a little bit of speed? Now add that upside with an elite approach (5.7% SwStr%, 27.5% O-Swing%) and you get a solid option.
The biggest question hanging over him is if he’ll ultimately fall into a platoon, after struggling to a .224 average against southpaws in ’18. That’s a risk that’s well worth taking, given the upside potential he has across the board.
Starlin Castro –
CBS Sports – 25%, ESPN – 32.6%
Playing for the Marlins it’s easy to overlook Castro, especially since we know what we’re going to get and it’s nothing that we’re going to get excited for. That said when you are digging deep there’s something to be said for some solid, though unspectacular, production.
Even last year, his first with the Marlins, he hit .278 with 12 HR, 54 RBI and 76 R. That’s a fair expectation for ’19, as long as Miami doesn’t opt to go to a younger option (which could happen, with Isan Diaz waiting in the wings, but it’s not going to happen on Opening Day).
Ben Zobrist – Chicago
CBS Sports – 35%, ESPN – 29.9%
There was a good chance that Zobrist had a starting job regardless, but the news that Ian Happ would start the year at Triple-A virtually assures it. He did struggle to add anything but average last season, chipping in 9 HR and 3 SB, and there’s also risk that his average plummets (he hit .305, but courtesy of a .331 BABIP). That said there’s at least a chance that he gets hot early, hitting atop the Cubs’ lineup, and provides some short-term appeal.
Eduardo Nunez –
Boston Red Sox
CBS Sports – 12%, ESPN – 7.3%
Nunez isn’t going to be a long-term solution, but he could buy you some time for at least a little while with Dustin Pedroia starting the season on the IL. He’s a 10/10 type player when the plate appearances are there, and it’s possible that another injury or struggles of others keep him in the lineup even once Pedroia is fully healthy and back on the field.
Sources – Fangraphs, CBS Sports, ESPN