As Bob Dylan wrote, the times they are a-changin’. MLB rosters expanded on Thursday, with teams having the ability to add a hitter and a pitcher to their existing group. Although the expansion doesn’t resemble the massive additions that took place a few years ago, franchises will still use this opportunity to add intriguing young players to their rotation or position-player group. Fantasy managers will need to be on their toes in the next few days, assessing alterations to all 30 clubs. Luckily, there are some great options to take us through the coming weekend, while we survey the lay of the land.
Jose Iglesias (2B/SS, Colorado Rockies, 24 percent rostered)
Iglesias may be the most boring player in this article, but he should be productive during the next 10 days. This weekend, the Rockies will face a Reds pitching staff that ranks 28th in ERA, before returning home on Monday to start a six-game homestand at their offense-inducing venue. In fact, starting on Monday, Colorado plays 13 of 18 games at home.
Gunnar Henderson (SS, Baltimore Orioles, 44%)
The No. 2 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, Henderson has needed just two games to pick up his first career home run and stolen base. The 21-year-old was an on-base and run-scoring machine in the Minors this year, posting a .416 OBP and crossing home plate 101 times in 112 games. He also has a nice power-speed mix, as is evidenced by his 19 homers and 22 steals. Expected to play regularly on a Baltimore team that is making a playoff push, Henderson should be rostered in all roto leagues.
Corbin Carroll (OF, Arizona Diamondbacks, 52%)
Carroll trails Henderson by just one spot in the current prospect rankings, and he has the skill set that fantasy managers covet, having hit .307 with 24 homers and 31 steals across 93 games in the Minors this year. And he is off to a solid start with the D-backs, collecting five RBIs and four runs scored in his initial three games. The 22-year-old should play regularly down the stretch and produce helpful counting stats despite hitting low in the lineup.
Garrett Mitchell (OF, Milwaukee Brewers, 4%)
Mitchell has similar speed skills to Carroll, having produced 17 steals in 68 Minor League games this year. However, he lacks to power to be a true multi-category star. The 23-year-old is playing regularly at the moment, and although I would much rather add Henderson or Carroll, I see Mitchell as a viable option for those who need steals in 12-team leagues.
Jake McCarthy (OF, Arizona Diamondbacks, 46%)
McCarthy has taken advantage of increased opportunities since the trade deadline, having hit .308 with an .862 OPS and eight steals in the month of August. He should rank among the September steals leaders as well, and is arguably the top waiver wire option for those who need late-season swipes.
Bubba Thompson (OF, Texas Rangers, 6%)
This week’s article is full of speedsters, but I feel the need to include Thompson, who has swiped nine bags since joining the Rangers on August 4. The 24-year-old is among the fastest players in baseball, but while he will contribute swipes, he is unlikely to help in other areas. For example, Thompson has needed a .392 BABIP to his .276 so far, and he has just one home run.
Austin Voth (SP, Baltimore Orioles, 14%)
Voth has been terrific since the All-Star break, recording a 2.25 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP while winning three of his seven starts. He might be the best streaming option this weekend, when he works on Saturday against an A’s lineup that ranks 29th in baseball with a .626 OPS.
Dean Kremer (SP, Baltimore Orioles, 29%)
Kremer is in this article for the same reasons as Voth — he has pitched well of late (2.25 ERA in August) and will make his next start against the lowly A’s. In the case of Kremer, that outing takes place on Friday.
David Peterson (SP/RP, New York Mets, 35%)
Peterson is the NL version of Voth — a starter who has fared better this season than many managers realize and is entering a very enticing matchup. Managers will be hard-pressed to find a better option Friday, when Peterson works at home against a Nats squad that went 9-18 with a .688 OPS in August after significantly weakening their lineup at the trade deadline.
Matt Manning (SP, Detroit Tigers, 25%)
This one will take a bit of guts. Manning posted a 2.40 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP (27:9 K:BB ratio) in his initial five starts after joining the rotation on August 2 before being blasted for seven runs in 2.1 innings against the Mariners last time out. Those who don’t want to hold one bad start against the talented 24-year-old could get a bounceback outing when he faces a weak Royals lineup on Sunday.
Jimmy Herget (RP, Los Angeles Angels, 11%)
Although Herget has not been named the Angels closer, he is their top option at the moment. The right-hander has been successful this year (2.70 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 52:12 K:BB ratio) and has collected the team’s past three saves. He could run with the role for the remainder of the season, making him an option in 12-team leagues.