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From to Farm to Roster: Potential Call-Ups for Week 8


With the trade deadline now firmly behind us and the shortened regular season only a few weeks from completion, we've seen the notable roster moves slow to a craw. It's possible that see a few more of these names brought up as teams push for a postseason bid, or in the event of an injury, but you'll see far fewer names on the pick-ups list than there have been in weeks past. That's just where we're at right now.

I'll still discuss players on a team's Taxi Squad or Alternate Site Camp who are worth keeping an eye on or stashing in hopes of reaping fantasy goodness. I'll list league sizes where the player could be relevant and give you information on the situation so that you can make the most educated decision possible.

 

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Overview

As a point of clarification: Taxi Squad and Alternate Site Camp are two different things. When teams go on the road, they are able to bring three players who are not on the active roster, in case of an emergency. This is the Taxi Squad. These players cannot appear in games unless there is a corresponding transaction but are clearly those that are the closest to being "called-up," so it's important to keep an eye on those.

The Alternate Site Camp is where all other players in the 60-man pool are and could be seen as this year's "Minor Leagues." They will scrimmage each other and get instruction, but only some of them are potential call-ups this year while others are top prospects who are simply there to get work in. Teams can also add players to their 60-man pool or release them from it, so these will also be fluid.

 

Priority Pickups

These are players I believe you should put in claims for now (depending on your league size) based on their proximity to playing time.

Isan Diaz, 2B, Miami Marlins

12-team leagues

Isan Diaz still has not officially reported to Miami, so I'll leave this up here from last week in case he's still available in your league: So this one is a little bit of a cheat since Diaz isn't technically at the Alternate Site yet, but it was just announced on Tuesday that he would be opting to re-join the Marlins for the stretch run. All of the back and forth aside, Diaz could easily re-take the starting 2B job that he left when he opted out a few weeks back. The left-handed hitter struggled in his call-up last year, hitting .173/.259/.307 with 5 HR, 23 RBI, and 17 Runs across 49 games, but there is more potential in his bat. Before his promotion, Diaz hit .305 with 26 HR and 5 SB in AA. He also registered an 11.3 BB% after compiling a 10.5 BB% across two levels in 208. The solid plate discipline and pop make him an intriguing option for the closing weeks because of how pesky the Marlins' lineup has become. Jon Berti can go back to his super-utility role, and Diaz could join a lineup with Corey Dickerson, Starling Marte, Jesus Aguilar, and Brian Anderson. Depending on where he hits in the order, that should give him the ability to notch some runs or RBIs for your squad.

Cole Hamels, SP, Atlanta Braves

15-team leagues

With Max Fried going on the IL, the Braves have discussed calling up Hamels to take his spot in the rotation. The veteran left-hander is throwing a simulated game at the team's alternate site and then will be re-evaluated. Despite the narrative that Hamels had a rough 2019, he actually finished with a 3.81 ERA, 23.2% K%, and 11.8 SwStr% while dealing with a career-high .315 BABIP. He is still not the same pitcher he was in his prime as his BB% has been rising and he's giving up more fly balls and hard contact then he used to; however, he can be a capable pitcher in a deep league and will be pitching for one of the better teams in baseball. If you roster him, I'd expect an ERA just under 4.00 with a solid K/9 around 9 with a good chance at wins.

Daz Cameron, OF, Detroit Tigers

15-team leagues

NOTE: CAMERON WAS CALLED UP ON WEDNESDAY AFTER THE ARTICLE WAS SUBMITTED

The Tigers have surprised people a bit this season, showing themselves to be a dynamic young team that may be slightly ahead of the promising future we all envisioned. They've seen breakouts from Victor Reyes and Willi Castro and called-up two of their most exciting pitchers in Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, but the outfield production has lagged. Jorge Bonifacio (.204/.255/.318) and Christin Stewart (.171/.233/.317) and simply not getting it done. The Tigers called up Derek Hill last week, but they could also look to give Cameron a try to close the season. The son of Mike Cameron, Daz has his father's blend of power and speed, clubbing 13 HRs last year while swiping 17 bases at AAA. He also showed solid patience at the plate with a 11.7 BB%. The issue is that he's never been able to hit for a consistent average. A high-20s K% has led to a .212 average in his games at AAA. That would be fine if, like Bobby Dalbec, Cameron possessed consistent raw power; however, Cameron appears to be more of a 20-25 HR bat. His solid walk rate makes him more attractive in OBP leagues, and his ability to steal bases can help him carve out some value if he gets a chance, but don't expect him to take the fantasy world by storm.

Nick Pivetta, SP, Boston Red Sox

AL-Only Leagues

I'm not sure you really want to do this to yourself, but in an AL-Only league, you may need to take any opportunity you get. Pivetta was rumored to be starting the last game against the Phillies, but the team went with Chris Mazza instead, which means Pivetta may start during the Tampa Bay series. This is the same Nick Pivetta that had a 15.88 ERA across 5.2 innings with the Phillies this season. However, we all know that Pivetta has tantalized baseball enthusiasts with his raw stuff for a few years now. Perhaps the Red Sox can unlock some of that talent? It's not necessarily likely, but you can stash him on your bench and find out. Even he goes on a good stretch, he could be a difference-maker in those deep leagues.

 

Watch List

These are players who I don't believe warrant an immediate add but are guys who should be on your radar for a call-up in the near future. If you're in a really deep league, perhaps some of these guys could act as a bench stash, depending on the size of your roster and health of your team. 

MacKenzie Gore, SP, San Diego Padres

It's sad to move Gore down to the Watch List, but I think the Padres have made it pretty clear that they are in no hurry to call him up. It's far more likely that we either don't see him at all this year or he debuts in a multi-inning bullpen role for the playoffs. All of which makes him far less valuable to fantasy managers.

Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles

Yes, this seems like a longshot. Then again...

Heading into their final game against the Mets, the Orioles are only a game and a half out of a playoff spot. Pedro Severino has been hitting the ball well, so they're in no rush to move on from him behind the dish, but they can also move Renato Nunez back to 1B and DH Rutschman instead of Pat Valaika or Chris Davis. The Orioles' top prospect against played above A-ball and only hit .154 in his 12 games there, but he was taken first overall last year because his bat was so advanced. He's incredibly polished with enticing raw power and consistent contact metrics. He's also, by all accounts, an incredibly hard worker who would adapt quickly to a new level.

Connor Seabold, SP, Boston Red Sox

I'm going to keep Seabold on here because he's been pitching well at the Alternate Site, I think Nick Pivetta should be a reliever, and all that I wrote last week still applies.

I think Seabold will get a shot with the Red Sox this year. They did just throw Mike Kickham for three innings against the Braves, so at some point you need to give a more legitimate prospect a chance, especially an older one. Seabold has thrown almost 100 combined innings at AA between 2018 and 2019, which should be enough to warrant a cup of coffee to see how he can handle MLB talent. He doesn't have an overpowering fastball but features a solid curveball and change-up and knows how to mix pitches to keep hitters off-balance. That development of his change-up has been crucial to establishing him as a potential fit in the rotation instead of a bullpen arm. He's never going to rack up massive strikeout totals, but he should keep the walks to a minimum, induce soft contact, and get some wins with a solid offense behind him. That would be worth taking a flyer on in deep leagues.

Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox

SWING CHANGE ALERT! After struggling with high fastballs last year, Duran altered his swing to be able to elevate his hands above the ball. It appears to be working as he's showing home run power at the Alternate Site. Duran is an elite speed outfielder so any added pop to his game would take him from a potential fourth outfielder to a true everyday player. With Andrew Benintendi out and Kevin Pillar now in Colorado, the Red Sox don't have much in the way of outfield depth behind Alex Verdugo and Jackie Bradley Jr. Sure, they can play Jose Peraza, Michael Chavis, and Yairo Munoz there, but why not see what Duran can give them? If he does get the call, he could be valuable for his speed alone.

Jared Oliva, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates had been using Anthony Alford in the outfield but he's out for the season with a fractured elbow, so maybe that opens the door op for Oliva? Here's what I wrote last week: The Pirates weren't as active at the deadline as many figured, and Gregory Polanco is still with the team. They were able to trade Jarrod Dyson, which could allow for Oliva to make his debut, especially considering the Pirates called up Ke'Bryan Hayes, who they claimed wouldn't be up this year. Oliva has yet to tap into the power that many scouts believe he has, but he has a solid approach at the plate and stole 35 bases last year. He plays good enough defense to play regularly and be an asset if he can get on base enough to use his plus wheels and baserunning instincts. Adding Oliva this year may not get you the power that could be lurking under the surface, but he should make consistent enough contact to get on base and use his wheels to cause some damage. Basically, you'd be getting what you get out of Jon Berti but with the potential for more power if the approach has changed any over the last year.

Seth Beer, 1B/DH, Arizona Diamondbacks

I'm going to leave this here because the Diamondbacks are going nowhere, and I truly want to will this into existence: The Diamondbacks dealt away Archie Bradley and Starling Marte and traded for an injured Caleb Smith, so it seems pretty clear that they're looking to build towards the future. Beer has never played above AA, but the Diamondbacks are struggling on offense and might be aggressive in trying to remedy that since this was a season they were built to compete. Also, there has never been a more perfect year to call-up Beer since he's a below-average defender who will benefit greatly from the DH position. As a former college player, Beer has a mature approach at the plate. He's yet to register the walk rate in the minors that he displayed in college, but he demonstrates good patience and is not a major strikeout bat. He has always been relatively pull-centric in his approach and has the power to be a consistent force as a middle of the order.



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Week 6 was relatively healthy and had no coronavirus delays, so let's just take a moment to bask in that. That said, we still saw Miles Sanders (knee) and Zach Ertz (ankle) go down, while Mark Ingram (ankle) has a bye to get healthy. Week 7 byes are Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and Minnesota. Let's get... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Fantasy GMs are to be commended for rising to the unique challenges that have unfolded during this regular season. Injuries to critical players is an unwelcome reality that occurs every year. This is also the case for backs that were expected to operate as RB1s, but have been relegated to committees. However, this season has... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs. In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only... Read More


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Dissecting Contact Quality In Search Of Fantasy Bargains

Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They go over some of the positions and look at players with similar ADPs and debate. Going around the diamond discussing some players people are high on and some they are down on with a... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


2021 Early Mock ADP Values & Reaches: WPC+ Videocast

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut prepare for the 2021 fantasy baseball season with a look at early mock draft results from the RotoBaller Expert mock. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller... Read More


Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More