Kelvin Herrera RP, WAS
Owned in 48% of CBS Leagues
Herrera was the first of the Nationals’ injured relievers to return from the DL on Tuesday, meaning that he will get the first chance to reclaim the closer role. Herrera still has a high Overall Injury Risk and his performance has been lacking since he was traded from Kansas City to Washington, but the upside for saves here over the next few weeks is still too much to ignore. Washington’s lights out closer Sean Doolittle (high Overall Injury Risk) is still dealing with a stress reaction in his foot, and doesn’t appear to be on the way back any time soon. While it appears the Nationals are giving up on a 2018 playoff run, it’s not as if this is all of a sudden one of the worst teams in baseball. There is still plenty enough talent for this team to give Herrera plenty of save chances for as long as Doolittle remains out, which could end up being 2019.
Dellin Betances RP, NYY
Owned in 38% of CBS Leagues
With Aroldis Chapman hitting the DL due to knee tendinitis on Wednesday, Betances is all of a sudden in line for save opportunities over the next couple of weeks. Chapman has a high Overall Injury Risk, and there’s not immediate timetable for his return. With David Robetson also on the DL with a shoulder injury, the only other option for saves in New York is the newly acquired Zach Britton, who has obviously done quite well in the role before. However, the Yankees appear to be set on giving Betances the first shot, given his 0.82 ERA and 19/1 K/BB ratio since the All-Star break. Britton is looming here, but Betances should be added in most leagues.
Dan Winkler RP, ATL
Owned in 9% of CBS Leagues
Atlanta’s current closer, A.J. Minter, hasn’t pitched in nearly a week due to a tight back, opening the door for others in the Atlanta bullpen to pick up some save opportunities. Winkler got the save Monday night, while Johnny Venters closed out the game Wednesday night. The Braves continue to indicate that Minter is day-to-day, and he has a low Overall Injury Risk, but the longer this plays out, the more likely he is to end up on the 10 Day DL. Winkler has arguably been the best pitcher out of the Braves bullpen this season, posting a 1.05 WHIP and striking out 65 in 51.2 innings. A quick trip to the DL for Minter might open the door for Winkler to claim more save opportunities the rest of the way, if not the majority of them. He’s worth a speculative add in deeper formats if you’re looking for save potential down the stretch.
Scott Schebler OF, CIN
Owned in 35% of CBS Leagues
Schebler has been featured in this spot before, but has taken a bit longer coming off the DL than anticipated. However, he started a rehab assignment Monday and should be back in the Reds lineup by the end of the week. Once he is, he should be ready to go. He still has an elevated Overall Injury Risk, but his Health Performance Factor is Peak. Schebler’s numbers have been very solid, yet overlooked, all season. With the outfield cleared out in Cincy, he won’t have to worry about losing at-bats as part of a platoon anymore once he returns. Pick him and his .821 OPS up and put them to use in your lineup.
Wellington Castillo C, CWS
Owned in 15% of CBS Leagues
The already thin catcher position continues to take hits, with one of the few true studs in Buster Posey potentially being lost for the season. If you’re like many fantasy owners and are scrambling for a replacement, take a look towards Castillo, who is nearing a return from his 80 game PED suspension. Castillo went deep 20 times in 96 games last season in Baltimore, and had 6 more in 33 games this season before being suspended. It may take some time for him to knock some rust off, but given how thin the catcher position is with Posey ailing and Gary Sanchez still on the mend, odds are there’s someone in most leagues looking for a guy like Castillo to plug in a hole.