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Ben Rosener's Fantasy Baseball Beat: Edwin Diaz And Garrett Hampson News Updates

edwin diaz fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers closers saves

The offseason is officially no more, but Spring training is here, and with it comes the daily influx of baseball news that fantasy managers have missed in the last few months. Lineup news, actual games happening, constant waiver wire moves, pitching assignments, and bullpen usage.

Baseball is back and so too is fantasy baseball, with drafts either starting in the near or not-too-near future for many. This column aims to cover any and all fantasy baseball news, big or small, and how it pertains to your fantasy team. Spring training or the regular season, it's covered here.

Has a player who’s usually been hitting in the middle of a lineup suddenly batting eighth or ninth for an extended period? The fantasy implications will be covered here. The same goes for injuries and injured placements and whether or not you should consider picking up a player who was recently called up. Basically, any kernel of fantasy news and its relevance to fantasy managers could be covered here. Today, the news of the day is the fantasy impact of Edwin Diaz's injury and Garrett Hampson reportedly having his contract selected by the Miami Marlins.

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Fantasy Baseball Impact Of Edwin Diaz's Injury

New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz will reportedly miss the season after tearing the patellar tendon in his right knee, per a tweet from ESPN's Jeff Passan on Thursday:

The Mets would later announce in a tweet from the team's official Twitter account that the closer underwent surgery on Thursday:

It's an extremely unfortunate injury for Diaz, who enjoyed his best season in the Majors last year, pitching to a 1.31 ERA, a 0.90 FIP, and 118 strikeouts in 62 innings while walking just 18 batters. The 28-year-old also logged 32 saves, three pitcher wins, and four holds for the National League East franchise.

Now, the question becomes who will replace Diaz as the closer in Buck Showalter's bullpen.

In an article for SNY.tv that was published on Thursday morning, Andy Martino wrote the following about the Mets' closer situation:

"Without Diaz, the Mets see David Robertson and Brooks Raley as the primary options to match up in save situations. Raley returned from the WBC with a hamstring injury, but the team expects him ready either for Opening Day or shortly thereafter."

Robertson has accumulated 157 saves in his career, including 20 last season split between the Chicago Cubs and the division rival Philadelphia Phillies. The veteran logged a 2.40 ERA and a 3.58 FIP in 63.2 innings last season to go along with 81 strikeouts and 35 walks allowed.

Raley, meanwhile, finished with a 2.68 ERA and 2.74 FIP in 53.2 innings for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2022. He also added six saves while striking out 61 batters and surrendering 15 walks.

Ideally, from a fantasy standpoint, one of the two pitchers would separate themselves as the primary ninth-inning option. But even in a timeshare, there should be enough saves to go around in New York to make both pitchers – or even another reliever like Adam Ottavino – fantasy relevant. The Mets remain one of the league's elite teams, having added the likes of Robertson, Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, Omar Narvaez, and Tommy Pham to a 101-win team from last season. Elsewhere, top prospects Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez could potentially play expanded roles at some point in 2023.

If they do end up sharing ninth-inning duties, both Robertson and Raley now make for ideal targets for fantasy managers who prefer to wait on saves in drafts.


Fantasy Baseball Impact Of Garrett Hampson Reportedly Having His Contract Selected By The Marlins

The Miami Marlins have reportedly selected the contract of infielder Garrett Hampson on Wednesday, per a tweet from the Miami Herald's Jordan McPherson.

Per a tweet from The Miami Herald's Craig Mish on Wednesday, Hampson's deal reportedly had an opt-out. Mish tweeted the following:

Per FanGraphs, Hampson does have a minor league option remaining, so it's possible he'll serve as 40-man roster depth for the Marlins, especially considering he can play a variety of positions.

However, whether or not Hampson makes Miami's Opening Day roster is certainly a situation to keep an eye on for fantasy managers in deeper leagues, especially considering stolen base numbers could be on the rise league-wide thanks to new rules that include larger bases.

Hampson hit .211 with a .287 on-base percentage, two home runs, and 12 stolen bases in 226 plate appearances for the Colorado Rockies. He's stolen at least 12 bases in each of his three full Major League seasons, including during the 2021 campaign when he collected 11 home runs and 17 stolen bases to go along with a .234 average and a .289 on-base percentage in 494 plate appearances.

The former Rockies player has seen playing time in left field and center field, as well as shortstop, second base, and third base. And while the Marlins aren't hurting for veteran bench options, particularly in the infield, the fact that Hampson was already added to the 40-man roster ahead of fellow non-roster invitees like Jose Iglesias and Yuli Gurriel certainly doesn't hurt his chances of making the team, although that's purely speculative.

There's certainly the potential for Hampson to carve out a role similar to Jon Berti here, where he plays a variety of positions and brings stolen base upside to the table. For now, though, with Spring training still in full swing, he's someone to keep an eye on.

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