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Five Injured Players to Stash in Fantasy Baseball - Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3

Kyle Bradish - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, Betting Picks

Over the last week, there has been a massive wave of season-ending injuries across Major League Baseball. If your fantasy team lost one of its key players in the wake, it's probably time to hit the waiver wire.

This article will highlight five injured players worth stashing in fantasy baseball. The injured list has recently claimed some of the game's biggest stars, but there are plenty of notable names rostered in less than 60% of Yahoo leagues that can soften the blow.

The 2024 season is still in its infancy. Remember how much baseball is still ahead if you're off to a disappointing start. While you shouldn't hit the panic button, there's almost always something you can do to improve your squad. These five players could provide an early pick-me-up, as they're expected to make their respective debuts soon.

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Kyle Bradish - SP, Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kyle Bradish has begun a rehab assignment in High-A Aberdeen. He was among the players listed in the Week 1 edition of this article. There, I elaborated on just how dominant Bradish was for the Orioles in 2023. In short, he was fourth in the AL Cy Young Award race after going 12-7 with a 2.83 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 168.2 innings. He was also in the top 25% of the league for walk rate and ground-ball rate.

Despite a phenomenal 2023 season, Bradish is only rostered in 51% of Yahoo leagues. If you've recently lost Spencer Strider, Shane Bieber, or Framber Valdez, do everything you can to get him. Even if all of your pitchers are healthy, Bradish has significant upside. With the way pitching is going right now, his value will likely go up over the next few weeks. Try to be ahead of the curve and pick him up if he's available.

 

Braxton Garrett - SP, Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins pitcher Braxton Garrett is coming off the best season of his young career. After a few big-league stints in 2020, 2021, and 2022, the 25-year-old lefty made a name for himself in 2023. In 159.2 innings, he posted a 3.66 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 4.4% walk rate to go along with 156 K. He was also in the 79th percentile for Pitching Run Value and the 85th percentile for Fastball Run Value.

Like Kyle Bradish, Garrett is a great option for fantasy managers looking to supplement their starting pitching following the myriad of recent injuries. He has been dealing with a shoulder injury to start the 2024 season, but he's currently on a rehab assignment in Triple-A Jacksonville. Notably, he pitched well in his first start against the Durham Bulls. After a few more starts, Garrett should find his way into the Marlins rotation. If he can replicate (or even improve upon) his 2023 performance, adding him could be one the best moves you make all season. He's currently rostered in just 56% of Yahoo leagues.

 

Lars Nootbaar - OF, St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar is expected to make his season debut this weekend. Not only could he be the spark plug that the Cardinals are looking for, but he could do the same for your fantasy team. Coming off a 2023 season in which he slashed .261/.367/.418 with 74 runs and 46 RBI in just 117 games, Nootbaar is a disciplined hitter with solid power. Last season, he finished in the 95th percentile for walk rate and chase rate. Also, he finished in the 81st percentile for xwOBA.

Nootbaar is expected to hit in the middle of the Cardinals lineup, so he should get plenty of opportunities to score and drive in runs. Additionally, he has improved in each of his first three seasons. If this trend continues, 2024 could be a big year for him. Even if he were to underperform, he would likely still reach base at an above-average clip. Overall, his floor is relatively high (especially for someone available in a majority of fantasy leagues).

Despite his potential and the litany of struggling outfielders, he is only rostered in 41% of Yahoo leagues. If there's an open spot on your roster, or you have an unproven player that you don't mind dropping, Nootbaar is certainly worth a shot.

 

Vaughn Grissom - RP, Los Angeles Angels

Boston Red Sox second baseman Vaughn Grissom will begin a rehab assignment this weekend. He's been dealing with a hamstring injury for almost two months, but it looks like he'll be in Boston's starting lineup after a few minor league games. With Trevor Story likely out for the rest of the season, Grissom is another player who could provide his team with a much-needed boost in morale.

In the Week 1 article, I highlighted Grissom and emphasized how well he played in Triple-A last year. Not only does his bat appear ready to produce at the big-league level, but he'll also have dual eligibility on most fantasy websites (shortstop and second base). Overall, Grissom is an intriguing power-speed option worth consideration in every format. Right now, he's available in almost 75% of Yahoo leagues.

 

Eloy Jimenez - RF/DH, Chicago White Sox

Chicago White Sox designated hitter Eloy Jimenez hit the IL with thigh issues after only three games. Fortunately, manager Pedro Grifol thinks he could be ready to play this weekend. While Jimenez has struggled to stay healthy for the bulk of his career, he's a relatively low-risk/high-reward option. At his best, he can provide an OPS in the mid-.800s and hit around 30 HRs.

For someone with his size and skill set, Jimenez does a solid job of making contact and avoiding strikeouts. If he can increase his hard-hit rate, he could have an impressive 2024 season. The odds of it may not be incredibly high, but there isn't much to lose by taking a chance on him. If anything, he's worth picking up, benching, and seeing how he performs for a few days before playing him or dropping him. In the event that he does return to form when he rejoins Chicago's lineup, you'll almost certainly be glad you added him. Currently, he's rostered in 56% of Yahoo leagues.



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