Cabrera Can Help

·11 min read

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(Players rostered in under 50 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Note: Percentages are from the morning of Thursday, August 11

Edward Cabrera, SP, Marlins (Yahoo: 41 percent rostered)

Injuries have conspired to delay Cabrera establishing himself in the big leagues. This season it's been a biceps ailment while at Triple-A Jacksonville and then elbow tendinitis with the big club. He's back now, though, and in his return last week he struck out eight and didn't allow a hit over five scoreless innings versus the Cubs. Cabrera did walk three in the outing, as control continues to be an issue for him at times. The 24-year-old has big stuff and can miss bats, though, and he's been very hard to hit, having allowed two or fewer hits in three of his four starts with the Marlins this season. Cabrera faces the Phillies next.

Seth Brown, 1B/OF, Athletics (Yahoo: 41 percent rostered)

Brown is about as hot as it gets at the plate lately, sporting a ridiculous .367/.446/.837 batting line with seven home runs and one stolen base over his last 15 games. He's slugged 37 long balls in 657 plate appearances since the beginning of last season and had a couple 30-homer seasons under his belt in the minors. Brown has also cut his strikeout rate to a digestible rate in 2022 and has shown above-average speed, leading to a surprising eight steals. He can't hit lefties and will sometimes be on the bench against them, but Brown bats cleanup for Oakland versus righties and is in the midst of a heater. Being eligible at two positions also doesn't hurt.

José Quintana, SP/RP, Cardinals (Yahoo: 39 percent rostered)

The Cardinals scooped Quintana up from the Pirates at the trade deadline in a deal which sent Johan Oviedo and Malcom Nunez to Pittsburgh. The veteran left-hander was in the midst of a nice bounce-back season and it's continued in the first two starts with his new club, as Quintana has allowed just three runs with a 13/4 K/BB ratio over 12 innings. The southpaw's ERA got up to a season-high 3.99 following a clunker in Coors Field in his final first-half outing, but he then gave up just three runs in his next four starts to get the mark back to 3.37. Quintana gets a juicy two-step next week in a home matchup versus the Rockies and a road tilt against the Diamondbacks.

Adam Frazier, 2B/OF, Mariners (Yahoo: 30 percent rostered)

Frazier struggled in the second half with the Padres last season and in the first three months of this year with the Mariners. He's been better since the beginning of July, though, putting up a .282/.328/.339 batting line with one home run and five stolen bases. Frazier has even been moved back up to the top of the Mariners' lineup since Julio Rodríguez (wrist) got hurt, which boosts his runs scored outlook. The 30-year-old is certainly more of a floor than a ceiling play, but he can chip in a little here and there and is multi-eligible.

Jack Flaherty, SP, Cardinals (Yahoo: 50 percent rostered)

Flaherty has been limited to just three starts this season because of shoulder issues. He finally made his season debut in mid-June after missing more than three months, only to suffer a setback after less than two weeks in the Cards' rotation, sending him back to the 60-day IL. However, Flaherty is on the comeback trail again as he'll begin a rehab assignment this week. St. Louis plans to stretch Flaherty back out to start, so he'll need multiple rehab starts and he's not eligible for activation until late August, anyway. The odds that he comes back in peak Flaherty form are low, but it doesn't hurt to go ahead and stash him if you can.

Luis Rengifo, 2B/3B/SS/OF, Angels (Yahoo: 22 percent rostered)

Rengifo has found himself perched up in a favorable spot in the downtrodden, ailing Angels lineup of late because he's been one of the few players on the club who is actually hitting. His pace has slowed a bit here in August, but over his last 41 games he's sporting a healthy .317/.345/.491 batting line with five home runs and four stolen bases. The recent stretch of production is out of character for a guy who entered 2022 with a .618 OPS in his first 195 games. Rengifo is just 25, though, and has hit well the last few years at Triple-A. The quad-eligibility is especially nice in deeper formats.

Elehuris Montero, 1B/3B, Rockies (Yahoo: 17 percent rostered)

Acquired from the Cardinals in the Nolan Arenado trade, Montero is finally getting a shot at everyday playing time with the Rockies, starting all eight games since his recall last week. He's put up a robust 1.118 OPS over that stretch, clubbing his first major league home run in the process and tallying five straight multi-hit efforts. The 23-year-old has batted .300/.381/.543 with 21 home runs in 418 plate appearances over the last two seasons at the Triple-A level and now we'll get to see how his bat plays in the thin Denver air. Montero does have an ugly 23/1 K/BB ratio over his first 19 major league games, so there's certainly still some work to do. He's hitting it hard when he does make contact, though, with a 92 mph exit velocity and 12.2 percent barrel rate.

Deeper Dandies:

(Players rostered in under 10 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Paul DeJong, SS, Cardinals (Yahoo: 11 percent rostered – I cheated a bit here, as his rostership rate was still until 10 percent when I did the write-up)

DeJong was optioned to Triple-A Memphis in early May following a dreadful .130/.209/.208 start to the season. He wound up staying in the minors for about 12 weeks and really seemed to find his swing in July when he posted a 1.337 OPS with eight home runs in 13 games to earn a promotion back to the majors. The power surge has carried over with the big club, as DeJong has put up a 1.288 OPS with four long balls, five doubles and 13 RBI in 10 contests. He's been in the lineup for every game since his recall, as St. Louis seems re-committed to DeJong as their shortstop. It's been a long time since DeJong had sustained production over a long stretch, but his power upside warrants a look in deep leagues.

James Karinchak, RP, Guardians (Yahoo: 6 percent rostered)

It wasn't that long ago that Karinchak looked like one of the best young relievers in the game. However, his spin rates and results went into a tailspin after the sticky substance crackdown last year and he missed the first two months of this season with shoulder problems. Karinchak is back in Cleveland now, though, and seems to have regained his mojo, posting a 1.72 ERA and 28/7 K/BB ratio over 15 2/3 innings. He's not going to sniff the closer role anymore with Emmanuel Clase around, but Karinchak might be worth rostering in deeper leagues, anyway, as he boasts some of the best strikeout upside of any reliever in the game when he's right. One cautionary note: Karinchak won't be with the Guardians in Toronto this weekend because he's unvaccinated.

Joey Meneses, 1B, Nationals (Yahoo: 1 percent rostered)

Meneses didn't make his major league debut until the age of 30, finally getting the call from the Nationals last week after 10 seasons in the minors. He's been very productive in the minors the last few years while finally adding power to his game. This year at Triple-A Rochester, Meneses has sported a .286/.341/.489 batting line with 20 home runs over 96 games. That production has carried over in his first seven big league contests, with Meneses going 8-for-23 with four long balls, including dingers in each of his last three games. Perhaps Meneses is just a Quad-A player destined to fall back to earth soon, but he looks worthy of a roll of the dice in deeper formats.

Weekend Warriors:

Matt Manning at CWS (Yahoo: 8 percent rostered)

As a former top prospect, Manning has largely underwhelmed to this point in the majors. He's begun to show some signs of figuring it out, though, particularly in his last outing on Sunday against the Rays when he struck out seven across seven shutout innings. In four starts this year for the Tigers sandwiched around an IL stint with a shoulder ailment, Manning boasts a 2.25 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 12/7 K/BB ratio over 20 frames. Yes, the lack of strikeouts are a concern, but he did have seven in his last start and has not had problems missing bats in the minors. This weekend Manning faces a White Sox team which ranks 24th in baseball with a wOBA of .300.

Graham Ashcraft vs. CHC (Yahoo: 13 percent rostered)

Ashcraft got off to a tremendous start with the Reds, went through a rough six-week stretch and has now rebounded with a 1.74 ERA over his last three outings. The right-hander gets an oddly-low number of swings and misses for a guy who can reach triple digits with both his fastball and cutter. Ashcraft does his best to make up for it by mostly avoiding hard contact and having an elite ground ball rate of 52.6 percent which would rank in the top-10 in baseball if he had enough innings to qualify. The rookie actually had his worst start of the season versus the Cubs back in late June, but I'd still be willing to roll the dice on him as a streamer against a bad offense.

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Cole Ragans, SP, Rangers (Yahoo: 1 percent rostered)

A former first-round pick, Ragans' career got sidetracked by a pair of Tommy John surgeries along with the cancelled 2020 minor league season which resulted in him not throwing a competitive pitch for three years. He was decent in half a season in 2021 in his first year back but really turned it on this year, holding a 3.04 ERA and 113/31 K/BB ratio over 94 2/3 innings covering 18 starts between Double- and Triple-A. That earned Ragans his first major league start last week, and he allowed just one unearned run over five innings versus the White Sox. The southpaw's next start is slated to come in Houston, and I wouldn't want to have him in my lineup for that one. He's worth rostering in deep leagues, though.

Magneuris Sierra, OF, Angels (Yahoo: 0 percent rostered)

Sierra has never developed with the bat as hoped since he was a top prospect who was sent from the Cardinals to the Marlins years ago in the Marcell Ozuna trade. The 26-year-old has always had wheels, though. Sierra went 11-for-11 on stolen base attempts in 2021 in his last season with the Marlins and he's 4-for-5 so far in 2022 in his first 16 games with the Angels. With Mike Trout's (back) return not imminent, Brandon Marsh now in Philadelphia and Mickey Moniak (finger) out, Sierra figures to see plenty of playing time in center field in the coming weeks. Sierra is a one-category play, but he's going to run if he manages to reach base.


Jose Barrero, SS/OF, Reds (Yahoo: 2 percent rostered)

I was looking forward to seeing what Barrero could do this year at Triple-A and eventually the majors after he posted a .919 OPS with 19 homers and 16 steals between Double- and Triple-A in 2021. Unfortunately, he didn't make his season debut until late May after fracturing his hamate bone in spring training, and he really struggled upon his return in putting up a .639 OPS and 38 percent strikeout rate. Barrero has offered a mixed bag since the Reds recalled him last week, having a two-homer game but also striking out 14 times in 25 plate appearances. I'm not sure the 24-year-old is ready, but that's why I'm recommending him as an NL-only option and not a mixed league play.

Justin Dunn, SP, Reds (Yahoo: 1 percent rostered)

Dunn missed a chunk of last season with a shoulder issue and the Reds knew he still needed some time to heal when they acquired him in March in the deal which sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez to the Mariners. He didn't make his season debut until late June and struggled to get anything going at Triple-A Louisville with a 6.92. That didn't stop the Reds from throwing him right into the fire for his team debut against the red-hot Mets on Monday. Predictably, Dunn didn't do well, yielding three runs with a 2/2 K/BB ratio over 4 2/3 innings. The sledding should be easier for the former first-round pick this weekend versus the Cubs.