Jasson Dominguez, we hardly knew ye.
The 20-year-old phenom has a torn UCL and is out for the rest of this season, if not some of next season. Unlike when a pitcher suffers that particular injury, it shouldn't change Dominguez's career trajectory too much, but if you had grown cozy with having him in your lineup after he hit four home runs in his first eight games, you'll now have to turn to the waiver wire for a replacement.
It's a funny thing playing the waiver wire this time of year. Normally, the emphasis wouldn't be on the week ahead but the rest of the season. With only a few weeks left in the season, though, the week ahead takes on outsized importance, particularly if you play in a Head-to-Head league and need to survive the week at all costs.
So practically speaking, this article isn't going to do you any more good than the my weekly sleeperand articles, which only focus on the week ahead. Should I just rehash those choices here? For the sake of variety, I'll try not to.
But you should know that if you're looking for a starting pitcher, you're not going to to do any better this week than Jose Quintana, who's scheduled to start twice and has seven quality starts in his last eight chances. He was the headliner of my last sleeper pitchers article and was also featured of Waiver Wire. He hasn't pitched since then, so to feature him again here seems like overkill. But if you're just looking to survive this week, you should know that he's actually the best starting pitcher you can pick up.
As for the best outfielder you can pick up ...
Nolan Jones LF
COL Colorado • #22 • Age: 25
The real question is how Nolan Jones is available enough to qualify for this list still. The power has been there all along, but he's really showcased his speed of late with five stolen bases already this month. How do a .280 batting average, 28 home runs, 24 stolen bases, 90 RBI and 84 runs sound to you? That's Jones' 162-game pace, and you'd be lucky to get those numbers in Round 5 of next year's draft, much less off the waiver wire. I suppose you could criticize his 31.7 percent strikeout rate, but the boost he gets from playing half his games at Coors Field more than makes up for it. Incidentally, that's where he'll be spending all of this week.
Kyle Wright SP
KC Kansas City • #30 • Age: 28
I'm hesitant to include Kyle Wright here for the simple reason that he's already more rostered than Jose Quintana, who's the higher-priority pickup. But reports are he could be activated as early as Monday, for the second game of a doubleheader, which would theoretically line him up for two starts right away. Of course, if he makes only one, it figures to be on the shorter side given that he didn't go beyond 3 2/3 innings or 50 pitches on his minor-league rehab assignment. And while he struck out seven while allowing just one hit in those 3 2/3 innings, there's still no guarantee he'll hit the ground running after missing four months with shoulder inflammation. He led the majors with 21 wins last year, though, and has an even better offensive backing him now, so if this first turn or two does go smoothly, he may be a fixture for you thereafter.
Ryan Pepiot RP
TB Tampa Bay • #44 • Age: 26
In the last edition of Waiver Wire, which came out Thursday morning, I pointed out that Ryan Pepiot might finally stick in the rotation spot vacated by Julio Urias if he could simply come through at the Marlins later that day. All he did was throw six perfect innings before finally allowing a hit in the seventh. There's been no talk of sending him down since then, which may not be terribly surprising, but then again, he allowed a combined two earned runs over 14 innings in his previous three appearances and was sent down after each. Regardless, it seems like he's here to stay now, and given the huge strides he's made with his control, issuing 1.4 BB/9 between the majors and minors this year compared to 4.4 last year, there's every reason to believe he'll continue to thrive. We haven't yet seen him strike out hitters at the rate he's capable either.
Tanner Scott RP
MIA Miami • #66 • Age: 29
By now, there's no disputing that Tanner Scott is the Marlins closer. He's gotten each of the team's past five saves, including two over the weekend. What's strange is how little attention it's gotten him in CBS Sports leagues. His 2.24 ERA and 12.1 K/9 would both rank seventh among relievers with at least 20 saves. He has the makings of a stud closer, in other words, and the stuff (a 98 mph fastball and wipeout slider) has always been there. It's true he flopped as a closer last year, but mostly because he couldn't find the strike zone. He's cut that walk rate in half this year. The Marlins are still very much in the playoff race and figure to play in some close games down the stretch, so Scott may well produce like a stud closer, too.
John Means SP
BAL Baltimore • #47 • Age: 30
Though Kyle Wright is nearly twice as rostered as John Means, the latter figures to be more usable in Fantasy from the start. His activation Tuesday is more certain, and while he's coming back from something more invasive (Tommy John surgery), he got a chance to build up to five innings and 86 pitches in the minors, which means he could be ready to deliver a quality start right away. Maybe the Orioles will play it more cautiously with him. Shoot, maybe his own performance will disqualify him, though it's worth noting he looked like himself on his rehab assignment. And who is that exactly? A control-and-command lefty who collects strikeouts at a decent rate with his changeup and has the sort of fly-ball tendencies that should play well at the new-look Camden Yards. Starting him against the Cardinals this week is risky, but he may end up getting a second turn.
Michael King RP
SD San Diego • #34 • Age: 28
Michael King's transition from late-game reliever to starting pitcher has proven to be enough of a success that he's now a viable Fantasy target in his new role. His latest outing Saturday against the Brewers was his second straight of five innings, but he upped his pitch count from 69 to 79 without any compromise in stuff, at least if his nine strikeouts are any indication. While most pitchers lose a tick or two as they get stretched out, his velocity has held steady throughout this transition. King's next outing is against the Red Sox, which makes him in iffy play in Fantasy, but if you're looking for an extra start in a Head-to-Head points league, you have the option of slotting him in as a relief pitcher.
Evan Carter LF
TEX Texas • #32 • Age: 21
After losing Adolis Garcia to a season-ending knee injury Wednesday, the Rangers made the bold decision to call up 21-year-old Evan Carter. He started two of their three games over the weekend, going 1 for 5 with two walks and a stolen base. They're not the first organization to push the envelope with one of their top prospects this month, but in Carter's case, there's more reason to question if he's actually ready for this opportunity. His on-base skills are exemplary and may give the Rangers enough of a lift to justify it, but his power stroke remains a work in progress. He's still adding muscle to his frame and is too opposite field-minded to get the most out of his existing strength. Most likely, he's not going to make up for the loss of Jasson Dominguez, if that's who you're looking to replace, but in five-outfielders leagues, you could take a flier and see.
Wilyer Abreu CF
BOS Boston • #52 • Age: 24
Wilyer Abreu is here mainly for what he did Saturday, going 5 for 5 and reaching base six times overall. Two of his batted balls were hit more than 105 mph, and all five had an expected batting average of .500 or better. For his entire stay in the majors, he has an average exit velocity of 93.5 mph and a hard-hit rate of 52.5 percent, which would both rank among the best in the game if he had enough batted-ball events to qualify. We already know how productive he can be from his .274/.391/.539 slash line at Triple-A Worcester, and his work in the majors so far has at least made him a fixture against right-handed pitchers. Certainly in five-outfielder leagues, he's become an option to consider.