Again with this guy?
Just before the start of last season, Eloy Jimenez ruptured a pectoral tendon, an injury that sidelined him for the better part of three months. Now, just a few weeks into this season, he's out for what could be as many as two months.
The official timetable is 6-8 weeks for a "significant" hamstring injury suffered Saturday. It's a blow to all who invested an early-round pick in Jimenez, trusting him to get back on the path to stardom. If there's a silver lining, it's that they won't miss what he's provided so far:
But of course, it's not that simple. We're always telling you not to overreact to slow starts, after all, with the presumption being that Jimenez's next 6-8 weeks will go a lot better than his first three. You were counting on those makeup stats to help pull you out of an early-season hole.
So where else can you get them? Where can you find big power production, potentially with some batting average as well? Fortunately, the waiver wire hasn't yet been picked clean of potential impact bats, a few of which I've identified here.
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SEA Seattle • #28 • Age: 31
The move from a hitter's park in Cincinnati to a pitcher's park in Seattle this offseason may have seemed like a deal-breaker for a batter barely clinging to Fantasy relevance after two miserable years, but it's not like Eugenio Suarez's power numbers suffered during that time. The home runs would always be there, but would he make enough contact and get enough hits in play? After a four-game stretch that saw him go 7 for 15 with three doubles (and, crucially, no homers), it's looking more that way. The strikeout rate is a manageable 25 percent and the expected stats (.263 xBA, .646 xSLG) more in line with his must-start 2017-19 seasons.
MIN Minnesota • #19 • Age: 25
Alex Kirilloff is set to begin a rehab assignment Tuesday after having a cortisone shot to address inflammation in his surgically repaired wrist. He was off to an 1-for-17 start before landing on the IL and was disappointing as a rookie last season as well, so you may groan at the mere suggestion of giving him another shot. But the little bit we've seen of him when not playing through the wrist (early last year, basically) backs up the scouting reports of him being an elite all-around hitter, which certainly those who lost Eloy Jimenez could use right now. Hopefully, the injection did the trick.
COL Colorado • #15 • Age: 31
The move to Coors Field seems to have done the trick for Randal Grichuk, like it did for so many so-so hitters before him. He's batting over .400 even though his home run Sunday was his first barreled ball of the season. You can count on there being more barreled balls -- his track record as a power hitter is pretty extensive -- so if his new home environment is going to do his batting average this many favors when he's not at his best, the final numbers could be studly indeed. He missed three games a while back with a back issue, which may have led some people to believe he doesn't have an everyday role, but he has started almost every game otherwise.
Bailey Ober SP
MIN Minnesota • #17 • Age: 27
It was another fine start for Bailey Ober, who now has a 2.81 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in three. His 7.3 K/9 might have some thinking it's smoke and mirrors, but his 13.6 percent swinging-strike rate is elite, suggesting there are more strikeouts to be had. That rate could improve all the more if he begins featuring his best swing-and-miss pitch, the changeup, more than 15 percent of the time. Between that and extending his starts (he has yet to throw even 80 pitches in one), there's something more for him to build on.
Nick Lodolo SP
CIN Cincinnati • #40 • Age: 24
The rookie already showed his stuff would play in the majors in his previous outing, registering 15 swinging strikes against the Padres. Sunday's line actually went further to helping his team win, though, which improves his chances of sticking around once Luis Castillo and Mike Minor are healthy again. The first pitcher selected in the 2019 draft, Nick Lodolo has so far thrown 67 percent of his pitches for strikes, so he's going right after hitters with his three pitch arsenal -- a good sign for a rookie.
Joc Pederson LF
SF San Francisco • #23 • Age: 30
A hot start, which most recently includes a two-homer game Sunday, isn't going to make anyone forget Joc Pederson's mediocre track record, no matter what kind of success the Giants have had with reclamation projects. He won't be starting against left-handers either, not unless injuries force the Giants' hand, which immediately eliminates him as an every-week option in Fantasy. But the Giants have only one left-hander on the schedule this week, and hot is hot. If you need to plug a hole, Pederson will do for now.
Lucas Sims RP
CIN Cincinnati • #39 • Age: 28
Lucas Sims came off the IL Friday, having missed the first two-plus weeks with an elbow injury, and was tasked with his first save chance Sunday, which he converted without incident. The two Reds relievers who recorded a save in his absence, Tony Santillan and Art Warren, worked the seventh and eighth innings. It played out like a conventional bridge from the starter to the closer, but nothing has been conventional about manager David Bell's bullpen usage the past two years. Still, Sims has the stuff to close, and neither Santillan nor Warren did enough to secure the role in his absence.
HOU Houston • #53 • Age: 25
Cristian Javier's first three appearances this year may have come in relief, but the last two were both three-plus innings. The Astros shifted him to the bullpen last year both to preserve his innings and accommodate a rotation surplus, but he didn't deserve the demotion and is now scheduled for a spot start Wednesday. Could it become a regular turn with Jake Odorizzi continuing to disappoint? The mere possibility is reason enough to get in ahead of the crowd in some leagues. In 19 career starts, Javier has a 3.42 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 9.5 K/9.
Jorge Lopez RP
MIN Minnesota • #48 • Age: 29
Two more saves over the weekend makes it clear Jorge Lopez is the Orioles closer with a capital C. Even for a bottom-feeding club, a true closer deserves Fantasy consideration given the number of teams resorting to closing tandems right now. Of course, he actually has to keep the role, and his disastrous history as a starting pitcher suggests he won't. But he's throwing harder in short relief, peaking at 99 mph, and has been near perfect in his past five appearances, striking out 11 in 6 2/3 innings.
Glenn Otto SP
TEX Texas • #49 • Age: 26
Glenn Otto's season debut Friday went about like his major-league debut last August. He missed bunches of bats, registering 15 swinging strikes on 75 pitches, mostly with a high-spin fastball/slider combo. Of course, his next five starts last year were an out-and-out disaster, which is why skepticism is warranted here, but he has a 2.98 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 12.5 K/9 in the minors between this year and last. You may not be ready to move in on him yet, especially since this start came against an Athletics lineup that resembles something he'd see at Triple-A, but a strong follow-up might warrant a pickup.