This week’s add/drop suggestions is heavy on closers, so the format will be a little different this week, as we run through the teams whose situations have undergone some upheaval. Ownership percentages come from ESPN.
Angels- Cody Allen not only lost his job, but quickly found himself on the Injured List after just one lone, and poor, appearance in his new role. Since his demotion, there has neither been solid word from Angels manager Brad Ausmus, nor a save opportunity, leaving fantasy owners in the dark. Three names to look out for: Cam Bedrosian, Ty Buttrey, and Hansel Robles. We suggest speculative adds on the two former players, while Allen can be dropped in every format.
Rangers- Jose Leclerc has been underwhelming to start the year, giving up hits, walks, and hit batsman at alarming rates. With Texas not expected to contend this year, Leclerc has been given a long leash, but that soon may change with the emergence of Shawn Kelley. Kelley recently earned a save this past week, and has yet to issue a walk. While it’s not worth dropping Leclerc yet, it is worth picking up Kelley if you’re searching for saves.
Brewers- Jeremy Jeffress (25.1%), recently re-activated from the IL with a shoulder injury, has yet to work many high leverage situations, but that could change soon with Jeffress possibly sliding in to a more conventional closer role, allowing Josh Hader to work longer outings. Jeffress’ ownership will skyrocket on any news of imminent closer work, so it’s probably worth an attempt to quietly jump the gun.
Players to Add
Yandy Diaz (38.0%)- Hitting in the top third of the lineup for the best team in baseball? Check. Hitting for average and power? Check, again. Diaz, who only hit one home run in almost 300 plate appearances in Cleveland the past two seasons, is off to a stellar start this year with the Rays (7 home runs). He’s shown a great eye at the plate, walking sixteen times already, and will get plenty of opportunity to produce counting stats all season situated next to Tommy Pham and Brandon Lowe this season.
Dwight Smith Jr. (45.4%)- Smith, similarly to Yandy Diaz, has shown great early season pop for a player with two years of meandering outcomes with a different ball club. The Orioles were widely expected to be the worst team in baseball, not just this year, but perhaps all-time, but a few surprising hitters are trying their best to help them avoid last place again. Smith Jr, has produced five home runs to go along with three steals, and has quietly been a top-ten fantasy outfielder this season.
Players to Drop
Brandon Nimmo (58.1%) – Nimmo has lost his lead-off spot this past week, and found himself near the bottom of the lineup. Mired in a long slump, he’s also nursing an oblique injury, something that could limit his extra base and base-stealing abilities. There are better options for the near and intermediate future than Nimmo.
Jesus Aguilar (67.3%) – It’s not going to be too difficult to point out the obvious flaws with rostering Aguilar to start the year. He has just nine hits, only two of them doubles, and none of them home runs to start the year. He’s only been used as a pinch hitter since the beginning of the week, and his glove work has been below average every year of his career, thus paving no obvious path for Aguilar to receive regular playing team barring injury. Aguilar has never had a good March/April OPS (.596) in his career, but his upside is nearly the same as his main competition, Eric Thames, for playing time.