Fantasy Baseball 2021: Waiver-Wire Advice for Injured MLB Players for Week 6May 14, 2021
Fantasy Baseball 2021: Waiver-Wire Advice for Injured MLB Players for Week 6
A large amount of fantasy baseball players held their breath on Thursday afternoon when Ronald Acuna Jr. left Atlanta's game with an ankle injury.
Luckily for the outfielder, the X-rays on his ankle came back negative, per David O'Brien of The Athletic, and it does not appear he will miss a significant amount of time.
Even though the injury isn't serious, Atlanta could keep the 23-year-old out of the lineup for the next few days so he can heal up.
The immediate waiver-wire reaction may be to pick up Seattle's Jarred Kelenic, who made his major league debut on Thursday night.
If the 21-year-old isn't available or you want to wait and see how he adjusts to major league pitching, there are a handful of other options who could soften the blow of losing Acuna for a few days.
Robbie Grossman, Of, Detroit
Robbie Grossman has quietly put together a decent start to the season in the leadoff spot for the Detroit Tigers. He has three home runs, 17 RBI and seven stolen bases for a team that is far from the first target for fantasy baseball pickups.
Outside of Miguel Cabrera, Detroit's lineup does not have any notable names, and the Tigers are not grabbing many headlines at 13-24.
To Grossman's credit, he has been able to reach base at a consistent level, especially in the last week, to give the team's sluggers a chance to produce runs. He is on a four-game hitting streak, has multiple base knocks in three of those contests and two three-hit performances in May.
The 31-year-old will not replace Acuna's power, but he could at least help in batting average, on-base percentage and runs in the coming days.
Grossman has not stolen a base since May 6, but with seven on the season, he could also contribute there if he receives the right opportunity.
Willie Calhoun, Of, Texas
Willie Calhoun is a better power option than Grossman if you are looking to win in home runs and RBI in Acuna's absence.
Texas' leadoff man hit a first-inning home run on Thursday versus Houston's Cristian Javier. He has four long balls and 10 RBI to go along with a .309 batting average and .481 slugging percentage.
Three of Calhoun's four long balls came in May, and he has hit safely in eight of his 11 appearances this month.
After Texas finishes its four-game series with Houston, it returns home for seven games against the New York Yankees and Astros. That is significant as the 26-year-old has a .381 average at Globe Life Field compared to a .231 mark on the road. He does have more home runs on the road, but all of his splits are better at home.
Since Calhoun is playing in a hitter-friendly park in Houston this weekend, he is still worth the pickup ahead of the seven-game home stand.
If Acuna happens to be out for longer than a few days, the Rangers outfielder could be the play because of his strong splits at home.
Trevor Williams, SP, Chicago Cubs
If you need pitching help to close out Week 6, Trevor Williams may be one of your best options.
The Chicago Cubs hurler has a favorable matchup on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers, who are fourth in the majors with 386 strikeouts.
Williams is coming off a six-strikeout outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he allowed two earned runs. He let up two earned runs or fewer in five of his seven starts.
The right-hander likely won't make an extended start, but he has the potential to deliver strikeouts in a good matchup over five or six frames. He pitched into the sixth inning once in his first appearance on April 5.
In his opening start, Williams held the Milwaukee Brewers to two earned runs and struck out six batters. Milwaukee is second in team strikeouts with 387.
If the 29-year-old turns in another solid start, he could end up as a decent replacement for any starters forced to miss time, such as Houston's Jose Urquidy, who left his last start with shoulder discomfort.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from MLB.com.