Fantasy Baseball 2021: Streaming Options for Injured MLB Players for Week 17

Martin FennFeatured Columnist IJuly 30, 2021

Fantasy Baseball 2021: Streaming Options for Injured MLB Players for Week 17

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    It's deadline day, meaning numerous players around MLB will be entertaining new fanbases and beginning new chapters.

    Some players will be getting fresh starts to their careers, but fantasy managers undoubtedly need fresh starts as well.

    With the calendar flipping to August, making roster depth as important as ever. Injuries are bound to happen, meaning managers should hawk the waiver wires in pursuit of potential upgrades. 

    Here are three players managers should look to scoop up in the event of injury issues.

C Mitch Garver, Minnesota Twins

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    Stacy Bengs/Associated Press

    Minnesota Twins backstop Mitch Garver was having one of the finest offensive seasons in baseball until he went on the injured list after undergoing groin surgery at the start of June.

    No matter, the 30-year-old has picked right back up where he left off.

    Garver went 2-for-3 with a pair of homers and two RBI in his first game off the IL on July 19. He took another seat on the bench for a stretch but was 3-for-7 with a homer and two doubles in his last two contests.

    Many might be thinking, "Didn't Garver just suffer another injury?" Well, he was hit on the hand in Tuesday's game against the Detroit Tigers, but X-rays showed there was no structural damage.

    While the recent durability issues might force fantasy managers to steer clear of Garver, he's still one of the best offensive catchers in baseball when healthy.

    He has a .926 OPS and 155 OPS+ and is also available in close to 65 percent of all ESPN leagues. Managers would be wise to pick him up, especially because strong offensive catchers come at a premium.

1B Ji-Man Choi, Tampa Bay Rays

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Nelson Cruz might be the biggest bopper in the Tampa Bay Rays lineup now, but Ji-Man Choi can slug a bit, too. He also has strong on-base abilities.

    The South Korean entered Thursday's action with a .383 on-base percentage and .825 OPS, and he promptly clubbed a homer off New York Yankees reliever Albert Abreu. 

    Choi's advanced metrics are very encouraging. He has the highest walk rate of his career. His 92 mph average exit velocity is the second-highest mark of his career, and the 45.5 percent hard-hit rate is tied for the highest mark of his career. 

    There is something to be said for how Rays manager Kevin Cash will allot playing time now that Cruz is in the fold. Yandy Diaz is likely to need his fair share of at-bats.

    However, Choi has a 1.001 OPS in the last two weeks and is a necessary slugging presence in Tampa Bay's lineup.

    The 30-year-old can be had in nearly 95 percent of all ESPN leagues, so he's very available.

RHP Jon Gray, Colorado Rockies

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Colorado Rockies right-hander Jon Gray could not have chosen a better time to put together one of his best stretches of the season.

    The 29-year-old went on the injured list toward the start of June with elbow soreness. He returned on June 25 and has been in very good form since.

    Gray had a 2.57 ERA in his previous six starts entering Thursday night's outing against the San Diego Padres. Opponents were hitting just .203 against him during that stretch, and he was striking out 10.5 opponents per nine innings.

    That effectiveness is likely to make him a top pitching target for numerous contenders. It should also lead fantasy managers to consider adding him to their rotations.

    Gray is definitely a more rostered player than either Garver or Choi. Still, he's available in just over 54 percent of ESPN leagues. Chances are, managers can find him on the wire. 


    All stats obtained via Baseball Reference, Baseball Savant or FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted. Stats are accurate prior to the start of play on July 29. Fantasy information courtesy of ESPN