The injuries to pitchers across Major League Baseball continue to pile up making the fantasy baseball waiver wire a busy one. Braves starting pitchers Kyle Wright and Max Fried are expected to miss at least two months. After throwing seven scoreless innings against the Yankees on Thursday, Rays pitcher Drew Rasmussen was placed on the 60-day IL with a flexor strain. One of the hot waiver wire pickups among rookies in recent weeks was Athletics pitcher Mason Miller and he was placed on the injured list with forearm tightness. The MLB Injury Report has been a constant wave of updates day in and day out. It's a redundant theme in 2023 when it comes to fantasy baseball and these injuries will likely have an impact on Fantasy Baseball Rankings. The more injuries pile up, the more of a need to make pickups off the waiver wire. It also means more rookie prospects getting called up. The recommended FAAB percentages below are a guideline and should be adjusted based on your roster and needs.
Top Waiver Wire Hitters
Christopher Morel, 2B/OF, Chicaago Cubs - 15-20%
Morel was called up earlier in the week after crushing at Triple-A with a slash line of .330/.425/.730 with 31 runs, 11 home runs, 31 RBI, and four stolen bases in 115 at-bats. Last season, Morel had 379 at-bats with the Cubs and hit .235 with 55 runs, 16 home runs, 47 RBI, and ten stolen bases. The average won't be great, but he has power and speed with multiple position eligibility. In his first three games, he has gone 6-for-13 with a double, two home runs, five RBI, and a stolen base.
Randal Grichuk, OF, Colorado Rockies – 10-12%
The Rockies play 13 of their next 16 games at home. Last season, Grichuk batted .307 with 40 runs, 13 home runs, and 50 RBI in 267 at-bats at Coors Field. Grichuk started the season on the injured list after hernia surgery and has hit in all nine games since his season debut. He is batting .361 (13-for-36) with seven runs, one home run, and three RBI while only four of the games were at home.
LaMonte Wade Jr. Jr., 1B/OF, San Francisco Giants – 6-8%
Wade has been mentioned here a few times, yet he's still widely available on some platforms. He has been leading off and has been playing more often against left-handers. He is slashing .260/.431/.520 with 15 runs, seven home runs, 14 RBI, and one stolen base. Wade has a 19.7% walk rate and rarely chases bad pitches.
Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, Minnesota Twins – 6-8%
Injuries have been the biggest issue for Kirilloff, especially his wrist. Kirilloff has always hit well in the minors with a .322 average and .522 slugging percentage. He had three home runs and 12 RBI in ten games at Triple-A before being called up and he will get playing time.
Lane Thomas, OF, Washington Nationals – 4-6%
Thomas started the season in the leadoff spot for the Nationals, but after a slow start he was moved down the order. Thomas has hit well in May and has been at the top of the order for the last five games, increasing his value. Thomas is slashing .281/.333/.415 with 21 runs, four home runs, 18 RBI, and three stolen bases. Thomas has a hit in nine of the last ten games and is slashing .333/.350/.692 with eight runs, four home runs, eight RBI, and one stolen base.
Casey Schmitt, 3B, San Francisco Giants – 4-6%
Schmitt was called up this week and manager Gabe Kapler said Schmitt will get a lot of playing time. He has been playing shortstop and will gain eligibility there soon. Schmitt slashed .313/.352/.410 with 19 runs, one home run, 22 RBI, and three stolen bases at Triple-A this season. In three games with the Giants, he's 8-for-12 with five runs, two home runs, and four RBI.
JJ Bleday, OF, Oakland Athletics – 4-6%
Bleday is off to a good start for the A's with a slash line of .344/.382/.719 with six runs, three home runs, and three RBI with a 20.6% strikeout rate, which is an improvement on the 28.6% strikeout rate in 65 games with the Marlins last season. At Triple-A Jacksonville this season, Bleday slashed .316/.429/.643 with 28 runs, seven home runs, and 19 RBI with a 12.6% strikeout rate and 16.8% walk rate. Bleday will sit against most left-handers.
Nick Pratto, 1B/OF, Kansas City Royals – 4-6%
Pratto appeared in two games early in the season before being sent down to Triple-A. Since Pratto returned, he has been slashing 357/.455/.679 with 11 runs, two home runs, and a dozen RBI. While the strikeouts are high, he has a 10.5% walk rate and a 46.5% hard hit rate.
Top Waiver Wire Pitchers
Eury Perez, Miami Marlins – 15-20%
Perez, a 6-foot-8 right-hander, just turned 20 in April. He hasn't pitched in Triple-A and has pitched 106 innings at Double-A with a 3.57 ERA and 148 strikeouts. In Double-A this season, Perez is 3-1 with a 2.32 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and a 42:9 K:BB ratio over 31 innings. He had a swinging strike rate of 21 percent. Perez made his debut Friday and pitched 4.2 innings and allowed four hits, two runs, two home runs, walked two, and struck out seven. He had 18 swinging strikes over 88 pitches. The innings will be monitored closely, but he looked good.
Craig Kimbrel, Philadelphia Phillies – 10-15%
Jose Alvarado was the best pitcher in the Phillies bullpen and was getting most of the save chances. He's on the injured list with elbow inflammation. Kimbrel pitched the top of the 10th inning in a tie game Wednesday and picked up the win. With a three-run lead Friday at Coors Field, Kimbrel struck out the side and allowed one hit in a scoreless inning to get his fourth save. Kimbrel has struggled this season with a 24:9 K:BB ratio over 15 innings with a 6.60 ERA. Seranthony Dominguez and Gregory Soto could also be in the mix for saves, but Kimbrel appears to be the favorite for saves.
Louie Varland, Minnesota Twins – 8-10%
Varland has been solid in his first three starts. In 16.2 innings, he has allowed 18 hits, walked five, and struck out 20 with a 4.32 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. In his last start, he had 14 swinging strikes on 95 pitches and has been able to induce swings and misses with a 14% swinging strike rate. With Tyler Mahle out for the season and Kenta Maeda still on the injured list, Varland will be in the rotation for a bit as long as he pitches well.
Ranger Suarez, Philadelphia Phillies – 6-8%
Suarez will make his season debut on Saturday and it's not an ideal spot in Colorado at Coors Field. The next start is scheduled against the Cubs. Suarez made three starts during his rehab assignment and allowed one run and seven baserunners over nine innings. Over the last two seasons with the Phillies, Suarez has a 2.72 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and a 236:91 K:BB ratio over 261.1 innings.
Brayan Bello, Boston Red Sox – 4-6%
Bello has been much better over his last few starts. Over the last three starts, Bello has allowed seven runs with a 16:4 K:BB ratio over 16 innings. Even though he has a 5.01 ERA, Bello has a 3.43 xFIP as he has a 1.93 HR/9. He induced 16 swings and misses in his last start against the Braves. Bello has limited the walks and has a 63% ground ball rate.
J.P. France, Houston Astros – 4-6%
France will have a spot in the Astros starting rotation for at least a few weeks. Luis Garcia will have Tommy John surgery and is out for the season and Jose Urquidy and Lance McCullers Jr. Jr. are still several weeks away from returning. France made his debut last Saturday and pitched five scoreless innings, allowing three hits, one walk, and struck out five.