Buster Posey owners in the Eastern and Central time zones awoke to the news that their star catcher might be out for a long time after a collision at home plate late Wednesday night. We'll offer some help there and also take a look at a few more guys making waves across the majors.
Mike Morse, Nationals -- So Morse hit another home run Wednesday, this one a three-run shot off Zach Greinke. That makes it three games in a row for him, running his season total to five. Morse was a favorite of some industry pundits heading into the season after last year's strong showing, in which he hit 15 homers in just 266 at-bats. A slow start landed him in Jim Riggleman's doghouse, but an injury to Adam LaRoche forced Morse back into the lineup. Other than his own hard-to-decipher whims, there's no reason for Riggleman to keep Morse out of the lineup when LaRoche returns. He can play first and the outfield, so it should be easy to get him the ABs a he deserves. He should be owned in all NL-only leagues, and I endorse him for 12-team mixed leagues, as well. I even picked him up myself a few days ago.
Jason Bourgeois, Astros -- We talked about Bourgeois a few weeks ago, but now that he's set to return from the DL, he warrants another mention. In 54 at-bats before straining his oblique, Bourgeois had 22 hits and 12 stolen bases. Manager Brad Mills was committed to keeping him in the lineup, and he even got a start at second base in his last game before hitting the DL. He's a real speed threat who could one day lead the league in stolen bases. With second base eligibility possibly on the horizon, Bourgeois immediately vaults into "must be owned in all leagues" status. Understand that he's still about a week to 10 days away from returning, so you'll have to take a look around your league to see if you need to stash him to get him, or if you can wait until he makes his return. Either way, if you need speed, this is a guy you want.
Ramon Hernandez, Reds -- Feel free to refer to the next two guys as the "Buster Posey Division" of this week's waiver wire. No doubt owners from San Francisco to Leesburg, Ga., (Posey's hometown) are scrambling to find a replacement. First, let me present Hernandez. This is a familiar position for the veteran backstop. For the last few years, it seems he's always the fallback option when a few catchers flop or get injured. He has turned it on in May, raising his season slash line to .327/.375/.558 from /.296/.356/.481 at the end of April. He plays in a great park and has a good lineup around him. Oh, and let's not forget your desperation after losing Posey. Make the move for Hernandez.
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers -- Let's suppose you need to go really deep for a new catcher. After all, Posey isn't the only fantasy regular on the shelf. With Joe Mauer and Geovany Soto also hobbled, the pickings at catcher are as slim as they've been in a long time. For those of you really dumpster diving, I offer Lucroy. Among catchers with at least 120 plate appearances, Lucroy's .878 OPS is second only to Alex Avila's .920. Like Hernandez, he plays in a great hitter's park and has a good lineup to provide RBI opportunities. And you may be even more desperate than the people adding Hernandez. With that said, Lucroy is actually a pretty sound option.
Brian Matusz, Orioles -- Zach Britton has been getting a lot of attention this season, but Matusz was the trendy Oriole pitcher to own each of the last two years. Matusz is set to return from the DL Wednesday to make his season debut against the Mariners. He's currently available in more than 50 percent of leagues, which is a shocking number considering how highly touted he has been each of the last two years. Now is your chance to grab him for free. He struggled a bit last year, but was victimized by a horrible Orioles defense, as his FIP was one-quarter of a run lower than his ERA. He's not a strikeout artist, but he has averaged 7.39 Ks per nine innings in 40 career starts. He should be added in all but the shallowest formats.
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