Rotoworld’s brand-new Pickups of the Day column is designed to help fantasy managers uncover a handful of widely-available targets over the course of the season. It could be a breakout candidate, a prospect stash, an injury replacement, a pitcher with a favorable matchup or week, a player who is due some better luck, or any other number of scenarios. If there’s value to be found on the waiver wire, we will find it and bring it your way. Today’s edition features a returning shortstop in Los Angeles and an imminent arrival of a star pitcher in Cleveland.
Zach Neto, SS, Angels
Available in 97 percent of Yahoo leagues
While Zach Neto doesn’t hold the crown of the fastest-moving player drafted in recent memory, that award goes to teammate Nolan Schanuel, Neto has more than held his own since he debuted earlier this season. The 22-year-old is batting .241/.315/.411 with eight homers and five stolen bases across 252 major league plate appearances. He might have been even more productive if he hadn’t missed more than a month with lower back inflammation. After getting the all-clear from team doctors, Neto played in four games with Triple-A Salt Lake, where he went .308/.438/846 with two homers, so it seems like he is ready to hit the ground running. Neto was activated off the injured list on Sunday, and while he didn’t start that afternoon against the Guardians, he should slide back into the leadoff or second spot in the Angels lineup. Sure, the Angels lineup looks like a shell of itself due to all the injuries the team sustained, but a great player like Neto, who can give you a little bit of power and speed, should definitely be rostered. His roster rate has greatly decreased while he has been on the injured list, so it wouldn’t hurt to double-check and see if he is available to be picked up off the waiver wire for the stretch run.
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Triston McKenzie, SP, Guardians
Available in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
Triston McKenzie missed the start of the season after straining his shoulder during Spring Training. He returned at the beginning of June and started two games before landing back on the injured list, this time with a forearm strain. The Guardians have been taking it slow with the 26-year-old but after throwing a successful bullpen session on Friday, the right-hander is expected to begin a rehab assignment this week. Starting pitching has been very difficult to find on the waiver wire, especially this time of year as most of the breakout players have already been scooped up. If all goes well, there is a chance that McKenzie could make two starts before packing it up for the season. Cleveland has an outstanding schedule going forward; at Kansas City, home vs. Baltimore and Cincinnati, and at Detroit for the last series of the year. Outside of the series against the Orioles, you cannot ask for an easier schedule than that. McKenzie has been rostered for most of the season, especially in leagues with multiple IL spots, but it doesn’t hurt to check to see if you are in one of the lucky leagues where he is available.