Flirting with the Waiver Wire: Week 4

“When a girl cancels a date, she has to. When a guy cancels a date he has two.” – Anonymous

Grilli's injury opens the door for those who stashed Melancon

Grilli’s injury opens the door for those who stashed Melancon

A month has almost passed and owners are starting to look at their teams and deciding on what needs have to be addressed. Thankfully the waiver wire probably has more to offer than the dating pool though each has the same pitfalls. If a player seems too good to be true, he probably is. There is more than one player to replace a struggling member of your fantasy team, be aware of what you are getting into. Speaking from experience, dropping a player in a slump for one on a “heater” can be a trap. Not only do you not get the full effect from the player’s hot streak, but you miss out on the one you dropped as well. Roughly 15% of the fantasy season has gone by, trust your draft and gut on what players to add. Here is this week’s look at the wire:

eHarmony – not 65% owned but could be

Pos

Player

ESPN

Yahoo

CBS

C

Wilson Ramos

37.9%

41%

53%

1B

Nick Swisher

46.4%

46%

65%

2B

Omar Infante

18.9%

18%

34%

SS

Alcides Escobar

38%

30%

34%

OF

Dayan Viciedo

33.7%

30%

34%

OF

Matt Joyce

37.8%

19%

38%

SP

Wily Peralta

56.4%

48%

79%

SP

Jason Hammel

37.8%

35%

61%

RP

Joe Smith

37.4%

46%

45%

RP

Mark Melancon

44%

50%

42%

“And we’ll never be royals” – Looking at their ownership numbers, it is true that Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar are not royals in the fantasy community. But upon further review, should they be? During their game last night the commentators were talking about how much Alcides is looking up to Omar and follows him everywhere. Takes extra batting practice, goes to the weight room and playing the game hard. It seems simple enough but Escobar has not had stability across the diamond to work with at 2B. Sometimes a free agent signing is more than just numbers. Here is Alcides last week not including today’s action:

  • Alcides Escobar last 7 Days – 8/23, 6 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB

Couple that with Infante’s six RBI today and just maybe this infield combo should garner more attention.

Buy Low – Wilson Ramos has been swinging a bat and the latest reports from the Nationals beat writers suggest he could be back by cinqo de Mayo. If that is true now is a great time to stash him if you have the roster flexibility to do so. It may take a little time for his power to completely return but he was hitting fourth before his injury. Nick Swisher is being dropped in the middle of turning things around. He has 10 hits in his last 28 at bats with 3 runs and RBI the past seven days yet he is on ESPN’s dropped list.

Power Combo – Neither name is sexy, but Viciedo and Joyce are having productive weeks.

  • Dayan Viciedo’s last 7 days – 14/28, 7 R, HR, 3 RBI
  • Matt Joyce’s last 7 days – 5/14, 3 R, 7 RBI, SB

Although each player is not overwhelming with HR’s in the past 7 days, the power is there. Joyce has shown great patience this year including a 5 walk day on Friday night in Chicago. Viciedo is white hot right now and may be facing a correction in a week or so but ride him while he is hot. Joyce may have more staying power and has been hitting third against right handed pitching for Tampa Bay.

Closers du jour – After two colossal meltdowns, Frieri was deposed of his closer label by his manager. Naming Joe Smith as his replacement is dubious though. Here are their respective career numbers:

  • Joe Smith – K/9 – 7.46, K/BB 2.00, Swinging Strike % – 8.1
  • Ernesto Frieri – K/9 – 12.2, K/BB 2.84, Swinging Strike % – 13.2

Smith may have the gig in the short term, but I am not willing to spend a large chunk of FAAB on him for the year, Frieri has flirted with losing the job in the past but recovered after a short break from the job. In Pittsburgh Jason Grilli was placed on the DL with an oblique strain opening the door again for Melancon. If he is on your waiver wire, I would place a claim with more confidence especially how he finished 2013 in the role.

Match.com – 12 Team League Targets

Pos

Player

ESPN

Yahoo

CBS

C

Carlos Ruiz

18.6%

21%

46%

1B

James Loney

25.9%

21%

45%

2B

Alberto Callaspo

24.5%

12%

26%

3B

Nick Castellanos

30.2%

43%

68%

SS

Jhonny Peralta

36.2%

52%

64%

OF

Khris Davis

60.8%

44%

75%

OF

Dexter Fowler

20.2%

41%

45%

RP

Hector Rondon

5.6%

9%

12%

Chooch to the rescue – With Russell Martin and Devin Mesoraco heading to the DL, a player to target may be Carlos Ruiz. What he lacks in power he makes up for in runs and RBI:

  • Carlos Ruiz last 7 days – 11 for 22, 8 R, HR, 7 RBI

Nick Castellanos seems to be emerging with the Tigers and finishing up a strong month. With the problems at 3B across the fantasy landscape, he may be worth a look. Jhonny Peralta struggled earlier this week but had 2 home runs today against the Pirates and could be turning his season around. Khris Davis mixed in a home run and two stolen bases this past week and with teams dropping him may be a good target for larger leagues. He started slowly last year in AAA before his promotion last year as well and could be hitting his stride. Dexter was off to a hot start before his early season injury but is rounding into form. The Astros need to score runs to be competitive and hitting second this week has gone well for Fowler:

  • Dexter Fowler’s last 7 days – 8 for 24, 6 R, HR, 2 RBI, 3 SB

Closer du jour part deux

If you are not familiar with Hector Rondon, now may be a good time to do so. Pedro Strop was afforded the first save opportunity by the Cubs after demoting Jose Veras from the position. However, Strop went all Marmol and gave up four runs (only 1 earned) taking the loss in the game. There has not been a save opportunity since then but today’s 4-0 victory may portend the next chance. Strop pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Hector Rondon pitched the ninth striking out all three batters he faced. While other owners are spending a good portion of their FAAB on Smith and Melancon, Rondon may be available at a much reduced rate.

Plenty of Fish – 15+ team league adds

Pos

Player

ESPN

Yahoo

CBS

C

Josmil Pinto

3.5%

6%

34%

1B

Lucas Duda

10.2%

9%

29%

2B

Scooter Gennett

7.4%

8%

19%

3B

Juan Francisco

0.6%

8%

19%

SS

Andrew Romine

0.4%

1%

5%

OF

Chris Denorfia

3%

5%

11%

OF

Cameron Maybin

0%

1%

8%

SP

Tanner Roark

4%

22%

39%

RP

Daisuke Matsuzaka

2.7%

8%

11%

RP

Jake McGee

0.5%

5%

6%

Scooter and the Pads – After beating out Rickie Weeks for the 2B job in Milwaukee has created an opportunity for Gennett with the Brewers and for deeper league owners.

  • Scooter Gennett last 7 days – 8 for 23, 4 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB

A mix of power and stolen bases is always welcome in fantasy though Gennett is more of a speedster than power hitter. But hitting second for Milwaukee he has sparked the offense and could do the same from the waiver wire. The return of Maybin to the Padres creates an opportunity for owners who need stolen bases. Cameron had two hits in his season debut in Washington today including a double and a run scored. Speaking of speed with the Padres, Chris Denorfia stole his fifth base. In deeper leagues each player may be able to fill a need for offenses needing a fifth outfielder.

Closers du jour part three

The founders here at Roto Analysis were on this over two weeks ago suggesting that Dice-K could emerge as an option at closer for the Mets. Matsuzaka has a save this week which points to a change sooner rather than later, especially when the competition is Kyle Farnsworth.

  • Daisuke Matsuzaka last 7 days – 5.2 IP, 1 S, 9 K’s, 0.00 ERA, 0.53 WHIP

Like Rondon above, Dice-K may be the better grab off the wire this week while passing on Farnsworth. Head to head competitors will also enjoy his SP/RP status on sites like Yahoo. Another forgotten reliever is Jake McGee of the Rays.

  • Jake McGee last 7 days – 4.1 IP, 8 K’s, 0.00 ERA, 0.23 WHIP

He may never be the closer for the Rays but with Balfour’s recent struggles he is a name to keep an eye on. Add him for the strikeouts and ratio’s relief, keep him for the possible return to his fantasy glory of 2012 in when he had a 1.95 ERA with 73 K’s in 69 IP.

Good luck on the wire this week and choose wisely my friends.

Greg Jewett is a staff writer for Roto Analysis and you can follow us on Twitter @RotoAnalysis and @gjewett9

Mark Melancon picture credit: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/8/1/1375331427014

Statistical Credit:

Fangraphs.com

Baseball-Reference.com

CBSsportsline.com

ESPN.com

Yahoo.com

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