Flirting with the Waiver Wire: Week 7

“I want to be someone’s last call of the night & their first thought in the morning.” Unknown

Keuchel may be for real with his new found success with his slider

Keuchel may be for real with his new found success with his slider

Have to admit that I enjoy this column but finding funny dating quotes can be tough. This one stands though since dating websites are multi-million dollar businesses as a result of our need to be wanted. While this is a bit deeper than I wish to delve in a fantasy column it is part of the fascination of the waiver wire weekly. Getting the hot player on the way up (Keuchel or Pomeranz) or dropping a player on the way down (Colabello crashing) can determine the outcome of a season. This has not been a stellar week to own pitchers. Owners everywhere are lamenting what could have been while dropping Jose Fernandez in non-keeper leagues tonight and moving on. There is no perfect draft system as injuries cannot be predicted. But a trend towards pitchers who have already had TJS surgery or pitchers who do not throw with the highest velocities change will happen next year. As to this week’s batch of players I will list potential targets below. Because I had to coach a game today to qualify for the playoffs, this will be an abridged edition. (I apologize).

eHarmony Targets – not 65% owned but could be

Pos

Player

ESPN

Yahoo

CBS

C

Devin Mesoraco

60.9

58

80

2B

Jurickson Profar

22.6

41

59

1B/3B

Juan Francisco

61.4

42

56

OF

Seth Smith

38.2

23

39

OF

Josh Reddick

41.6

34

40

SP

Dallas Keuchel

10.7

25

71

SP

Brandon McCarthy

0.9

6

22

RP

Zach Britton

16.7

27

41

I am not sure if I have to get on a ledge to get people to buy into Devin Mesoraco but his ownership will not be at this level next week. All he does is hit and just two games off of the disabled list he had a home run in the first game and was four for four today. Another potential stash if he is available is Wilin Rosario from Colorado. Along with Rosario, now may be a good time to stash Jurickson Profar as he nears his rehab assignment. The Rangers are looking for offense in their lineup and he may be batting leadoff or second soon. Seth Smith homered again today in Colorado and has been crushing right handed pitching. Carlos Quentin is not the healthiest of the people and Smith may hit his way into the lineup every day for the Padres. Another under the radar pickup is Josh Reddick. Oakland has a way of putting players in positions to succeed. Reddick after a rough start has been hitting his way out of his slump and in the past week has hit three home runs and drove in nine runs.

On the pitching side of the ledger, there are a couple of interesting targets listed above. Another writer from our site has made it his mission to get people to share his love of Dallas Keuchel. So @TKing978, congrats on graduating UMass Lowell and here is your boy. Keuchel’s upswing is a combination of improved ground ball rates and he has shelved his curveball for a simplified approach using his sinker and slider to keep batters off balance. Early results are enticing and he is a two start option this week if you want to take him for a test drive. Brandon McCarthy has gained two miles an hour on his fastball this year and after a tough start has put together a strong run of quality starts for the Diamondbacks. After a strong weekend against the Dodgers his team may be on the start of a hot streak. Hector Rondon graduated from this spot last week finally and he saved the Cubs game today. Another failed starting pitcher may be next to take a closer job and run. After Tommy Hunter’s latest failed save, the next chance for Baltimore went to unheralded Zach Britton. I profiled him here and his sinker has been filthy this year for the Orioles. I compared him to Glen Perkins and if he gets this job full time, may run with it. It is a cheap speculation this week.

Match.com – 12 team league targets

Pos

Player

ESPN

Yahoo

CBS

C

Derek Norris

28.4

42

52

1B

Garrett Jones

16

9

32

2B

Gordon Beckham

7.5

6

24

3B

Chris Johnson

27.4

42

34

SS

Chris Owings

4

10

27

OF

AJ Pollock

16.6

21

28

OF

Dexter Fowler

25.3

38

46

SP

Drew Pomeranz

37.7

36

79

SP

Dan Duffy

2

8

15

RP

Sean Doolittle

11.2

29

30

Oakland’s acquisition of Kyle Blanks may cut into Norris’ at bats as the designated hitter but he is clubbing his way into the lineup with much more regularity. The deeper the format the more valuable he is. Over his last week of play he has hit two home runs, drove in seven and even scored five runs. Garrett Jones is a frustrating player to own but the Marlins are trying to stay in contention and their lineup has been overachieving. Jones runs hot and cold but he streaking right now and can help teams at corner infield. Did you know that Gordon Beckham’s slash line against left handed pitching since his return is 429/500/714? He seemed to be turning the corner last year in the second half along with Brian Dozier. In deeper leagues he is worth a look and if he can continue his hot start, could be shallow league worthy soon. Chris Johnson was due to suffer from the regression monster and I totally buy that but he has been getting on base with regularity the last two weeks and batted fourth today for the Braves. He will never be a pad the stats guy but if your team needs batting average help, he is a perfect player to target. Raise your hand if you know that AJ Pollock has five home runs and six stolen bases after his team’s first thirty-seven games. Small sample size dictates a proclaimer here but that is a twenty home run and twenty-four stolen base paces for a player who is owned in less than one-third of all leagues. I think he can keep this up. Dexter Fowler, like Reddick is frustrating, but when he gets hot he is a stat stuffer. Two weeks ago he stole three bases and this week has a home run while batting .400 and three RBI. With George Springer batting second now and Fowler hitting third, this may be an ideal time to buy on player who just may finally reach his potential.

Two interesting left handed pitchers made this list, Drew Pomeranz of the A’s and Dan Duffy from Kansas City. One had a great start with eight strikeouts and is being stretched out as a starter (Pomeranz) and the other took a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Orioles (Dufffy). What is most encouraging about both pitchers is their ability to strike batters out. Owners losing pitchers this week may be able to profit by adding either of these players going forward. Sean Doolittle believers only need one stat line:

  • Jim Johnson – 16 K’s/13 BB
  • Sean Doolittle – 28 K’s/0 BB

Although it may take a bit longer for Doolittle to win this closing job in Oakland, I think it is his from June on.

Plenty of Fish – deeper league 15+ targets

Pos

Player

ESPN

Yahoo

CBS

C

John Jaso

3.4

7

19

1B

Jon Singleton

0.7

6

43

2B

Kolten Wong

4.7

11

39

3B

Cody Asche

0.7

2

12

SS

Eduardo Escobar

3.6

5

6

OF

Chris Parmelee

1

1

3

SP

Trevor Bauer

6.3

28

71

SP

Jake Odorizzi

1.8

5

39

RP

Dellin Betances

5.7

13

17

On the other side of the A’s platoon is John Jaso. He is neither flashy or a fantasy darling, but he is productive. Sometimes he bats second and is a low cost source of runs and does not hurt a team’s batting average at catcher. Sometimes it pays to stash the next big prospect rush before his announcement is announced. The Astros platoon of Jesus Guzman and Marc Krauss is less than productive. Look at the names that are keeping Singleton in the minors. Jon will not set the world on fire with his average, but as his time in the Winter League and AAA this year suggests, he will hit the ball for power. If your team needs a jolt and has room, put him away now. Kolten Wong was a player that people targeted late for runs and stolen bases on a great offense. Since then the Cardinals offense has been a disappointment thus far and he was demoted once already. But since his return he is trying to show the Cardinals he no longer wished to travel in a bus. Wong has stolen two bases since his return and today drove in three runs with a double. If he was released in your league he may be a perfect buy low this week. Recommending two Twins is risky business but Escobar is like Chris Johnson but a middle infielder. Chris Parmelee has intriguing power, is younger than Kubel and will be eating into Colabello’s at bats going forward.

Bauer hour may be upon us in Cleveland. With the Indians rotation in disarray Trevor Bauer will make his return this Tuesday and is in line for two starts this week. I think he is a stash to see if his control has improved but if you are desperate for strikeouts, he may be worth the risk this week. After a rough start Jake Odorizzi seems to be turning the corner. Over his last two starts he has struck out 18 batters with no runs allowed. Speaking of strikeouts, have you paid attention to Dellin Betances start to the year? As a Yankee fan, the last time I saw a relief pitcher this dominant in his rookie year was Mariano Rivera in 1996. Betances K/9 right now is 15.5, let that soak in for a minute. He has 42 strikeouts over 24.1 innings pitched in 2014 and has even won two games in the process. David Robertson is not the healthiest guy around and if there is a high upside arm in this bullpen, Betances is it.

The waiver wire is enticing but will you still think of them in the morning? Choose wisely my friends.

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

Dallas Keuchel picture credit: http://media.philly.com/images/600*491/20140509_inq_base09-x.JPG

Statistical Credits:

Fangraphs.com

Baseball-Reference.com

CBSsports.com

ESPN.com

Yahoo.com

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