Normally when I do my waiver wire column, the players I choose usually come together into some type of theme. Starting pitchers, all hitters, rookies and prospects, underachievers, etc.., After looking at the list of players I compiled this week, I found no common denominator that brings them all together. Just good solid waiver wire pickups without all the fluff talk leading into them, that makes life easy for me. With that said, here are my waiver wire pickups for this week.
Brad Miller: A popular sleeper choice at the beginning of the season, but for the first two months he made all of us look like fools for believing in him. You would never know by looking at his .208 average, but in the month of June Miller is hitting a cool .311 with 4 home runs. For those of you who stuck it out, you are finally being rewarded. For those who need a shortstop who could breakout in the second half, act now before the average goes up high enough that others will notice.
Available in 58% of CBS and 65% of Yahoo leagues.
Jarred Cosart: I’m sure his ownership rates will have gone up between the time I’m writing this and tomorrow morning, but not high enough in my opinion. Cosart went 7 innings against the Braves allowing 6 hits, 2 walks and 1 run. Cosart lowered his ERA to 3.6 in the process; this may not impress you, but the fact is ERA was under 2.9 for May and June should. He had 15 walks in each of the first two months but only has 7 in June. His strikeout totals remind me of Jeremy Guthrie, but there is room for improvement. A solid ERA and WHIP along with 7 wins is something almost any team can use. His next start is at home verse the Mariners.
Available in 65% of CBS and 89% of Yahoo leagues.
Danny Duffy: Last week I stated that if Duffy did well against the Dodgers he might be worthy of a roster spot. His final line, 6 innings, 4 hits, 4 walks, 5 K’s and 1 earned run. There are some red flags like and xFIP and SIERA almost 2 points higher than his ERA and a 46% flyball percentage. These things spell trouble for future predictions, but sometimes you have to ignore those red flags and run with the basic numbers. A 2.69 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and a K/9 close to 7.0 is something you should want on your team. Duffy has made huge strides in the month of June and while it may not last, it will be a fun ride while it does.
Available in 47% of CBS and 71% of Yahoo leagues.
Scooter Gennett: Everyday he hits he pushed Rickie Weeks further out the door. Gennett is hitting .308 for the season thanks in part to a .392 average in June, and his .341 OBP is right in line with his career numbers in the minors (.337). Gennett is currently ranked 11th according to ESPN’s player rater and 4th for the month of June. I find it hard to believe there are that many leagues out there satisfied with their current second baseman or MI option. If you’re an owner of Martin Prado, Aaron Hill, Ben Zobrist or Brandon Phillips; if Gennett is out there, you may want to grab him and bench your current option for now.
Available in 44% of CBS and 76% of Yahoo leagues.
Travis d’Arnaud: After beating the crap out of AAA pitchers in the PCL for two weeks (.436 BA with 6 homers), d’Arnaud is back with the Mets. He wasn’t exactly living up to expectations before his demotion so there is reason to be skeptical. Was that 2 week breather enough to move d’Arnaud into the buy category? Probably not, but considering what he did and the power potential, he should be monitored closely. Could be a second half sleeper.
Available in 70% of CBS and 96% of Yahoo leagues.
Jesse Hahn: Lately on the nights that Jesse Hahn pitches, you can almost forget how bad the Padres have been this year. In his last 3 starts he has averaged 7 k’s, has quality starts in each of those game and has allowed only 2 earned runs over his last 19 innings. He’s never pitched above AA, has a limited track and wasn’t one of those big name blue chip players that we’ve all read about. He is pitching lights out right now and could continue to pitch like this short term. He only pitched 69 innings last year so considering he is up to 61 already, this isn’t a long term add. This is a lightning in a bottle grab that you should ride until the Padres shut him down (which will probably come at the end of July/early August). Hahn has 2 starts next week at home vs the Reds & Giants. Fun Fact: In 159 minor league innings, Hahn has allowed on 2 home runs.
Available in 59% of CBS and 80% of Yahoo leagues.
Adam Duvall: He’s listed at 2nd base in Yahoo, 3B in CBS and could be playing first base when he finally takes the field. Regardless of where he plays, he could make an impact. Duvall hit 30 home runs in A+ ball in 2012 and this year has 23 in AAA. He’s a nice power add, but it will be his average that will determine his length of stay. This year he’s hitting .297 which is a far cry from his minor league average of .268. That .297 is also in the PCL so take some of that with a grain of salt. He has a job until Angel Pagan comes back, but if he hits the ground running he could push Michael Morse to the OF on a more permanent basis. If the Giants weren’t in first place, I’m sure they would be more willing to experiment with the youngster, but since they are on top he’ll have to really impress in the short time he has.
Available in 97% of CBS and 99.9% of Yahoo leagues.
Mike Bolsinger: Bolsinger is capable of putting up numbers better than what we’ve seen from him to date. So far his nemesis has been home runs, but he holds a 0.55 HR/9 in the minors. During his time in AAA this year, Blosinger put up an ERA of 2.73 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP over 9 starts. Impressive considering it was the PCL His first two starts since being recalled have been good. He did give up 2 home runs in his first game, but both were solo shots so the damage was limited. He’s not going to be an ace and there is no guarantee he’s has figured it out, but his minor league track record suggest he could be a solid arm for the back end of your rotation. A few more starts like this and he might work his way into being a streamer option for shallower leagues.
Available in 98% of CBS and 99.9% of Yahoo leagues.
Carlos Pena: The Brad Snyder experiment ended before it even got a chance to start. Pena is now the starting first baseman for the Texas Rangers, desperate times calls for desperate measures (in real life and fantasy). Pena is a batting average killer, has been for 5 years now. If you are considering Pena, the only thing you are looking at him for is power (or the potential for it). He had 19 home runs in 2012 and 28 home runs in each of the previous two seasons. Last year was a complete disaster for Pena, but he’s looking to make amends for that. At 36 years old, there is a chance for a rebound. The question you have to ask yourself, is the potential for a few extra home runs worth the beating you’ll take in batting average. I say no, but I might think differently if I was in an AL only or 16 team league. Beggars can’t be choosers.
Available in 99% of CBS and 99.9% of Yahoo leagues
Some popular adds you may want to think twice about
Clay Buchholz: In his first start back from the DL Buchholz went 7.1 innings, recorded only 2 strikeouts and gave up 3 home runs (4 runs total). The only positive things I can say is he went more than 6 innings and didn’t walk anyone. Some of you may have jumped on Buchholz hoping he might turn things around, but you may have jumped the gun. If you’re looking at Buchholz on your waiver wire, continue being an observer for a while longer.
Vance Worley: I recommended Worley last week as a speculative add, but with Gerrit Cole set to return and Jeff Locke all but assured a roster spot, it’s audition time for Worley and his teammate Brandon Crumpton. Worley looked good on Thursday, but it was against the Mets. Crumpton gets his shot Friday (today). If he matches Worley it could be a coin flip on who keeps their spot.
Steve Pearce: Normally I would say grab the hot bat and ride it, and I can not fault anyone who is currently doing just that, but I can’t in good conscience recommend picking up Pearce. I realize he is hitting .331, but the career .252 hitter has a 21.7% strikeout rate and a ridiculous .391 BABIP. A major correction is coming and the bottom can drop out at any time. I would rather gamble on another player, but that’s me.
Players being dropped that you may want to scoop up.
Jaime Garcia: It’s always risky picking up a DL stash with shoulder issues, and this isn’t the first time Jaime has had problems. Still, when healthy, Garcia can be a nice stable arm to have. With many of the early injured players back or returning and DL spots starting to free up, Garcia would make a nice stash for the second half and your potential playoff run.
Angel Pagan: The guy is hitting .300 with 11 stolen bases and yet owners are dropping him. Before the injury, Pagan was on pace to match his 2012 totals. A player that can steal 30 bases, score 90 runs and hit in the .290 range is not someone you want to drop, especially if you play 4 or more outfielders. If someone was foolish enough to drop Pagan and your fourth outfielder is lacking, take advantage of their mistake.
Josh Willingham: 7 home runs in just over 100 at bats, what more do you want? We know he won’t hit much more (or much less) than .250, but Willingham has power. He hit 35 long balls in 2012 and 29 the previous season. Considering some of the dead weight some teams are carrying in the outfield, why Willingham is being dropped is a mystery. I understand the frustration when he hits a cold streak, but you bench him for those…not drop him.