Each week I will dig through the f/a pool to find the best potential free agents on waivers (under 50% ownership on ESPN and Yahoo). Some are good for a quick boost, others could be good long-term additions, and there will be a few speculative adds thrown in there as well. And just like in years past, I will be tracking previously recommended players and if they are still worthy of a roster spot. Now on to what you came here for.
- Didi Gregorius (SS)
Gregorius is scheduled to return from the IL (elbow) next week according to Yankees manager, Aaron Boone. They might ease him into the lineup since he’s coming off the IL and everyone currently playing the infield for the Yankees (Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, and Gio Urshela) is playing well. Gregorius averaged 141 games from 2016-18. During that time he averaged 24 home runs and a .277 average. If the Yankees do ease him in, I doubt it will take long for him to regain his every day role. THE BAT projects him for 15 home runs, 44 each in runs and RBI, and .280 batting average the rest of the way. He’s currently 46% owned, and if he’s available in your league… he won’t be for much longer.
- Kyle Tucker (OF)
I was 1 for 2 on Kyles last week (continue to Add Gibson and um…, drop Schwarber). Kyle Tucker is 12 for 42 (.286) in his last 10 games with 4 home runs and 4 stolen bases for AAA Round Rock. Sure, he struggled in his 28 games in the bigs last year, but with George Springer on the IL, the Astros are trotting Jake Marisnick out to the outfield most every day, and lately (see the Drop section below) he’s been performing as poorly as Tucker did during his 2018 call up. If you have room to stash him, get him on your roster.
- Niko Goodrum (1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF)
Full disclosure: I’m a Tigers fan. But for the love of all things baseball, if Jurickson Profar is 45% owned, Niko Goodrum deserves his ownership (22%) doubled. Profar is slashing .195/.262/.366 this year with 9 home runs and one steal. Sure, it took Goodrum being out of his mind in his last 7 games (.355/.394/.774 with 3 home runs and 4 steals) to get him there, but on the season he has Profar beat everywhere but home runs and RBI. Goodrum is slashing .234/.320/.411 with 6 HR and 4 SB. And he’s eligible at one more position (OF) than Profar. If you need someone with position flexibility and a little bit of pop and speed, go get Goodrum.
- Griffin Canning (SP)
Ok people, it’s time to go pick up Griffin Canning. After this weekend he is 2 and 1 on the season with a 3.06 ERA and a .96 WHIP. The peripherals are at odds telling Canning’s story: a .203 BABIP, 4.39 FIP, and 4.40 xFIP indicate the ERA and WHIP are a mirage, but his excellent 26.4 K% and 9.46 K/9 and above average BB% and BB/9 point to this small sample being sustainable. I say let’s trust what he’s doing until he’s not doing it anymore – then re-evaluate.
- Nick Pivetta (SP)
I was as high on Pivetta coming into this year as most of the industry was. It didn’t take him long to prove us all wrong. But I’ll be danged if a stint back in the minors doesn’t seem to have cured what ailed him. In his last two games (which happened to be against quality opponents – Cardinals and Dodgers) he has thrown 11 innings and given up 3 earned runs. He struck out 15 and only walked 2. This is the Pivetta we were expecting back in February when we were pumping all that helium into his balloon. Though it was a no-decision, the game against the Dodgers Sunday (6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, and 9 K) was a particularly satisfying outing for those of us who believed and will surely be noticed by the rest of your league. Go get him before they do.
No one graduated this week.
Continue to ADD
- Willie Calhoun is due to return from the IL this week.I don’t see any developments with the Rangers lineup or his injury to concern me about continuing to add him.
- Keston Hiura is up to 43% owned and he has another week like he just had, you might not have another chance to get him. He slashed .320/370/.720 in his last 7 games with 3 home runs, 7 RBI, and 5 runs. Get him while you can.
- Oscar Mercado hit a home run and stole his first 2 bases of the year this week. He’s been batting in the two hole for the Indians since he missed a couple days last week with a hip injury. He’s doing what we need him to do so let’s keep adding him.
- Kyle Gibson beat the Rays Saturday. He threw 5 innings of 6 hit and 1 walk ball with just 3 Ks but he didn’t give up any earned runs. The Twins keep scoring runs for him and he keeps limiting the damage from the other team. So we should keep adding him if we are looking for steady pitching.
- Clint Frazier hasn’t worked his way back to the top of the Yankees lineup yet, but he soon will if he has another week like he did his last 7 games. He slashed .304/.429/.522 with a home run and a stolen base. Get him while you still can.
- Bryan (Deadpool) Reynolds go on with your bad self!.408/.482/.653 in his last 15 games with 2 home runs, 9 RBI, and 14 runs. Continue to add.
HOLD (not good enough to add but maybe too good to drop)
- Alex Verdugo hit for a better average this week (.312) but only had 19 at bats. That average was all but empty. He only filled it with four RBI and scored 0 runs and hit 0 home runs. If all you need is help with batting average, go ahead and hold on to him. If not, there’s probably someone who could help you more in a category in which you actually need help.
- Randall Grichuk is singing’ that same old Randall Grichuk song. I can’t keep in him in the continue to add category after another home run and sub .200 batting average this week. If you need the home runs, I still believe they’re coming. But holding on to him through this cold streak will be difficult if you need to stay where you are in the batting average category.
- Gregory Polanco is cooling off. No home runs in his last 7 games with a .167/.231/.167 slash line. I know, I know, I know…I’ve been telling you for weeks to add him. But he’s been one step forward and two steps back these last couple weeks. I’m holding on him now.
- Brendan Rodgers has yet to hit a home run or steal base since his call up.He’s still seeing regular playing time, but he’s struggled in his last 7 games (.211/.318/.263). Meanwhile, Ryan McMahon is on another hot streak, and, as I mentioned last week Daniel Murphy is starting to be Daniel Murphy again (.321/.390/.491 in his last 15 games). I smell trouble for Rodgers if he continues his current slide.
- If Christian Walker has another week like he’s had these last seven days, he’ll be back up in the Continue to Add section of this column next week. I believe in him, but he’s going to be streaky as evidenced by his .120 batting average and 0 home runs two weeks ago and his .296 batting average and 2 home runs this past week. If you’ve held on to him through this last slump, stick with him and hope this is more than a week long hot streak.
- Yordan Alvarez is 7 for his last 38 (.184) in AAA in his last 10 games with 1 home run and 1 stolen base. Kyle Tucker has stayed hot. If the Astros are going to call up anyone in the near future, it’s going to be Tucker. I believe it’s time to let Alvarez go.
- Nicky Lopez looked like he was heading for a cliff last week and instead of doing anything to avoid it, he put the pedal to the metal Thelma and Louise style. .206/.265/.270 in his last 15 games isn’t going to keep him at the top of the Kansas City order for long. And if he loses that spot there’s no reason to hold on to him.
- I’m sorry. I have a soft spot for Kyle Schwarber. I need to keep my soft spots to myself. Schwarber was horrible last week and you should proceed accordingly.
- Jake Marisnick has taken a turn for the worse. I don’t have a soft spot for him, but everything else I wrote above about Schwarber applies.
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