The fantasy baseball season is rolling along. We are no longer near the beginning of the season; however, we are far from the end. There is plenty of time to make a move in your league. Some players who have been in slumps struggling, to play like the studs that they are, such as Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, Justin Upton, and Brandon Phillips to name a few can and should turn it around. They make great buy-low targets. If you have injured players, like I do, they will come back and can make an impact on your team to move you closer to getting to the playoffs and ultimately winning your league.
I share with you part of D.J. Short article from Rotoworld.com Waiver Wired Dandy Andy
Perhaps you’ve been burned by some combination of injuries, underperforming veterans and sleepers who turned out to be duds. You’re not alone there. And stop feeling sorry for yourself. Weird things happen in this game we all love, so there’s still plenty of time to turn things around. Scouring the waiver wire is a pretty good way to get started.
Waiver Wire Pickups
Felipe Paulino RP/SP, Royals
I was one of those folks who thought Paulino was headed for a breakthrough season in 2010 with the Astros. Better late than never, I suppose. Since missing the first month of the season with a strained right forearm, Paulino has a microscopic 1.42 ERA and 29/7 K/BB ratio in 25 1/3 innings. Three of his four starts have been scoreless, including two against the Yankees. His hot start isn’t coming completely out of nowhere either, as the 28-year-old right-hander had an intriguing 4.11 ERA and 119/48 K/BB ratio in 124 2/3 innings with the Royals after being acquired from the Rockies last May. He’s worth a look outside of shallow mixed leagues.
Anthony Bass SP/RP, Padres
I keep waiting for the bloom to come off the rose with Bass, but it just hasn’t happened yet. And perhaps it won’t. The 24-year-old right-hander has a fantastic 2.89 ERA and 51/18 K/BB ratio over 53 innings this season, including a 2.94 ERA in eight starts. It’s a small sample, sure, but Bass has evolved quite a bit from the pitcher we saw down the stretch last year. His walk and ground ball rates have both improved while his swinging strike rate is currently among the league leaders. And his success isn’t just a product of PETCO Park either, as he has a 3.09 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances at home compared to a 2.57 ERA in three starts on the road. Judging by his ownership percentage, it seems his hot start is still flying under the radar. It probably won’t for much longer.
Matt Adams 1B, Cardinals
Adams was tabbed as the Cardinals’ “first baseman of the future” as soon as Albert Pujols signed with the Angels last December, but he wasn’t expected to arrive this soon. Of course, Lance Berkman’s knee injury has changed that. The full extent of Berkman’s injury isn’t yet known — we should know more after he undergoes exploratory surgery on Friday — but Adams should get a pretty solid shake at the first base job, at least until Allen Craig returns from a hamstring injury. The 23-year-old isn’t known for his patience, but he should be able to hit for average and power right away. Give him a try in deeper mixed leagues.
Andy Pettitte SP, Yankees
Why did Pettitte take a year off again? In his first three starts back with the Yankees, the 39-year-old southpaw owns an impressive 2.53 ERA and 19/5 K/BB ratio over 21 1/3 innings. This includes back-to-back starts with at least eight strikeouts. He hasn’t done that since 2006. I don’t expect Pettitte to maintain his current ERA — heck, even matching his 3.28 ERA from 2010 is asking a little much — but he hasn’t missed a beat thus far and there’s enough talent in the Yankees’ offense to put him in line for plenty of wins. He should be relevant in most mixed leagues moving forward.
Sean Rodriguez 2B/3B/SS, Rays
After batting just .190 in April, Rodriguez is hitting .296 (21-for-71) with three homers, four doubles, nine RBI and an .803 OPS over 22 games in May. While he’s still not a strong bet to hit for a high batting average, he has at least seen moderate improvements with his contact and strikeout rates so far this season. His power-speed combo and multi-position eligibility makes him a pretty handy option in deeper mixed leagues, especially if he can be used at a MI (middle infielder) spot.
Ernesto Frieri RP, Angels ******* My pick up of the week*********
Thanks to a shrewd deal by GM Jerry Dipoto, the Angels may have found their solution for the closer role. Frieri has yet to allow a hit since being acquired from the Padres last month, posting an 18/6 K/BB ratio over 8 2/3 scoreless innings. He notched his first career save Wednesday by striking out the side in an extra-inning win over the Athletics. Scott Downs is still the designated option for the ninth inning at the moment, but I give Frieri the edge in the long-term since he’s right-handed and has the swing-and-miss stuff we’re used to seeing from a closer-type. Stash now and reap the benefits later.
Coco Crisp OF, Athletics
Crisp just returned from an inner ear infection and is only hitting .175/.233/.188 through 86 plate appearances this year, but those are hardly reasons to ignore him in mixed leagues. We’re talking about a guy who tied Brett Gardner for the American League lead with 49 stolen bases last year and has eight homers in each of the past two seasons. Sure, Crisp will probably end up on the disabled list again at some point and it would be nice if he got on base more often, but there’s no reason why he should be owned in so few leagues right now.
Dayan Viciedo OF, White Sox
Viciedo has shown plenty of power potential in the minors, but he’s had a tough time getting it to translate to major league success. Perhaps that will change soon. After getting off to a miserable start this year, “The Tank” had four home runs and 10 RBI in the space of six games last week. The 23-year-old still owns a woeful 83/14 K/BB ratio over 359 plate appearances in the majors and he has made zero improvement in his approach, so he’s not someone I would trust in shallow mixed leagues, but his power makes him worth a flier in five-outfielder formats.
Tyler Clippard RP, Nationals
Nationals manager Davey Johnson tried to stick it out with Henry Rodriguez as long as possible, but the young fireballer’s constant inability to find the strike zone gave him no other choice but to make a change with the closer role this week. He now plans to use a closer-by-committee approach, at least until Brad Lidge and/or Drew Storen return from the disabled list. Sean Burnett and Craig Stammen should also be in the mix, so feel free to stash in deeper leagues, but Clippard got the first save since Rodriguez’s demotion and owns an outstanding 2.56 ERA dating back to the start of the 2009 season. If you are going to own somebody in this situation, why not get the best one?
Everth Cabrera SS, Padres
We haven’t heard much from Cabrera since he stole 25 bases as a 22-year-old back in 2009, but he’s back on the fantasy radar now that the Padres have begun a youth movement with their middle infield. While the speedy shortstop got off to a bit of a rough start by going hitless over his first 19 at-bats since his promotion last week, he finally got off the schneid Wednesday night against the Cardinals by going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Any power would be a bonus, but Cabrera packs plenty of patience and has already proven that he can rack up a bunch of stolen bases if given the green light. There’s a chance Jason Bartlett won’t have his starting job when he is ready to return from the disabled list, so Cabrera makes for a pretty intriguing MI (middle infielder) option in deeper mixed leagues.
Will Venable OF, Padres
Fresh off going 3-for-5 with a homer and a double Wednesday night against the Cardinals, Venable isn’t straying too far from what we’ve seen from him in the past. Namely that he’s a completely different player away from PETCO Park. The 29-year-old outfielder owns a .223/.301/.371 career batting line and a.672 OPS at home compared to a .280/.343/.451 career batting line and a .794 OPS on the road. The Padres still have seven games left on their current 10-game road trip — four against the Mets and three against the Cubs — so he’s a fine short-term pick up in deeper formats. I would hesitate starting him against left-handed pitchers (.548 career OPS), so he is best utilized in a daily league.
Jerome Williams SP, Angels
Eight appearances into the 2012 season, Williams has shown that his surprising performance down the stretch last season wasn’t necessarily a fluke. The 30-year-old right-hander has a 3.74 ERA and 33/16 K/BB ratio in 53 innings and has allowed two runs or less in five out of his last six appearances. While Williams isn’t going to help much in the strikeout department, he throws strikes and keeps the ball on the ground for the most part. He’s a strong streaming option this weekend against the Mariners, who are hitting just .201/.284/.319 with a .604 OPS at home this season.
Josh Bell 3B, Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks surprised many earlier this week by designating Cody Ransom for assignment and installing Bell as the regular third baseman while pushing Ryan Roberts into a utility infield role. Bell, now 25, tore up the Pacific Coast League after coming over from the Orioles last month, but he owns a measly .203 batting average and an 81/6 K/BB ratio over 233 plate appearances in the majors. I’m very skeptical about how long this arrangement will last, but Bell should be owned as long as he’s getting regular playing time.
Steve Clevenger C, Cubs
I first recommended Clevenger about a month ago, just days before he landed on the disabled list with an oblique strain. Sorry about that. The good news is that he’s nearing the end of his rehab assignment and shouldn’t have much of a problem getting the lion’s share of at-bats at catcher with Geovany Soto and Welington Castillo both on the disabled list. Clevenger was 11-for-22 (.500) before the injury and owns a solid .308/.369/.421 batting line over parts of seven seasons in the minors. About time he gets a look.
Orlando Hudson 2B, White Sox
Hudson got the boot from the Padres last week after hitting just .211/.260/.317 over his first 131 plate appearances this season, but it didn’t take him long to find a new opportunity. The 34-year-old signed a one-year deal with the White Sox this week and should get most of the playing time at third base while Brent Morel is on the disabled list with a back injury. Yes, third base. Morel has been absolutely dreadful this season, so there’s a chance Hudson could take the job if he gets off to a hot start. His modest speed and pending multi-position eligibility makes him worth a look.
Nick Johnson 1B, Orioles ******* My second pick up of the week*********
Look who has finally shaken the rust. Since starting the season with an 0-for-28 hitless streak, Johnson is batting .371 (13-for-35) with four homers, four doubles seven walks and 11 RBI. This includes his two-homer game against the Red Sox on Wednesday. Sure it’s a very small sample and the 33-year-old can’t be relied on for sustained success given his lengthy injury history, but he deserves a longer look out of the DH spot right now.
Yan Gomes 3B/C, Blue Jays
Called up when Adam Lind was demoted to the minors last week, Gomes has embraced his first taste of the majors by hitting .294 (5-for-17) with two homers and five RBI in six games. The 24-year-old Brazilian native was hitting .359/.391/.565 with five homers and a .956 OPS over his first 33 games with Triple-A Las Vegas this year, well above the production he has shown in the past. Of course, that’s not unusual for someone hitting in the Pacific Coast League. The Jays think they’ll have enough at-bats available between third base, first base, DH and catcher to keep him on the roster, so he’s worth watching as a utility type. I like him best in leagues where he qualifies at catcher.
Hector Noesi SP/RP, Mariners
I gambled and lost by recommending Noesi as a “Suitable Streamer” against the White Sox back on April 20, but I still like him an awful lot. While the 24-year-old right-hander owns an ugly 5.26 ERA through nine starts this year, he has a solid 1.19 WHIP and has allowed three runs over less in four out of his last five starts. Noesi has enjoyed most of his success at home this year (3.70 ERA in four starts at Safeco Field, 6.67 ERA in five starts away), which doesn’t come as a big surprise given his fly ball tendencies. Give him a shot at home this weekend against the Angels.
I recommend the following waiver wire pick ups this week if available
Ernesto Frieri RP Angels Ernesto has the electric stuff and I believe he will take over the closer role with time. He has an incredible strikeout ratio 16.38 K/9. If he continues these numbers he can help any team.
Trevor Bauer RP Arizona Trevor is the data base now if any starter get hurt he should get the call up from the minors. It is possible another pitcher will get traded and create an opening. He should be up before the All Start break and he can help your team. I am unable to pick him up, my husband already has him sitting on his bench.
For some more possible waiver wire pickups I share with you Bleacher Report, http://bleacherreport.com/mlb take a look at their waiver wire pick ups here:
As the 2012 season continues I will be discussing events of the week (tidbits), injury news, waiver wire possibilities, and sharing with you articles that I am reading that will help you achieve your goal of reaching the playoffs, and achieving the goal of being the 2012 Fantasy Baseball champion of your league! Post your comments questions and feel free to e-mail me any time at BonnieGortler@gmail.com.
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