We are real close to the All Star Game which will give some players who are not in the game, some time to rest and get ready for the second half of the season. If you are going through a period where you are losing players to injuries, so don’t give up, injuries are part of the game. Don’t give up hope if you are like me and losing the leaders to your starting pitching staff there is still time. Choose a player from the waiver wire now. Remember more players will be available soon, called up from the minors to join the major league team. Take action, take a chance, you can always drop the player but you can even get a gem that will surprise you.
This week I share part of Waiver Wired Bauer Power by D.J. Short of Rotoworld.com
You will also see this weeks headline and injury news.
With most of these service time concerns in the rear-view mirror, we should see a wave of prospects make their way to the majors in the coming days, weeks and months. That’s really good news for fantasy owners. Tyler Skaggs, Danny Hultzen, Matt Harvey, Wil Myers, Mike Olt, Jake Odorizzi, Ryan Wheeler and Jedd Gyorko are among the names I have my eye on for the second half.
Bobby Parnell RP, Mets
After Frank Francisco landed on the disabled list on Sunday with an oblique strain, Mets manager Terry Collins wasted no time by naming Parnell as his replacement at closer. You may remember that Parnell auditioned for the job after the All-Star break last year and fell flat on his face, but given the underwhelming alternatives in a pretty terrible bullpen, he should have a pretty lengthy leash in the interim. The hard-throwing right-hander has a 3.19 ERA and 31/8 K/BB ratio over 31 innings this season and deserves to be owned in most formats.
Trevor Bauer SP, Diamondbacks
This should be fun. After months of anticipation, Bauer is scheduled to make his major league debut Thursday against the Braves. I have some concerns about his control (4.6 BB/9), but the 21-year-old right-hander has been unhittable in the minors this season, posting a 2.23 ERA and 116 strikeouts over 93 innings between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno. And while it’s a rough development for the Diamondbacks
Stephen Drew SS, Diamondbacks
After missing more than 11 months following right ankle surgery, Drew finally returned to the Diamondbacks’ lineup on Wednesday night, finishing 1-for-4 with a strikeout. Happy now, Ken Kendrick? The 29-year-old shortstop is expected to get regular rest over the first couple of weeks, so fantasy owners will have to be patient initially, but he could prove to be a savvy addition if he feels comfortable and shakes the rust at the plate. And let’s be real here, it won’t take much for Drew to be relevant at the shortstop position.
Bud Norris SP, Astros
It seems some fantasy owners dumped Norris on the waiver wire after he was placed on the disabled list earlier this month with a left knee sprain. The 27-year-old right-hander is scheduled to return to the Astros’ rotation Friday against the Cubs, so there’s no better time than now to rectify that. While Norris has a 4.81 ERA on the year, he still has an impressive 81/28 K/BB ratio over 73 innings and has allowed three runs or less in nine out of his 13 starts. He should be useful in all formats the rest of the way.
Luke Scott OF/1B, Rays
Another player who has fallen off the fantasy radar due to injury, Scott is on track to return from the disabled list Thursday. The 34-year-old struggled after getting off to a great start in April, but he still has nine homers and 35 RBI in just 177 at-bats. With Matt Joyce on the disabled list and Hideki Matsui scuffling, Scott shouldn’t have any trouble finding regular at-bats in the short-term. I prefer him as a plug-and-play option against right-handed starters, but his pop and multi-position gives him plenty of appeal outside of shallow leagues.
Wilson Betemit 1B/3B/OF, Orioles
No, Betemit is not going to save your fantasy team, but he can still be useful in deeper leagues. Thanks to a red-hot June, the 30-year-old is hitting .265 with 10 homers and 30 RBI over his first 200 at-bats this season. He’s currently riding a seven-game hitting streak which has helped raise his batting average by 30 points. Betemit has been awful against left-handed pitching for two years running, so he’s best utilized in a daily format, but his multi-position eligibility should come in handy.
Franklin Gutierrez OF, Mariners
After missing the first two months of the season due to a torn pectoral and plantar fasciitis in his right heel, Gutierrez is hitting .256 (11-for-43) with two homers, two doubles and nine RBI over his first 12 games. It’s a good sign for the 28-year-old center fielder, who had just one home run in 322 at-bats last season while playing through a stomach ailment and an oblique injury. Keep in mind that Gutierrez is a .256 career hitter and has an underwhelming 6.6 percent career walk rate, so the upside is limited, but he has shown an ability to reach double-digits in homers and steals in the past. He’s worth considering in five-outfielder formats.
Marco Estrada SP/RP, Brewers
One week after mentioning Estrada under my NL-only recommendations, I’m ready to give him a shot on the mixed league side. I mean, why the heck not? In his return from the disabled list Tuesday against the Reds, the 28-year-old right-hander struck out a career-high 12 batters while allowing three runs over six innings. While Estrada doesn’t have overpowering stuff, you might be surprised to learn that he has 166 strikeouts over 166 innings in the big leagues. With Chris Narveson done for the season and Shaun Marcum nursing an elbow issue, he should continue to get chances in the Brewers’ rotation.
Andrew Cashner RP, Padres
The Padres sent Cashner down to the minor earlier this month to stretch him out as a starting pitcher. So far, so good. After posting an outstanding 1.88 ERA and 22/3 K/BB in 14 1/3 innings over three starts with Double-A San Antonio, the 25-year-old right-hander will be recalled to start Thursday against the Astros. I have some concerns about his control and his ability to hold up as a starter after a scare with his shoulder last season, but those in deeper leagues can afford to take a flier on his swing-and-miss stuff. Making half of his starts in the spacious PETCO Park will allow him to get away with some mistakes.
Luke Hochevar SP, Royals
Many bought in on Hochevar as draft day sleeper this spring following his strong second half last year, but he really burned fantasy owners by posting a 9.00 ERA over his first six starts. However, the 2006 No. 1 overall pick has turned things around quite nicely of late, compiling a solid 3.20 ERA and 50/16 K/BB ratio over his last nine starts. This includes his current streak of 16 2/3 scoreless innings. Could Hochevar make us all look silly again? I certainly wouldn’t put it past him. But those in deeper formats can afford to ride the wave and see where it takes them.
Ruben Tejada SS/2B, Mets
While his recovery from a quad strain took a bit longer than originally anticipated, Tejada finally returned from the disabled list on Sunday. The 22-year-old hasn’t shown any signs of rust thus far, collecting five hits in 18 at-bats over his first four games. There isn’t a ton of upside with Tejada at the moment since he doesn’t have much power and isn’t active on the basepaths, but he has a knack for making contact and gets on base at a solid clip. He should continue to bat near the top of the Mets’ lineup, so there’s value here. However, I like him best in leagues which use on-base percentage or where you can plug him in at a MI (middle infielder) spot.
Rex Brothers RP, Rockies
Brothers has been excellent since returning from the minors earlier this month, allowing only two runs (one earned) over 11 2/3 innings while striking out 19 and walking just three. The 24-year-old left-hander was mentioned as a possible sleeper for saves coming into the season and while his early struggles resulted in a demotion, he is now firmly back on the radar.
Eric Young, Jr. 2B/OF, Rockies
Despite starting only nine games and logging just 84 plate appearances this season, Young already has 10 stolen bases. He stole 27 bases last year, despite starting just 37 games and logging just 229 plate appearances. You get the drill. The speedy 27-year-old has a knack for making the most out of limited opportunities on the basepaths. The Rockies haven’t given him a chance at second base yet this season, but one wonders if he could be worked into the mix with Marco Scutaro, Jonathan Herrera and Chris Nelson now that Troy Tulowitzki will likely be out until mid-August at the earliest. Just something to think about.
Tyler Skaggs SP, Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks plan to move Josh Collmenter back into the starting rotation now that Daniel Hudson and Joe Saunders are both on the disabled list. Collmenter is probably already gone in most competitive NL-only leagues, so I’m willing to look ahead a little bit. Skaggs was ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the game by Baseball America coming into the season and has a solid 2.84 ERA and 71/21 K/BB ratio over 13 starts with Double-A Mobile. We probably won’t see him prior to the All-Star break, but it shouldn’t be much longer before he joins Trevor Bauer in the Diamondbacks’ rotation.
Headlines of the week
Jacob Ellsbury OF BOS should be returning to the lineup soon.
Victor Martinez C 1B DET could return in mid-to-late September
Andy Pettitte He broke his ankle this week and was place on the 60-day DL
Daniel Hudson P ARZ: will need Tommy John surgery out for the season.
Matt Kemp OF LA Dodgers will begin rehab and should return July 13, the first game after the All-Star break.
CC Sabathia P NY placed on disabled last.
Josh Beckett P Red Sox is pitching again, back from the disabled list, which should help the Red Sox.
Aaron Hill 2B Arizona Diamondbacks hit for the cycle on 6/29 going 4-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB, and 2 runs 11 days after his first. The only other player to do this was Babe Ruth. Hill’s hitting .302, 11 HRs, 38 RBI, and 7 SBs. He’s one of the best 2B this year. When I had him he didn’t hit a lick. Congratulations Aaron you have earned my trust again.
Trevor Bauer P ARZ is now in the Major Leagues, called up from the minors.
Chase Utley 2B Phillies is playing baseball again.
The Dodgers signed Cuban outfielder Yasel Puig to a seven-year, $42 million contract
Ryan Howard 1B PHIis playing baseball again in his first rehab game with Class A Lakewood …
Jose Bautista has been hot. He hit his 26th home run of the season, 14 in the month of May.
Felix Hernandez tied his career-high with 13 strikeouts in a complete game shutout over the Red Sox.
Jim Thome was traded from the Phillies to the Orioles
R.A. Dickey SP. Mets Dickey improved his record to 12-1, lowered his ERA to 2.15 pitching 8 innings of shutout ball against the Dodgers
Visit again for baseball news, tidbits, waiver wire suggestions and articles that I am reading. I will share with you so you can achieve your goal of achieving the playoffs, and be 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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