Working The Waiver Wire: May 12th
Injuries, unexpected struggles, and just plain suckiness continue on a lot of our teams this fantasy baseball season. Feel like you need some changes? Let’s check out some hitters, starting pitchers, and closers that could possibly help you out.
Derek Dietrich, 2B, Cincinnati Reds. Never a candidate for a batting title, but Dietrich does have some nice pop in his bat with 10 home runs so far this year. He could lose some time whenever Scooter Gennett returns from injury, but we are at least a month away from that so enjoy the power and multi-positional eligibility that Dietrich gives you for as long as it lasts. He isn’t someone that I think will bring you consistent production the entire season, but he is someone that can help you right now.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Seattle Mariners. A former top prospect of the Philadelphia Phillies, Crawford struggled, and struggled, and struggled some more in the Majors. However, Tim Beckham has just plain sucked this season, and Crawford is getting his chance. He was a pick of mine in the Tout Wars Draft and Hold league, so I am happy to see the promotion. He was hitting .319 with three homers, 15 RBIs, and three steals in 31 games at AAA this season.
Jorge Soler, OF, Kansas City Royals. Another guy who isn’t going to threaten to win a batting title, but Soler also has some nice pop in his bat with 10 homers on the year. He is hitting .255 so he isn’t a total drain to your batting average, but home runs is where he will help you the most. Once one of the more feared power hitters in the Minors, Soler’s career has never been what we thought it might be, but if you need an outfielder, Soler isn’t a bad option.
Hunter Pence, OF, Texas Rangers. I want to believe in Pence, but I am still struggling a little to think this is for real. He has been on fire lately with four home runs since May 7th and is hitting .338 on the year. Pence is now 36 and has had some recent injury concerns, but has a fresh start in Texas. The ball flies out of that park even better once it really gets hot so maybe Pence can continue to produce. For me, Pence would be more of an add in larger leagues but if you need outfield help you could look his way and hope.
Jeff McNeil, 3B, New York Mets. McNeil isn’t a power hitter with just two dingers on the year, but if you are in need of a consistent player that can help your batting average, look towards McNeil. He may run into some playing time issues when Jed Lowrie returns from injury, but if the Mets are smart they will bench or release Todd Frazier to allow McNeil to continue to play every day. He is hitting an impressive .360 this year, and in 225 at-bats last year he hit .329 so this is not a fluke. There are some concerns, but I like McNeil’s abilities.
Charlie Tilson, OF, Chicago White Sox. Newly called up from the Minors, Tilson has two steals in three games, and has stolen 40+ in the Minors. Need steals like I do? This is your guy.
Corbin Martin, Houston Astros. I don’t think that he will be a dominant Major League starter, but Martin has been called up to replace Collin McHugh in the Astros rotation. He got off to a great start with two earned runs and nine whiffs in 5.1 innings. In the Minors he only allowed four earned runs in his four starts, and struck out 28 in 24 innings. His 11 walks in that time frame concerns me some, but he walked just one in his Major League debut. I have grabbed Martin in most leagues that I could.
Martin Perez, Minnesota Twins. The Twins pitcher was hit by a line drive on Sunday and wasn’t exactly on his A-gam against the Tigers, but Perez is off to a nice start. Of course he has faced the Tigers, Blue Jays twice, Orioles twice, and Astros, so most are weak offensive teams. Before Sunday’s outing, Perez had allowed just one earned runs in his previous three starts, and he also has 25 strikeouts in his last 20 innings. If Perez is around on your waiver wire he could certainly help you.
Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox. He certainly got off to a rough start, but Giolito has only allowed four earned runs in his last four starts combined, and his strikeout rate is quite impressive with 38 Ks in just 31 innings. A former top prospect of the Washington Nationals, Giolito certainly has the pedigree to be a very good pitcher. He has struggled pretty badly early in his career, but if this is the time he’s going to put it all together, he could continue to pitch very well
Spencer Turnbull, Detroit Tigers. I’m not sure that I expect this to continue all season long, but right now you can’t argue with Turnbull’s success. He hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs since April 11th, and has only allowed four earned runs in his previous five starts combined. He isn’t an elite strikeout pitcher, but he is averaging one an inning so far this year. Turnbull might be on a bad Tigers team, but right now you have to ride the wave while he is hot.
Looking for saves?
Steve Cishek, Chicago Cubs. Pedro Strop is going to be out a few weeks. This might be a committee situation, but I’d put my money on Cishek if needed.
Luke Jackson, Atlanta Braves. I figured it would be A.J. Minter at closer for the Braves when Arodys Vizcaino went down, but Minter was so bad he is now in the Minors. Enter Luke Jackson who has a couple of saves in the last week and has 22 whiffs in 18 innings. He doesn’t get my five star seal of confidence, but maybe three stars.
Mychal Givens, Baltimore Orioles. Givens appeared to be the closer coming into the season for the lowly Orioles, but didn’t have a save until April 24th and was cast aside by many fantasy players. But Givens has three saves already this month and is becoming fantasy relevant again. If you are in serious need of saves, you could do worse than Givens.
Chris Martin, RP, Texas Rangers. I still think that Jose Leclerc gets the job back before too long, but if you are looking for saves right now, might as well shoot for Martin.