StrategyApril 15, 2009

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Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers: Week 2

By Tom Huffman

Welcome to Week 2 of Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers. Chris had first crack with last week’s inaugural edition and provided some nice waiver pickups. If you picked up Scot Shields or Fred Lewis, you should be pretty happy right now. If you picked up Jason Kubel or Cody Ross, you might be burning the Union Jack as you are reading this. But don’t worry! It’s a long season and only a week has gone by; there is plenty of time for Kubel and Ross to make amends. Not bad Chris, my expectations for a Mets fan were much lower. So take a week off, get some tea and biscuits, and read up. After a week of Chris’ cream of the crop I present to you Pogo’s prized pickups.

Standard Mixed Leagues

Randy Winn, OF, SF

Owned %344252

Week 1 Stats5413.375.429.625

Every year Winn seems to be on the waiver wire and every year he just keeps putting up good numbers. He is hitting at the top of the Giants’ lineup and if the first week is any indication, manager Bruce Bochy has given him the green light. Winn will produce across the board and has been very durable in his career. The power might be a little low for an OF but the runs and steals will only go up hitting leadoff. He’s not a sexy, high-upside pickup, but rather a solid, overlooked player than helps win fantasy seasons.

Paul Maholm, SP, Pit

Owned %432365

Week 1 Stats13.21431.320.95

Left-handed pitcher with great ratios free to a good home. If you have a tight inning cap and need strikeouts or wins, you might want to pass on Maholm, but anyone that has innings to spare and needs help in ERA or WHIP should pick this guy up. Maholm’s WHIP and K/BB have steadily improved the last two years while his IP have gone up. He’s looked very sharp in his first two starts and if it continues, he won’t be on the waiver wire for long.

AL-Only Leagues

Aaron Hill, 2B, Tor

Owned %191251

Week 1 Stats582.300.313.600

In 2008, many people had big expectations for Hill, a former first-round draft pick. Alas, his season was all but wiped away by a concussion. But 2009 is a new year and Hill is healthy. Hitting second for the Blue Jays, he has started the season with a bang. Hill has more power but not the SB potential you would expect from a middle infielder, so take that into account. If he is still available in your league, go get him because you aren’t going to find another 2B on the waiver wire with his potential.

NL-Only Leagues

Chris Duncan, OF, StL

Owned %4520

Week 1 Stats241.300.440.550

Duncan had spinal disc replacement surgery last year to fix an antagonizing pain in his lower neck. The injury had sapped most of Duncan’s power and threatened to end his career. The day after the surgery, Duncan was in uniform at Busch Stadium and eight months later, he was starting in LF on Opening Day. Duncan isn’t going to win any batting titles but will provide plenty of pop when healthy. LaRussa likes to mix and match and doesn’t play a set lineup, but there is already a pattern developing with the fourth and fifth spots in the Cardinals’ lineup. Duncan has been hitting cleanup with a RHP on the mound, with Ludwick taking that spot when facing a lefty. St. Louis also has been rotating the three OF spots between Ankiel, Duncan, Ludwick, and Rasmus, so Duncan will lose a few AB, but that is not necessarily a bad thing if it keeps the oft-injured Duncan off the DL.

So there you go. Disagree/Agree? Drop a note in the discussion thread. Chris will be back for next week’s Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers with four new waiver pickups and I’m sure a pithy response to my selections. Keep watching that waiver wire!

Tom Huffman is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Tom in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Pogotheostrich.
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