StrategyJuly 1, 2009

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WWW of Waivers: Something Cooking in Colorado

By Chris Routledge

Can you believe we’re into July already?! Seems like only yesterday that the Chris Davis hype was pushing him further and further up the draft lists, that the battle for the Cardinals’ closer spot was between Chris Perez and Jason Motte, and that I picked Torii Hunter as one of my “2 Down” guys in centerfield. Hmm…

That wasn’t such a successful prediction, so let’s see if I can do a little better with four waiver wire selections for you this week. But first, we need to check back on Tom’s selections from last week. I think it’s fair to say that the pitchers (Romero and Correia) far outshone the hitters (Fowler and Valbuena), so we’ll give it a 2/4 week! Here’s a few choice selections for you to chew over this week.

As always, the eligibility cutoffs are 50% Yahoo ownership in mixed leagues and 20% Yahoo ownership in for NL/AL only leagues.

Standard Mixed Leagues

Adam LaRoche, 1B, Pit

 YahooYahoo PlusESPNCBS
% Owned33518265

Week 12 Stats6251.458

ESPN owners seem to be ahead of the game on the older LaRoche brother, who is inexplicably owned in only a third of standard Yahoo leagues and half of Plus leagues. This guy is the epitome of the second-half hitter — in each of the last three years, he has hit better than .300 after the All-Star Break, having hit at best .251 before. This year, he is showing second-half numbers before the All-Star Break. Don’t delay — pick him up today!

Aaron Cook, SP, Col

 YahooYahoo PlusESPNCBS
% Owned32601373

June Stats425-1242.361.12

It’s always a risk when you pick up a Colorado pitcher, but Aaron Cook’s performance over the last month makes the risk justifiable. He has won his last five starts, and whilst it is true that only one of them was at home, two were in AL ballparks against the DH. His ERA and WHIP have been excellent — the only downers are the lack of strikeouts and the five HRs given up over the last month (after he gave up none at all in May). His next three scheduled outings are Arizona and Atlanta at home, followed by a trip to the Padres, none of which are particularly daunting. If you need pitching help, there’s a lot of worse options out there.

AL-Only Leagues

Franklin Gutierrez, OF, Sea

 YahooYahoo PlusESPNCBS
% Owned2539

Week 12 Stats4132.391

When trolling the waiver wire in AL- or NL-only leagues, often we’re just looking for a player who is playing every day and will contribute a little bit here and there. Franklin Gutierrez fits the bill nicely, playing every day for Seattle, stealing the odd base, hitting a bomb now and then, and having the occasional mini hot streak, as he did last week. Defensively solid, we can expect him to remain a regular in the lineup, where he has been batting fifth or sixth recently. Be aware: just as last week was a hot streak, so too will he have his share of cold streaks as well.

NL-Only Leagues

Willie Harris, 2B/3B/OF, Was

 YahooYahoo PlusESPNCBS
% Owned2512

Week 12 Stats4242.348

The Nationals seem to have found themselves a new lead-off hitter by the name of Willie Harris. He would appear to be cementing his place in the OF, having started every game since June 12th, adding three HRs and four SBs during that time. Much like Gutierrez, he is a player who adds a little bit here and there when he has the playing time, as he does now. And much like Gutierrez in the AL, that gives Harris value in NL-only leagues, especially when you consider his multi-position eligibility.

And so another WWWW column comes to a close, as the season reaches its halfway point. Not too long to go before leagues start reaching their trade deadlines, which will mean that it’s even more important to keep watching those waivers!

Chris Routledge is in a bit of a hole in the H2HWS, currently clinging onto the final playoff spot. Could this be the year when the trophy finally leaves London? Time will tell... Catch up with him in the Cafe under the username chris8.
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