StrategyAugust 31, 2011


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Wide World of Waivers: Dayan Hits Hot Like Fire

By R.J. White

People have been clamoring for Dayan Viciedo to be called up all season. After all, he managed to hit .308 with five HRs in 104 at-bats last year (great numbers if you ignore the 25:2 K:BB ratio). He was hitting .296 with 20 HRs in 505 at-bats upon his promotion (including a much better K:BB ratio), so it’s clear he’s capable of helping fantasy lineups. He celebrated the promotion with a 2-for-3 effort and a HR in his first game. After another 2-for-3 day and a 1-for-3 performance, he’s 5-for-9 with just one K and two BBs in his first three games. Small sample size, I know, but Viciedo flashes fantasy potential you can’t find anywhere at this point of the season. Grab him before the other owners in your league wise up.

Other 3B adds: Mike Moustakas, Scott Sizemore, Jack Hannahan, Jimmy Paredes.

First Base

What’s gotten into James Loney? Not known for power (or even a good average these days), the Dodger first baseman went on a tear over the last 10 days, picking up 18 hits and four HRs in his last nine games. He had a .254/.305/.327 line on August 20, and it’s risen to .273/.322/.378 heading into Wednesday’s action. I grabbed him midway through the streak to act as my utility player until he cools off (which, granted, could be any day now).

Other adds: Paul Goldschmidt, Lucas Duda, Brandon Allen.

Second Base

Jemile Weeks gave teams a nice steals boost last week, stealing five bases in three games. With 19 SBs and a .297 average in 300 at-bats, Weeks has done more good than harm to fantasy teams this year, even though he offers nothing in the power department. Normally a better hitter at home, Weeks has raised his average 13 points since the second game of his current road trip. He should be added by the owners getting nothing from Gordon Beckham and Ty Wigginton, at least.

Other adds: Orlando Hudson, Jose Altuve, Allen Craig, Scott Sizemore.

Shortstop

Jed Lowrie exploded in April, hitting .368 with three HRs in 68 at-bats. With the underwhelming Marco Scutaro battling him for playing time, it appeared Lowrie could be on the verge of a big season. After a mediocre May, Lowrie wound up on the DL for a few months. He’s back now, and while he isn’t hitting up to his April level, he’s 14-for-44 over the last two weeks. We haven’t seen any semblance of power, but if that eventually comes around he’ll be worth owning again. Other than Lowrie, SS is looking pretty grim anyway.

Other adds: Darwin Barney, Cliff Pennington, Justin Sellers.

Catcher

Most people are like Lowrie and struggle when returning from an extended DL stint. Not Nick Hundley. The Padre catcher has a .396/.439/.774 line since coming back on August 12, and while he’s cooled down a little over the last week, he’s still worth owning in more than 12 percent of leagues. I’ve had him as a second catcher this year, and I’ll vouch for him playing better than you’d expect.

Other adds: J.P. Arencibia, Carlos Ruiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Miguel Olivo.

Outfield

Lightning round: Peter Bourjos is still available in too many leagues. If he continues his hot August into September, he has a shot at a 15/25 season. Nyjer Morgan has figured out how to steal bases again (three in his last seven games), and he’s still hitting .311 this year. Not much more can be said about Mike Trout, but his bat is still saying plenty. He has three HRs in his last two games, and since he’s likely up for the long haul, he needs to be added immediately. I’m not positive, but Alejandro De Aza may have found the mojo of Alex Rios circa 2009.

Starting Pitcher

Javier Vazquez rediscovered the magic, probably right after you dropped him. He has seven straight quality starts, though Tuesday’s win was his first in six games. He’s striking out batters in bunches while limiting walks and hits — who is this guy? He has 40 Ks in 40 IP over the last month along with a 2.48 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. Those are Zach Greinke type numbers (minus the wins, of course; we’re talking about the Marlins). He’s available in five out of nine leagues, but that number is shrinking by the day.

Other adds: Erik Bedard, Josh Collmenter, Jake Peavy, Rich Harden, Brandon McCarthy, Chris Capuano, Homer Bailey, Bruce Chen, Randy Wells, Luke Hochevar.

Relief Pitcher

Yeah, Javy Guerra is still closing and still available in many of your leagues. So’s Mark Melancon. Frank Francisco has staved off the impending blowup since inheriting the closer role, but he’s notched just one save. Stick with him. The add of the week may be Rafael Betancourt, who’s been so dominant with Huston Street out that the Rockies may continue to give him saves throughout September. With his 63:8 K:BB ratio this year, can you blame them?

 
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
 
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