StrategyJune 20, 2012

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Wide World of Waivers: A Brave New Shortstop

By R.J. White

This week’s Wide World of Waivers sees Trevor Plouffe, Ryan Cook and Phil Hughes graduate. We’re replacing them with a Braves rookie taking the league by storm, an Oakland ace-in-the-making and a potential new closer in Detroit. See who else made the cut after the jump.

First Base

W11Brett WallaceHOU2/11.18200001
W11Brandon MossOAK8/23.3487510021

The jig is up for Wallace with the return of Carlos Lee to the lineup. After his excellent performance in Week 10, he received just 11 at-bats in four games last week. That means we’re on the hunt for a new waiver first baseman, and that comes in the form of Moss, who was named the AL Player of the Week after smacking five home runs and reaching base 40 percent of the time. Alas, he’s not going to be this good all year, especially when you consider he also fanned 10 times last week, but he’s certainly worth riding while hot. Also take note of Ike Davis, who’s owned in just four out of 10 leagues but has been tons better in June.

1B of the Week: Brandon Moss, OAK

Second Base

W11Trevor PlouffeMIN9/23.391857067
W11Marco ScutaroCOL7/23.305536013

Plouffe qualifies at 2B, 3B, SS and OF, and he was the best pickup by a mile at all those positions last week, as his huge Week 11 line places him as the third best player in the game over the past two weeks. Impressively, he walked five times during Week 11 while only striking out four times. His 14 HRs on the year rightfully have him owned more often than not, so we’re going to shift last week’s SS pick Marco Scutaro over to 2B for our team and look at a couple hot SSs to take Plouffe’s place. Scutaro had his third straight great week, giving him a .350 average in June with an OPS over .900. He’s the Rockies’ starting SS for the foreseeable future, a position with which he’s obviously comfortable.

2B of the Week: Marco Scutaro, COL


W11Zack CozartCIN9/20.450400029
W11Andrelton SimmonsATL9/19.47411204

Cozart has an enviable job as the Reds’ leadoff hitter, and hitting ahead of Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce regularly has earned him 40 runs in 64 games this year. He has decent pop for a SS but hasn’t flashed the 30-SB potential he showed in 2010 during his first Triple-A season. Simmons was supposed to be an all-glove, no-bat shortstop not ready for the bigs after picking up just 200 at-bats above Class-A Advanced ball, but he’s sporting a .345 average with two HRs and a 5/5 K/BB ratio in his first 16 games. Small sample size? Sure, but he did have a 20/20 K/BB ratio in the minors before his call-up, and with his speed, I wouldn’t put it past him to keep his average high. If his 15 percent line drive rate can rise, even better.

SS of the Week: Andrelton Simmons, ATL

Third Base

W11Todd FrazierCIN5/17.29420005
W11Chipper JonesATL4/18.222000033

Frazier is on his way to a part-time role with the return of Scott Rolen, so we’re looking for a 3B replacement for our team this week. A gimpy knee has made Chipper Jones an afterthought in fantasy leagues, leaving him available in two out of every three Y! leagues. He should benefit from DHing this week while he heals, and he had a .307/.377/.485 line when he came off the DL earlier this month. Once he gets back into the groove, he’ll see his ownership numbers jump, so you may want to grab him now, especially if you play in a league with a bench.

3B of the Week: Chipper Jones, ATL


W11Russell MartinNYY1/18.056200034
W11Ryan DoumitMIN5/23.217200027

Martin followed up a big week by going 1-for-18 in Week 11, but oddly, he’s owned in a few more leagues now and ineligible for our consideration. Doumit certainly isn’t setting the league on fire either, but he does have six HRs on the year, showing that he can provide pop from your catcher slot without dealing with the wear-and-tear of being an everyday catcher. Geovany Soto could be another catcher option for your league after hitting a HR in his first game off the DL.

C of the Week: Ryan Doumit, MIN


W11Ben RevereMIN10/30.333205221
W11Norichika AokiMIL6/27.22220205
W11Cody RossBOS0/0.000000024
W11Tony CampanaCHC5/19.263301513

Considering Revere is hitting over .300 and stealing about one base every 11 at-bats, you’d think he’d be owned in more leagues. Sure, his ownership percentage jumped 13 points this past week, but I expect it to keep climbing. He’s an excellent add if you’re looking for SBs. Aoki cooled off after a big Week 10 line and is only an option for deep leagues at this point. Cody Ross missed a month with a fractured foot but returned to a .271 average and eight HRs in 133 at-bats, fine stats for the year. He popped a solo HR in his first game back, picking right up where he left off. Campana is another excellent speed guy that we’ve owned before, and he’s up to 24 SBs this year after his five-steal week. That makes him the MLB leader in that category. Since we already have a speed guy in Revere, let’s add Ross to the team this week, but if owning the MLB steals leader appeals to you, by all means pick Campana up immediately.

OFs of the Week: Ben Revere, MIN and Cody Ross, BOS

Starting Pitcher

W11Phil HughesNYY6.011.501.332941
W11Trevor BauerARI0.000.000.000019
W11Jarrod ParkerOAK7.010.000.571632
W11Alex CobbTB13.213.290.954165

We find Hughes’s ownership rate more than doubled after he picked up a win and a quality start in his fourth consecutive week. He now has 72 Ks in 74 innings and should be worth hanging on to for the time being. Bauer had a rare off-night down in Triple-A. Speaking of Arizona top pitching prospects, Parker used to be the golden boy on the D-Backs farm before being traded to the A’s. He’s had a big problem with walks this year (30 in 60.2 innings), but he’s been able to work around it and keep hitters guessing while posting a 1.91 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP over his last five starts, striking out 28 guys in 33 innings. He was excellent in last week’s start, which came in Colorado, and he’s always worth using at home (1.59 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in Oakland this year). Cobb is coming off a fantastic start against the Marlins where he gave up just two hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings while striking out 10 guys. It was the third time in four starts that he walked just one batter. We’ll cool out on the Bauer hype for now to pick up these two youngsters, but Bauer remains worth a stash on your fantasy bench.

SPs of the Week: Jarrod Parker, OAK and Alex Cobb, TB

Relief Pitcher

W11Ryan CookOAK3.230.000.821645
W11Joaquin BenoitDET3.200.000.541417

Cook has taken the A’s closer job and run with it, putting up three easy saves last week and seeing his ownership numbers climb considerably in the process. He’s still available in many leagues, so be sure to check your wire and add him immediately where available. Tom Wilhelmsen, our previous RP of the Week, remains a great add as well despite being barely ineligible for our column. Benoit is the guy to speculate on this week with Jose Valverde injuring his wrist warming up Tuesday and looking terrible this year anyway. The Tigers’ set-up man could see some saves this week depending on the severity of Valverde’s injury, and his 44/13 K/BB ratio and 1.99 ERA could keep him in the job for the rest of the year should he get enough time to establish himself as a quality closer.

RP of the Week: Joaquin Benoit, DET

R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and has previously written for FanHouse and Razzball. 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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