StrategyJuly 5, 2012

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Wide World of Waivers: SD Hitters and MIL Pitchers

By R.J. White

We’re tapping into San Diego for hitting this week oddly enough, and we’ll look at a couple Brewer starting pitchers that have been money this year but are fighting to stay in the rotation.

First Base

W13Brandon MossOAK3/13.23111107
W13Garrett JonesPIT5/20.250513011

Moss didn’t play Friday or Saturday, depressing his overall numbers last week, but he did hit a homer Sunday and followed it up with another on Monday. Add in one Wednesday and he now has 10 HRs in just 75 at-bats, an average of one per 7.5 at-bats. For comparison, home run-leader Jose Bautista has hit one per 11 at-bats roughly. Moss is still quite a ways from the 300 PA-level Jonah Keri said was needed before you could trust home run stats, but it’s still pretty puzzling that Moss is available in so many leagues. Jones has ripped five homers over his last 13 games, giving him 12 bombs on the year to go with a solid .275 average. He also had three straight multi-hit games this week. Still, we’re going to stick with Moss’s power potential this week.

1B of the Week: Brandon Moss, OAK

Second Base

W13Marco ScutaroCOL8/23.348304035
W13Alex AmaristaSD7/17.41253807

Scutaro has climbed over our 33-percent cutoff mark with another quality week, so we’re searching for a new recommendation at second base. Scutaro’s hit over .300 in five of the last six weeks, so he’s definitely a keeper if you already have him or can get him. Amarista has forced us to take notice by launching some homers on the Padres’ current road trip. He’s hitting .312 in Petco this year, but one has to think that he’ll be a fantasy wasteland at home. Nothing in his minor-league stats suggest he’s going to keep this up, though he could provide a little SB help for your fantasy team in the long run despite having just one swipe to date. Let’s add him for now and see how long he keeps this up.

2B of the Week: Alex Amarista, SD


W13Andrelton SimmonsATL8/23.34851408
W13Everth CabreraSD2/16.12510117

Simmons saw his ownership rise a little bit with another solid week. He’s hitting .311 over 103 at-bats so far and seemingly has locked up the Braves’ starting shortstop gig for the next several years, so dynasty leaguers take note. He just stole his first bag this season, so it’s not like you’re getting a five-cat contributor when you own him. In fact, if you need some speed from your SS position, Cabrera is the way to go. He already has three swipes this week to give him 15 on the year in 161 PAs. That’s 50-steal-a-year speed when extrapolated. However, I’m sticking with Simmons on my teams unless I’m desperate for those quality wheels.

SS of the Week: Andrelton Simmons, ATL

Third Base

W13Pedro AlvarezPIT8/27.296329036
W13Chipper JonesATL7/16.438413030

Alvarez has played very well over the last month, boosting him out of our range and forcing us to find another waiver wire add at third. As one of only six 3B-eligible players with 15 HRs, he’s earned a spot on fantasy rosters in most leagues despite his meager ownership numbers. As his replacement in our column, we’re going back to Jones, our 3B before we grabbed Alvarez. He’s already 8-for-13 this week, and he stole his first base of the season as well. Owners in deeper leagues looking for help should add Wilson Betemit, who’s 0-for-11 this week but had hit over .400 in each of his previous three weeks.

3B of the Week: Chipper Jones, ATL


W13Ryan DoumitMIN5/13.385102028
W13Wilin RosarioCOL5/20.250523028
W13Salvador PerezKC6/17.353212020

Doumit has been solid over the last couple weeks, though he hasn’t been playing as much as we would like. The Twins are definitely committed to him after inking him to an extension recently. However, our other option last week, Wilin Rosario, is probably a better bet going forward, considering he has 14 HRs on the year, good for third among catchers behind Jarrod Saltalamacchia and A.J. Pierzynski, two guys whose power is only matched by their Scrabble awesomeness. Rosario’s 50/8 K/BB ratio means you can’t count on him providing anything in the average department, so if that’s where you need help, Perez is the way to go. He hit .331 in his short time in the majors last year but has been on the shelf for most of 2012. He seems to be picking up where he left off, hitting .375 through his first 32 at-bats. Intriguingly, he’s matched his power total from 2011 by hitting three homers already. Could there be some hidden power potential in his game? I’ll give the nod to Rosario for now, but Perez is definitely on all my watch lists.

C of the Week: Wilin Rosario, COL


W13Ben RevereMIN8/23.348101126
W13J.D. MartinezHOU7/25.280315017
W13Justin RuggianoMIA7/14.50020324

Revere continues to hit for a high average and steal bases while not striking out much, as is evidenced by having more SBs (16) than Ks (14). He’s staying on our team. Martinez homered again last week and again this week, giving him at least one bomb in seven straight weeks. That consistency is hard to top, but he’ll have to make way on our team for Ruggiano, a part-time player that’s forcing his way into Miami’s everyday lineup by hitting .409 with five HRs in 66 at-bats since being added to the Marlins in Week 8. He’s also made home runs a part of his daily routine, hitting bombs in three straight games this week. Don’t forget about his three steals over the last week and a half; he could be a five-category monster if he can somehow avoid a huge regression (though some regression is obviously coming). He’s widely available in fantasy leagues and has earned a spot on teams in all my leagues at this point. Garrett Jones, discussed in the first base section, is another option.

OFs of the Week: Ben Revere, MIN and Justin Ruggiano, MIA

Starting Pitcher

W13Joe BlantonPHI13.013.461.2331515
W13Marco EstradaMIL6.004.501.172124
W13Michael FiersMIL6.000.000.8331030
W13Franklin MoralesBOS7.000.000.712726

Another solid start last weekend gives Blanton a 89/15 K/BB ratio for the year. He again limited his opponent to just one homer, which is the key to him maintaining success. Buy him because of his 1.25 WHIP and K/BB ratio and look past the ugly ERA. Estrada had an excellent first start back, striking out 12 batters in six innings and adding another six Ks earlier this week in another quality start. He has a 45/6 K/BB ratio in 42 innings as a starter this year as well as a WHIP just over 1.00. The big-K game boosted his ownership numbers to four percent, and there’s still plenty of time to grab this underrated starter. A few more starts and it may be too late, though.

Estrada’s teammate Michael Fiers has drawn considerable more buzz by posting a 2.29 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 39.1 innings over six starts and one relief appearance. He’s also striking out more than a batter an inning and has a nice 41/8 K/BB ratio on the year. Fiers has held teams scoreless in back-to-back starts, and he’s given up just one run over his 21.1 innings spanning three starts and the relief appearance. Both Fiers and Estrada will benefit greatly from a Zack Greinke trade, because once Shaun Marcum comes back there’s going to be a tough decision to make. Till that happens, both make for excellent plays. Read all about why Franklin Morales belongs on your fantasy team at Fangraphs.

SPs of the Week: Joe Blanton, PHI and Marco Estrada, MIL

Relief Pitcher

W13Bobby ParnellNYM2.010.000.000030
W13Francisco RodriguezMIL2.009.002.002016

Parnell has managed just one save since taking over closing duties, but he’s still far and away our best relief option as long as he’s closing for the Mets. Speaking of closing for the Mets, Francisco Rodriguez’s name has come up as a potential trade option for the Mets. While he’s been shaky lately, this trade rumor gives him plenty of value as owners speculate for saves. Even if he doesn’t get traded, Rodriguez could eventually take over for John Axford if the Brewers closer, who blow another save on Wednesday, doesn’t get his act together.

RP of the Week: Bobby Parnell, NYM

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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