StrategyJuly 25, 2012

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Wide World of Waivers: Blanton Gets No Respect - 2 comments

By R.J. White

After taking off last week rather than review the three-game All-Star Week 15, we’re back with plenty to talk about. What’s a Blanton gotta do to get some love? Who’s that new shortstop for the Rockies? Let’s get to our waiver picks of the week.

First Base

W16Brandon MossOAK4/19.21110106
W16Adam LindTOR6/20.300112033

We went with the power swing of Moss over the re-promoted Lind last time out, and Lind exacted his revenge, going 12-for-30 (.400) in Weeks 15 and 16 and smacking a home run. Moss hit a homer in his one game during the short week but was unspectacular last week, causing many owners to jump ship despite his 11 homers in 106 at-bats. I’m joining them. While Lind isn’t lighting the world on fire, he does have a very nice .328/.371/.534 line in July heading into Tuesday’s action despite a 14/4 K/BB ratio. You should feel even better in weeks when he’s facing a righty-heavy schedule.

1B of the Week: Adam Lind, TOR

Second Base

W16Danny EspinosaWAS14/31.452615147
W16Ryan TheriotSF6/24.25030116

Espinosa has experienced a value spike, both by completely destroying the ball last week with 14 hits and by picking up SS eligibility with Ian Desmond out. He deserves to be owned even more than his slightly-less-than-half-owned status suggests, and he’s a respectable starter in any league. Of course, now we have to move on and find another solid pickup for those in need of a 2B. I like Theriot, who’s good for a solid average while picking up some steals and runs. He was hitting .179 when he went on the DL in early May, but he’s added 100 points to that heading into Tuesday by hitting .307 in June and .322 in July.

2B of the Week: Ryan Theriot, SF


W16Marco ScutaroCOL8/27.296503027
W16Josh RutledgeCOL10/26.38530328

Scutaro hasn’t homered since Week 11 and has just one steal within that time-frame, but he continues to be useful by hitting for a decent after while scoring some runs. He’s starting to get upstaged on his own team, as Rutledge came up during the break and proceeded to hit .368 in his first 38 at-bats while adding a homer and three steals. He was ballin’ in Double-A this year before his call-up, hitting .306 with 13 HRs and 14 SBs, though a 69/14 K/BB ratio suggests the nice average probably won’t last. Still, he’s definitely usable until Troy Tulowitzki returns, and even longer should Scutaro get traded.

SS of the Week: Josh Rutledge, COL

Third Base

W16Chipper JonesATL6/19.316326037
W16Todd FrazierCIN7/25.28010109

Chipper Jones just continues to rake. With a .315/.386/.498 line, a 25/25 K/BB ratio and nine HRs on the year, Jones is doing everything right, providing great value off the wire. He’s over our 33 percent cut-off, so we have to go looking for another 3B, but no one should be selling Chipper short based on performance (now, potential injury on the other hand …). Though we took Jones over Frazier in our last column, Cincy’s fill-in first baseman has continued to hold his own, and he’s now up to 10 HRs in 216 at-bats to go along with a .287 average. Also eligible at 1B and OF, Frazier gives teams in leagues with no/minimal bench players some valuable flexibility.

3B of the Week: Todd Frazier, CIN


W16Salvador PerezKC6/21.286211038
W16Wilin RosarioCOL2/7.286300027

Perez is up to five HRs and a .350 average in his first 80 at-bats this year, which has been a godsend for fantasy owners hurting at the catcher position that took a flier on his talent. He’s another guy that’s too well-owned to continue to be our pick, so we’re getting back together with Rosario, who missed time recently with an ankle injury but returned to action last night. He’s tied for fourth among catchers with 15 HRs this year, but his splits suggest he’s not a product of the Coors Field environment (.509 home slugging percentage versus .562 on the road). Our other option, Yasmani Grandal, hasn’t been good at all in his home of Petco, which is a big reason why we’d rather have Rosario when healthy.

C of the Week: Wilin Rosario, COL


W16Ben RevereMIN10/31.323404325
W16Justin RuggianoMIA6/19.316211023
W16Lorenzo CainKC8/24.333328019
W16Carlos GomezMIL4/16.25010042

This is the part of our weekly waivers article where I endorse Revere and Ruggiano yet again. Why wouldn’t I? Revere is now hitting .311 on the season with 21 SBs as he remains committed to putting the ball in play and letting his speed do the rest. Ruggiano had a subpar week (for him, at least), but his value remains high now that Omar Infante is plying his wares in Detroit, virtually guaranteeing Ruggiano will remain in the starting lineup even when Giancarlo Stanton returns (with outfielder Emilio Bonifacio looking like he’ll man Infante’s old position, second base). I’m certainly not cutting Revere or Ruggiano yet.

Who gets the consolation prize this week? Cain flashed some power last week by hitting a couple bombs, and he added another Tuesday night. We should expect to see steals, not homers, from Cain, right? Steals are what Gomez has been happy to provide. In fact, he went through a seven-game run from Monday to Monday with six steals to his credit. He’s also added a couple homers this week, threatening to become a dual power/speed threat.

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

Starting Pitcher

W16Joe BlantonPHI16.012.810.8811318
W16Marco EstradaMIL7.003.861.000512
W16Zach McAllisterCLE13.212.630.8841113
W16A.J. GriffinOAK6.013.001.17049

Despite another great week that featured two eight-inning quality starts, one each against the Giants and Dodgers, Blanton continues to be criminally under-owned in leagues. He has 108 Ks in 126.1 innings while walking just 17 batters, doling out on average less than one free pass per game. With Colby Lewis out for the remainder of the year, Blanton assumes the title of league’s best K/BB, and his 6.35 mark is more than a point and a half better than Cliff Lee’s third place mark, which is roughly the gap between Lee’s K/BB and that of 30th ranked Dan Haren. His 3.41 xFIP is 17th among qualified pitchers for the season. You’re telling me he can only find room on teams in 18 percent of leagues? Please. Estrada’s 71/11 K/BB ratio is even better than Blanton’s, though he doesn’t qualify for the list having pitched just 63.2 innings. Still, that’s a very impressive ratio for 63.2 innings, one you’ll have trouble finding among the relieving elite, never mind a guy with 10 starts this year. Oh, and he has 37 Ks in 27.2 innings over the last month, spanning four starts and one three-inning relief appearance. As long as he’s in the rotation, keep running him out there.

Other notable pitching options include Zach McAllister, who has a 52/14 K/BB ratio in 56 innings spanning nine starts, and A.J. Griffin, who’s rattled off five straight quality starts to open his major league career, including one each against the Rangers (in Texas), Yankees and Red Sox.

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

Relief Pitcher

W16Bobby ParnellNYM4.004.501.500424
W16Steve CishekMIA1.100.000.000124

The baseball gods have been told that Parnell is closing for the Mets; as a result, he has no saves and two blown saves since the break. Frank Francisco is out on rehab assignment, and it’ll be interesting to see what the Mets do. Neither Parnell nor Cishek have walked a batter heading into Tuesday’s action, but with Juan Carlos Oviedo removed from the equation, I like Cishek’s stock moving forward if I have to choose. He pitched just 1.1 innings last week, but they were perfect, and he came back with a save on Monday of this week.

RP of the Week: Steve Cishek, MIA

R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe and has previously written for FanHouse, Razzball and FanDuel. 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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2 Responses to “Wide World of Waivers: Blanton Gets No Respect”

  1. User avatar MashinSpuds says:

    Great article as always, but that Ruggiano over Cain pick is pretty bold. Maybe Ruggiano will turn it around given complete playing time, but he’s done nothing but slap a handful of hits around lately. Cain is on fire even without the steals.

  2. User avatar daullaz says:

    Cain’s hot stretch is now at 41 at-bats. Ruggiano was better over a 53 at-bat stretch heading into the break. Cain’s obviously been the better of the two since the break, but with the team basically committed to playing Ruggiano after their fire sale, I’d say that he provides more five-category potential. Cain had 49 HRs and 140 SBs in about 2,800 minor-league at-bats. Ruggiano managed 108 HRs and 154 SBs in about 100 more MiLB at-bats. Basically, I’m thinking this power spike for Cain is a mirage, while I wouldn’t rule out Ruggiano adding double-digit HRs over his remaining 200-plus at-bats.


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