StrategyApril 12, 2013

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Weekend Waiver Wire, Week 2

By Chris Routledge

Welcome to your weekly exploration of the waiver wire. Last week, I suggested four players who might be of use to you and had a good chance of being available in your league. Let’s kick off with a review of those suggestions.

Week 1 Review

Michael Brantley, OF, CLE


Yeah, that worked well. I still think he’s worth monitoring on your watch list, but there’s no reason to roster him right now. Let’s move on.

John Buck, C, NYM


A little better, this suggestion! Clearly, Buck is enjoying life in New York at the moment, with another three HRs last week to add to the first two of the first week. If you picked him up, enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Erik Bedard, SP, HOU


It sucks big time that he got pulled after four clean innings against the Mariners, thus denying him the win when Houston had such a big lead. It’s the unfortunate consequence of him remaining on a strict pitch-count. But the outing was another good one, and I for one will seriously consider starting him against Oakland Saturday.

Jhoulys Chacin, SP, COL


Not many Ks, but another nice outing for Chacin, picking up the win against the Padres. With another start against the Padres Saturday, and the next one scheduled against the Mets, he’ll be staying on my roster for another week at least.

I think it’s fair to say that we had a 75 percent success rate the first time out. The challenge now, of course, is to keep that record going! Let’s check out this week’s four targets.

Week 2 Adds


Chris Carter, 1B/OF, HOU


Carter was hyped in a number of places as a sleeper for this year, only for a poor first week to see him fall off the radar almost completely. There is no question that the Astros have a poor lineup, to say the least, but even they will score runs sometimes (just ask Brandon Maurer’s owners). Carter picked up three HRs in two days against the Mariners, showing that power which brought him 16 HRs in 218 ABs last year. If you’re about to lose Matt Kemp or Carlos Quentin to suspension, Carter is an ideal short-term pick-up while he is hot.

Lucas Duda, OF, NYM


My second Mets player in two weeks? I could be getting accused of bias if I’m not too careful! In the underwhelming situation that is the Mets’ outfield, Duda is at least starting every game, and showed what he can do in an excellent two-HR game against the Phillies earlier this week. With a four-game series in Colorado due to start on Monday, there is every chance of seeing more balls leaving the yard off Duda’s bat in the next week.


Jake Westbrook, SP, STL


If you want strikeouts, Westbrook is not your man. Nor is he the kind of starter you would expect to be on your roster all year. But right now, he has value if you are short for whatever reason (Zack Greinke owners). He has started 2013 in excellent form, shutting out the Reds in a complete game after holding the Giants scoreless in 6.2 innings. Playing for a good team in the Cardinals, his next three starts will see him face the Pirates twice along with the Phillies, who are not nearly the offensive force they have been in recent years. Chasing wins is never advisable, but Westbrook has as good a chance as any pitcher on the wire to pick up a couple in the next few starts. One note of caution: the WHIP of 1.34 is something to keep an eye on.

Andrew Bailey, RP, BOS


If you made the unfortunate decision to draft someone like John Axford or Carlos Marmol (or, horror of horrors, both), then chances are you are looking for the next possible closer. In that situation, ideally you want to be rostering someone who will provide excellent ratios (thus helping your team) whether or not he ends up as closer. Bailey fits the bill. Of course, 2012 was a disaster, with an injury keeping him out until August, followed by obvious problems when he did come back. But early signs this year are encouraging: at least one strikeout in each of his four appearances, and only one hit given up to date, with no runs crossing the plate on his watch. Couple that with Hanrahan’s five-run meltdown against the Orioles, and we could yet see Bailey return to the closer role at some point this season. Even if we don’t, the ratios and Ks will be an asset on your team.

That’s it for this week. One final point to mention: whilst I have mentioned Andrew Bailey as someone to consider this week, you won’t ever find guys who already have the closer job mentioned here. For a regular and more detailed look at the ninth inning, check out R.J. White’s weekly column, Bottom of the 9th, and, of course, the regularly updated Closer Thread in the forums.

Chris Routledge is based in the UK, catching up with baseball when he has a break from drinking tea and eating steak and kidney pie. Catch up with him in the Cafe under the username chris8.
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