StrategyApril 27, 2013

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Weekend Waiver Wire, Week 4

By Chris Routledge

Welcome to your weekly exploration of the waiver wire. My week 2 suggestions didn’t work out too well, on the whole (except for Andrew Bailey, who is still going strong in the closer role while Joel Hanrahan is out, and maybe even when the latter comes back off the DL). Were the suggestions for week 3 any better? Let’s find out.

Week 3 Review

Rajai Davis, OF, TOR


Davis has continued to have a decent amount of playing time, even with Bautista back, but hasn’t really done a lot with it. The solitary home run is nice; the solitary steal is a disappointment.

A.J. Pollock, OF, ARI


Pollock has given us a mediocre batting average with nothing to show for it. His last three games have resulted in a miserable 1-for-14 out of the lead-off spot. Adam Eaton could be back in as little as two weeks, so Pollock has got to improve to keep his place on the roster. Like Davis, this suggestion bore little fruit last week.

Jose Quintana, SP, CHW


Whilst not as good as his previous two starts, Quintana pitched well enough across five innings to pick up the win against Cleveland on Wednesday. If you picked him up, I would sit him for his next start in Texas, but the three starts after that look reasonable (Kansas City, then the Angels twice).

Patrick Corbin, SP, ARI


J.J. Putz scuppered Corbin’s chances of picking up his third straight win, but it was another excellent outing for the Diamondbacks’ fifth starter. There is absolutely no reason not to keep throwing him out there while he is in this form.

So week 3 saw the pitchers clearly outperform the hitters for a 50% success rate. Can we do better this week? Let’s see.

Week 4 Adds


Nate McLouth, OF, BAL


Do you remember 2008? McLouth broke out that year with 26 home runs and 23 stolen bases. 2009 wasn’t quite as good, but he still managed to go 20-19 that year (across two organizations). Then the injuries hit: He hasn’t made 300 plate appearances in the last three years, and the appearances he did make weren’t good.

He did, however, show signs of life when joining the Orioles last year, with seven home runs and 12 stolen bases in 209 plate appearances. Those signs of life have continued to blossom in 2013: He is hitting over .300 for the year so far, with seven stolen bases (four of those in the last week). With the lead-off position his to lose at the moment, and heavy hitters behind him to drive him in, anyone hurting for runs and stolen bases will find McLouth to be a worthy pick-up while he is hot.

Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oak


I’m breaking my rule of “less than 25% ownership” here, but clearly Yahoo leagues have not been as quick to recognize Donaldson’s recent performances as ESPN leagues. With four multi-hit games in the last five, he is taking full advantage of Oakland’s strong start to the season, and is proving extremely productive in clutch situations (8-for-20 with 12 RBI with runners in scoring position). With a number of big-name third basemen injured (Ryan Zimmerman, Aramis Ramirez) or struggling (Brett Lawrie), Donaldson is definitely worth a pick-up. I would drop higher profile players like Mike Moustakas and Kevin Youkilis for him, no questions asked.


Drew Smyly, SP/RP, DET


In his rookie season, Smyly started 18 of the 23 games in which he appeared for the Tigers. In that season, he posted an ERA of 3.99 with a K/9 close to 9, but that wasn’t enough for him to make the rotation at the start of the 2013 season.

Pitching out of the bullpen, he began with a wobbly outing against the Twins, but has looked much better since then, culminating in a 5.2-inning, 7-K long-relief performance after Rick Porcello’s meltdown against the Angels. Whispers are starting to be heard which suggest that Smyly could move into the rotation any day (he hasn’t appeared since that outing on April 20th); if you’re in need of pitching help, don’t wait until the announcement comes!

Dillon Gee, SP, NYM


Gee followed up an unlucky loss to the Padres in his first outing (one earned run given up in 6.1 innings) with a couple of nightmare outings against the Phillies and Rockies, which saw many fantasy owners cut bait. Those who stayed with him (or picked him up off the wire) were rewarded with a far better outing last Sunday when he shut out the Nationals over 5.2 innings. Outside of deeper leagues, he is probably no more than a spot-starter right now. I am writing this before Friday’s game against the Phillies, where I would think twice about starting him, but I would absolutely have him in for his next start against Miami. He is definitely worth a look in those deeper leagues.

By this time next week, we will be into May: a sixth of the season complete already! It’s far too early to panic, of course, but it’s never too early to scour that waiver wire, looking for the undiscovered gems who will make all the difference to your season. Best of luck uncovering them!

Chris Routledge is going to see a man about a dog. Catch up with him in the Cafe under the username chris8.
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