StrategyMay 3, 2013

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Weekend Waiver Wire, Week 5

By Chris Routledge

So here we are, a month into the 2013 season. April is but a distant memory, and the weather is starting to warm up at last, except in Kansas City, of course. How about your fantasy team? Showing signs of life? If not, then perhaps one or more of our waiver wire suggestions could bring an instant glow to your lineup. But before we get to them, let’s take a look at last week’s shout-outs.

Week 4 Review

Nate McLouth, OF, BAL


Zing! McLouth has kept on mashing the ball in his attempt to put those injury-ridden year behind him. Yahoo ownership has shot up from 12% to 69%, so there are still about a third of leagues where he is still available. OK, so they are probably all public leagues which are half-abandoned, but it’s worth checking, just in case!

Josh Donaldson, 3B, OAK


Donaldson continues to take advantage of RBI opportunities, notching up another seven over the last week. He’s easily a top-10 third baseman at this point, worth riding unless you can get good value in a trade.

Drew Smyly, SP/RP, DET


Rick Porcello continues to hold onto the fifth-starter spot in Detroit, but for how much longer? Smyly only saw three innings over the last week, but they were all good ones. Even if he doesn’t end up in the rotation, his ratios as a middle reliever can only help your team.

Dillon Gee, SP, NYM


I hope you took my advice and sat him against the Phillies! Unfortunately, the outing against the Marlins was little better, the one consolation being that the Mets scored enough to get him the win. But at a significant cost to the ratios.

So after a slight dip in form, it’s back to a 75 percent success rate for week 4! Can it continue? Let’s check out this week’s four targets.

Week 2 Adds


Michael Saunders, OF, SEA


Saunders announced his return from the DL with a HR in his first game back, and has since added a stolen base on Thursday. He is a decent bet to contribute in both those categories — not at a dramatic level, but he did have 19 home runs and 21 stolen bases in 2012. Expecting a 20/20 season out of him is not at all too much of a reach.

Stephen Drew, SS, BOS


There is no question that this is a risk. It’s three years since Drew last appeared in 100 or more games, and he has already missed time this year because of concussion, which has affected his batting when he has made the lineup. However, there are signs of life. He has raised his batting average by 70 points over the last week (albeit from a low starting point), and that included his first HR of the season on Wednesday. On a team as hot as the Red Sox are right now, there will always be opportunities for him to drive in runs, even from the lower end of the order. If you are hurting at SS at the moment, Drew could — could — be the answer, at least temporarily.


Jordan Walden, RP, ATL


It’s not so long ago that Walden was being touted as the Angels’ closer for years to come. That lasted all of one season: 32 saves in 2011 became one in 2012, as the bane of his life seemed to be the free passes he constantly gave up in those important late innings. Traded to the Braves, he seems to have found a new lease of life as setup guy to Craig Kimbrel, striking out better than a batter an inning. More importantly, dare I say that he seems to have got the walks under control? He issued none at all in April, his first of the season coming this past Thursday. He’s not going to be getting the closer job (barring injury to Kimbrel), but is definitely one of the better eighth-inning guys so far this season, providing values in ratios and Ks.

Kevin Slowey, SP, MIA


Slowey has never really lived up to the potential that persuaded the Twins to draft him in the second round, way back in 2005. In five seasons with the big-league club, he only once got his ERA under 4.00, or his BAA below .280. After missing the entire 2012 season through injury, he signed with the Marlins and, so far, has thrived in his new environs of Miami. Perhaps it is something to do with being in the NL now, but he has allowed only nine runs to date (in six starts), with a K/BB ratio of 29/6. Pitching for the Marlins won’t help his wins total (he has yet to get one so far, despite the stellar numbers), but he is at least doing everything else worthy of consideration for your fantasy team, should you need a bit of depth in pitching.

If your team is in the doldrums, I hope these guys may help to brighten things up in this merry month of May! Catch up with you again next week.

Chris Routledge is suffering sleepless nights: the perils of having a 2-year-old. Still, at least it gives him chance to catch up on some baseball from across the pond. Catch up with him in the Cafe under the username chris8.
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