StrategyJuly 6, 2013

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Weekend Waiver Wire, Week 14

By Chris Routledge

July is here, and in the UK, at least, we’re finally getting a taste of summer as the weather warms up. If your team needs a bit of warming up, you’ve come to the right place, as we check out the waiver wire for the latest hot bats and arms. First, though, let’s see if the injury curse that has reared its head in the last couple of weeks has been defeated.

Week 13 Review

Juan Francisco, 1B/3B, MIL


A solid week from Francisco as he continues to play nearly every day, with more than decent production.

Eric Young Jr, OF, NYM


A slightly disappointing week from Young, considering the number of ABs he got atop the Mets’ lineup. Still, he picked up his first stolen base in a while on Thursday, so perhaps that is a sign of things to come.

Neal Cotts, RP, TEX


The injury curse may not have struck this week, but something certainly happened, as Cotts gave up his first earned runs (two of them) since June 2. At least the K rate kept up.

Jacob Turner, SP, MIA


Turner more than lived up to expectations against the Padres, pitching a complete game of one-run ball. I am writing this before Friday’s game against the Cardinals — a tough match-up to be sure — but he’s in an active pitching slot in every league where I own him.

Jacob Turner saved this week for me, although Juan Francisco certainly played his part. Will this week’s quartet match Turner’s success? Let’s hope so, as we have a “special” week focusing on players returning from injury or demotion.

Week 14 Adds


Aaron Hicks, OF, MIL


Many rookie watchers were buzzing with excitement when Hicks won an opening day OF spot with the Twins after a stellar spring training. It didn’t work out well, as he was hitting an anemic .179 when he hit the DL in early June.

The Twins activated him earlier this week, and he has started every game since, albeit hitting down in the seventh spot in the bating order. But two two-hit games, along with a couple of stolen bases, suggest that he is worth a flier in deep mixed leagues and should definitely be owned in AL-only leagues. A low investment could result in a healthy profit.

Alex Avila, C, DET


Avila has pedigree from his 19-homer, .295-average 2011 season, although he has shown little of that in his performances in 2013, at least before going on the DL. Activated on July 2, he has started every game since his return, with one home run and five RBI to show for it. Hitting for a team with a potent offense like the Tigers can only be a good thing, and Avila is definitely worth a flyer if you are looking for an upgrade at catcher.


Dan Straily, SP, OAK


Recalled from the minors to face the Cubs, Straily sent them packing with seven excellent innings with only one hit given up. He is sporting a 4.52 ERA for the season, but that is arguably a little unlucky, given the 1.15 WHIP and .225 BAA. His start against the Pirates this coming Tuesday is his last scheduled outing before the All-Star Break; I would take a chance on him for that, and then keep an eye on how the Athletics organize their rotation after the break. There is a good chance that he will be facing the Astros next.

Bruce Rondon, RP, DET


I am sure you remember all the preseason hype about Rondon being the closer for the Tigers this year. Well, three earned runs in his first three appearances saw a quick-sharp demotion back to the minors to work on a few things.

Rondon’s Triple-A stats have been excellent, including a 1.52 ERA and a 40:13 K:BB ratio, earning him a recall to the majors a week or so ago. Jim Leyland has said that he won’t be taking on the closer role any time soon, and it is common knowledge about his wildness (although, interestingly, he has given up no walks in his three appearances back in the majors, so there are signs of improvement). If you are willing to take a risk on a possible bad outing every now and again, there is a lot to like with this young flamethrower.

I have focused on returning guys this week, because, since both Yahoo and ESPN’s shortest search option is for the last seven days, it is easy to miss out on players like these, who are unlikely to register near the top of the rankings over that period. It is a reminder to keep an eye on the “MLB Roster Changes” tab in Yahoo, an invaluable resource for getting the jump on your league rivals when players return from injuries or the minors.

Chris Routledge drafted Bruce Rondon in the first round of the Minors Draft in his dynasty league this year. He is hoping that he does indeed get the closer job at some point, even if it's not this season! Catch up with him in the Cafe under the username chris8.
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