StrategySeptember 6, 2013

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Weekend Waiver Wire, Week 23

By Chris Routledge

As I write this, England are about to kick off their World Cup Qualifying game against Moldova. Every time the national team plays, it brings up the age-old debate of “club vs. country,” with managers of the English football teams complaining whenever their player picks up an injury on international duty, or plays too much of the game, or travels all the way to another country only to sit on the bench for the whole game. Club managers are never satisfied and, unless your fantasy team has wrapped up the title already, neither should you be. My dynasty team is leading the league by eight points with three weeks to go, but I am always on the lookout for improvements. Making the decision to promote Sonny Gray from the minors a few weeks back has proved to be a good one, but there is always that extra person who has the potential to consolidate your lead — or make an impact on the lead of the team in front. Who might it be this week?

Week 22 Review

Jarrod Dyson, OF, KC


Last week, I suggested that Dyson could easily steal 10 bases the rest of the way. He picked up two over the last week, so he’s well on track. Still owned in a minuscule 6% of Yahoo Leagues, chances are that he is still available for you to nab while you can.

Dustin Ackley, 1B/2B/OF, SEA


Ackley continues to provide a good average with a few counting stats. He’s certainly a good option if you need help at 2B.

Danny Duffy, SP, KC


Only one run given up, but an ugly WHIP meant that Duffy failed to last four innings against the Mariners. It’s disappointing, and an outing which doesn’t bode well for Sunday’s game against the Tigers.

Paul Clemens, SP/RP, HOU


A gamble which categorically failed to pay off, with not even a single strikeout to take away from this one. Double ouch!

Last week’s verdict? Hitters = good; pitchers = not so good. Moving right along …

Week 23 Adds


Wilson Ramos, C, WAS


Need a bit of ‘oomph’ from your catcher over the last few weeks of the season? Look no further than the Nationals’ Wilson Ramos. With the trade of Kurt Suzuki, Ramos is starting behind the plate pretty much every game, picking up a couple of homers and six RBI over the past week. With the likes of Yadier Molina in a major funk, now is the time when you have to make the decision whether or not to stick with the ‘big name’ or go with the guy who is actually hitting. Your call.

Billy Hamilton, SS, CIN


Everyone who even vaguely follows fantasy baseball knows about Billy Hamilton’s potential. An absolute speed demon in the minors, he received the call-up earlier this week and has made two appearances off the bench so far as a pinch runner, stealing and scoring in both games. To be frank, that’s what to expect from Hamilton through September; there may be the odd start here and there, but don’t count on more than a couple of starts per week at best. If you need a guy who will probably steal 3-4 bases per week until season’s end, and you can afford to have one roster spot which isn’t going to do anything for your average or power numbers, then Hamilton is your man.


Will Smith, RP, KC


In the above-mentioned game where Danny Duffy only made it through 3.2 innings, Will Smith was the guy who came in to relieve him, and promptly pitched 4.1 scoreless innings of one-hit, eight-K ball. It’s not the first time he’s done something like this: other examples include a five-inning, six-K shutout on June 29, and a three-inning, five-K shutout on August 6. Basically, Smith is the Royals’ go-to guy when in need of a long-reliever, and he normally performs well, adding a bunch of Ks to a low ERA and WHIP. He’s the sort of reliever who could be very valuable in the final weeks of the season.

Kyle Drabek, SP, TOR


Like last week’s choice of Paul Clemens (yes, I know how that worked out), my final pick this week is another wild card. Kyle Drabek has had a rotten run of bad luck, undergoing Tommy John Surgery twice in his young career. He has been steadily working his way back from his second one in June 2012, and was, this week, recalled to the majors by the Blue Jays. Whether he will get any starts through the rest of the year or serve as a long reliever is uncertain at this point (Blue Jay fans may be able to provide a bit of help with this), the rehab signs for Drabek have been encouraging. In 14 games (11 starts), he has the line you can see in the table above — not too shabby at all. For a gamble that could produce some unexpected fruit down the stretch, Drabek is a decent shout.

And so another week comes to an end. Time is short — very short — so it’s really now or never. I will be back next week with what will probably be the final column of the season, but really, if you’re going to be making a move, you need to do it now. That’s NOW! See you next week.

Chris Routledge has written this during the first half of the England-Moldova game. As it should be, England are 3-0 up. The game next week is a lot more difficult...Catch up with him in the Cafe under the username chris8.
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