Some of the hot names available on the Waiver Wire in a league near you:
- Drew Pomeranz (Oakland A’s-SP) Pomeranz is the beneficiary of the Dan Straily demotion to Sacremento. While Straily was a nice target late in drafts for his strikeout upside his tendency to give up the untimely home run finally caught up to him. Keep an eye on Straily’s progress in Triple A as he could be called up before to long with Tommy Milone not lighting it up in the rotation. Now onto Pomeranz. Pomeranz was top prospect that just couldn’t break through to the big club in Cleveland and was eventually shipped to the Colorado Rockies in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal. Pomeranz struggled in Colorado and eventually the Rockies decided to eat their losses and let Pomeranz go for the price of Brett Anderson from the Oakland A’s. Pomeranz has been reinvigorated by the change of scenery and has been pitching well out of the A’s bullpen before getting a chance to blank the Mariners for 5 innings in a spot start during a double header last week. Pomeranz was a top 30 prospect before fizzling out in Colorado and could be a nice addition to your fantasy baseball rotation, especially in deep leagues, where injuries around the Major Leagues have fantasy managers scrambling. I have tried to grab him in most formats where my league size is 12 and up. I’m hoping we have another Jesse Chavez on our hands, but I’ll settle for what we expected from Straily.
- Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians-RP) Allen was the first name at the top of the list as managers were scrambling to replace John Axford in their fantasy bullpens. Well it seems Terry Francona isn’t looking for a long term replacement at closer and wants Axford to work his way back into the role. I was high on Axford as a late round sleeper closer in the build up to fantasy drafts, but in the back of my head I had trouble getting over the fact that he couldn’t take the job back from Jim Henderson in Milwaukee last season. Whether it’s trouble with his pitching mechanics or he’s tipping his pitches again, I really don’t know if he CAN get the job back if one of the other Cleveland relievers run away with it. The problem is it’s going to be closer by committee in Cleveland for the time being and Allen isn’t the only one to lay claim to the closer’s role. Bryan Shaw has been lights out as well this year and picked up a save in that role on Sunday in 9 pitches. If I’m an Axford owner I’m hanging onto Axford and picking up either Allen or Shaw in the short term. Personally in very deep leagues I snuck in sneaky cheap bids on Shaw and hope that he can run away with it. If he doesn’t I’m sure one of the million players currently clogging up my DL will take the spot come June 1st.
- Rafael Montero (New York Mets-SP) Montero was always going to be the first of the Mets triple A prospects to get a shot in the rotation because of arbitration entanglements, but Noah Syndergaard struggled to start the season and Montero has kept up his strikeout stuff in the mean time. Jenrry Mejia could be headed to the bullpen to make room for Montero in the Mets rotation and it could be a boon for your fantasy team. Montero has a lot of the things I’m looking for when I need a prospect to save my fantasy rotation. He is called up to a pitcher’s park and has a better than 9 K per 9 Innings ratio. The Mets defense is the only drawback for me liking more, but I see Montero as a must grab in any league larger than 12 and of course for NL only leagues.
- Chase Headley (San Diego padres-3B) headley struggled out of the gate this year just like most of the Padres offensive players and then was forced to the disabled list with a strained calf. A ton of fantasy GMs jumped ship when Headley hit the DL as they saw that as the last straw. Personally I am grabbing Headley where I can because he has all the ingredients to pay off. He’s in a contract year, he is way off his career number (even if those are inflated by an outlier season) and he also holds that special value as the one that got away. There is nothing like picking up someone’s cast off and having him light it up when he plays for your team. I have seen it time and time again where the amateur fantasy owner can’t get over the fact that his castoff is lighting it up for someone else and ends up making a lopsided trade to get that player back on their squad.
Watch out! These players could be playing themselves into a DL or minor league stint:
- Mike Moustakas (Kansas City Royals-3B) The struggles just won’t stop for this immensely talented pain in my butt. In all seriousness I will gladly admit that I drank from the Moustakas has finally found it fountain this Spring Training and I was once again wrong.
- Chris Archer (Tampa Bay Rays-SP) Archer has struggled for a few outings now and his control is what worries me. If it was just getting hit he clould make some adjustments, but his command has really become an issue. In 10 league teams I would consider dropping him for a more solid option.
- Clay Buchholtz (Boston Red Sox-SP) Buchholtz has not looked like himself since spring training. He is giving up hits in bunches and missing less and less bats as he struggles to get outs. I actually uttered the words He’s Dead To Me on the Fantasy Black Book Show on Sirius XM this weekend and I think I should clarify that a little bit. I’m holding on to him in the hopes that they put him on the DL to correct whatever the issue is that is going on with a guy that I thought could be a nice late round gamble.
- Dan Uggla (Atlanta Braves-2B) Uggla is going to be DFA before the year is through. This was inevitable, but the Braves haven’t decided who is going to be the one to get the first shot as a full time replacement. Tommmy La Stella could be coming up from the minors when he’s ready and could help teams in larger leagues that need some BA help and maybe even runs if he gets to hit in front of Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton. Ramiro Pena is better a s a bench bat and glove and using him full time at 2B would hurt the Braves more than it would help. Stear clear for now.
Situations to monitor:
- Alex Fernandez is scheduled for an MRI in Los Angeles and just typing this has me shaking a little as I am not diversified enough when it comes to shares of Fernandez.
- Alex Wood will be heading to the bullpen in Atlanta as Gavin Floyd will get a chance to stick in the rotation. I am keeping Wood on my bench everywhere I have him because he will eventually be back in the rotation and has proved that he’s a fantasy asset as a starter. The Braves can limit his innings by putting him in the bullpen now and continue to ride the resurgence of Aaron Harang. (while it lasts…….)
Funny Side note:
Carlos Carrasco (5.81 ERA) beat out both Aaron Harang (2.98 ERA) and Josh Tomlin(2.13 ERA) for the fifth starter job in Cleveland and this is just another example of Cleveland having absolutely no luck….