AL Waiver Wire: Week 11by Paul Singman
June 22, 2012
Justin Grimm | Texas Rangers | SP | ESPN: 1.1 percent ownership, Yahoo: 1 percent ownership
YTD (AA): 1.87 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 7.83 K/9, 1.64 BB/9
Oliver ROS: 5.38 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 5.9 K/9
Grimm, whose name sounds more like a Tim Burton character than a baseball player, came up from Double-A and pitched six innings of shutout ball in his first major league start last week. In his dazzling debut he struck out seven and walked none. Impressive, right? What were you doing when you were 23 years old?
Sorry, this isn't about you. This is about Grimm, who impressed enough to earn a second start against the Tigers Monday, kicking Scott Feldman to the curb in the process. Alright, so Feldman has merely been moved to the bullpen, but he isn't too happy about it either way.
Sorry Scott Feldman, this isn't about you either. This is about Grimm, who may not get another start. If he does though, he's lined up for two relatively easy ones against the A's and Twins heading up to the All-Star break. Unfortunately there's a pretty good chance he just won't pitch that well and get sent down for more seasoning, but if you've recently lost Brandon Beachy or Brandon Morrow or any other Brandon to injury, consider replacing him with Grimm.
Recommendation: Can be added in 14+ mixed and deeper. In shallower leagues, it should only be if you're especially light on starting pitching.
Danny Hultzen | Seattle Mariners | SP | ESPN: 0.1 percent ownership, Yahoo: 3 percent ownership
YTD (AA): 1.19 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 9.44 K/9, 3.82 BB/9
Oliver ROS: 4.04 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 7.9 K/9
Hultzen is just a bird in the flock of incredibly talented pitchers from the 2011 draft class descending upon the majors as they ascend up the minors. Promoted yesterday after 75 dominant Double-A innings, Hultzen is the second of his kind to reach Triple-A (Trevor Bauer got there first).
Many believe Hultzen is on the fast track to the majors, though his call-up date is far from certain. His performance in Triple-A will have a large influence over that, and August is the earliest I think we could see him in the majors. So if you're jealous of all the people with Bauer on their roster, waiting for him to get called up, and want in the fun, here's your chance.
In general, I'd rather try my hand on a pitcher like Grimm with the present opportunity, but if you've got room to stash Hultzen, I won't stop you.
Recommendation: Probably should be stashed in most AL-only leagues, in mixed leagues, only if you've got the room. Depends on your team and league settings.
Garrett Richards | Los Angeles Angels | SP | ESPN: 14.8 percent ownership, Yahoo: 12 percent ownership
YTD: 0.86 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 7.29 K/9, 4.71 BB/9
Oliver ROS: 4.95 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 6.0 K/9
Richards has yet to give up more than one earned run in his three starts this year, which is a testament to the power of luck more than anything else. He's allowed just one home run despite a 43 percent flyball rate. His BABIP is .226. Even the people who argue against regression probably can't convince themselves that Richards is anywhere near this good.
What we see here is a mid-4.00s ERA pitcher who walks too many batters and luckily still has a rotation spot because Jerome Williams just went to the DL. Plain and simple, I'd stay away.
Recommendation: Doesn't need to be added.
Leonys Martin | Texas Rangers | OF | ESPN: 0 percent ownership, Yahoo: 1 percent ownership
YTD (AAA): .344/.414/.547
Oliver ROS: .271/.324/.404
Martin was recently called up to the majors as insurance in case Josh Hamilton's virus kept him out for an extended time. Fortunately Hamilton was able to return after only a few days, so now I'd expect Martin to be sent back down to get regular at-bats at Triple-A.
Although he's only played 31 games due to thumb surgery, Martin has played well and appears about ready to try the majors. On most teams he would probably get that chance soon, but Martin's on the Rangers, whose backup center fielder is batting .350. So no clear path to playing time exists, but injuries are always a real possibility in the Ranger outfield, which could lead to semi-regular time for Martin. Given the chance, Martin could post a solid .270-.280s average with a few homers and around 15 steals. Think Denard Span.
Recommendation: Can be ignored for now, but those in AL-only and deep mixed leagues should be ready to add if a Rangers outfielder gets injured.
Chris Archer | Tampa Bay Rays | SP | ESPN: 0.2 percent ownership, Yahoo: 2 percent ownership
YTD (AAA): 4.81 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 10.57 K/9, 5.28 BB/9
Oliver ROS: 5.56 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, 7.1 K/9
Archer impressively went toe-to-toe with Strasburg in his debut Wednesday, allowing just three hits over six innings with seven strikeouts. His three runs allowed (one earned) sadly didn't earn him a win, but it was an impressive performance nonetheless. The story with Archer is he can strike plenty of guys out with his slider, but quite simply walks too many batters.
Filling in for Jeremy Hellickson he may only get one more start, but since it's against the Royals, those in deeper leagues should consider streaming him.
Recommendation: Should be added in AL-only leagues and 16+ mixed. Can be spot-started any league.
Paul has been managing fantasy baseball teams for many seasons and writing for THT Fantasy over the past three years. He is currently a student at UPenn welcomes readers' thoughts at his email here or in the comments below.
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