Waiver Wire: National League (Week 7)by Derek Carty
May 18, 2008
A couple of changes to the AL Waiver Wire following some news from today.
Justin Masterson | BOS | SP - It looks like Masterson will be brought up after all. He posted a 9.16 K/9, 2.79 BB/9, and 66 percent ground ball rate in Double-A last year, so he certainly has the potential to succeed. The drawbacks are that he wasn't nearly that good in Advanced-A to start 2007, but his numbers to start 2008 are much closer to his Double-A ones. His walk rate has increased to 3.90, but that could be a small sample size issue (his strikeout rate also increased, though).
He has started one major league game already this year and posted a TQS Above Average start (more about True Quality Starts here), and will probably make a decent pickup. He will only make one start, though, which leads into the next guy...
Recommendation - Should be considered in 14-team mixed leagues, for now. Should be owned in all but the shallowest AL-only leagues, for now.
Bartolo Colon | BOS | SP - That the Sox have said Masterson will only make one start and that Colon will start the next day and fill the rotation spot until Clay Buchholz returns. Once he does, it'll be interesting to see what happens. Until then, though, Colon can be owned in some leagues.
Recommendation - Can be considered in deep mixed leagues. Should be owned in 10-team AL-only leagues.
David Pauley | BOS | SP - Not getting called up, so leave him alone.
Recommendation - Should be avoided in all leagues, for now.
Clayton Kershaw | LAD | SP - The whispers that the Dodgers could be getting ready to recall top prospect Clayton Kershaw are getting louder. There is lots of hype around him, and lots of sites are saying that he is the guy to save your top waiver priority for. I'm skeptical. Check out the minor league peripherals
2007, A+, 97.1 IP, 12.4 K/9, 4.6 BB/9
2007, AA, 24.2 IP, 10.6 K/9, 6.2 BB/9
2008, AA, 36.2 IP, 9.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9
First, he's only pitched 61.1 innings at Double-A and none at Triple-A. His strikeout rates were good in 2007, but the 9.8 mark in Double-A this year isn't something to drool over. Also, up until this year, his control was awful. I don't consider 36 innings enough of a sample to decide that he's made changes. It might make sense that the increased control is a function of him lowering the strikeouts, but it's too soon to draw that conclusion. Either way, I don't see these numbers translating to much better than a 7.5 K/9 and 3.25 BB/9 in the majors. He has an above-average ground ball rate, but I'm not getting my hopes up too high for Kershaw. That being said, if you want to stash him, he does have potential.
Recommendation - Can be owned in 14-team mixed leagues, for now. Should be considered in 8 and 10-team and owned in 12-team NL-only leagues.
Bronson Arroyo | CIN | SP - Arroyo's 6.08 ERA is far too high, being driven by a .360 BABIP, 63 percent LOB%, and 14 percent HR/FB. His 8.2 K/9 is the highest of his career, and his 3.4 BB/9 is decent enough. His ownership has fallen to 16 percent in ESPN leagues. If he was dropped in yours, it might be a good idea to grab him.
Recommendation - Should be owned in all leagues.
Andrew Miller | FLA | SP - Miller would benefit from time in the minors, but his 7.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 aren't awful. His BB/9 was 5.5 in 64 innings last year, so he could struggle, but he's worth owning for now and certainly has upside. His ground ball rate is down to 40 percent, but even at that, it's not bad. Miller makes a decent pickup.
Recommendation - Can be considered in 12-team and owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all but shallow NL-only leagues.
Derek Lowe | LAD | SP - Lowe's .331 BABIP and 61 percent LOB% are inflating his ERA. His peripherals are right line with his numbers from last year, and his strikeout rate is better than it was in the year's prior. His ground ball rate is down a little, but it's still 57 percent and he has a whole career of better rates, so it could easily bounce back. Either way, Lowe can be a valuable pitcher and deserves to be owned in more than the 64 percent of ESPN leagues in which he is owned.
Recommendation - Should be owned in all leagues.
Sean Gallagher | CHC | SP - I talked about Gallagher in the off-season. It's surprising that he's in the rotation over Jon Lieber and Sean Marshall, and he could get ousted when Rich Hill returns, but Gallagher can be owned until then. Up until this year, he put up good, but not great, numbers in every category in the minors. In five Triple-A starts this year, he his 9.31 K/9 and 2.79 BB/9 looked very good.
Recommendation - Should be considered in 12-team and owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.
Eric Gagne | MIL | CL - Gagne is back closing for the Brewers. He struggled a little in his first opportunity but came away with the save and zero runs allowed. He might have a short leash for now, but he is the best option the Brewers have and needs to be owned.
Recommendation - Should be owned in all leagues.
Ryan Doumit | PIT | C/OF - I discussed Doumit a couple of weeks ago, but with his recent injury, some are wondering what to do with him. He could be out until the middle of June, but with how well he's been playing, it will be very difficult to drop him. In leagues where you have more than three or four bench spots, he is worth hanging into until then. If you are in a position where you would need to leave a spot empty until he returns, you should probably drop him. If you can get away with stashing him, though, I'd do it.
Jay Bruce | CIN | OF - Corey Patterson is hitting .227 with a .273 OBP and .412 SLG. There's a decent chance we'll be seeing Bruce in the majors in a couple of weeks. If he's unowned in your league, now might be the time to grab him. His contact rates have only been around 75 percent, although he has good power and a great history of BABIPs. He even has seven steals in eight attempts this year. There is a lot of variability in Bruce's projection, but with the tremendous upside he has, he needs to be owned in most leagues where you have more than three or four bench spots.
Recommendation - Should be stashed in 10-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.
Chase Headley | SD | OF - Maybe not as good a prospect as Bruce, but he could be of help to fantasy owners too. The Padres currently have Jody Gerut and Paul McAnulty in left field right now, and Headley would be an upgrade. He has doesn't quite have the power or BABIP history of Bruce, but both are good, and he has slightly better contact rates. PETCO might not help with the power, but he still should be an asset.
Recommendation - Should be strongly considered in 12-team and owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.
Jim Edmonds | CHC | OF - Edmonds was just signed by the Cubs this week. As of last year, he had a good deal of power left in his bat, and he hits lots of fly balls. He could hit 20 homers given 500 at-bats, though he might only hit .250. He's got Reed Johnson to worry about, but the Cubs will probably go with Edmonds against righties and Johnson against lefties. He batted sixth in the one game he's played for the Cubs so far, and it if he sticks there might be able to get some RBIs. Manager Lou Piniella likes to steal a lot more than former manager Tony LaRussa does, so Edmonds might even collect a handful of steals.
Recommendation - Can be considered in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be considered in 8-team and owned in 10-team NL-only leagues.
Stephen Drew | ARZ | MI - Drew has a little power, but his current 9 percent HR/FB might be just a little too high. His contact rate is much improved, though, and after 158 plate appearances might indicate a legitimate shift. He might only hit .275 with 15 homer production (given 500 at-bats), but he could score some runs and steal some bases batting second for the D'Backs.
Recommendation - Should be owned in 12-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.
Jerry Hairston Jr. | CIN | MI/OF - Jeff Keppinger's replacement probably won't provide as much value as Keppinger did. He might only hit .240 or .250 with a handful of homers, and he only has a career 69 percent stolen base percentage. He's lucky that Dusty Baker is his manager, so he might let him run as much as he usually does. His walk rate is on the decline, though, and he might not be on a whole lot to steal. He could still get 15 or so steals, though, which has a little value. He's also batting second, so he should score some runs.
Recommendation - Should be avoided mixed leagues. Should be owned in deep 10-team NL-only leagues.
Dmitri Young | WAS | 1B - With Nick Johnson out for four-to-six weeks, Young will become the starting first baseman for the Nationals. His 9.4 percent HR/FB last year was the lowest since 2002 (the first year we have data for), but that could have been influenced by RFK, which deflates homers by 22 percent. It played even worse last year at 32 percent. He could hit .285 with 17 homers given 500 at-bats. He's batting cleanup, so he could grab a good amount of RBIs and runs as well.
Recommendation - Should be owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all but shallow NL-only leagues.
Derek Carty, 23, has also been published by NBC's Rotoworld, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, and USA Today. This season, he'll be contributing to FanDuel and will be linking to all of his work at DerekCarty.com. In his three years competing in expert leagues, he has won 2 titles with 4 top three finishes, including a LABR NL title in 2009, making him the youngest person to ever win a major expert league title. Derek is a proud graduate of the MLB Scouting Bureau's Scout Development Program and is a firm believer in the importance of combining stats and scouting. He welcomes questions via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.
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