Waiver Wire: AL

Chris Getz | Chicago | 2B
YTD: ..262/.319/.361
True Talent: .254/.317/.349
Next Week Forecast: 0.2 HR, 3 Runs, 2 RBI, .252 BA, 0.6 SB
With Beckham’s emergence, Contreras’ Fountain of Youth, and now Buehrle’s perfect game, it’s easy to overlook that Chris Getz went almost a month (June 28 to July 21) hitting .400 (.400/.446/.620, 3-for-3 on SB attempts to boot). TT thinks he’s already a bit over his head, and his advanced fielding stats are pretty lame (28th in BIS +/-), but his fielding reputation is good and his stats look a lot like Adam Kennedy’s at the same age. His 87% Ct% should sustain his batting average. Good for AL Leagues.

Tommy Hunter | Texas | SP
YTD: 4.7 K/9, 1.5 K/BB, 2.17 ERA
True Talent: 5.2 K/9, 1.7 K/BB, 5.73 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 10.2 IP, 0.6 W, 6 K, 5.45 ERA
Two-time Junior Olympic judo champion Tommy Hunter would be a lot more interesting on another team, in a couple more years. As a pitcher, he resembles Joe Blanton, and not just in physique. His minor-league GB% (career) is almost 50%, but he’s at 33% in the bigs. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him settle in around Blanton’s marks of 44% GB%, 5.5 K/9, and 2.5 BB/9. And his martial arts background suggests good durability, though he’s been a six-inning starter so far. He wasn’t very good in the minors this year before the promotion, so expect very little this year, especially in that ballpark.

Adam LaRoche | Boston | 1B
YTD: .292/.333/.407
True Talent: .262/.340/.470
Next Week Forecast: 0.7 HR, 2 Runs, 3 RBI, .263 BA, 0.1 SB
He’s the big news in the AL this week, and it’s sort of perplexing just how much dissing he gets around the web. He has a career 113 OPS+, and has hit a robust .296/.357/.544 in second halves of his career (1184 PA). Of course, the big question for fantasy players is how much PT he will get. Will Carroll cites a source saying work with Lowell is “going to be worth a lot of ink in journals,” by way of being optimistic. But we’re thinking that teams with Lowell better handcuff themselves with LaRoche, too.

Sergio Mitre | New York | SP
YTD: 6.4 K/9, 4.0 K/BB, 4.76 ERA
True Talent: n/a
Next Week Forecast: n/a
You may wonder how it is that a team like the Blue Jays can still be bringing up good pitching prospects, even after they’ve lost five rotation members to injury, while the Yankees—with boundless payroll—are stuck with … Sergio Mitre. Like the guy he’s replacing (Wang), he gets tons of grounders (60% for career), and throws over 90 mph. The Yankee infielders have a good .793 RZR with 103 OOZ plays, so expect something like a 5.00 ERA/1.50 WHIP, good enough for wins with this killer offense and a place in AL leagues where the rate stats won’t hurt you.

Ryan Rowland-Smith | Seattle | SP
YTD: 2.7 K/9, 0.3 K/BB, 0.00 ERA
True Talent: n/a
Next Week Forecast: n/a
Rowland-Smith is a thoroughly unremarkable lefty “contact” pitcher with a career K:BB ratio of 1.79, FB% of 43.5%, and a fastball which averages under 90 MPH. And he’s a must-play in AL Leagues! Why? The Mariners were built for this guy. Even last year, he had a fine 3.42 ERA in 118.1 IP. This year, the outfield defense is even better, with a staggering .955 team RZR and 181 OOZ plays, both tops in the AL.

Taylor Teagarden | Texas | C
YTD: .217/.267/.325
True Talent: .230/.314/.408
Next Week Forecast: 0.3 HR, 1 Runs 1 RBI, .226 BA, 0.1 SB
Teagarden is enigmatic. He’s posted some otherworldly minor-league stats, but several peripherals have indicated they were more fluke than substance. The Rangers supposedly wouldn’t consider trading him, yet he’s been buried behind “Salty” this season, getting just 91 PA so far. Ron Washington has said he’ll play more, supposedly to help avoid overheating in the hot Texas summer. In the minors, he hit lefties a lot harder, and would probably make a natural “strict” platoon situation with Salty, who hits RHP better. One of the league’s best backup catchers for now.

Chris Tillman | Baltimore | SP
YTD: 9.2 K/9, 4.3 K/BB, 2.42 ERA (AAA)
True Talent: n/a
Next Week Forecast: n/a
Let’s go outside the box a little bit here, since the O’s pitchers are doing everything they can to stress the need for Chris Tillman’s promotion. Some comments on last week’s NL side about him can be summed up by noting: a) He’s really good, and b) so are the AL East offenses. He has a reverse-split tendency (1.05 WHIP vsL, 1.32 vsR this year), much like the last great starter the O’s had.

Michael Wuertz | Oakland | RP
YTD: 11.9 K/9, 4.7 K/BB, 2.72 ERA
True Talent: 9.2 K/9, 2.5 K/BB, 3.68 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 0.1 Saves, 3.89 ERA
Wuertz always had good peripherals to go with his great slider. In 2009, he has ramped those up to the “great” range, with a robust 11.9 K/9 against just 2.5 BB/9. He’s always used his slider to bore in on LHB, and this year it’s giving them fits, as indicated by his 111/83 tOPS+ splits (R/L). He’s scavenged up five wins, and while Bailey seems healthy, if anything should happen to him, there’s little doubt now that Wuertz would close instead of Ziegler.

True Talent and Next Week Forecasts courtesy of Heater Magazine.

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  1. MadMaxScherzer said...

    To Chris Tillman or not to Chris Tillman?: That is the question.

    According to the Baltimore Sun (see above link), he’ll be up by Wednesday.

    My roster has changed a bit (see below) but not by much with the addition of Latos and DelaRosa and the removal of Kazmir (good riddance) and Marcus Thames (it was time).

    Dempster is coming off the DL on Tuesday to face Houston and Tillman is going to start against the depleted Royals on Weds.
    Moehler is a stream start and will be off the team by tomorrow. Should I use Moehler’s roster spot to pick up Tillman for Weds and leave Dempster on the DL? or should I activate Dempster and pick up Glaus from the FA list and DL him as insurance for Inge (aka last action hero)?

    C   Jorge Posada (NYY – C)
    1B   Ryan Howard (Phi – 1B)
    2B   Ian Stewart (Col – 2B,3B)
    3B   Brandon Inge (Det – C,3B,OF)
    SS   Marco Scutaro (Tor – 2B,3B,SS)
    OF   Ryan Ludwick (StL – OF)
    OF   Franklin Gutiérrez (Sea – OF)
    OF   Garrett Jones (Pit- OF)
    Util   Prince Fielder (Mil – 1B)
    P   Francisco Rodríguez (NYM – P)
    P   David Aardsma (Sea – P)
    P   Cole Hamels (Phi – P)
    P   Brad Lidge (Phi – P)
    P   Jorge DeLaRosa
    P   Randy Wells (ChC – P)
    BN   Emilio Bonifacio (Fla – 2B,3B,SS)
    BN   Michael Bourn (Hou – OF)
    BN   Jason Kubel (Min – OF)
    BN   Mat Latos (SD – P)
    BN   Brandon Moehler (Hou- P)
    BN   Joba Chamberlain (NYY – P)
    BN   Max Scherzer (Ari – P)
    DL   Ryan Dempster (ChC – P)DL
    DL   Gil Meche (KC – P)- DL
    DL   Shaun Marcum (Tor – P)DL

  2. Rob McQuown said...

    Good questions.  I’d think that Tillman’s debut against the Royals has to be one of the better possible starts to have for the upcoming week, though you always worry a little bit about a guy getting the yips in his debut.  Personally, I’d go out of my way to get him for that start.  He won’t be left in if he doesn’t look good, limiting the downside of the play.

    I tend to be cautious with guys coming off injuries, though there are enough examples of them doing fine (or better) to suggest it’s not usually necessary.  But Dempster faces Oswalt, and Oswalt never loses in the 2nd half.  So, it seems unlikely you’ll get a W from Demp, even if he pitches well.  I do like pitchers facing a Puma-less Astros lineup, though!

    Glaus is a guy I have had on DL on and off this season.  With the news that he’s unable to play 3b, it’s a big hypothetical as to how and where he gets playing time now, though.  If you need 3b insurance, why not?  Myers is probably the only other strong option on DL now, and I suspect he’s gone in most leagues already.  Snyder is a good MLB catcher, but I can’t see Montero losing his job as the primary anytime soon.

    Baltimore plays Boston next after KC, so if you’re stuck with an entire week of the pitcher you choose, I’d go with Dempster.  If it’s daily-move, I’d go with Tillman for Tuesday’s start.  The downside of not picking up Tillman, of course, is that once people figure out he’s due to pitch, someone else will grab him, cutting off that option for the rest of the season (unless he gets clobbered).

  3. Rob McQuown said...

    I should add that cutting Latos isn’t a terrible option, either.  Unless the 100-IP thing is a feint by the team (and I can’t see why they would do that), he only has 19 IP left, and he only goes 5 IP per start anyway, and he won’t get offensive support… there are plenty of relievers who can give you the same sort of help he’s giving you, and are more likely to vulture wins than he is to get them in the rotation… though if you need one who qualifies as “SP”, it’s obviously harder.

  4. Rob McQuown said...

    I’d go week-by-week.  Nobody is likely to pick up Rowland-Smith, but in weeks when he’s at home, he’s a very good play.  I’d probably just stay away from Tillman for now… too many land mines in the AL East.  But, if he’s available in a given week when he has good pairings, go for it.

  5. MadMaxScherzer said...

    When should Brandon Inge, aka last action hero, become the dearly departed?
    His numbers are beginning to stink up my team. I’ve cut Bonifacio and picked up Beckham as to start in his stead but it’s hard to see him coming out of this tailspin while playing injured and roster spots are precious commodities this time of the year.

  6. Rob McQuown said...

    re: Inge –  That’s a good question.  Given my firm belief in larger sample sizes, it’s hard to envision someone like him ending up on my roster at all.  But I think the short answer is that you should have a VERY low tolerance for “momentum” guys who you aren’t willing to make active, as in 1 week, tops. 

    In a mixed league, replacement level is so high, that you’re looking at only a minor dropoff – if anything – if someone else grabs the guys.  So, Inga has a “True Talent” in the current Heater of .243/.326/.425.  When you start thinking more in terms of that than in terms of how excited you are to have a “hot” player active, it’s probably time to move on.

    Yeah, someone else could snipe you and pick him up as he rebounds strong, but with a bum knee, how likely is that, really?  And if he does surge again, will it really be better than what you’ve grabbed?  How much better?  Cutting good players was the hardest thing for me to get used to in mixed leagues, but usually just scanning the available players list reminds me just how good “replacement level” is.

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