Waiver Wire: National League (Week 11)

Manny Parra | MIL | SP – In his last seven games, Parra has posted a 7.65 K/9 and a 3.38 BB/9. A lot of rookies do better in the second half of their rookie years, and it looks as though Parra could be coming on. The potential is certainly there for a great pitcher, and if you need starting pitching help, Parra might be one of the better options left out there.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 10-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Charlie Morton | ATL | SP – Morton will be filling in for Tom Glavine, who will be out until the All-Star break, and he is a very intriguing guy. He put up a 8.2 K/9 and a 3.1 BB/9 to go with a 58 percent ground ball rate in Triple-A this year, though all of those numbers were worse in Double-A last year and all of them were even worse in Advanced-A in 2006. He’s thrown 79 innings this year and you could view these numbers as simply getting better every year, so he is definitely worth a pickup. There appears to be the chance of netting a quality pitcher, but there is also some downside.
Recommendation – Should be strongly considered in 10-team and owned in 12-team mixed leagues, for now. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues, for now.

Randy Johnson | ARZ | SP – The Big Unit’s getting dropped in a lot of Yahoo! leagues. His 4.10 ERA isn’t reflective of his true skill, but it isn’t awful either, so this is a little perplexing (although his last two starts have been less than stellar). RJ’s 9.47 K/9 and 2.83 BB/9 are ace-like, and after looking excellent through 10 starts last year, I’d be willing to wager that Johnson will continue on like this while healthy. He’s a perpetual injury-risk, but he needs to be owned in all leagues while healthy.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Jaime Garcia | STL | SP – Put this guy on your radar. He has put up a 9.15 K/9 and a 3.13 BB/9 in 77.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A this year to go with a 62 percent ground ball rate at Double-A and a 56 percent rate in Triple-A. There is some uncertainty (and some poor talent) in St. Louis’ current rotation, and Garcia could be the next guy to get a shot should a spot open up. Could put up a very nice second-half and is a great guy to grab in keeper leagues.

Jason Isringhausen | STL | RP – Izzy has been activated by the Cards, and if he pitches well could be back closing games by the All-Star break. Ryan Franklin has done well in his place, but he’s really been awful with a 6.07 K/9, 3.94 BB/9, and 41 percent ground ball rate. He won’t keep the job all year, and Izzy could jump right back into his old role if he pitches well. Chris Perez has long been viewed as the future closer for the team, so watch out for him as well. If you’re looking to speculate, you can’t do much better than Isringhausen.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 10-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Chase Headley | SD | OF – The Pads are calling Headley up. His contact rates have been around 75 percent, but he has put up some high BABIPs and hits a lot of line drives. He’s got decent power and should be a help to a lot of owners. Just don’t expect him to dominate right away, especially if he bats at the bottom of the order
Recommendation – Should be strongly considered in 12-team and owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Trot Nixon | NYM | OF – Nixon was just acquired by the Mets and should be the regular right fielder versus righties. He might be able to hit .260 and he hits over 40 percent fly balls, but his HR/FB has decreased every year since 2003, ending with a 2.7 percent HR/FB last year. He has shown decent power in the minors this year, so he might be able to hit a handful for the Mets. He batted sixth in his first start with the team, so he might be able to collect a few RBIs.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be strongly considered in 10-team and owned in 12-team NL-only leagues.

Chris Duncan | STL | 1B/OF – With Albert Pujols on the DL, Chris Duncan has gotten recalled to man first base against righties. Not sure why Duncan was sent down to begin with; his stats weren’t quite as good as they were last year, but he was still doing well enough. He wasn’t hitting the ball as far as he was last year, so there might be something wrong that is sapping his power, but his HR/FB was still 10 percent. His BABIP was also down despite a 24 percent line drive rate, so that could come back up as well. Overall, Duncan isn’t a great player, but he is a decent pickup.
Recommendation – Should be considered in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be considered in 8-team and owned in 10-team NL-only leagues.

Jeff Keppinger | CIN | SS/3B – Keppinger could return at the end of this week, and he definitely has value for a lot teams. He doesn’t have a whole lot of power or speed, but he will hit over .300 and could score runs if he gets a chance to hit second as replacement Paul Janish has the past five games. I’m not going to give a recommendation here, because he can be owned in any league where an owner needs a batting average lift.

Jorge Cantu | FLA | 1B/3B – Cantu is having a very nice year and is seeing a lot of pickups this week. He is hitting a lot more fly balls than usual (46 percent compared to 38 percent career), but HitTracker shows that he isn’t hitting them very far. His 14 percent HR/FB will fall off some, and the fly ball rate could as well given his history. His 82 percent contact rate is in line with his career, but that’s a little misleading since it was 86 percent in 2004 but under 80 every other year of his career. There’s definitely some downside here, and I’d have to imagine Cantu will fall off at least a little, but he could have some value. Also, he’s still just 26 despite it feeling like he’s been around forever.
Recommendation – Should be strongly considered in 12-team and owned in 14-team mixed leagues, for now. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues, for now.

Troy Tulowitzki | COL | SS – Tulo is aiming for a return this Friday, not the All-Star break as was the word last week. If he’s somehow still available in your league, go get him now.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Bill Hall | MIL | 3B/OF – We’re mostly looking at an unlucky .257 BABIP with Hall. The only thing different about his pitch-by-pitch swing and contact strategies this year is that he’s swinging at fewer pitches in the zone. Increased selectivity should actually increase his BABIP (although if that continues he could start striking out more often), and we haven’t seen that. It’s possible something’s wrong, but without looking at his mechanics I’d just have to chalk this up to luck.

His HR/FB is better than last year and his fly ball rate is about the same, as is his contact rate, so I’d probably pick Hall up if he was dropped. He’ll hit .255 or so with maybe 20 home runs of production (assuming 500 at-bats) and a handful of steals. The only thing to really worry about is his decreasing playing time, of late, although he’ll be playing second now with Rickie Weeks out. If he earns eligibility there, he’ll gain some additional value.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all but shallow NL-only leagues.

Ryan Spilborghs | COL | OF – We’ve talked about Spilborghs several times before, and you know that I’m a big fan. He’s got a lot of talent, and now it’s being said that he’ll start seeing additional time in center (sapping some of Willy Taveras‘s value) even with Matt Holliday back from the DL. He’d even become a full-time player if Taveras gets traded. Here’s what I said about him a couple weeks ago:

“Even with a low fly ball rate, Spilborghs could be expected to hit 19 or 20 homers given 500 at-bats. In addition to that, he could hit .310 with a handful of steals.” He’s hit everywhere from first to fifth, so RBIs and runs should also come for Spilborghs. Highly underrated guy and a great pickup.
Recommendation – Should be strongly considered in 10-team and owned in 12-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Mike Fontenot | CHC | 2B – With Alfonso Soriano injured, Fontenot will man second while Mark DeRosa goes to the outfield. Fontenot could hit .265 (with some upside) with a handful of homers and steals. He’ll probably hit towards the bottom of the order, though, so he won’t be wracking up the RBIs and runs, although his good walk rate will help a little with the runs.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 10-team NL-only leagues.

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