Waiver Wire: National League (Week 4)

Really sorry for how late this is coming, guys. Next week these should probably come earlier, and definitely each week after that.

Before we get started, I have a couple of additions to the American League Waiver Wire that I forgot to include yesterday.

American League

Francisco Liriano | MIN | SP: Liriano has been sent to the minors and probably has been dropped in your league after three awful starts. If you remember our original chat about him this off-season, there was an expectation that he would struggle for the first two months. I think his current status is well beyond that, but I’m not ready to give up on him. If you have more than a few bench spots, I think he’s worth hanging onto for a while longer.

Clay Buchholz | BOS | SP: Buchholz is owned in 89 percent of ESPN leagues, but he was dropped in a very competitive league I’m in, so if he’s available in yours, go get him. He got off to a rough start, but he has plenty of talent and is starting to shape up. Innings will be limited, but they will also be high quality.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

National League

Brian Fuentes | COL | CL: Fuentes was named the closer in Colorado last week, and he’s probably already been scooped up in your league. If not, go grab him. Reasons for concern: low ground ball rate doesn’t play particularly well in Coors, worse-than-average walk rate amplifies runs created by homers. Good news is that he has a career HR/FB of 9.1 percent, two points below average, all while playing for the Rockies. He seems to be getting a lot of hype, though, and if you were first to him and can trade him for a more qualified closer (or a good starter or hitter), it might be worth it. Read on.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Manny Corpas | COL | CL: The Rockies might prefer the 25-year old Corpas as their closer of the future, so they will probably give him the opportunity to take it back. He showed good control last year and a great ground ball rate, but he doesn’t strike out as many guys as Fuentes. Corpas was lucky last year with a .260 BABIP and 85 percent LOB rate, so maybe the Rockies were expecting too much out of him. If his peripherals return to their 2007 levels, though, he’s probably marginally better than Fuentes, and his age should give him the edge. I’m not dropping Corpas if I own him (I don’t) and picking him up if someone else does (they haven’t yet).
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Jonathan Sanchez | SF | SP: Look at these two lines and tell me which you’d prefer to own.
11.57 K/9 | 3.54 BB/9 | 37% GB% | 22% Home Park HR Deflation
9.23 K/9 | 4.00 BB/9 | 47% GB% | 22% Home Park HR Deflation

That first line looks a little better, doesn’t it? That first line is Jonathan Sanchez’ peripheral line this year. The second is Tim Lincecum‘s from last year. Sanchez has always struck batters out (10.73 K/9 in 2007); his problem has just been the control (4.85 in 2007). Granted, we’re only 28 innings into the year for Sanchez, but he clearly has talent and is worth a pickup now to see if he is for real.

If nothing else, he’ll provide fantastic value in terms of strikeouts. Also, while he gives up a lot of fly balls, his park should help to keep the homers down. The best part? He currently sports a 3.54 ERA, but all of his luck indicators are neutral. Who doesn’t want a 3.50 ERA guy who will strike out 11 batters per game?
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team mixed leagues, for now. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Mark Hendrickson | FLA | SP: Hendrickson currently has a 3.68 ERA and is crediting his success to off-season laser eye surgery. What he should crediting, though, is good fortune: a .270 BABIP and 4.5 percent HR/FB. Peripherals have been bad as a starter (though were quite good as a reliever last year), so don’t buy into the early success.
Recommendation: Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12-team NL-only leagues.

Todd Wellemeyer | STL | SP: What is up with Wellemeyer? 9.00 K/9 with a 2.90 BB/9? I read somewhere that the change occured when he was traded to the Cards last year, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. He had a 6.57 K/9 and 4.20 BB/9 as a starter for them last year. He’s said to have decent stuff and was once a decent prospect, but he’s 29 now and this is coming out of nowhere.

What can his minor league record tell us? Well, we see pretty good strike rates as high as Triple-A, but his BB/9 was below 3.52 just once, in 2002 at Advanced-A. Take a chance if you want, but there are probably guys with better records you could go after.
Recommendation: Should be considered in 12-team and owned in 14-team mixed leagues, for now. Should be owned in all but shallow NL-only leagues, for now.

Ryan Theriot | CHC | MI: Ryan Theriot will see his own post in the coming days as I realized that my description of him ran way too long for a Waiver Wire post. Bottom line is this. Theriot can hit .285 with a couple of homers, a bunch of steals, and a lot of runs. Look for more detail todayor Tuesday.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Felipe Lopez | WAS | MI: Lopez has overtaken Ronnie Belliard for the starting second base spot in Washington and makes a decent pickup this week. He has good speed and was allowed to attempt a steal 20 percent of the time despite playing under Manny Acta (who I love as a manager, by the way), though he is successful only about 75 percent of the time. He could hit .275 with 25 steals or so. He should also score plenty of runs hitting leadoff for the Nationals and with his decent walk rates.

He also has surprising power that could be boosted by a new park this year. Check out his HitTracker profile and click to 2007. Those dots perfectly form the shape of RFK Stadium’s fences, which decreased homers by 32 percent. The low fly ball rate limits his power potential, but a dozen or more homers should be within reason.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Clint Barmes | COL | MI: I don’t think Barmes is for real. He puts up good contact rates, but he doesn’t have much power or a good BABIP history. His BABIP this year appears to be driven by a 26 percent line drive rate completely out of line with his career. He might have made changes, but I’m not banking on it. Low batting average, no power, little speed. Not my cup of tea.
Recommendation: Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be considered in 12-team and owned in 14-team NL-only leagues.

Moises Alou | NYM | OF: Alou hits when he plays, and with him set to come off the DL next week, now is the time to pick him up. In 300 at-bats, Alou could hit right around .300 and approach 15 home runs. He could hit as high as fifth with Carlos Delgado struggling, which would set him up for plenty of RBIs. Good play while healthy.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Skip Schumaker | STL | OF: Thumbs down on Schumaker. He could hit .280, but that’s about all he’ll be good for. Not much power, not much speed. He might also get some runs batting leadoff for the Cards, but his current run total looks a little inflated by his out-of-the-ordinary 14 percent walk rate. He’s only halfway to the benchmark Pizza Cutter found, so that should regress. Not a good add.
Recommendation: Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12-team NL-only leagues.

Joey Votto | CIN | 1B: I forgot to mention Votto last week, and now that he is playing every day he needs to be owned. He could hit .280 assuming a .330 BABIP, but he hasn’t had one below .341 since 2005 in Advanced-A. With a .345 BABIP, the average goes up to .291. He could also hit 20 or so home runs given 500 at-bats. Hitting behind Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Dunn and Brandon Phillips should help with RBIs.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Chad Qualls | ARZ | RP: We’ll talk more about speculative adds at closer in the coming days, but Qualls is a good one. I think he’s ahead of Tony Pena right now, and with Brandon Lyon‘s luck set to run out at any minute, Qualls could be closing in a matter of weeks. Can be owned in all leagues you have room.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.

Mike Gonzalez | ATL | RP: Gonzalez is now shooting for a May return, and if Rafael Soriano continues to struggle with injuries, he could take over the closer’s role. He has good talent and will just need to prove him health. If you have an open DL slot, he should be picked up right now. If you have to use a bench spot on him, I’d probably wait. I still have some faith left in Soriano.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deep mixed leagues. Should be considered in 12-team and owned in 14-team NL-only leagues.

Print Friendly
 Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone
« Previous: Waiver Wire: American League (Week 4)
Next: THT Dartboard: April 27, 2008 »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *