Waiver Wire: National League

Bob Howry | CHC | CL? – Ryan Demptser continues to struggle, and it would be no surprise to see Lou Piniella make a switch, even at this point in the year. 3.76 K/BB is very good, and his 3.74 LIPS ERA is plenty manageable. If he’s available, pick him up.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Bob Wickman | ARZ | RP – Wickman has latched on with Arizona, but with all of the quality options in that bullpen there is, essentially, no chance Wickman will get into the saves mix. His peripherals are pretty bad, so he really shouldn’t even get a look in leagues that use middle men.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in all leagues.

Edgar Renteria | ATL | SS – I have no idea why his ownership in ESPN leagues is 0% (typo?), but Renteria is playing and should be owned in all leagues.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Brian Wilson | STL | RP/CL? – I wouldn’t count Brad Hennessey completely out yet, but Wilson is seen by many as the closer of the future for San Francisco and has been pitching well recently. Hennessey, on the other hand, has blown three of his last five save chances. Wilson needs to be owned until the situation becomes clearer. I’d probably take him over Hennessey.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Norris Hopper | CIN | OF – I know I’ve ragged on Hopper in the past, but with Josh Hamilton‘s injury, Hopper should see regular at-bats the rest of the way. His .377 BABIP is much too high, but his 21% line drive rate is good. Still, with a BABIP regression to .305, Hopper would be hitting just .274. This is because his power is nonexistent. He didn’t hit a single homer in the minors last year, only hit one in the majors last year, and hasn’t hit one this year. The Reds seem to like hitting him at the top of the order (although he’s also batted ninth a decent amount), but his 5% walk rate will suppress his runs a little bit. Can swipe some bags, though, and might be moderately useful in certain leagues.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12 and 14-team NL-only leagues.

Edgar Gonzalez | ARZ | SP – Might be the #4 starter for the Snakes the rest of the way. Won’t help with strikeouts, but his K/BB (2.52 this year, 3.11 last year, and 3.96 in AAA last year) is solid enough. Still, realize that this year’s K/BB is based on 9 starts and 20 relief appearances, so that K/9 might come down a bit. It’s at 5.76 now, so it really can’t afford to get much lower.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be strongly considered in 12 and owned in 14-team NL-only leagues.

Joel Pineiro | STL | SP – Has a very nice looking 3.97 LIPS ERA in 8 starts for the Cards so far, but this is reliant upon a 1.47 BB/9. Also, notice that Pineiro had a 5.28 LIPS ERA (with a 3.71 BB/9) in 31 relief appearances for the Red Sox earlier in the year. He has shown good control in the past, though, so it might be repeatable to a certain degree. Hasn’t had a start yet for the Cards where he walked more than 2 batters. Won’t help with strikeouts, but — and I never expected to say this — Pineiro could actually have some fantasy value of the next couple of weeks.
Recommendation – Should be owned in very deep mixed leagues. Should be owned in deep 10, 12, and 14-team NL-only leagues.

Octavio Dotel | ATL | RP/CL? – It’s really anyone’s guess whether or not Dotel will take over the closer’s role for the Braves, but I don’t see it happening. Had he returned at the beginning of the month — as he originally had been slated to do — I might be saying something different. I think the Braves expect Soriano to be the closer in 2008, though, and I don’t think they’d want to throw Dotel into the role right away. With time running out, I think it’ll be Soriano the rest of the way. Still, if you have a roster spot to spare and Bob Howry and Brian Wilson are gone, you could try Dotel. He’ll also help in leagues where middle relievers have value.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12 and 14-team NL-only leagues.

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