Waiver Wire: NL

Trent Oeltjen | ARI | OF
YTD: .414/.414/.862
True Talent: .268/.318/.399
Next Week Forecast: 0.3 HR, 3 Runs, 2 RBI, .268 BA, 0.7 SB
Arizona sent Chris Young down to Triple-A this week, bringing up Oeltjen, a nine-year minor league veteran with a career line of .293/.358/.410. He has steadily improved in his last three years at Triple-A, reaching a .300/.358/.505 level in 2009, which earned him that long-awaited call-up. He’s crushed in his brief time in the bigs, but that’s not going to continue, and True Talent’s not the only reason. Conor Jackson and Eric Byrnes are due to return soon, and Justin Upton could come back around the same time, so Oeltjen’s basically auditioning for a fourth OF spot on the team. All of this makes him only worth a short-term pickup in the deepest of NL-only leagues.

Anibal Sanchez | FLA | SP
YTD: 7.1 K/9, 1.6 K/BB, 5.55 ERA
True Talent: 7.1 K/9, 1.7 K/BB, 4.53 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 5.2 IP, 0.3 Wins, 5 K, 4.82 ERA
One of Florida’s promising young arms, Sanchez is due back soon from the minors, where he’s been rehabbing a sprained right shoulder. He says he’s ready now and has tickled the mid-90s with his fastball, so expect him to start sometime next week. His early season stats are a bit inflated as he was battling those shoulder problems, but True Talent shows his peripherals are right on target. His career has been marred by injuries, including surgery on that same right shoulder, so handle him with care. But the talent is there, and he’ll deliver Ks as well as wins from a Florida club that has won 13 of its last 21 and 5 of its last 6. If he does well in his first start, he’ll be a good roster addition for nearly all NL-only leagues and mixed leagues of at least 12 teams.

Alcides Escobar | MIL | SS
YTD: .250/.250/.250
True Talent: N/A
Next Week Forecast: N/A
Milwaukee’s housecleaning this week cleared the way for Escobar, their top prospect, to make his mark. He’s a wizard with the glove but has been working on his hitting in order to reach the majors. In 2009, he hit .297/.346/.412 in the minors, with 42 SB, showing you his real fantasy value—speed. His batting eye needs more work, although his 0.5 BB/K this season in minors was an improvement over his .34 career mark, and it’s the reason he’ll start out at the bottom of the batting order (he hit ninth in Macha’s LaRussa-esque lineup on Thursday). He’s likely to struggle initially getting on base, which will affect his SB numbers, and he won’t collect as many runs until he can hit leadoff. Hardy remains in the wings if he struggles, further diminishing his value. But teams with a need for speed aren’t going to find any better waiver wire opportunities to collect steals at this point in the season, making him a good add in almost any league. Just keep in mind his probable BA drag, diminished power and runs.

Oliver Perez | NY | SP
YTD: 8.7 K/9, 1.1 K/BB, 5.97 ERA
True Talent: 8.2 K/9, 1.6 K/BB, 4.78 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 12.0 IP, 0.7 Wins, 11 K, 4.52 ERA
How bad do you need strikeouts? Enough to take Perez’s 8.2 BB/9 and ERA that floats around 5? Enough to pray for a win from the Quadruple-A Mets? Perez has given up only seven ER over his past four starts, dishing out 26 Ks over 21.2 IP, but he didn’t pick up a win. That’s about what you should expect from Perez, who’s also prone to disastrous starts, like the two seven-plus ER starts he had in April. The good news is that he’s been looking better of late; the bad news is that for Perez, looking better isn’t hard to do—this is the first month his ERA has dipped below 7.00. Maybe you see that glass as half-full and see continued improvement—he’s got to lose over a run to match his TT projection, after all—but he’s unlikely to prove worthy of the gamble. Let’s hope you don’t need Ks this bad.

Angel Pagan | NY | OF
YTD: .287/.331/.459
True Talent: .263/.323/.410
Next Week Forecast: 0.5 HR, 4 Runs, 3 RBI, .258 BA, 0.9 SB
Shortly after Carlos Beltran hit the DL, Pagan became New York’s everyday CF and leadoff hitter, and he’s been about the only thing Mets fans have been able to count on, outside of David Wright and being below .500. Particularly of late, Pagan’s been getting on base at a good clip and scoring runs, even getting a handful of extra-base hits. Cory Sullivan has started in the past couple of days, as punishment from Jerry Manuel for poor play from Pagan, but Pagan should be back there soon. He’s still not going to bring a ton of value, but he’s not a bad pickup for his combination of moderate power and speed. His best value is in NL-only leagues 15 teams or deeper; teams in other leagues can try to snag a few steals from him, but be warned: He’s only swiped four bags in his last 28 starts.

Madison Bumgarner | SF | SP
YTD: 7.0 K/9, 3.0 K/BB, 1.97 ERA (minors)
True Talent: N/A
Next Week Forecast: N/A
Heads up, keeper owners: Bumgarner is coming. Though he’s currently at Double-A, rumors persist of this 20-year-old lefty’s imminent call-up, and you’ll see him in September (if not sooner) as either a starter or reliever. His fastball is so nasty that he’s had to work only recently on a good peripheral pitch, settling on a slurve instead of his inconsistent curve. He’s got poise, power, good health, and can even hit (.429/.500/.857 in 9 PAs this year). On any other club, he’d be a sure ace, but there’s some guy named “Lincecum” in his way to that honor. If your keeper league doesn’t allow minor-league pickups, get your finger ready on the mouse for when he gets that call-up; if you can take minor-leaguers (and he’s still available), now’s the time to get him. You won’t be sorry.

Wladimir Balentien | CIN | OF
YTD: .235/.300/.377
True Talent: .234/.301/.408
Next Week Forecast: 0.5 HR, 2 Runs, 2 RBI, .230 BA, 0.2 SB
One of the lesser names to switch leagues before the trade deadline, Balentien was swapped by Seattle after they DFAed him, finally tired of waiting for his power to develop. He’s only 24, but his 0.38 BB/K in the minors declined to a 0.27 in the majors, and his .368 career SLG in the bigs couldn’t make up for that. He’s competing for time with Jonny Gomes, who is both older and very streaky—his 3-HR night on Thursday followed a 4-for-27 stretch—so Balentien could eat up more PT as August progresses, but Bruce is due back in September, which should push both Balentien and Gomes back to the bench. That .357/.455/.500 with CIN makes Balentien look juicy, and he could be worth a short-term flier in very deep NL-only leagues, but he won’t give you very much for very long.

Bobby Parnell | NY | SP/RP
YTD: 7.3 K/9, 1.6 K/BB, 3.94 ERA
True Talent: 6.3 K/9, 1.3 K/BB, 5.18 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 5.2 IP, 0.3 Wins, 4 K, 5.19 ERA
Parnell is the latest to toe the Rubber of Death for the Mets, filling in while Mike Pelfrey left to take care of his wife. He’s going to get another chance to start tonight, which could determine whether he sticks in the rotation or not, and thus what kind of value he might have for your team. His average stats make him suitable only as a fringe-y starter, so watch this next outing carefully. He’s a well-regarded prospect in the Mets system, so he’s got the skills, but his long-term outlook sees him coming out of the bullpen. Consider him a gamble for NL-only leagues 15 teams and deeper, or as a pick-and-stash for deep keeper leagues.

True Talent and Next Week Forecasts courtesy of Heater Magazine.

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  1. Rob McQuown said...

    Trent Oeltjen, eh?  What a year it’s been for failed Twins prospects.  He, Alex Romero, and Garret Jones could get together at a Pirates/D-Backs game and reminisce about the times at Quad Cities, New Britain, Fort Myers, and Rochester.  Not that any of them is likely to amount to much, but I’m pretty sure the Twins would rather have one of them and Garza and Bartlett back instead of their current left fielder and Brendan Harris.

  2. Corey said...

    Not to be picky, but Trent Oeltjen was called up Justin Upton was put on the DL, not when Chris Young was sent down.

  3. Corey said...

    Not to be picky, but Trent Oeltjen was called up when Justin Upton was put on the DL, not when Chris Young was sent down.

  4. Michael Street said...


    You’re right; they made so many moves in a matter of days that I had my timeline a little backwards. The effect, however, is the same: with Young in AAA, Oeltjen can be expected to play nearly full-time (for now), while he had only a part-time gig before that move.


    I hadn’t thought about the connection among those three, but you’re totally right. You’d think the Twins would give those guys a longer look, but maybe they didn’t like Oeltjen’s Aussie accent.

    And, as you say, they didn’t give up much in those three—Jones is hitting well, but he’s down from his stratospheric heights to a more expected .239/.327/.457 in August. I expect a similar fall to earth from Oeltjen and Romero.

  5. MadMaxScherzer said...

    Update: My roster has changed a little (see below) with some timely pickups and drops(adding Richards, Kendrick, Morgan, & Santana; dropping Inge, Gutierrez, Ludwick, & Stewart).
    I’m pretty solidified in my league’s last playoff spot (barring catastrophe) and can even make a run for the next to last spot if all goes right.
    Do you see any space for a Bumgarner or a Neftali Feliz on this roster and if so who would go? Meche is on my DL and is no longer on the DL IRL so I would have to activate or drop him and Latos’ innings limit is supposedly approaching. Also, as mentioned Jones is slowing down but I do believe he still has something left in his bat. Any advice?

    C   Jorge Posada (NYY – C)
    1B   Ryan Howard (Phi – 1B)
    2B   Howie Kendrick (LAA – 2B)
    3B   Gordon Beckham (Chw- SS,3B)
    SS   Marco Scutaro (Tor – 2B,3B,SS)
    OF   Nyjer Morgan (Was – OF)
    OF   Michael Bourn (Hou – OF)
    OF   Garrett Jones (Pit- OF)
    Util Prince Fielder (Mil – 1B)
    BN   Jason Kubel (Min – OF)
    P   Francisco Rodríguez (NYM – P)
    P   David Aardsma (Sea – P)
    P   Brad Lidge (Phi – P)
    P   Jorge DeLaRosa
    P   Randy Wells (ChC – P)
    P   Mat Latos (SD – P)
    P   Cole Hamels (Phi – P)
    BN   Clayton Richard (SD- P)
    BN   Joba Chamberlain (NYY – P)
    BN   Max Scherzer (Ari – P)
    BN   Ryan Dempster (ChC – P)
    BN   Ervin Santana (LAA- P)
    DL   Gil Meche (KC – P)- DL
    DL   Shaun Marcum (Tor – P)DL
    DL   Jason Schmidt (SF- P)DL

  6. Michael Street said...


    To me, it depends on how much you’re building for next year and how much you want to hold for this season. Bumgarner won’t likely give you too much this year, and Latos (as you point out) has only got 1-2 starts remaining.

    Either is going to have tons more value down the road, but it doesn’t makes sense to cut (say) Ervin Santana, who’s going to help you this year. Jones is certainly slowing down, but do you want to put all your eggs in Kubel’s basket?

    Meche wasn’t too impressive in his first start back, but he’s just clogging up a DL spot for you; activating or cutting him is not going to free up an active spot for you.

    Jorge DeLaRosa is the weak link that I see, but (again) it depends on whether you’re building for the future or not. Your pitching is fairly solid for next year, depending on your keeper limit/budget, so you might have to hold off, unless/until you’re ready to toss your chances this year and build for next.

    One of the hardest choices in fantasy can sometimes be standing pat—I’ve looked at plenty of potential pickups in my various leagues, and regretted being unable to pick them up, but I know that I can’t do it without cutting a more valuable guy. You can’t have everyone, so you may have to let Feliz and/or Bumgarner slip for now.

  7. MadMaxScherzer said...

    Would your advice change when considering that this is a non-keeper league?

    I’m happy to stand pat right now with Meche in the DL spot until Latos is shut down and then dropping Meche to make a move on Bumgarner (if he’s available and starting) or Feliz to help with ratios. Also, I’m not enamored with Kendrick’s part-time role and will probably cut him and pick up Jorge Cantu (in hope of him catching fire).
    Kubel’s drastic lefty-righty splits are very reminiscent of Jekyll and Hyde, so you’re right in asserting that cutting Jones and relying on him would be ill advised. However, DeLaRosa—and most of my starters not coincidentally—has a very easy schedule for the remainder of the season and could very well dominate in his last few starts. It’s very tough to hold pat this time of the year, especially when you think your team is good enough but could use something to put it over the top.

  8. Rob McQuown said...

    I think Asdrubal Cabrera is far better than your other options, honestly.  Mea culpa on predicting his stealing too pessimistically in an early Waiver Wire writeup, but he’s running a decent amount now.  He plays everyday, has good batting average skills, a little pop, and has added speed to his game.  Still young enough that further steps forward won’t be a shocker.  It doesn’t seem that you need it, but the ss/2b positional eligibility is nice.  TT puts him at .281/.345/.409 with .4-3-3-.5 (HR-R-BI-SB) weekly, which isn’t bad at all.

    I realize you have Nyjer already, but I’d consider Guzman as a second choice.  I hope I’m not contradicting something Mike wrote, but since the LASIK surgery, he’s been a different player.  He hit .328 (limited PT in 2007), .316, and .313 – slugging about .440 over that 3-season span.  That’s almost 1300 PA of .320 hitting with a .440 slugging%.  I am pretty sure we can safely assume that whatever was wrong with him in 2002-2006 was corrected.

    Guzman suffers from “Schumaker Syndrome” (batting average is about all he brings), but unlike Skippy, he plays every day, and as bad as the Nats are, it’s not because they can’t score runs, so he has reasonable R/RBI totals for a tablesetter.  His TT is .308/.341/.433 with a weekly forecast of .3-3-2-.2

  9. Michael Street said...


    Somehow I was thinking this was a keeper league, in which case Latos and Bumgarner are both marginal options not really worthy of consideration—Latos is 1-2 starts away from a shutdown, and Bumgarner’s 2009 arrival time/role are both iffy.

    I’d agree with Rob’s analysis of Cabrera, who’s been on two of my fantasy teams most of the year and producing well. Guzman is improved, but I’m not a fan of one-dimensional producers, so I think he’s a much less valuable option, particularly with a weak Nats team.

    I also like Chris Coghlan, who’s been flourishing atop a revitalized Marlins’ lineup: .300/.369/.417 as a leadoff hitter, with 40 R in 60 games.

    Depending on what cats you’re looking for, I think either Coghlan or Cabrera could be better options than Kendrick (who’s been up and down in production and PT), and would similarly spread out your rainout risk.

  10. Rob McQuown said...

    I’d trust Mike’s take on the Marlins’ plans better than my own here.  In discussing Coghlan v. Schumaker v. Kendrick, I had sort of assumed that Coghlan was due to lose significant playing time when Maybin was promoted, but obviously he’ll be harder to bench if he keeps hitting. 

    I have to admit that I hadn’t taken a good look at Coghlan before as a prospect, despite him being a first-round pick in 2006.  I definitely think the current “True Talent” for him of .256/.331/.381 is decidedly on the pessimistic side.  When I replied about Schumaker/Coghlan/Kendrick earlier, I was relying on TT, but think it’s guys like Cantu and Hermida who really need to worry if Maybin is promoted.

    So, I agree with Mike – put him up there with Asdrubal.  Messing with the Angels-go-round is fine for daily-move and AL-only leagues, but not for weekly-move mixed leagues.

  11. Michael Street said...

    Rob makes a good point about Maybin, but it’s going to be hard to break up the chemistry atop the Marlins’ lineup. Maybin is currently on the AAA DL with a sore back, but the injury isn’t considered serious—still, he hasn’t played since August 1.

    He’s undoubtedly going to be a September callup, but I don’t see him getting more than part-time work, assuming everyone in the OF continues hitting. As Rob also points out, however, Coghlan could also shift to 3B, displacing a skidding Cantu/Bonifacio tandem.

    Ultimately, Coghlan could find himself at 2B, though that’s likely after this season and (of course) dependent upon what they do with Uggla.

  12. MadMaxScherzer said...

    Hmm well for now I’ve decided to go out on a limb and drop Meche, Garrett Jones (strikeouts are creeping up), and Kendrick while adding and DLing Aaron Boone (for mostly sentimental reasons) and adding Kevin Kouzmanoff (on fire and supposedly fully recovered from shoulder surgery) & Gorzelanny (who looked great today, had great numbers in his minor league stint and has a great schedule for the rest of the season w/ a good offense behind him). AC (Asdrubal) will be on my radar as well as Coghlan and either will get an add when Latos is dropped (barring a call up w/ starting status from Bumgarden).

    Thanks for all the great advice!!!!

  13. MadMaxScherzer said...

    Coghlan, Izturis, Aybar, E. Cabrera, Cantu, A. Cabrera, O. Cabrera, C. Guzman. Any infielder will do because I can move Scutaro and Beckam around.

  14. MadMaxScherzer said...

    hitters** from the same team (to avoid problems from rainouts as I beat a playoff opponent last year because of numerous rainouts during our matchup)

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