Ryan Madson | Philadelphia | RP | 27 percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: 2.74 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 11.60 K/9, 7.86 K/BB, 50.5 GB
Oliver ROS: 4.00 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 7.0 K/9, 4.00 K/BB
With news of Brad Lidge having elbow soreness because of a hyperextended elbow, Ryan Madson becomes a player of interest for those in need of saves. While reports are that Lidge should be good to go by Friday, it is worth speculating that he may not be, or that he simply may not be effective in the short term, if you are an owner in need of saves. Madson has been electric this year, which his 2.44 xFIP and his other underlying skills-based stats support. Even if Madson can’t pick up any saves, he should have worth to owners nearing their innings-pitched caps who are looking to squeeze out every last strikeout and help their ratios.
Recommendation: Should be owned by save-desperate owners in the short term as well as owners looking for strikeouts and ratio help while approaching their seasonal innings-pitched caps.
Clay Hensley | Florida | RP | 9 percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: 2.54 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 9.47 K/9, 2.00 K/BB 51.9 GB
Oliver ROS: 4.11 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 6.1 K/9, 2.00 K/BB
Clay Hensley has put together quite the season in the Florida bullpen and with news that Leo Nunez has been removed from the closers role until, “he regains his confidence,” according to Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez, Hensley may be able to add some saves to his stellar line as the Marlins’ interim closer. There haven’t been any save opportunities for the Marlins since Hensley has taken on the r role, so it is anyone’s guess as to whether he’ll actually be trotted out for the next save opportunity. Regardless, if you need saves, now is the time to gamble that Hensley holds the role for at least a couple of save opportunities.
Hensley’s ability to strike out more than a batter per inning this season has been supported by his 11.9 percent swinging strike rate (8.5 is league average) and his 71.6 percent contact rate (80.9 is league average), and his worm-burning ways also make him a solid choice to turn to in save situations. Like Madson, Hensley should be helpful in ratios and strikeouts for those approaching their innings-pitched caps.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues while he’s the interim closer.
Jhoulys Chacin | Colorado | SP | 15 percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: 3.65 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 9.29 K/9, 2.29 K/BB, 46.3 GB
Oliver ROS: 3.86 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, 2.0 K/BB
In looking ahead at the Rockies schedule, it appears that Jhoulys Chacin‘s next start will come against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. This is good news for his current owners, and good news for those looking to pluck him off the waiver wire in the 85 percent of Yahoo! leagues he’s available. In his last start against them on Aug. 22 he threw 7.2 scoreless innings of three-hit, one walk, nine strikeout baseball. On the season against them he’s thrown 20.1 innings of five earned run baseball walking six and striking out 25 batters.
With a solid strikeout rate on the season against the Diamondbacks, and on the season as a whole, Chacin is a good addition for strikeouts alone. However, strikeouts may not be the only category Chacin is helpful in, since the Rockies are surging, and the Diamondbacks have been bad all season, making him a reasonable gamble to pick up the win on Sunday. Walks have been an issue for Chacin, so he certainly isn’t a risk-free stream, but his groundball-inducing ways and solid strikeout rate should help offset any possible bouts of wildness.
Recommendation: Should be owned in most 14-team or larger mixed leagues. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.
Kosuke Fukudome | Chicago (NL) | OF | 14 percent Yahoo! ownership
Oliver ROS: .255/.362/.400
Not a standout contributor in any one category, Kosuke Fukudome is a solid glue guy who is worth owning while he’s hot, which he currently is. In 90 at-bats since the All-Star break Fukudome’s slash sits at .344/.464/.578 with a 20:15 BB:K rate and four home runs. There has been very little difference in his splits against left handers and right handers, so he’s worth starting against both, but it is important to note he’s only received 32 at-bats against southpaws on the year. Owners looking for a little help across the board, perhaps a couple of home runs, maybe a steal or two, and some solid counting stats with a useful batting average should give Fukudome a look down the stretch run.
Recommendation: Should be owned in most 12-team or larger mixed leagues using five outfielders. Should be owned in all NL-only leagues.
Eric Young Jr. | Colorado | 2B/OF | 5 percent Yahoo! ownership
Oliver ROS: .253/.320/.343
Eric Young Jr. likely seems like a permanent resident of the NL Waiver Wire column, yet he continues to be unowned in 95 percent of Yahoo! leagues in spite of his awesome stolen base skills. Young continues to display little to no pop, but for those looking for stolen bases, that’s a good thing. Of the 42 times Young has gotten on base (not by error), 36 of them have been by single or walk, leaving him the opportunity to swipe second base.
In just 118 at-bats he has been able to steal 14 bases while being caught only three times. With a .323 OBP, runs may not come in bunches, but they do remain a possible second category Young can boost. While he isn’t a must-own for all owners, he is for those in need of steals.
Recommendation: Should be owned by all owners in need of stolen bases
Ryan Doumit | Pittsburgh | C/OF | 41 percent Yahoo! ownership
Oliver ROS: .259/.317/.418
Since the Pirates’ acquisition of Chris Snyder, Ryan Doumit has seen some playing time in the outfield in addition to catching duty. Owned in just 41 percent of Yahoo! leagues, Doumit possesses some pop, and has a chance to help owners in need of help behind the dish. On the season he has 12 home runs in 356 at-bats, not a monster total, but certainly helpful considering his position eligibility. Over the last 30 days Doumit has been especially useful posting a 10:18 BB:K with four home runs and a .354 OBP, albeit just a .264 batting average.
In two-catcher leagues Doumit has likely been owned all year, but in one catcher formats it’s possible he’s lurking on the waiver wire. Those in daily change formats with deep benches should consider owning two catchers and sitting Doumit against lefties, against whom his slash is just .182/.261/.273, and taking advantage of his impressive .298/.376/.502 slash against righties.
Recommendation: Should be owned in some 12-team mixed leagues or larger starting one catcher, and most larger mixed leagues using a single catcher. Should be owned in all two catcher formats and NL-only leagues.