You should always have your eye on the waivers in any league, deep or shallow, to stay on top of your team in case a player like Felix Hernandez or Hunter Pence hits the DL and shakes up your roster. Even if the health of your team is better than that of your personal trainer, there will be moments when you get tired of 'player a' or 'player b' and want to freshen up your lineup. Fear not, cause every Friday I will give you some options to take a gander at.
Last week I covered a lot of pitchers that were creeping their way onto my radar, and if you listened, you got a nice start from Colin McHugh and Nathan Eovaldi, ran into the injury bug with Matt Cain, and are contently riding the two-starts of Jon Gray into the weekend. On the other hand, regression hasn't hit Colby Lewis yet, and somehow Matt Andriese was the only pitcher to escape the hot bats of Kansas City alive over the past week.
This week we're back to some bats that are worth kicking the tires of in many formats. But first, let's briefly touch on some guys you probably missed.
Already Added (Hopefully by You)
Trea Turner - There's a 99% chance that you already know of the news, Turner will play Friday in Cincinnati as he was recalled from AAA. He's one of the more exciting bats to get the call this year, and will hopefully be the first of many more prospect related moves to come this June. 100% own-able in all leagues, will provide speed, average, and counting stats dependent on his lineup placement and playing time.
Matt Shoemaker & Michael Fulmer - Two pitchers that were all the buzz around podcasts and websites on Thursday, both threw very good games against each other in Anaheim. We have seen this from Shoemaker before, as his July 2015 was great, the difference this time is both experience and control. He has not walked a batter in his last three starts and struck out 31 - yes 31 batters. Fulmer on the other hand, does profile as about a 8-9 K/9 guy based on his minor league numbers, but has had some slip ups this year. I'm not sure where I heard it, but another analyst said that Fulmer has more upside while Shoemaker possess the track record and higher floor. That is what I'll stick with, but I do think they're both worth looks in most formats, shallow leagues included.
Riding the Hot Hands
Jon Jay (4.1 % owned on ESPN) - As I write this, Jon Jay is 9 for his last 11 with two RBIs and 4 runs. Jay was relevant earlier in the season, and while he slumped for a while as the Padres struggled, he has always been a high average bat who can hit lefties. If you're going to give anybody a look in a bad lineup, why not summon the player who is leading off and batting .286+ on the year? While the value won't persist far past this weekend in my eyes, he faces a Rockies team that isn't known for their pitching, and you should be able to deal with one of three mediocre nights if Jon Gray deals on Saturday. He's worth a look in 12 teamers and deeper - pull the trigger.
Franklin Gutierrez (1.4% owned on ESPN) - Another guy who I don't see having too much value by mid-June, Gutierrez seems to have a 2-3 week stretch every year where he is red hot. Maybe it's just my imagination, but I've seen this script before from him, and I like it if I catch on early. I don't think I see a better matchup over the weekend than Gutierrez Saturday and Sunday versus lefties Derek Holland and Martin Perez. He's slugging .471 off southpaws this season and is 7 for his last 19 with 3 dingers. Quite possibly my favorite plug and play over the weekend, I'll be shocked if he doesn't park one, but versus Darvish tomorrow is a tough matchup.
Jarrod Dyson (7.6% owned on ESPN) - Dyson quietly has 10 stolen bases on the year and is batting a respectable .266. While he has only played in 62% of the Royals games, if that trends towards the 70% mark with OF injuries, you're looking at a player who is on pace for 34 steals, music to a Roto league manager's ears. His bat has been trending up over his last few games as well, with a hit in 8 of his last 9 where he has tallied an AB. In 2015, Kluber gave up a decent amount of stolen bases, and while I'm not entirely sure if he has quelled that this year, Dyson is a great play for cheap steals, and probably more viable long term in roto legaues than either of the two prior mentioned bats. 12 team Roto leagues and deeper where steals are sought, make a move.
C.J. Cron (4.6% owned on ESPN) - The curious case of C.J. Cron continues this season as he has appeared time and time again to have the makings of a 25 HR player. This year, it is a bit different, and that's a good thing. Just about everything I look for when quickly glancing over a player like Cron is looking good. His strikeouts are down a solid 6%, he is walking more, he is hitting the ball hard more often, and his BABIP and HR/FB% should both trend back to his career norms after a bit of lag through his 48 game played. Frankly too, the Angels don't have any other power options or replacements. I can see him being a 20 HR guy this season at a position that doesn't have too much depth. He should be owned in AL only leagues and in those deeper than 12 teams, I could see a speculative add.
Matt Duffy is a player I have seen dropped in a few 12 teamers and if I have room, I am inclined to add him. First of all, he batted 3rd in a day game yesterday, the first game with Hunter Pence on the DL. While this may not stick, I like that Bochy is trying to kick start his .295 hitter from last year. On top of that, his BABIP is way below his career norm, about 50 points, and while this can be a red flag, his batted ball peripherals show that he is still hitting the ball as hard as last year and is in fact hitting more line drives. I have a claim in for him in a 12 team roto league where I lack 1B/3B depth and if he's not addable, try a super super buy low if you're in the same spot as myself. I also am still perplexed as to how he already has attempted 9 steals on the year, any Giants fans care to help me out on this one? Does Bochy want him running more? Or is he getting lucky situationally?
You know I couldn't leave you all without a look at this week in the catcher wasteland! The guy I will highlight for this week is Drew Butera, another prime example of why I love scavenging the waivers for viable catchers instead of paying for top tier guys. Just to emphasize my point, lets go over the guys being drafted after Posey this year in NFBC leagues. Their names include Starling Marte, George Springer, Charlie Blackmon, Yoenis Cespedes, Todd Frazier, and Stephen Strasburg. Tissues are about $1.49 at CVS Posey owners who passed on these other studs, I apologize for trolling.
On a more serious note, Butera has been really good as a fill in. I added him in favor of the struggling Yadier Molina for the weekend in a 10 team league, and he looked great as he took advantage of a mistake by Carlos Carrasco on Thursday night (great to see Carrasco back in other news). I'm pretty confident he'll be able to continue this streak until Salvy returns, even against some tough pitching over the weekend. 7 for his last 17 with one HR and 5 RBIs is nothing to scoff at.
As always, I try my best to practice what I preach.
Best of luck this weekend everybody. Happy baseball!