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Waiver Wire – Week of May 9th

Available Today, Rostered Tomorrow

George Kirby, SP, SEA (CBS: 36% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): The Mariners aren’t fooling around, calling up top pitching prospect George Kirby straight out of Double-A Arkansas. When you’ve posted a 32/5 K/BB ratio in 24 2/3 IP and a 1.82 ERA, one can’t argue with the Mariners’ thought process. We will have the advantage of witnessing his debut today against the Rays at home before our FAAB run tonight. Unless Kirby really struggles, he’ll take care of a good chunk of that FAAB.

Juan Yepez, 1B, STL (CBS: 15% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): The struggles of Dylan Carlson prompted a move and the Cards turned to Yepez for hopefully a spark in their O. Between the DH slot and OF, Yepez will garner full-time at-bats and if the numbers at Triple-A Memphis are any indication, (9 HR, 26 RBI in 89 at-bats) he could be worth every penny you’ll spend to roster him on your squad.

Alek Thomas, OF, ARZ (CBS: 20% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Thomas had four home runs, three stolen bases, and an outstanding K/BB ratio of 16/13 down on the farm and should provide immediate help for the DBacks anemic offense. Toss in the fact that he won’t be faced with huge struggles to hold down a job in that Arizona outfield and he should generate some serious interest in Waiver Wire runs tonight.

Solid Upgrades

Chris Archer, SP, MIN (CBS: 16% rostered, ESPN: 4% rostered): The fact that he’s still pitching after the injury mired past several years is bordering on amazing. The control is still a work in progress and has inhibited his ability to go deep into games, but as the strength and hopefully control return, he will hold value as a #5/6 starter in deeper Leagues.

Harrison Bader, OF, STL (CBS: 40% rostered, ESPN: 24% rostered): Harrison Bader has always possessed a world of talent, limited only by his ability to make contact. He’s off to a better start but will still struggle to make contact. What he won’t struggle with is stealing bases and with seven already in the books is on pace to shatter his prior high of fifteen.

Brandon Drury, 2B/3B/OF, CIN (CBS: 4% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): The former Diamondback, Yankee, Jay, and Met seems to have found a home in Cincinnati and has provided a solid offensive spark (5HR, 15 RBI) in a dismal Reds season.

Yadiel Hernandez, OF, WAS (CBS: 14% rostered, ESPN: 14% rostered): When you’ve gone 13-for-25 with one homer, 8 RBI, 6 runs scored, and stolen a base in your past six games you’re going to get regular playing time. With Lane Thomas on-going struggles, it guarantees at the very least the strong side of a platoon for Hernandez.

Ryan Jeffers, C, MIN (CBS: 9% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): In the past six games Jeffers has gone 6-for-20 with two homers and 8 RBI. In two-catcher formats he should have our attention.

Ha-seong Kim, 2B/3B/SS, SDP (CBS: 41% rostered, ESPN: 29% rostered): The term “super-sub” is likely the one that will be used to describe his future role with the Padres, but until the return of Fernando Tatis Jr. from the broken wrist, Kim has been holding his own with 3 HR, 11 RBI and a .770 OPS. That roster flexibility, especially in deeper Leagues, is attention worthy.  

Royce Lewis, SS, MIN (CBS: 17% rostered, ESPN: 7% rostered): Carlos Correa looked to be IL bound with a broken finger. Apparently, it’s not as bad as first feared, but will still require some “R and R”. Lewis was tearing it up down on the farm and should see a fairly steady diet of at-bats over the next week-to-ten days.

Nick Martinez, SP, SDP (CBS: 12% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): We’ve now witnessed five starts for Martinez and for the most part he has been as advertised, possibly even a bit better. He’s sporting a solid 3.38 ERA and although the walks are a concern, the bulk of them (nine to be exact) came in two of those starts. One could do much worse than Nick Martinez as your fifth starter.

MJ Melendez, C, KCR (CBS: 31% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): Cam Gallagher hits the 10-day IL with a strained hammy and the Royals have turned to top-prospect Melendez to fill in. Between backing up Sal Perez in the catcher slot and at-bats in the DH slot he should carve out enough playing time to hold value in two-catcher formats. Even though he was off to a slow start this year at Triple-A Omaha, we shouldn’t forget that he did lead all of Minor League baseball last year with 41 homers.

Bryson Stott, 2B/SS, PHI (CBS: 21% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): It was a very short stay at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for Bryson Stott, as Didi Gregorius hits the IL with a left knee sprain. Stott’s early season performance left a lot to be desired, but a pair of homers and stolen bases in 36 at-bats after his demotion demonstrated the solid potential to be an everyday player.

Spencer Strider, RP, ATL (CBS: 17% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): It might be time for the Braves to give Spencer Strider a shot at a rotation slot. They’ve tried virtually everyone in their system in the fifth slot, to no avail, and have to be running out of options. Strider has posted a great 2.16 ERA with 24 punchouts in his first 16 2/3 IP. The combination of the great strikeout rate and possible move into the rotation should have our attention.

Rowdy Tellez, 1B, MIL (CBS: 70% rostered, ESPN: 49% rostered): At the beginning of the week Tellez was rostered in 22% of the Leagues using CBS. By Saturday night, it was 70%. All it took was a two-homer eight RBI game to get our attention.

Josh Winder, SP, MIN (CBS: 20% rostered, ESPN: 11% rostered): Winder is off to a great start, providing some early respite in the Twins’ injury-depleted rotation. He started the year in the bullpen, but upon moving to the rotation has won both starts and in fine style, posting 15 strikeouts in 12 shutout innings with only one free pass. Let’s see what Rich Wilson has to say about the young Twins starter. “Josh Winder had a strong season across Double and Triple-A.  In 14 starts, he posted a 2.63 ERA striking out 80 and walking only 13.  He wasn’t a high draft pick, partially because of his average-at-best fastball.  However, this year, I have reports that he’s hit 98 MPH on the gun with a plus slider.  That changes the calculus and makes me more interested.”

Closer Carousel

Ryan Helsley, RP, STL (CBS: 40% rostered, ESPN: 12% rostered): No, Giovanny Gallegos has not lost the closer job in St. Louis, but should he, Ryan Helsley is the arm you want to have rostered. That 100+ mph high heat has contributed to an amazing 20/0 K/BB ratio in eight appearances (10 IP) while not allowing an earned run. Need I say more?

Brooks Raley, RP, TAM (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Raley is another face in the crowd in that Rays bullpen, but when sporting a 2.00 ERA with two saves under his belt five weeks into the 2022 campaign, you know there will more opportunities.

Drew Smith, RP, NYM (CBS: 8% rostered, ESPN: 4% rostered): Trevor May has hit the IL, resulting in everyone moving up in the Mets bullpen. In ten appearances, Smith has accumulated seven holds while not allowing a single earned run. Toss in the 15 punchouts in 11 1/3 IP and you have an under-the-radar reliever that shouldn’t be for much longer.

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