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Waiver Wire – Week of May 23rd

Graham Ashcraft, SP, CIN (CBS: 3% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Connor Overton was scratched Sunday with a back issue and the Reds have turned to the 24-year-old righty, Ashcraft, to wrap up their series with the Jays. Ashcraft has enjoyed a solid start to the season at Triple-A Louisville, sporting a 2.48 ERA and a pinch shy of a strikeout-per-inning, and pending today’s results, could find himself sticking in the rotation. It’s worth a small bid to find out.

Kole Calhoun, OF, TEX (CBS: 25% rostered, ESPN: 12% rostered): In the last week, the bat has come alive. Over that span, he has gone 7-for-20 with three homers and seven RBI. Ride this current hot streak for all it’s worth.

Johnny Cueto, SP, CWS (CBS: 19% rostered, ESPN: 10% rostered): He stops and starts. He jerks a little and then eventually releases a well-hidden baseball. It’s the one and only Johnny Cueto, and he now has found a home on the “South Side”.  As a #5/6 type starter in deeper Leagues, he’s worthy of a small bid this weekend.

Nolan Gorman, 2B, STL (CBS: 68% rostered, ESPN: 21% rostered): He got the call, with the Cards finally tiring of the ineptness they’d dealt with at shortstop this season. The power is very real as is the swing and miss potential. He’s not coming cheap, so just clearly understand the parameters you’re dealing with when committing a large chunk of your FAAB to acquire his services.

Matthew Liberatore, SP, STL (CBS: 30% rostered, ESPN: 11% rostered): Nolan Gorman’s childhood and long-time friend Matthew Liberatore also made his debut yesterday and he struggled, allowing four earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. He was promptly optioned to Triple-A but will be back. If you have the room on your bench, a small bid and stash for his next callup isn’t a bad plan.

MJ Melendez, C, KCR (CBS: 45% rostered, ESPN: 9% rostered): Sal Perez suffered a left thumb sprain and was immediately sent to the 10-day IL. How long he’ll be sidelined is still up in the air, but in the interim MJ Melendez has moved into the principal catcher role in Kansas City. The fact that he has gone 7-for-23 in his past six games with a pair of homers is a pretty good indication that he’s liking those additional opportunities.

Tyler Naquin, OF, CIN (CBS: 23% rostered, ESPN: 10% rostered): Tyler Naquin is a fourth outfielder on most teams. The Reds aren’t most teams. Naquin is now up to four homers, two in the past week, and 21 RBI on the year. He should have a home as a 4’th/5’th outfielder on your Fantasy squad.

Isaac Paredes, 2B, TAM (CBS: 3% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): A three-homer week for Isaac Paredes and the ability to play all over the field is intriguing, especially in deeper formats. The injuries continue to mount in Tampa Bay, and a solid future as a super-sub and injury replacement could be in the cards for the former Detroit top pick.

Nick Pivetta, SP, BOS (CBS 58% rostered, ESPN: 31% rostered):  In his past three starts, in which he went 6, 7, and 9 innings respectively against the Whites Sox, Texas, and Houston, Pivetta has allowed only two earned runs while striking out 20 opposing batters. He’s on a roll and should be rostered and active in all formats.

Emmanuel Rivera, 3B, KCR (CBS: 1% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): In the past week, the 25-year-old has gone 6-for-20 with two homers. More importantly, with Adalberto Mondesi gone for the year with an ACL tear, there is a path to everyday at-bats. Rivera did hit 19 home runs in 255 at-bats last year at Triple-A Omaha.

Grayson Rodriguez, SP, BAL (CBS: 52% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): The time is drawing near. Actually, it should have been yesterday when the O’s could have had Grayson Rodriguez making his debut tossing to Adley Rutschman (91% rostered at CBS), who would have also been making his debut. It would have been perfect. Alas, it wasn’t to be, but rest assured the train will be leaving the station shortly and you definitely want to be all aboard.

Josh Rojas, 2B/SS/3B/OF, ARZ (CBS: 36% rostered, ESPN: 25% rostered): He covers every position on the field, excepting First Base and Catcher. Toss in the power and speed potential and he deserves a lot more attention than the current 36% shown in CBS Leagues.

Brady Singer, SP, KCR (CBS: 12% rostered, ESPN: 6% rostered): He got the call on Tuesday in a double-header and responded by blanking the White Sox over seven innings, tossing in nine strikeouts for good measure. That bought him a second start today against the Twins. A second solid outing and Singer could be around for the long haul.

Jeffrey Springs, SP/RP, TAM (CBS: 8% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): The Rays find a way to get it done, always have and always will. Jeffrey Springs is the latest example. They have moved him from the pen into the rotation, and albeit a small sample size, he has now thrown back-to-back strong outings against Baltimore and Toronto in which he didn’t allow an earned run. A small bid is in order, to see if he can make it three-in-a-row.

Christian Walker, 1B, ARZ (CBS: 42% rostered, ESPN: 18% rostered): This is the week of “swing and miss” specialists with power potential so how could we not discuss Christian Walker. A rather slow start to the season has been replaced by a great May, in which he has four homers in the past week and is now up to ten on the year. He should be rostered in all formats to take advantage of this current hot streak.

Eli White, OF, TEX (CBS: 11% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): White is on the wrong side of a platoon with Brad Miller, but he’s making the most of the opportunity and has now stolen eight bases on the year. If your “need is speed”, go get him!

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