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Waiver Wire – Week of May 1

Bailey Ober, SP, MIN (19% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): Kenta Maeda has struggled to return from TJS and has now been placed on the IL with a right triceps strain. In his first start replacing Maeda, Ober tossed 5 2/3 innings allowing only one earned run. For the next month or so, Ober should be looking at starting every fifth day, and if the early results are any indication, both the Twins and your Fantasy squad have much to look forward to.

Matt Carpenter, UT, SDP (CBS: 9% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): It hasn’t been a banner year for the veteran Carpenter, but over the past seven games, he seems to be emerging from his doldrums. Over that span, he has gone 6-for-15 with two homers and 8 RBI. That production is sorely needed from a team struggling to stay above the .500 mark.

Jason Delay, C, PIT (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): I didn’t think it was possible, but everyone in Pittsburgh is enjoying a career year. When the Pirates’ #2 Catcher has posted a 1.045 OPS, don’t Delay in sliding him into your #2 catcher slot in deeper Leagues.

Jarren Duran, OF, BOS (CBS: 38% rostered, ESPN: 8% rostered): Since getting the call on April 17, Jarren Duran looks very much like a different player, and that change in approach has seen him get off to a hot start. He has gone 18-for-44 with a homer, 10 RBI, and two stolen bases, a rather big difference from the player we saw post a .646 OPS in 2022. It’s time to part with some of that FAAB in the hopes that this change can be sustained.

Yan Gomes, C, CHC (CBS: 18% rostered, ESPN: 8% rostered): With 5 homers, 13 RBI, and a great .313 BA already in the books, visions of that great 2014 season are dancing in our head.

Marco Gonzales, SP, SEA (CBS: 25% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): The search for SP continues, and it’s time to give Marco Gonzales a good look in deeper Leagues. Yes, the strikeout rates will be far from stellar, but he will win games for you and is currently sporting a 3.32 ERA. As a #5/6 starter, one could do much worse, and most likely, most of us have already done exactly that.

Shea Langeliers, C, OAK (CBS: 43% rostered, ESPN: 9% rostered): Even in the darkest of times, there has to be some light at the end of the tunnel in Oakland, and Shea Langeliers could be that light. He has done an excellent job early on replacing Sean Murphy, launching six balls into the bleachers with 16 RBI and a solid .786 OPS. The #2 catcher investment is quickly turning into #1 value.

Max Kepler, OF, MIN (CBS: 15% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): After missing the first couple weeks with right knee tendinitis, Kepler returned on April 15 and has now gone 13-for-42 with two homers and nine runs scored batting at the top-of-the-order. Expect more of the same moving forward.

Easton McGee, SP, SEA (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): The Mariners decided to give Easton McGee a look rather than Chris Flexen, and they have to be ecstatic with the results. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before leaving after allowing one hit and one walk against the Jays in Toronto. In deeper Leagues, he deserves a look, something we know he will get from the Mariners.

Ryan Noda, 1B, OAK (CBS: 3% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): The Rule 5 pick has now hit three homers and scored 16 runs in the two-hole. Noda hit 25 homers and stole 20 bases last year at Triple-A with a .395 OBP. Now that he plays every day, that two-hole could be an excellent landing spot.

Gavin Stone, SP, LAD (CBS: 30% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): Michael Grove has landed on the 15-day IL with a right groin strain, and the Dodgers are turning to one of their top prospects, Gavin Stone, to fill in the gap. After a slow start, Stone has turned it around and, with a 15/4 K/BB ratio in his past two starts, has brought his season ERA total under five. The potential upside warrants a rather considerable bid in tonight’s FAAB run.

Jack Suwinski, OF, PIT (CBS: 38% rostered, ESPN: 12% rostered): In the past two weeks, Suwinski has gone 13-for-34 with five homers, 14 RBI, and when not driving the ball into the bleachers, he has found time to steal five bases (all in the past week). I guess he will be rostered closer to the 90% level than his current 38% mark come Monday morning.

Samad Taylor, 2B, KCR (1% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): Michael Massey has posted a .352 OPS and looks seriously over-matched. It’s time for a change in KC, and the Royals don’t have to look far for relief. In 91 at-bats at Triple-A Omaha, Samad Taylor has smacked two homers, driven in 16 runs, scored 15 runs, and is 11-for-13 on the basepaths while posting a .330 BA. The clock is ticking, and it won’t be long before the alarm goes off.

Vince Velasquez, SP, PIT (CBS: 37% rostered, ESPN: 21% rostered): There I sat, tossing $50 bucks of that precious FAAB at Vince Velasquez while whistling to rocker Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again.”

Tyler Wells, SP, BAL (CBS: 33% rostered, ESPN: 10% rostered): Very quietly, Tyler Wells is off to a great start. The key to success has been his ability to limit the walks, as he has allowed only three since moving into the rotation in his second outing of the season. The resulting 2.79 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 29 IP makes him far more Fantasy-relevant than his current 33% rostered reflects.

The Closer Report

Bryan Abreu, RP, HOU (CBS: 31% rostered, ESPN: 14% rostered): In our April 16 Waiver Wire report, we mentioned the high strikeout numbers of Bryan Abreu. We can now add saves, as he has accumulated a couple in the past week to go along with the sub-one ERA and WHIP. Abreu has now passed Rafael Montero as the next-in-line for saves should incumbent Ryan Pressly struggle.

Jason Adam, RP, TBR (CBS: 20% rostered, ESPN: 13% rostered): Pete Fairbanks suffered a recurrence of Raynaud’s Syndrome Friday night and was removed from the game. The good news is that it appears as if an IL stint might not be required. At the same time, Jason Adam could see opportunities now and soon filling in for Fairbanks. It’s not a role he’s unfamiliar with, having garnered eight saves last year working as the setup man in Tampa Bay.

Yennier Cano, RP, BAL (CBS: 8% rostered, ESPN: 4% rostered): No, I’m not expecting a change in the ninth inning in Baltimore. Felix Bautista has amassed seven saves and a stellar 1.32 ERA, but even the great ones need a day off. This is where Yennier Cano comes into play. Cano is off to an incredible start. In eight appearances totaling 9 2/3 innings, he has yet to allow a hit or walk. He has accumulated five holds and one save during this fantastic run. A handful of saves, plenty of holds, and unhittable stuff make Cano a must-add in all formats.

Jason Foley, RP, DET (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Jason Foley has come out of nowhere to save two games, amass four holds, and in 12 appearances, post a stellar 1.59 ERA. He will get work in the ninth inning when Alex Lange needs a day off and be next-in-line for ninth-inning duty should he stumble.

Liam Hendriks, RP, CWS (CBS: 70% rostered, ESPN: 18% rostered): The great news, and there has been very little of it on the “South Side” this year, is that Liam Hendriks has not only beaten cancer but is back on the mound looking at a return to the game, sooner as compared to later. Reynaldo Lopez’s time occupying the closer role in Chicago is coming to an end, and that end could be as early as 2-to-3 weeks down the road.

Alex Lange, RP, DET (CBS: 41% rostered, ESPN: 8% rostered): This caught me slightly off-guard. The saves have been few and far between in Detroit this year, but when called upon, Alex Lange has been very effective working the ninth inning. He’s currently sporting a 1.50 ERA with three saves. Give your Free Agent pool a spy, and if he’s available, get him rostered and in your active lineup.

Matt Moore, RP, LAA (CBS: 3% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Jose Quijada has been placed on the 15-day IL with left elbow soreness, resulting in a shuffling of the deck in the Halos ‘pen. Carlos Estevez still owns the ninth-inning, and one-time Ray’s starter Matt Moore moves into the setup role. Moore has recorded holds in his past three outings and, in 12 appearances this year, has posted a 1.35 ERA and .75 WHIP while striking out a batter-per-inning. He’s one step closer to consistently earning saves and, in deeper Leagues, should be rostered.

Will Smith, RP, TEX (CBS: 37% rostered, ESPN: 4% rostered): On April 10, we wrote, “Jose Leclerc is the closer in Texas, but don’t ignore Will Smith. Bruce Bochy and Smith have history, and with one save under his belt already, Bochy has demonstrated that he won’t hesitate to turn to Smith to get the final three outs.” It’s not that Jose Leclerc isn’t pitching well, he’s currently sporting a .93 ERA with one save, but Will Smith now has three saves in the books and is sporting a 1.93 ERA. The results, at least thus far, speak for themselves.

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