Some oldies but goodies on the list for this week. Well, you can argue that Pablo Sandoval is an oldie, but is he a goodie? It’s hard to believe but he has been servicable. But, the .349 BABIP and 25% strikeout rate says it could be short-lived. But, after all, isn’t that the waiver wire is all about? You have injuries and need a plug-in and just maybe Panda can give you a week or two. That might be all you need.
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Shane Bieber, SP, CLE (CBS: 16% owned): A mediocre debut against the Twins on May 31 led to a demotion back to Triple-A Columbus, while he patiently waited for his next opportunity. The comebacker that drilled Carlos Carrasco and subsequently sent him to the 10-day DL is that opportunity. He started today and held his own against the Twins, likely earning future opportunities. “Bieber Fever” lives!
Jorge Bonifacio, OF, KC (CBS: 2% owned): The 80-game PED suspension is drawing to a close, and Bonifacio commenced his rehab this week in anticipation of a return on June 27. He did hit 17 homers in 384 at-bats last year, and combined with the injury to Jorge Soler, should see regular at-bats upon his return. He is definitely worthy of a bit more attention than his current two percent ownership level.
Jose Castillo, RP, SD (CBS: 1% owned): He’s pitching in a lineup that includes closer Brad Hand and a solid setup guy in Kirby Yates, but how do you ignore a pitcher that has now tossed 6 innings, allowing only one walk, one free pass, and no earned runs – while striking out 12 batters. There is only one correct answer. You don’t.
Daniel Descalso, 1B/2B/3B/OF, ARZ (CBS: 29% owned): Descalso plays all over the place and his current total of 39 RBI, as hard as it may be to believe, makes him the RBI leader on the DBacks. A 29 percent ownership level is a tad low for that level of production.
Marco Estrada, SP, TOR (CBS: 33% owned): Yes, it has been a most disappointing campaign for the 34-year-old veteran, but looking a bit deeper he has now tossed three consecutive outings in which he has allowed only three earned runs. Two of those outings resulted in wins and in those 18 2/3 IP he has struck out 19 batters. It’s time to jump on the bandwagon!
Jose Miguel Fernandez, 1B/2B, LAA (CBS: 5% owned): The injury to Shohei Ohtani means that Albert Pujols will be spending more time at DH, opening up potential opportunities at the hot corner. Down on the farm, Fernandez was tearing the cover off the ball to the tune of 10 homers, 39 RBI, and a stellar .412 OBP. He had actually walked more then he struck out at Salt Lake City. A small bid could capture some solid returns.
David Fletcher, SS, LAA (CBS: 3% owned): Zack Cozart, Jefry Marte, and Kaleb Cowart are all currently on the 10-day DL with various maladies. The glove can play all over the infield, most likely at third base for now, and that outstanding 21/16 K/BB and stolen base potential shouldn’t be ignored.
Austin Hedges, C, SD (CBS: 14% owned): The rehab and subsequent setback has delayed his return from an elbow injury, but it looks like finally, a return is imminent. Catchers with any upside are limited and Hedges did hit 18 homers in 387 at-bats last season.
John Hicks, C/1B, DET (CBS: 47% owned): We originally discussed John Hicks in Week Seven, when Miggy Cabrera hit the 10-day DL with a hamstring strain. It’s time to discuss him again, as unfortunately, Miggy Cabrera suffered a ruptured left biceps tendon that will have him sidelined for the balance of the season. Hicks catcher eligibility is the key, and his numbers at that position are top-tier. Heading into Saturday’s action, do you care to guess what catcher owned the best BA in the game?
Jordan Hicks, RP, STL (CBS: 24% owned): Bud Norris has now allowed earned runs in three-of-his-past-five starts. Has Bud Norris ever enjoyed long-term success in any role? The Cardinals handed the ball to Hicks on June 9, and he shut down the Reds, earning his first career save. Norris still owns the ninth inning in St. Louis, but the leash is definitely shorter.
Kevin Kiermaier, OF, TAM (CBS: 22% owned): I’m a bit surprised that Kiermaier is unowned in this many Leagues, given the speed potential. Over the past three seasons, he has swiped 18, 21, and 16 bases. Maybe it’s the fact that he also hasn’t broken the 400 at-bat barrier in the past two seasons and won’t once again in 2018. Kiermaier is currently in the process of wrapping up his rehab stint and should you feel “the need for speed” it’s time to part with some of that FAAB.
Manny Margot, OF, SD (CBS: 27% owned): It has been an abysmal start to the 2018 campaign for Margot, but is he finally turning a corner? In the past two weeks, he’s batting .371 with four RBI and has drawn five walks. In deeper Leagues, I’ll pay the FAAB price to see if that corner has been turned.
Justin Miller, RP, WAS (CBS: 8% owned): Since getting the call on May 25, Miller has now tossed 11 2/3 strong innings and amassed four wins, two holds, a .77 ERA, .26 WHIP and an off-the-charts 22 strikeouts. He’s earning the trust of the Gnats hierarchy and for good cause.
Tom Murphy, C, COL (CBS: 11% owned): How many breakout lists has Tom Murphy been a part of in the past five years? He’s now 27, but was crushing the ball at Triple-A Albuquerque to the tune of 16 homers, 45 RBI, and a 1.001 OPS. We’ve been teased by that home run potential forever, and maybe, just maybe we’ll finally be rewarded.
Freddy Peralta, SP, MIL (CBS: 24% owned): He will be called up with a scheduled start Tuesday in Pittsburgh. We’ve seen mixed results in his two previous appearances, but the Pirates and potentially the Diamondbacks in a two-start week is intriguing. In his past three starts at Colorado Springs he’s allowed two earned runs, and in those 15 1/3 IP has amassed 25 strikeouts. That sky-high strikeout potential should have your attention.
AJ Reed, 1B, HOU (CBS: 5% owned): In his past ten games at Triple-A Fresno he has hit seven homers, driven in 17 runs, and is batting .351. On the season he is leading the PCL in RBI, is second in homers, and is currently one behind the League Leaders in walks with 41. #freeAJ
Dereck Rodriguez, SP, SF (CBS: 5% owned): It has been a mixed bag for Rodriguez thus far. He’s enjoyed two good starts against the Phillies and Marlins, with a stinker in between against the Gnats. He is looking at a two-start week with the Marlins and Padres on the agenda. As a streaming option, it won’t get much better.
Anibal Sanchez, SP, ATL (CBS: 17% owned): Over the past three seasons, we’ve seen Anibal Sanchez go from being a steady middle-of-the-order starter, to disappear off the map. He’s experiencing a rejuvenation with the Braves and in his past six starts has looked like the Sanchez of old. In three of his past five starts he’s allowed no earned runs, and on the season is sporting a 1.93 ERA. I’ll buy into those numbers.
Pablo Sandoval, 1B/3B, SF (CBS: 6% owned): Sandoval has been sneaky good this year, posting five homers, 23 RBI, and a solid .279 BA. Shocking, isn’t it? Evan Longoria is going to be lost for the next six-to-eight weeks with a broken hand, and the combination of Sandoval and Alen Hanson should be the principal beneficiaries.
Cory Spangenberg, 2B/3B/OF, SD (CBS: 6% owned): It simply wouldn’t be right if I failed to mention Cory Spangenberg at least once per year in a Waiver Wire Article. In the past two weeks, he has hit three homers, driven in six runs, and swiped a pair of bases. My mission is complete. See you in 2019, Cory!