Thursday, May 19, 2011

Waiver Saviors: May 19th, 2011

Waiver Saviors is a regular feature on COSFBA looking for players available in a majority of leagues (ESPN and/or Yahoo!) who are currently having a statistical impact in fantasy baseball and could/should be worth owning, if you have the need. Waiver pickups are all about filling a need with a player(s) currently hot and beating your fellow owners to the punch without destroying your current roster in the process. This advice applies best to very deep, mixed leagues and shallow league-only leagues. I'm not sure why people still insist on playing in shallow mixed leagues where EVERYONE is available on waivers.

Here's the latest batch of Waiver Saviors who may be worth owning if your roster continually has been decimated by injuries or you're finally ready to move on from an under-performing draft selection:
  • OF Marlon Byrd, CHC (32.6% ESPN; 29% Yahoo! owned) is currently tied for sixth in hits (51) in the MLB, is hitting .307 and has scored 22 runs. Those are some positives. On the flip side, he only has two home runs and nine RBI, a 2.9 BB% and an inflated BABIP of .374. The Cubs will continue to run him out there everyday and slot him in the three hole in the lineup and there is value in that if you need a temporary fill-in for an injured player. And it also helps that he's hitting .340 over his last 15 games and both of his homers have come during that span.
  • OF Jonny Gomes, CIN (17.2% E; 23% Y!) is only hitting .183 and officially lost his starting left field job, so why would there be any value in acquiring him? One word; interleague. The Reds are going to use him at DH in upcoming interleague games hoping to utilize his bat. This could be the wake up call his season needs. Now if he could just cut down his 31.7 K% and have a few balls drop into play (.195 BABIP).
  • OF Seth Smith, COL (25.8% E; 15% Y!) has started 31 of the Rockies 41 games and made it into a total of 35, producing 4 HR, 18 RBI, 23 Runs and 3 SB. At his current pace, he'd produce a full season line of .286/91/16/71/12. In 2010, only 28 players accomplished a 16 HR/12 SB or better season. His splits (.301 BA vs RHP; .167 BA vs LHP) prove he'll be stuck in a platoon and should be utilized as such on your fantasy team, as well.
  • 1B Todd Helton, COL (68.3% E; 37% Y!) looks healthy and could add value to your team in several categories from a CI, IF or UTL/DH slot in deep, mixed leagues or shallow NL-only ones (8th-ranked NL first baseman). Is a 20+ HR/75+ RBI/.315+ BA season that much of a stretch for him? He's outperforming guys like Aubrey Huff, Adam Dunn and Billy Bulter at this point and deserves a look.
  • OF Corey Patterson, TOR (14.1% E; 7% Y!) is currently the Blue Jays starting left fielder and batting at the top of an offensively-potent lineup. In his last 14 straight starts, he's batting .295 (18/61) with six doubles, two triples, nine RBI, 11 runs scored and three stolen bases. Get past the name and look at the statistics and you'll see a player with plenty of fantasy value while getting the opportunity to play.
  • 3B Scott Rolen, CIN (43.4% E; 39% Y!) has returned to the lineup from a shoulder injury and tearing it up. In six games since his return, he's hitting .435 (10/23) with a 1.132 OPS and should be a mainstay in the middle of the Reds' potent offense with the occasional day off for rest.
  • 3B Alberto Callaspo, LAA (51.7% E; 32% Y!) is another third baseman with value on waivers. Over his last 15 days, he's hitting .339 (19/56) with 11 RBI. He doesn't offer much power or speed but would fill in nicely if you are reeling from injuries at what's proving to be an even shallower third base position than it was on draft day.
  • OF Roger Bernadina, WAS (2.2% E; 2% Y!) is the Nationals' starting center fielder and leadoff hitter and deserves to be owned in more leagues. He's now hitting .293 on the year with four stolen bases in his last 11 games. His 12.8 BB% has led to a nice .383 OBP. If the Nationals' offense could find some consistency, Bernadina could be a cheap source for runs scored, too.
  • C Yadier Molina, STL (60.3% E; 55% Y!) has a 5x5 line of .323/16/3/18/1 and currently stands as the third-ranked catcher on ESPN's Player Rater after hitting .483 (14/29) with a 1.190 OPS over his last seven games. There's no reason to hold onto a multi-category killing catcher this deep into the season. You should be willing to play the hot hand if you missed out on the upper-tier options.
  • OF John Jay, STL (1.1% E; 2% Y!) could see some additional playing time if Tony LaRussa continues get Albert Pujols starts at third base, going forward. His .322/8/3/11/1 line has been very under-utilized up until this point, thanks to the blazing start to the season Lance Berkman has had.
  • OF Ryan Ludwick, SD (20.3% E; 17% Y!) has been on a tear over his last seven games, hitting .444 (12/27) with four home runs, 13 RBI and a .889 SLG. He may only be worth rostering on road trips, though (.177/6/4/11/0 at home; .280/13/4/17/1 away).
  • RP Fernando Salas, STL (55.3% E; 39% Y!) is the latest Cardinals' reliever to get a chance at some saves and has gone 4-for-4 in his opportunities. Mix in a 2-0 record, 1.02 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 8.15 K/9, 3.20 K/BB, .153 BAA and three Holds and you got yourself a very valuable reliever in nearly all formats.
Is it time to hit the panic button yet on some under-performing players and if so, which ones have you simply cut your losses with and moved on from already? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section.

Be sure to check back every day to see who won COSFBA's "Line of the Day" award.

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