2014 MLB Fantasy Fixer-Uppers Week 13
Well, we've reached the halfway point of most fantasy seasons. Now is the time when you need to decide if you have a chance to make a push towards the top or if you want to sell off some assets if you are in a keeper league. Whatever position you find yourself in the waiver wire will be your friend. I will be your guide. So sit down, relax and let me do the work for you.
Taijuan Walker, SP, Seattle Mariners (38% owned)
Let me start by saying this. Walker needs to be owned in all formats. All leagues. No matter what. Basically, the kid is an ace in the making. He is young so expect some so-so outings but his upside most likely the highest of any pitcher available in your league. He had a quality start in his season debut going six innings while giving up three runs and striking out six against the pesky Houston Astros. His next start is at the Chicago White Sox which is another solid matchup. He also has some quality guys he can learn from in Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma. I expect big things from Walker and he can be had in more than half of standard ESPN leagues.
C.J. Cron, 1B/DH, Los Angeles Angels (27% owned)
When the Angels released Raul Ibanez it ushered in the era of C.J. Cron. The slugger has five home runs in his last eight games and while that pace isn't realistic the power is there. In the equivalent of two MLB seasons in the minors Cron slashed .289/.332/.501 with 60 home runs. Those numbers have translated nicely to the bigs so far and now without Ibanez on the roster there is a clear path to playing time for the rookie. The Angels might have something special with this kid and you could have him on your roster right now. So what are you waiting for?
Danny Duffy, SP, Kansas City Royals (26% owned)
There once was a time when Duffy was thought to be the potential ace of the Kansas City staff. Then, the lefty underwent Tommy John surgery. Now Duffy is healthy and thriving with relatively little fan fare. Duffy capped off an impressive June with a win over the Minnesota Twins in which he surrendered only one earned run in five and 2/3 innings. That marked the firth time in his six June starts in which he gave up two earned runs of less. That other start? He gave up only three. The Royals are winning lately and Duffy is on a roll. You may as well snatch him up off the waiver wire and enjoy the ride that 26% of other fantasy players are enjoying.
Santiago Casilla, RP, San Francisco Giants (20% owned)
It looks like it is closer by committee time in San Fran as Sergio Romo has been floundering of late. Manager Bruce Bochy says the save opportunities will go to Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt. If one of them gets the lions share my money would be on Casilla who has been lights out thus far. In 31 1/3 innings Casilla has a miniscule 1.15 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. He also keeps the ball in the yard having surrendered only one home run so far this season while giving up only two in 50 innings last year. Throw in the fact that Casilla saved 25 games for these Giants back in 2012 and it sounds like Casilla is the clear add in the Giants bullpen.
Anyone in the Chicago bullpen not named Ronald Belisario, RPS, White Sox (???)
Still looking for saves? Someone already scooped up Casilla? Well, I hope you're a gambling man (or woman). Take your pick of anyone in the White Sox bullpen really. None of them stand out. Who will get the saves? Not even manager Robin Ventura knows! Basically anyone not named Belisario (who lost the job) has a shot. Will it be Jake Petricka? Could be. How about Zach Putnam? He certainly has a shot. Oh, and don't forget about Javy Guerra. He actually has some past closing experience. It's really all up in the air in Chicago. Your guess is as good as mine.
Is there anyone you have questions about that I didn't mention? That's where the comments come in. Leave one and I'll get back to you. Or ask me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy.