Waiver Wire What-to-do's July 19th edition
Waiver Wire Pickups
It seems like only a week or two ago that I wrote about some massive injuries that struck the baseball world. This week is no different as All-Stars Jose Bautista, David Ortiz and Joey Votto all hit the DL. Odds are if you have one of those three you spent a high pick on them, probably a first rounder for Bautista or Votto. If you just lost one of them or need a shakeup look no further. Your prayers about what to do to help your team will be answered below.
Nick Markakis, OF Baltimore Orioles (81% owned ESPN leagues)
OK, so this might be a cheapie because he is a big name player. That being said he could easily be 100% owned. And he isn't. Check and see if he is available in your league. He is about a week removed from a DL stint which no doubt caused him to be dropped by many an owner. You wouldn't know it though. He has 12 hits in his first seven games back and should help boost the offense for a surprising Orioles team. If he is free in your league pick him up now. He is most definitely better than your worst player.
Doug Fister, SP Detroit Tigers (60% owned)
Fister was a fantasy god send last year when he was freed from Seattle. That got his stock pretty high coming into the draft this season. Too bad he fell flat on his face. He was 1-6 on the 4th of July and was giving up a lot of crooked numbers in the run column. Couple that with time spent on the DL and most owners (including myself) facepalmed themselves when they saw the results. Things have changed. Since the 4th of July Fister is 3-0 and has a surprising 18 strikeouts in his last two outings. Maybe he is healthy now. If that is the case maybe he will put up the numbers we all expected from him this year.
Delmon Young, OF Detroit Tigers (58% owned)
Young, by definition, is a streaky hitter. Currently he is in one of his hot streaks that you want to ride. He has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games which included four homers in four straight. If you lost one of the players above Young is certainly capable of providing some pop in their absence. Be cautious though. Once he starts to cool off it could begin one of his slumps. He is worth a flier for now though especially with the Tigers finally starting to play well. You could do much worse on the wire.
Francisco Rodriguez, RP Milwaukee Brewers (40% owned)
To answer your question, yes, that is K-Rod. John Axford's struggles have put Rodriguez back in the closer's seat in Milwaukee. Before his trade to the Brewers he was a premier closer so the role is not an unfamiliar one. He may not keep the job for the rest of the year but if you are in a pinch for saves he can help you out in the short term. This can also be viewed as an audition to be moved at the trade deadline which is less than two weeks away. He has already converted two saves in place of Axford and has been pitching well lately lowering his ERA by almost a full run.
Ben Sheets, SP Atlanta Braves (29% owned)
Let me start off this way. I am a Braves fan. I am also a Ben Sheets fan. He was tremendous on some bad Milwaukee teams in the earlier part of the decade. That being said I need to temper expectations here. I watched his first start against the Mets in which he gave up only two hits in six innings while striking out five and getting his first win in two years. The key there is his first win in two years. Sheets' career has been decimated by injuries and I can't help but think another one is coming. I can't justify not picking him up strictly because of the injury risk but it is in the back of my head. If he can pitch like he did four years ago this could be a sneaky steal of a pickup.