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Waiver Wire: Martin or Uehara your priority?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Let's go back in time to May 2011. Barack Obama was in the White House. Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and Rihanna topped the Billboard charts. And the Rangers signed Cuban defector Leonys Martin.

At the time, there was an idea that Martin could join the Rangers by the end of the 2011 season. He actually saw that through, appearing in eight late-season games and producing a .375 average. Last season, Martin saw action in 24 games, hitting just .174 in spot duty (13 starts and frequently sitting for several games at a time).

This year, Martin started the season in a platoon with Craig Gentry. Slowly but surely, he began to nudge Gentry (currently on the DL) out of the picture. Martin started 12 games in April, 18 in May and has already started 19 games in June. With the increased playing time, Martin's stats improved. By the end of April, Martin was hitting .250 with no steals and one home run. Since then, he's hit .304 with 12 steals, four home runs and three triples. His minor league results -- a .323 average over 533 at-bats and a 12-homer 2012 campaign (in just 55 games) -- not only suggest Martin can sustain his gains, but that there's room to improve. Owned in 56 percent of leagues, Martin should see a significant bump in ownership as he continues to dazzle for the Rangers.

The Big Leaps

Koji Uehara, RP, Red Sox (44 percent ownership, up from 10 percent)

Let's go back in time to September 2010. Barack Obama was in the White House. Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and Rihanna topped the Billboard charts. And 35-year-old Uehara was closing games for the Baltimore Orioles.

For whatever reason, I thought Uehara had saved more than 13 games for the Orioles in 2010. I'm not sure if Baseball Reference is missing some saves, if I've gone crazy or Uehara just maybe got those saves in crunch time for a team on which I had owned him [Note: for some reason, I do the same thing with Grant Balfour and his four saves in 2009]. But foggy memories aside, Uehara has the closer reins once again, this time as a 38-year-old for the Red Sox.

You can't argue with the success of a pitcher who has a career 2.79 ERA and 0.91 WHIP, coupled with his 10.2 career K/9. The question with Uehara is how long he'll be in the role. There are two ways this can go, and both have nothing to do with Uehara:

1. Andrew Bailey will straighten out whatever is wrong and return to the closer role right after the All-Star Break. This would leave Uehara out of a job and back in middle relief.

2. Andrew Bailey will go back on the DL, admit he hasn't been feeling great since his activation from biceps tendinitis in late May (his velocity has been in the 93-ish area, as opposed to 94/95 in April, and he has a 7.48 ERA since his activation), and be lost for another chunk of the season, giving Uehara even more value

Depending on which way you lean with a situation that is almost wholly guesswork, Uehara is either a tremendous steal or a short-term filler. Personally, I'm guessing more on the "steal" side right now.

Over/under on ERA (season): 2.25
Over/under on saves (season): 12

Roy Oswalt, SP, Rockies (43 percent ownership, up from 22 percent)

I won't torture you with another "Let's go back in time ..." joke. But I will give you this: in 2010 Oswalt had a 2.76 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. He pitched 211 2/3 innings, his seventh season in a row with 180-plus innings pitched, and sixth out of those seven hitting the 200 IP mark.

Oswalt still has a 3.29 career ERA and 1.20 WHIP. His K/9 is a decent 7.4. He pitched just 59 innings in the majors last year -- a disastrous stint with the Rangers that ended in Oswalt sporting an ERA over 3.69 for just the second time in a 12-year career. He made eight relief appearances, the most since his rookie season. Nothing went right for Oswalt in 2012. But 2013 may be a different story.

Some would-be owners may fear the thin air of Denver. But Oswalt actually has good career numbers at Coors Field -- 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 26 innings there. Granted, Oswalt is 35, but I think there is something to be said for knowing he will remain in the rotation and taking advantage of a career 1.46 GB/FB ratio in a park that is unkind to flyball pitchers.

Don't expect his strikeouts to stay up, but Oswalt should be more like the pitcher we saw for the first decade of his career, and not the mess he was in Texas in 2012. A Wednesday thumping by the Red Sox wasn't exactly the best of signs, but give Oswalt a few starts to acclimate and he could return somewhat close to old form.

Over/under on ERA (season): 3.85
Over/under on WHIP (season): 1.27
Over/under on K/9 (season): 6.5

The Flavor of Next Week

Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (Owned in 46 percent of leagues)

There have been a few false starts with Moustakas this year. First and foremost was his status as a "Breakout" in the 2013 draft kit. Gaze upon the words of your preseason soothsayer:

It took Moustakas about 1,000 at-bats in the minors to get to his 36 home run season (2010), which was the same year he followed his lowest batting average (.250) with his highest (.322). Also, Moustakas is just 24 years old and has room to grow. With 1,000 major league at-bats likely under his belt by April, Moustakas will have enough seasoning and experience to take that next step in power and average. He will do more than repay his current ADP, which has him 13th among third basemen.

Most Added Players (as of 6/27)
Player % change
1. Zoilo Almonte, OF, Yankees 37
2. Koji Uehara, RP, Red Sox 35
3. Joaquin Benoit, RP, Tigers 29
4. Leonys Martin, OF, Rangers 25
5. Esmil Rogers, RP, Blue Jays 22
6. Gregor Blanco, OF, Giants 18
7. Roy Oswalt, SP, Rockies 17
8. Brian Dozier, SS, Twins 17
9. Kevin Correia, SP, Twins 15
10. Chien-Ming Wang, SP, Blue Jays 14

It didn't end there. A little over a month ago, I noted that Moustakas' BABIP was very low, while his walk and strikeout rates were the best of his career. "In short," the genius said, "Moustakas has been very unlucky." Phrases like "inevitable turnaround" were thrown around. Over the following 15 games, Moustakas hit .196 with one walk and one extra base hit.

Even though I'm starting to feel like that mouse in the little maze who keeps hitting the button that shocks him, I'm going to pump up Moustakas one more time. And I'm using this article in the Kansas City Star to back it up:

"They’ve scrapped everything. We had a talk, and we talked about what got me here. Who am I as a player? I'm Mike Moustakas, and I hit the ball to right field and right center. I'm not a singles guy who hits balls to left. I drive the baseball, and that's what I'm trying to get back to doing."

and ...

From George Brett: "When we got here and watched Moose hit, he couldn't hit a home run — even in BP. And (the other day), he hit about 10. So progress is being made. Fans don’t know that. They look at the box score and see oh-for-three. They don't see an eight-pitch at-bat and fouling off tough pitches."

Since Brett took over, Moustakas is hitting .270 with three doubles. But over his last 10 games (imagining it's taking some time for Brett to do his work), Moustakas has a .343 average and .807 OPS. It may just be baby steps, but it looks like Moustakas has the hitting thing turning itself around, meaning the power can't be too far behind.

Over/under on average (season): .265
Over/under on home runs (season): 18

AL-only fun

Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins (16 percent ownership)

In 144 at-bats this season, Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia has a .278 average, with six home runs, 10 doubles and 21 RBI. But Arcia has really come alive in the 13 games since his mid-June recall from the minors (he was optioned May 25). In 46 at-bats, Arcia has a .326 average, .957 OPS, two home runs and five doubles.

In the minors, Arcia hit .313 in 399 games, with double-digit home runs in his last three seasons. He was a top 50 prospect with solid batting average and decent, developing power. And because he can play left or right field, Arcia's bat has remained in the lineup alongside Josh Willingham, Ryan Doumit and Chris Parmelee.

Owned in just 16 percent of leagues, Arcia can offer value in average, power and counting categories because of his regular at-bats. He's AL-only because of his ownership percentage, but Arcia, who is developing into a solid Fantasy option, can be rostered in leagues as shallow as 14 teams.

Over/under on at-bats (season): 415
Over/under on average (season): .279
Over/under on home runs (season): 16

NL-only fun

Eric Young, OF, Mets (15 percent ownership)

Eric Young has never really gotten the chance to show off what he can do in a full-time role. In five major league seasons, Young has never gotten 200 at-bats in one campaign. In fact, with nine more at-bats this year, the 28-year-old will have set a new career high.

The 2003 30th round pick did get regular playing time across eight minor league seasons, though. He stole 80 bases in 2006, 73 in 2007 and had two other seasons of 40 or more steals. Those four years were the only ones which Young got 400 or more at-bats, shuttling between the minors and majors in most of the others. There's not a lot of power here, but Young did compile a .297 average and .388 OPS in 2,562 career at-bats.

The more you dive into Young's stats, the more difficult it is to figure out why he isn't more widely owned. He can hit for average, he can steal a lot of bases and he appears to be the starter in left field for the Mets, who can shift him to center when Ike Davis is recalled, sending Lucas Duda back to left.

Like Arcia, Young could have an impact in shallower leagues, but still has ownership numbers low enough to be available in NL-only formats.

Over/under on steals (season): 32
Over/under on batting average (season): .272

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS .

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Player News
Giants C Buster Posey extends hit streak to 16 games
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(9:22 pm ET) There weren't many bright spots in the Giants' 11-2 loss to the Rockies on Sunday, but one was that catcher Buster Posey extended his hitting streak to 16 games. 

Posey waited until the ninth inning to keep his streak alive, singling to right field to finish 1-for-3 on the evening. Posey's career-high hit streak remains 21 games, which he accomplished in 2010. 

The catcher is hitting .310/.382/.468 on the season. 


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Arenado scored the Rockies' first two runs and then put the capper on Colorado's eight-run fourth inning with a three-run homer, his eighth of the season. 

Arenado fell just a double short of the cycle, as he hit his first triple of the season. All four of Arenado's RBIs came with two outs, as he lifted his average to .275 on the season. 


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by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:57 pm ET) Mets pitcher Bobby Parnell tossed one scoreless inning on Sunday for Double-A Binghamton as a part of his rehab assignment. Parnell allowed one hit with one strikeout and no walks in his appearance.

Parnell is currently on the 15-day DL with an elbow injury. He has thrown one inning so far this season, posting a 9.00 ERA with a walk and a strikeout.


Tigers RP Bruce Rondon retires side in rehab appearance
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(8:49 pm ET) Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon, making his second rehab outing since going on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis, threw an efficient inning Sunday for Triple-A Toledo, per MLB.com. 

Rondon needed just 10 pitches to work through his inning, twice hitting 98 mph on the radar gun. The reliever has been on the DL since Opening Day, and will travel with the Mud Hens on their 10-game road trip, where he likely will make three more rehab appearances. 


Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal to serve as DH in Triple-A rehab
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:47 pm ET) Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal will begin his Triple-A rehab assignment with Oklahoma City on Monday against Salt Lake and serve as the designated hitter, according to the Los Angeles News Group.

Grandal is currently on the 7-day DL after suffering a concussion when he took a bat to the head on Saturday. Grandal is hitting .291 with 17 RBI in 103 at-bats and could be activated as soon as he's eligible.


Phillies rookie Odubel Herrera continues to struggle in the field
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:41 pm ET) Phillies rookie outfielder Odubel Herrera continues to have problems with his glove. Herrera misplayed balls in two of the three games over the weekend, leading to runs for the Nationals. Manager Ryne Sanberg believes it has something to do with the walls in Washington, according to Philly.com.

"I've seen balls come off firm and I'm seen them come off where they die off the wall. That's knowing the outfield wall and how the balls come off," Sandberg said. "It's all part of the learning process for him."

Herrera made another mistake on Sunday when he misjudged a pop up from Darin Ruf in the seventh. Herrera waited too long to make his move toward second and was gunned down by Bryce Harper.

"We want to favor the runner getting to second base instead of having to be that far to go once it dropped in," Sandberg said. "Could have been a big play."


Mets pitcher Matt Harvey may be dealing with 'dead arm'
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:16 pm ET) Mets pitcher Matt Harvey may be adding insult to injury after the worst start of his career on Saturday. The young pitcher may be dealing with "dead arm," manager Terry Collins said per the N.Y. Daily News.

"I have not talked to Matt yet, but it looks like he might be going through some of that dead arm stuff that sometimes happens. This might help him to have an extra day to get him back on track," said Collins, referring to Thursday’s off day. "He's going to pitch Friday with five days rest, be ready to go."

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(8:14 pm ET) Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who has missed the last five games with a knee injury, was called upon to pinch-hit Sunday against Angels lefty Cesar Ramos, and surprised everyone by lacing an RBI single while hitting left-handed.

Sandoval told MLB.com that the lefty-lefty matchup was a one-off due to his knee soreness and that when healthy, he would continue to switch-hit despite hitting just 2-for-41 from the right side this season. 

"It feels kind of weird, but I got the job done," Sandoval said. "It's one of those things, I'm going to try to help the team, no matter what. I don't feel great hitting right-handed because of my knee, so I'll just try to keep the momentum going hitting left-handed."

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(8:10 pm ET) Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was able to throw a 31-pitch bullpen session on Sunday and feels prepared for his next rehab start on Wednesday, according to NJ.com.

"I feel pretty good about where I am right now," Tanaka said through Japanese translator Shingo Horie. "But basically I'm going to go where the team wants me to go to. The most important thing is for me to be able to come back strong enough to go on the mound and contribute to the team."

Tanaka is currently on the 15-day DL with a wrist injury, but said he may be able to rejoin the team without making a third rehab start if all goes well on Wednesday. Tanaka is 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA in 22 1/3 innings of work.


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(8:02 pm ET) Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is expected to play left field on Monday when he is activated, manager Jeff Banister said on Sunday per the Dallas Morning News.

"We're going to open our arms and give him a great big hug and welcome him," Banister said of Hamilton. "And then we're going to treat him like he's one of 25, just like we do with everybody else."

Hamilton is expected to bat in the middle of the order, most likely fifth behind Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre. 

"We want him to come in and be one of the guys, enjoy the game," Beltre said. "We know what we can do. We don't expect him to come in and carry the offense. That's not going to be his job. With the guys we have, he doesn't have to do that."


 
 
 
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