Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Playoff Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Daily Fantasy
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Waiver Wire: Speed, power and Ks for all

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Rangers pitcher Martin Perez is red-hot right now. In our standard Head-to-Head format, he has two straight weeks of 24-point performances. And he's sporting a 2.37 ERA and 1.26 WHIP so far this season. So it makes perfect sense that he's seen a big jump in ownership, from 15 percent to 36 percent.

Still, Perez remains a bit of an enigma. The 22-year-old has been a perennial top prospect, ranking in the top 100 (according to Baseball America) every year since 2009. But that lofty status seems at odds with his numbers -- three seasons of 4.25-plus ERA in his six minor league campaigns, which contributed to a 4.16 overall ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Additionally, Perez had a very hard-to-track strikeout rate throughout his minor league career -- while he had a 7.6 K/9 overall, his rate fluctuated between 4.9 and 9.3 over those six years.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

So this leaves us at a virtual fork in the road. On one hand, Perez is a young player who has been scouted and judged, and ultimately deemed to be a very good pitcher (ever since he was 18). We've seen some younger pitchers -- Mike Leake this year, for instance -- hit some rough patches before eventually corralling their talent and finding success. On the other hand, Perez's numbers don't exactly bear out all this high praise. Even with his very nice three-game run this season, Perez still has a somewhat-high WHIP and has struck out just eight batters in 19 innings.

So what to do? Trust the five years of top prospect status? Or the numbers that he's put up so far? I'd personally be inclined to not take the risk because of the low strikeout numbers. But if you're playing in an AL-only league or deep (14-16 teams) mixed format, Perez could be worth the gamble, on the promise that he keeps providing low ratios.

The Big Leaps

Jhoulys Chacin, SP, Rockies (64 percent ownership, up from 38 percent)

Of all the failures in Colorado's rotation the last several years, it's easy to forget that Jhoulys Chacin has a career 3.66 ERA. Yes, it's somewhat disheartening that he's dropped his strikeout rate every year since he made his debut -- it has tumbled all the way down to 5.1 K/9 this season, a career-worst -- but his ERA is currently the second-best of his career and Chacin has been pretty much brilliant lately, going 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in his last four starts.

This may not be a total mirage. Chacin has met success before in his career, and the numbers support some degree of sustainability. Chacin's strand rate is actually below his career level, his ground ball rate is at a normal level, and his fastball velocity is right where it has always been. The only thing that may be a little worrisome is his HR/FB rate, which is currently at 2.4 percent. Even if he keeps his groundball rate up, he's probably due for a correction, but nothing wild – his career HR/FB rate is still just 9.3 percent.

All in all, Chacin is a bit of a gamble, because you cannot be sure the strikeouts will return and we know he's due to give up a few more home runs in the second half. But he should be able to provide enough in the way of low ratio to have some value in deeper (14-team) leagues.

Over/under on ERA (season): 3.80
Over/under on K/9 (season): 6.1
If Martin Perez is owned in 50 percent of leagues, Chacin should be owned in: 56 percent

Raul Ibanez, OF, Mariners (57 percent, up from 31)

Most Added Players (as of 7/4)
Player % added
1. Jhoulys Chacin, SP, Rockies 26
2. Raul Ibanez, OF, Mariners 26
3. Martin Perez, SP, Rangers 23
4. Tony Cingrani, SP, Reds 21
5. Rajai Davis, OF, Blue Jays 21
6. Jacob Turner, SP, Marlins 17
7. Leonys Martin, OF, Rangers 16
8. Miguel Gonzalez, SP, Orioles 16
9. Jose Iglesias, SS, Red Sox 14
10. Brad Miller, SS, Mariners 14

Ibanez is 41 years old and is playing in a park that still has to be considered pitcher-friendly. I have no idea how he's doing this. I remember when I was working on Fantasyland doing research on him and discovering Ibanez was really into karate, so I can actually understand if he's just taking really good care of his body and maybe diving into previously-unexplored areas to prolong his career through balance and stretching hobbies outside of the game.

Here's how I'm looking at Ibanez: he hit .274 with 23 home runs per year over the past nine seasons, when his power surge really started. And he's averaged 518 at-bats in that span, with the only real drag on his playing time being a platoon situation last year with the Yankees.

So Ibanez has power, he can probably raise his average another 20-30 points from where it is right now, and he doesn't get injured. Outside of just saying he's old, I really see no reason to leave him on waiver wires in 12-team leagues.

Over/under on average (season): .265
Over/under on home runs (season): 32
Would I drop Kyle Blanks for him?: No.

Rajai Davis, OF, Blue Jays (36 percent, up from 17)

This one's simple: It's all speed here. Over the last four seasons, Davis has averaged 43 steals per season, despite getting only about 420 at-bats each year. Now that he's playing regularly for the Blue Jays, Davis is again a hot speed commodity. His average fluctuates and you can't depend on him for power (although he did hit eight home runs last year), but there's a near-guarantee of steals here.

Let's not waste the holiday weekend with unnecessary paragraphs. If you need steals, go get Davis!

Over/under on steals (season): 38
Over/under on home runs (season): 5
Is there a chance Davis could remain in the outfield after Melky Cabrera's return, and Jose Bautista could see some time at third base?: Yes

The Flavor of Next Week

Juan Francisco, Brewers (16 percent ownership)

Let's just forget about Francisco's batting average for a minute; it's never been especially good and if he manages to hit .260, we'll consider it a bonus. You don't want Francisco for his average. You want him for his power.

Since he was traded to Milwaukee a month ago, Francisco has hit five home runs, including four in his last seven games. With Corey Hart out for the season and Aramis Ramirez not in the best shape, Francisco -- who can play both first and third -- should see regular playing time the rest of the season. This recent seven-game run (which also includes two doubles and a 1.298 OPS) give a glimpse of his potential, which could be 30-homer power in a hitter-friendly park like Miller.

Francisco isn't going to rank in the top 12 when the season is through, but he will benefit enough from the regular playing time to be a useful third baseman in most formats.

Over/under on average (season): .255
Over/under on home runs (season): 29
Which other third baseman does Francisco remind us (a little bit) of?: Pedro Alvarez

American League-only fun

Ricky Romero, SP, Blue Jays (4 percent ownership)

If you look at Romero's overall numbers in the minors this season, you'll cringe: a 6.89 ERA with a 1.80 WHIP, with 31 strikeouts in 57 innings. But since he ditched his new mechanics a few weeks ago, Romero looks like he's turned a corner. Over the last five games, Romero has a 3.54 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, striking out 21 in 28 innings. It's not the most impressive of stat lines, but it does give a little bit of hope that Romero may be on the verge of figuring out his issues. And for a pitcher who had improved for three straight seasons (before hitting an injury-riddled wall in 2012), that could be a useful set of circumstances in AL-only formats.

This isn't a call to add him in all AL-only leagues, but consider it a heads up that he might be closer than we think, especially with Chien-Ming Wang being DFA'd. I look at Romero as a gamble that might be worth taking if there's a shortage of starters in your league.

Over/under on starts (season): 14
Over/under on ERA (season): 3.85
Could this end up being a very bad move?: Absolutely, but it's worth the risk

National League-only fun

Pedro Strop, RP, Cubs (owned in 2 percent of leagues)

Strop was traded from the Orioles to the Cubs on Tuesday, as part of the deal that sent Scott Feldman to Baltimore. With Kevin Gregg a likely trade candidate, the Cubs may end up turning to Strop to close out games.

Before falling apart this year (he has a 7.25 ERA), Strop put together two seasons of near-dominant pitching, with a 2.34 ERA in 2011 and 2012. He also served as the backup closer for Baltimore last year.

Strop may still have some issues to work out -- manager Dale Sveum suggested a balky back may have to do with Strop's struggles this season -- but if Gregg is traded, Strop suddenly seems like the next in line to serve as the team's closer.

Over/under on saves (season): 11
Over/under on ERA (season): 3.85
How much are you bidding on him in the CBSSports.com Experts NL-only league?: $8 (out of 100)

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

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Phillies might shut down Maikel Franco for rest of season
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:52 am ET) Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco might be shut down for the rest of the season after his 20-pitch soft toss session did not go as planned Wednesday, according to Philly.com.

Franco experienced discomfort when he swung through the baseball Wednesday. His season could be over, if his wrist doesn't improve in the next week.

"Unless he's 100 percent, we're just going to be careful," interim manager Pete Mackanin said.

Franco swung a bat for the first time Wednesday since he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken wrist Aug. 18.

Mackanin said the chances of Franco playing again this season are "probably 50-50."


Rangers to lean on Kela, Dyson when Tolleson needs a rest
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:44 am ET) Rangers manager Jeff Bannister said Wednesday he will use Keone Kela and Sam Dyson in save situations when closer Shawn Tolleson needs a break, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“We can use a different bridge guy now,” Banister said. “We can back up those four [Kela, Dyson, Jake Diekman and Sam Freeman]. And give Tolleson a day down, if needed.”


Padres SP Ian Kennedy strikes out 12 in no-decision
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(1:50 am ET) Padres starting pitcher Ian Kennedy struck out a season-high 12 batters during his start against the Rangers on Wednesday.

Kennedy gave up two runs on five hits in seven innings of a no-decision. He now has a 3.88 ERA this season.


Rangers SP Cole Hamels strikes out eight in no-decision
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(1:45 am ET) Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels was impressive during his start against the Padres on Wednesday.

Hamels limited San Diego to three runs on eight hits in seven strong innings of work. He struck out eight batters while only giving up one walk in the no-decision.

Hamels (8-8) has a 3.70 ERA in 170 1/3 innings this season.


Mets SP Matt Harvey suffered from dehydration post game
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(1:24 am ET) Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey, who collected his 12th win of the season on Wednesday, suffered from dehydration after the game, according to MLB.com.

Harvey struck out nine batters in 6 1/3 innings of work, but said he was "feeling a little weak" after the game.


Giants SP Mike Leake falls short against Kershaw, Dodgers
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:00 am ET) Giants starter Mike Leake might have won Wednesdsay night if his mound opponent had not been Clayton Kershaw.

Instead, he lost in lowering his record to 9-7. But Leake had nothing to be ashamed of. He gave up just two runs on five hits over seven innings with no walks and three strikeouts.

He fell behind twice, first on a Carl Crawford double in the second inning and then on a Chase Utley blast in the sixth.

Leake bounced back nicely from a subpar performance Thursday against St. Louis. He has yielded two runs or less in seven of his last eight starts.


Phillies RF Domonic Brown (head) will see doctor Thursday
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(1:00 am ET) Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown was sent back to Philadelphia and he will see a doctor on Thursday, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Brown was forced out of Wednesday's game with what seemed like a possible concussion.


Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw masterful in complete-game win
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:55 am ET) The dominance of Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw bordered on the absurd Wednesday night against the archrival Giants.

Kershaw matched a career-high with 132 pitches in a complete-game victory. He allowed one run on six hits and fanned a season-best 15.

The super lefty surrendered a run-scoring single to Angel Pagan in the sixth, but was otherwise nearly flawless.

Kershaw is now 12-6 with a 2.18 ERA that has reached its lowest point of the year. He has given up one run or less in 11 of his last 12 outings.


Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera gets tossed against Royals
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(12:50 am ET) Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera was tossed from Wednesday's game against the Royals for arguing balls and strikes, according to MLB.com.

Cabrera went 1 for 2 with a single and a strikeout before being ejected.


Giants SP Matt Cain to throw rehab game Friday
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(12:47 am ET) Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain will throw a Triple-A rehab game on Friday, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Cain is on the 15-day disabled list with an elbow injury.


 
 
 
Rankings