FANTASY BASEBALL WAIVERS – ADD ‘EM
Luis Castillo SP, CIN
Castillo had an interesting first two starts with the Reds since being called up. He’s shown the big fastball and strikeout stuff that made him a tantalizing prospect, striking out 14 in 10 2/3 innings while allowing four runs. His biggest issue so far has been walks, but he showed the ability in the minor leagues to avoid them, so he should rein in those totals in due time. Castillo does pitch in a small park in Cincinnati, but his upside is still there thanks to his electric fastball, which averages 97.9 MPH. With how scarce starting pitching has become, Castillo needs to be owned in more leagues.
Tyler Wade SS/2B, NYY
With Starlin Castro on the DL, Wade will platoon with Ronald Torreyes at second base. Wade should get more at-bats since he will start against right-handed pitchers. He also has higher upside than Torreyes, a journeyman. Wade’s biggest asset is his speed and stolen base percentage, but he should be able to provide value in other areas thanks to the Yankees’ loaded lineup. He’s likely only a short-term option with Castro’s injury not serious, but he can help you out in a jam for the next week or two.
Kyle Barraclough RP, MIA
With the Marlins out of the playoff race in the NL, there are rumors that both closer A.J. Ramos and setup man David Phelps could be traded. If that does indeed happen, Kyle Barraclough would be in line for the closer job in Miami. He has strikeout stuff that would suit him for the 9th, including a wipeout slider that misses a bunch of bats. In deeper leagues where saves are hard to come by, Barraclough could make sense as a speculative add.
Trevor Cahill SP, SD
Cahill was having a solid start to the season before going on the DL with a shoulder ailment. He is currently on a rehab assignment and is scheduled to return Tuesday. According to Inside Injuries, he is a low injury risk, which is good news for his sustained health upon his return. While Cahill’s early season stats were surprising, his 2.99 FIP doesn’t indicate that his 3.27 ERA was fluky at all. If you need a starter, and many do, Cahill is worth an add now before he makes it back to the Padres rotation early next week.
PLUG AND PLAY, HOLD AND DROP
Plug and Play: Curtis Granderson NYM
Granderson has been scorching hot in June, posting the third highest OPS in the majors this month. Granderson, as he normally does, struggled mightily in April, making him an afterthought. Over the last two months, he has raised his OPS from .395 to .801, a truly incredible turnaround. If he maintains anything close to this pace, he’s a must-start outfielder every week. The Mets’ outfield will get a bit crowded when Michael Conforto returns from the DL, but he still remains uncomfortable swinging and is an elevated injury risk with a below average Health Performance Factor according to Inside Injuries due to his injured hand, which could hold him out longer than expected. Also, Granderson could be moved as we approach the trade deadline to a team in need of an outfield bat, which could up his Fantasy value even more. He’s a perfect plug and play outfielder at the moment.
Wait and See: Jonathan Lucroy TEX
Lucroy hasn’t done much all season and is now losing playing time thanks to Robinson Chirinos’ recent power surge. Lucroy isn’t hitting the ball very hard and is hitting it on the ground more than one would like at 53.6% of the time. His wRC+ of 75 is well below average and not what one would’ve been hoping for from Lucroy, who has been one of the elite offensive catchers in baseball for the past several years. However, owners can’t move on from Lucroy yet because there’s really not much else to move on to. The catcher position is so sparse that riding it out with a struggling star like Lucroy is better than the alternative. Lucroy has no injury issues to speak of (low injury risk) and is likely just a tweak or two away from getting things back together. Stick with him.
Drop: Tanner Roark WAS
Roark posted great seasons as a starter in 2014 and 2016, but his peripheral numbers indicated that he was actually pitching quite similarly to what he’s done so far this year. Before another bad start on Friday, his ERA ballooned from 2.83 to 5.15, yet his xFIP has only gone from 4.17 to 4.37. While he may not be quite as bad as his current 2017 numbers, he’s nowhere near as good as his 2016 ERA would indicate. And his low strikeout totals cap his upside and make him unworthy of a hold during tough times like he’s having right now. He also walks too many hitters for a guy with lower punch-out totals, and his 2.45 K/BB ratio is highly unimpressive. When Roark isn’t in a groove like he had going in 2014 and 2016, he isn’t worth owning. It’s time to move on, even with the lack of great starting pitching options out there
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