Yangveris Solarte, Jake Thompson Among Intriguing Waiver Wire Options
Sorry, kids: I’m not in love with a particular waiver wire candidate this week. After perusing for bargain basement selections, deep AL/NL only sleepers or a potential clip ‘n saver, my heart didn’t skip a beat or sing with glee over any player I felt was worth a 700-800 word breakdown.
Love isn’t in the air, yet damned if there isn’t a lot of like among the current crop of unwanteds, so consider this week’s column as my version of casual dating. Yes, we’re going dutch on these “dates,” yet I will remain a gentleman throughout.
*Yangervis Solarte, INF, Padres: Yes, folks, there’s actually someone who knows how to both hit the ball and get on base in San Diego. Owned in 19 percent of polled mixed leagues, Solarte’s value is further enhanced by his versatility (1B/2B/3B eligible), yet his .398 OBP is overly impressive considering Solarte is in a lineup that is 29th in the majors with a .291 OBP. He’s shown flashes of power, swatting four homers in his 88 plate appearances, which explains the .937 OPS. Solarte has been blistering since returning from the DL in late May and makes a good stopgap, especially with his middle infield value. His name has also come up in trade talks, which is why I suggest getting in on him early, considering Solarte could find himself in a more hitter-friendly ballpark down the road.
*Zach Davies, P, Brewers: In his first two starts this month, Davies has looked like a hurler who may merit more than just the current 14 percent ownership. The youngster has allowed just five hits and three walks while striking out 14 in 15 innings of work, including taking a no-hitter in last start against the A’s on Tuesday night. Davies sports a 4.29 ERA, which doesn’t pass the original smell test, yet he has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts since exiting his April 29 nod against the Marlins with an 8.78 mark. He’s not much of a strikeout pitcher (6.8 K/9), but the nine-K gem he tossed against the Cardinals on June 1 was a sign the 23-year-old could increase his rate. Davies is more of a deeper league-type, but you’re a Vincent Velasquez owner shuddering in fear over his potential injury, Davies is a good option if V-Squared is bound for the DL.
*Jarrod Dyson, OF, Royals: Steals are hard to come by as the season goes on, which is why Dyson becomes attractive. With the Royals hammered with injuries, Dyson has become more of an everyday player, and while we know he offers little to no power, he already has 11 steals and an OBP of ,333 that you’ll accept. Owned in just over eight percent of polled leagues, Dyson presents a better option than most of the good speed, no hit types that remain scattered throughout most waiver wires.
[caption id="attachment_107905" align="alignright" width="300"] A torrid stretch of hitting makes Padres INF Yangervis Solarte a solid waiver wire option. Photo Credit: Carlos Herrera/Icon Sportswire)[/caption]
*Albert Almora, OF, Cubs: Recalled on Tuesday, the latest in the endless wave of high-end Cubs prospects, Almora will see most of his action versus lefties, He has the potential to offer a jolt to an outfield which has little production outside of Dexter Fowler, especially with his speed (10 steals at Triple-A). He’s more of a deeper mixed league/NL-only option, but if Almora can hit at the .318 clip he swung it in the minors, his current five percent ownership in polled mixed leagues could take a reasonable climb.
*Archie Bradley, P, Diamondbacks: The overall numbers aren’t telling Bradley’s story, as he has begun to show signs of finally beginning to evolve into the staff ace the franchise envisions he’ll become. His 10-K performance against the Cubs last Friday is much of the reason why his ownership in polled mixed leagues has approached the 20 percent mark. While his outing against the Rays on Wednesday came with less than stellar results (four earned runs and four walks in 5.2 innings), the fact the D’Backs are committed to keeping him in the rotation is an encouraging sign for why I’d suggest going after him. Bradley should improve with each start, which means his 9.2 K/9 rate will be more attractive as he continues to turn from Fantasy tease to Fantasy treasure.
*Martin Perez, P, Rangers: Including Thursday’s effort against the Astros, Perez has quietly delivered eight quality starts in his last 11 outings, yet is owned in just 14 percent of polled mixed leagues. He’s not much of a strikeout pitcher and his 1.35 WHIP is a bit disconcerting, yet Perez does a good job of keeping the ball in the park (six HRs allowed in 78.1 innings) and plays on a team which will provide him ample run support most nights. Shame on you if Perez is available in leagues where quality starts are a category.
*Dan Straily, P, Reds: Like Perez, Straily has gone stealth while putting together solid numbers, totals which are more impressive considering he’s pitching for the NL Central basement dwellers. The journeyman has found a home in the Cincy rotation and is in the midst of his best run in the majors, recording a 3.34 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP over his 67.1 innings. His K/9 (7.43) is tolerable and if you’re worried about how he fares in Great American Ballpark, fret not: Straily is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in six starts. The only major concern about Straily, owned in 13 percent of polled mixed leagues, is that he can be homer-prone, as his 1.07 HR/9 rate can attest to. Still, run with Straily, as I think there’s 1) a sell-high potential with him and 2) he could find himself as potential trade bait if he continues to pitch at his current clip.
*Jake Thompson, P, Phillies: Vincent Velasquez had an MRI on Thursday, which will determine if his biceps injury causes him to miss a turn or two in the rotation or down the road to a second Tommy Joh...DON’T SAY IT!!! If the results are closer to the latter, the Phils may look to their top pitching prospect to fill the void. Thompson is 4-5 with a 3.82 ERA in Triple-A and projects to be a be a number two or three-caliber hurler. The Phillies’ young staff has been battered over the past three weeks, as they have a 4.72 ERA since May 18 and is Exhibit A in a 5-14 slump which has pushed them slowly away from the National League East pack. He’s likely to come up at some point this season, yet his phone call may come sooner rather than later.
*Bonus Play: Justin Morneau, 1B/DH, White Sox: So much for the feel-good comeback of Mat Latos, who was designated for assignment on Thursday in order to make room for Morneau, who signed a one-year, $1 million deal to help inject life into a listless Chicago offense ranked 22nd in runs scored and 25th in homers. The former AL MVP will begin on the DL to conclude his recovery from an injured left elbow flexor, yet should be ready to join the Pale Hose within the next 2-3 weeks. Keep in mind Morneau is only less than two seasons removed from winning the NL batting crown, so once he’s available for pick-up in your league, take the low-risk and go after him.
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