Tim Dierkes

Waiver Wired

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Pick Up Pedro?

Friday, September 07, 2007

We've got some September call-ups to discuss this week, but honestly most of them will have little to no fantasy impact. But you've got three weeks left to move up in the standings, and every little bit counts.

American League

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS – So far in September, Ellsbury is 10 for 17 with two home runs and two steals. He's an absolute burner, though the 24-year-old does not have much power. There's no timetable on Manny's return, so Ellsbury should get plenty of playing time over the next week. He's a fine pickup in all leagues right now. AL: $14, Mixed: $3.

Clay Buchholz, SP, BOS – Not too many guys are switched to the bullpen after tossing a no-hitter, but the Red Sox have an innings limit for the 23-year-old phenom. Those who stuck with him were rewarded Thursday night as he picked up the win in relief. Buchholz still makes sense in AL-only as a reliever but if you're spot-starting in a mixed league you might have to drop him. AL: $7, Mixed: No.

David Dellucci, OF, CLE – Dellucci has finally returned from a hamstring torn in June. He can probably still hit righties well but there's not much playing time for him in the outfield corners. AL: $1, Mixed: No.

Gavin Floyd, SP, CHA – Two solid consecutive starts may allow Floyd to remain in the rotation for September. With the Indians up next, fantasy leaguers need not apply. AL: No, Mixed: No.

Andy Sonnanstine, SP, TBA – The only thing Sonnanstine excels at is a changeup taught to him by Jamie Shields. It was enough for him to post a dominant 5.1 K/BB in 11 Triple A starts this year, and his Major League mark of 4.05 is no small feat either. Kind of reminds me of last year's version of Scott Baker. Sonnanstine has been solid in his last three efforts, even dominating the Yankees. Problem: he gets the Red Sox on Tuesday. He's faced them a couple of times with mixed results. I like him as a sleeper for WHIP and maybe wins, but maybe wait until he faces the Mariners on the 16th. AL: $12, Mixed: $1.

Vicente Padilla, SP, TEX – Padilla has been alternately dominant and awful in five starts since coming off the DL for elbow pain. He faces the slumping Detroit offense on Tuesday. I'll pass. AL: $7, Mixed: No.

Hank Blalock, 3B, TEX – Blalock is 4 for 14 with a homer and a double since returning from shoulder surgery. He'll DH for another week or more before trying third base again. You can probably do better in a mixed league but he's worth a gamble in AL-only. AL: $8, Mixed: No.

Matt Stairs, OF, TOR – Stairs has crushed 19 HR in just 288 at-bats, and he's been on fire lately. I don't know what he had for breakfast but he should be owned in almost all leagues until further notice. AL: $18, Mixed: $8.

Adam Lind, OF, TOR – It's hard to see how Lind fits into the Jays' outfield picture for September. Honestly they should've let him work through his struggles at the big league level all along. Lind will step in for Reed Johnson on occasion but won't have much fantasy value until 2008. AL: No, Mixed: No.

National League

Steve Trachsel, SP, CHN – Trax returns to the Cubs, the team that drafted him. He even made an All-Star team as a Cub. This year he's managed to compile a decent 4.48 ERA despite a terrible 0.7 K/BB. Still, he hasn't had a bad start since July 26th and draws the lowly Pirates on Sunday. Those desperate for wins can hope for the smoke and mirrors to work on Pittsburgh. NL: $8, Mixed: No.

Joey Votto, 1B, CIN – The 24-year-old Votto is the Reds' first baseman of the future. His flaw is that he hasn't yet learned to hit lefties. However, Votto is a fantasy rarity – a first baseman with 20 steal potential. Carlos Pena and Brad Hawpe come up as Votto's top comparables, according to Baseball Prospectus. Votto homered in his first big league game and should steal most starts against righties away from Scott Hatteberg. The Reds face righties on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with an off day Monday. Votto is worth a pickup in NL-only and deep mixed. NL: $12, Mixed: $2.

Carlos Villanueva, SP, MIL – Villanueva has the fifth starter job in Milwaukee, and he can keep it through September if he pitches like he did Tuesday against Houston. Next up: the Pirates on Monday. I'd chance it. NL: $11, Mixed: $1.

Pedro Martinez, SP, NYN – Last year Pedro tore one of the four tendons in his rotator cuff. He finally returned Monday to pick up a win against the Reds. He managed to have an effective start by mixing his pitches. Wins may be limited for Pedro, as he probably won't exceed five innings too often. He remains quite risky and has limited fantasy value. NL: $10, Mixed: $1.

Kyle Lohse, SP, PHI – A solid seven-start stint with the Phillies (4.06 ERA) has contributed to Lohse's overall 4.46 mark. As a Scott Boras client, that'll earn him a sizeable free agent payday this winter. For fantasy purposes, Lohse is useful in NL-only (but he's already owned in any decent league). Should you spot-start him? I would if the Phils keep him on regular rest to start Sunday against the Marlins. NL: $13, Mixed: $1.

Jack Wilson, SS, PIT – Wilson is 11 for his last 22 with four doubles and a home run. He might be worth a short-term mixed league pickup until he cools off. NL: $8, Mixed: $1.

Steven Pearce, OF, PIT – Pearce is probably right behind Votto as one of the better first base prospects in the game. But the Bucs have Adam LaRoche, so Pearce has been playing mostly right field since his call-up. He'll also be spotted at the infield corners this month. The 24-year-old is only 5-11, but his bat speed generates plus power and he doesn't strike out much. A superb keeper and decent NL-only play this year. NL: $7, Mixed: No.

Kevin Correia, SP, SFN – Correia's made four starts and won three of them, work that will turn a few heads in fantasy baseball. He's walked only two batters in those four starts. If the control is somewhat for real he's going to be a useful NL-only starter for September. He gets the poor-hitting Diamondbacks on Tuesday, making him a decent spot-start option in mixed leagues. NL: $10, Mixed: $1.

Mark Mulder, SP, STL – Mulder made his season debut against the Pirates on Wednesday, getting knocked around. Coming off rotator cuff surgery, four rehab starts isn't enough for him to round into form (I know this thanks to Rick Wilton of Baseball-Injury-Report.com.) Mulder is not worth a pickup this year. NL: No, Mixed: No.

Rick Ankiel, OF, STL – As you may have read today, the New York Daily News learned that Ankiel received a 12-month supply of HGH in 2004. He apparently stopped receiving it before it was banned in 2005, so it's possible that what we've seen this year has been all natural. No matter what you think of this, it makes sense to observe caution and just hang onto Ankiel in fantasy leagues. Gary Matthews Jr. still managed to play at his expected level after his HGH bust. NL: $22, Mixed: $11.

Tim Dierkes contributes to Rotoworld's Fantasy Baseball Coverage. He also runs a fantasy baseball blog at RotoAuthority.com
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