D.J. Short

Waiver Wired

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Just Jake

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Salvador Perez C, Royals (Yahoo: N/A, ESPN: 0 percent)

The latest call-up by the Royals, many consider Perez to be the team's "catcher of the future." Highly-regarded for his ability behind the plate, the 21-year-old managed a .285/.328/.397 batting line over parts of five seasons in the minor leagues. While Perez makes contact and has decent pop, his complete lack of plate discipline could be a bit of an issue in his first go-around in the big leagues.
Still, he is worthy of attention in AL-only leagues, as the Royals plan to install him as their No. 1 catcher.

Kevin Slowey SP, Twins (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

Didn't see this one coming. I expected Slowey to be traded by now, but not only did the Twins keep him past the deadline, they are putting him back in the starting rotation now that Scott Baker is on the disabled list. Slowey has a 4.43 ERA in the big leagues, so there's not a ton of upside here, but he has at least shown to be a reliable back-end starter in the past. I would start him against the Indians on Sunday, but leave him in reserve with a matchup against the Yankees next week.

Vinnie Pestano RP, Indians (Yahoo: 4 percent owned, ESPN: 0.4 percent)

Do I really think the struggling Chris Perez is going to lose his job in the middle of a pennant race? Probably not. But Pestano isn't the worst pickup if you're willing to speculate on a change. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 2.86 ERA and 62/16 K/BB ratio over 44 innings this season. Only six relievers are better than his strikeout rate of 35.2 percent. Even if nothing changes in the ninth inning, the strikeouts will come in handy.


Will Venable OF, Padres (Yahoo: 3 percent owned, ESPN: 1.1 percent)

After going 4-for-5 against the Mets on Wednesday night, Venable is now batting an even .400 (20-for-50) over his last 15 games, raising his batting average from .238 to .270 along the way. He already has three games with at least three hits this month. Venable has always had an intriguing power-speed combo, so pick him up while he's healthy and playing regularly. He could even be worth a look in five outfielder mixed formats.

Dontrelle Willis SP, Reds (Yahoo: 4 percent owned, ESPN: 2.9 percent)

I never thought I would put Willis in a "Waiver Wired," but it feels pretty good to do so. Even though he took the loss against the Rockies on Tuesday night, Willis allowed three runs over eight innings and struck out 10 for the first time since 2007. The 29-year-old left-hander now has an impressive 3.41 ERA and 27/12 K/BB ratio over his first six starts since being called up from the minors last month. Is it possible he's back? Those in NL-only leagues can afford to speculate.

Nick Hundley C, Padres (Yahoo: 5 percent owned, ESPN: 2.9 percent)

Hundley has only appeared in 45 games this season due to an oblique injury and elbow surgery, but he is currently out on a minor league rehab assignment and could be back with the Padres as soon as this weekend. While the 27-year-old backstop is batting just .222 with three homers over 153 at-bats this season, remember that he has shown useful pop behind the plate in the past. His value couldn't get much lower right now, so he could prove to be a solid pickup down the stretch.

Scott Hairston OF, Mets (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Injuries. If I could sum up the Mets' season in one word, injuries would probably be somewhere in the top five. Now that the Mets have lost Daniel Murphy for the season with a torn MCL in his knee, Lucas Duda should see most of his playing time at first base. This should open the door for Hairston to get more playing time in right field. And that's a good thing. The 31-year-old has 15 extra-base hits (including seven homers) and an .862 OPS over just 113 at-bats this season.

D.J. Short is a Rotoworld baseball editor and contributes to NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk blog. You can also find him on Twitter.
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