D.J. Short

Waiver Wired

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Minor Threat

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Welcome to the 25th and final edition of Waiver Wired for the 2011 season. Has this year passed by in a flash or what? Anyway, like I said last week, if you are still reading this thing, that means you are likely still in the thick of things in your league. Good for you. I sincerely hope Rotoworld has made your season a little easier to navigate. 

 

It has been a real privilege to write this column for a second straight season, but one of the best parts about this job is interacting with you, the reader. Please keep those e-mails and Tweets coming during the winter. I do my best to catch up on them throughout the week. 

 

Just like I did last year, I'm handing out some Waiver Wired awards on the second page, so be sure to check those out after you take a gander at this week's recommendations. Farewell, good luck and most importantly, thanks for reading.

 

MIXED LEAGUES

 

Jason Bourgeois OF, Astros (Yahoo: 6 percent owned, ESPN: 13.9 percent)

 

Many assumed (your humble host included) that Bourgeois would get significant playing time following the trades of Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn. It hasn't exactly worked out that way due to the presence of J.D. Martinez, Jordan Schafer and Brian Bogusevic, but the 29-year-old outfielder continues to steal bases at a rapid rate. In fact, he has swiped seven bags in just 13 games this month. Be careful to watch Brad Mills' lineup card, but the speedy Bourgeois is legitimate weapon when given the opportunity. 

 

Omar Infante 2B/3B/SS/OF, Marlins (Yahoo: 40 percent owned, ESPN: 47.9 percent)

 

Infante may not be tearing the cover off the ball like he did in late-July and August, but he does have three homers, five doubles, one triple, 10 RBI and 11 runs scored through 21 games this month. That's perfectly acceptable production for a second baseman or shortstop in deeper mixed leagues. Firmly entrenched as the primary No. 2 hitter in Jack McKeon's lineup, the impending free agent should have plenty of chances to deliver value the rest of the way. 

 

Mike Aviles 2B/3B/SS, Red Sox (Yahoo: 20 percent owned, ESPN: 16.8 percent)

 

Kevin Youkilis continues to deal with a sports hernia and left hip soreness and while he hopes to hit before Friday's game against the Yankees, his status remains very much in doubt. Aviles, who was acquired from the Royals at the trade deadline, has at least stepped in admirably during his absence, hitting .375 (9-for-24) with two homers, three doubles and five runs scored over his last seven games. He even batted second in Thursday's loss to the Orioles. While his value may be fleeting, his multi-position eligibility should come in handy right now. 

 

Mike Moustakas 3B, Royals (Yahoo: 19 percent owned, ESPN: 22.5 percent)

 

The late-season surge continues. After batting .283 last month, the rookie third baseman is hitting .318 (21-for-66) so far in September. He has homered three times in his last seven games after hitting just one home run over his first 73 games in the big leagues. The 23-year-old displayed immense power potential during his time in the minor leagues, so it's worth a shot in deeper leagues to see if he has finally figured things out. 

 

Ben Revere OF, Twins (Yahoo: 9 percent owned, ESPN: 18.9 percent)

 

Revere is hitting .314 (22-for-70) this month, but that's not why I'm recommending him here. We're talking about someone whose fantasy value is directly tied to their speed. The rookie outfielder has 33 stolen bases in 42 attempts this season, including eight through 16 games this month. Denard Span returned to the lineup on Wednesday night, but Revere should see regular playing time in left field over the final week of the season. If you need steals, he is one of the best options available. 

 

Santiago Casilla RP, Giants (Yahoo: 10 percent owned, ESPN: 11.7 percent)

 

Yes, Brian Wilson is back, but I'm not convinced that he'll handle a full workload the rest of the way. Casilla was the primary fill-in during his absence and would presumably get the nod if Bruce Bochy shies away from using him on back-to-back days. The Giants may even decide to shut Wilson down if or when they mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. With saves at a premium right now, I wouldn't give up on Casilla in deeper leagues. 

 

Logan Morrison OF, Marlins (Yahoo: 29 percent owned, ESPN: 41.9 percent)

 

Morrison's sophomore campaign has been somewhat of a disappointment, but he has turned things on a bit in September. The 24-year-old is batting .291 (16-for-55) with four homers, eight RBI, a .945 OPS and an 8/9 K/BB ratio so far this month. Marlins manager Jack McKeon has batted him mostly fourth or fifth in recent days, so LoMo is in prime position to drive in some runs over the final week of the season. 

 

Editor’s note: If you want to play Daily Salary Cap Fantasy Baseball for real money, check out SnapDraft here.

 

Suitable streamers: 

 

Small sample size, but three out of our four streaming options from last week walked away with wins and all of them delivered quality starts. Not bad. Here are three options for this weekend. I don't want to leave you hanging for next week, but as you probably know, a lot of things are bound to change by then. With that in mind, look for two last-minute streaming options in Tuesday's edition of the Daily Dose. 

 

Aaron Harang SP, Padres (Yahoo: 42 percent owned, ESPN: 26 percent) 

 

vs. Dodgers on Saturday

 

Harang has four losses over his past six starts, but don't let that scare you away. The big right-hander has a nifty 2.92 ERA and 31/14 K/BB ratio over 37 innings during the same timespan. He has been one of my favorite spot-starters this season, especially at spacious PETCO Park, where he has a 3.29 ERA across 16 starts. The home run ball has hurt him a bit lately, but he's one of the better streaming options available this weekend. 

 

Mike Minor SP, Braves (Yahoo: 21 percent owned, ESPN: 21 percent)

 

@ Washington on Sunday

 

Minor allowed four runs (including three home runs) over 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the Marlins on Monday, but the young left-hander has a 4.03 ERA and a terrific 46/13 ERA in 44 2/3 innings across eight starts since returning from the minors in early August. While he isn't pitching deep into games recently, completing six innings just once in his past five starts, he should continue to be an excellent source of strikeouts. 

 

Cory Luebke RP/SP, Padres (Yahoo: 43 percent owned, ESPN: 43.8 percent)

 

vs. Dodgers on Sunday

 

It's stunning that Luebke is still so widely available, especially after he took a no-hitter into the bottom of the sixth inning in his last start Monday against the Rockies. The rookie left-hander has been a reliable fantasy option since moving to the starting rotation in late-June, posting a 3.23 ERA and 105/25 K/BB ratio over 94 2/3 innings. He'll face Clayton Kershaw on Sunday, which obviously isn't the easiest way to get a win, but I still like his chances of keeping the Dodgers' bats in check. 

 


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



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