D.J. Short

Waiver Wired

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Harping on Harvey

Thursday, August 23, 2012




NL ONLY

Charlie Blackmon OF, Rockies (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

The Rockies have lost Michael Cuddyer and Eric Young, Jr. to the disabled list in recent days, so Blackmon is getting the chance to play right field and bat leadoff. The 26-year-old outfielder has struggled with injuries over the past year, but he owns a .312/.376/.473 batting line in the minors and has stolen at least 10 bases in all five of his professional seasons. He hasn't shown much over his first 121 plate appearances in the majors, but that's too small of a sample to give up on him as a potential fantasy asset.

Collin McHugh SP, Mets (Yahoo: N/A, ESPN: N/A)

Called up to take the place of Johan Santana in the starting rotation, McHugh will make his major league debut Thursday afternoon against the Rockies. The 25-year-old right-hander isn't considered a top prospect and has average velocity, but he possesses a wide assortment of pitches and posted a solid 2.88 ERA and a 132/44 K/BB ratio over 143 2/3 innings between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo this year. It looks like the Mets will stick with a six-man rotation as they nurse Chris Young, Matt Harvey and Jon Niese to the finish line, so McHugh could have some value down the stretch.

Billy Hamilton SS, Reds (Yahoo: 3 percent owned, ESPN: 0.4 percent)

It's not often that a minor league player makes national headlines, but that's exactly what Hamilton did this week by breaking Vince Coleman's single-season professional stolen base record. Just in case you haven't been paying attention, the speedy 21-year-old has amassed an incredible 148 stolen bases between High-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola. By the way, that's more stolen bases than the Orioles, Tigers and Pirates have combined this season. The Reds could really use a weapon like him down the stretch and manager Dusty Baker said this week that he could be an option to join the big club in September. I wouldn't touch him in mixed leagues quite yet, as he would likely be utilized as a pinch-runner, but it's time to call him a must-own in NL-only leagues.

Gorkys Hernandez OF, Marlins (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Emilio Bonifacio went back on the disabled list yesterday, this time with a right knee sprain, so Hernandez should get a chance to play center field for at least the next two weeks. Acquired from the Pirates in the Gaby Sanchez deal, the 24-year-old is more known for his glove than his bat. While he was once a top prospect with the Braves, his career has stalled since 2009 and he's hitting just .160 (12-for-75) in 45 games at the major league level this year. He does have some speed, so the best-case scenario is that he swipes a few bags until Bonifacio is ready to return.

AL ONLY

Scott Podsednik OF, Red Sox (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0.3 percent)

It's been an interesting month for good old Scotty Pods. Traded from the Red Sox to the Diamondbacks in the Craig Breslow deal on July 31, he was given his release after refusing a minor league assignment. He returned to the Red Sox less than two weeks later and is getting the bulk of the playing time in left field now that Carl Crawford is done for the season. Some luck. The 36-year-old has been productive when in the lineup this year, batting .370 (34-for-92) with seven stolen bases in 30 games, so there's no reason for him to be on the waiver wire right now.

Dewayne Wise OF, White Sox (Yahoo: 2 percent owned, ESPN: 2.5 percent)

Do I think Wise is going to continue hitting .297? Of course not. We're talking about someone with a .228/.262/.390 batting line in the big leagues to go along with an ugly 199/35 K/BB ratio. Regression will probably hit him pretty hard sooner or later. But the 34-year-old outfielder has some pop and some speed and should continue to get the majority of the playing time in center field while Alejandro De Aza is on the mend from a rib injury. That's worth something.

Nate McLouth OF, Orioles (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 0 percent)

Well, lookie what we have here. McLouth has shown some signs of life since joining the Orioles earlier this month, hitting .254 (15-for-59) with one home run, one triple, five doubles, six RBI and four stolen bases in 17 games. The 30-year-old still owns a terrible .208/.312/.323 batting line over 735 plate appearances dating back to 2010, so there's not much reason for optimism, but he could continue to help with counting stats as long as he starts in left field.

Johnny Giavotella 2B, Royals (Yahoo: 1 percent owned, ESPN: 0.1 percent)

It's about time. Now that Yuniesky Betancourt has been kicked to the curb and Chris Getz is done for the season following thumb surgery, Giavotella will get a chance to sink-or-swim as the starting second baseman. The 25-year-old owns a lowly .234/.263/.332 batting line over 278 plate appearances in the big leagues, but the Royals really need to see what they have here. On the bright side, his .308 batting average and 252/238 K/BB ratio in the minors indicates that he's better than what he has shown. Giavotella was hyped as a sleeper before the season, so I could see him having some value in deeper mixed leagues if things break right.



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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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