D.J. Short

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wired: Wrath of Hahn

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Surprise! With the Fourth of July weekend coming up, I decided to drop Waiver Wired a day early for this week. Things will be back to normal next week. We'll also have our usual Rotoworld Mailbag and "Buy, Sell, or Hold" videos. There should be a lot to talk about, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday weekend full of family, friends, BBQ, fireworks and, of course, baseball. Lots and lots of wonderful baseball.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day, $30,000 Fantasy Baseball League for Wednesday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Wednesday. Here's the FanDuel link.

Have specific questions about your roster? Ask @djshort on Twitter.


Jesse Hahn SP, Padres (Yahoo: 41 percent owned)

Hahn stumbled a bit in his major league debut back on June 3 against the Pirates, but he has been nothing short of brilliant since, allowing just three runs (two earned) in 24 innings over his last four starts to go along with a 31/8 K/BB ratio. Acquired from the Rays in the Logan Forsythe trade, the 24-year-old right-hander saw his pro career get off to a late start following Tommy John surgery, but he posted a 2.32 ERA over 151 1/3 innings in the minors. Some have questioned whether he'd be better off as a reliever, but his success isn't coming out of nowhere. Hahn has mostly relied on a fastball/curveball combo in the majors so far, but it's worked for him. He's getting plenty of grounders on his sinker and a bunch of whiffs on his excellent curve. The Padres might not give him much run support, but he's worth picking up in all formats at this point.

Santiago Casilla RP, Giants (Yahoo: 30 percent owned), Jeremy Affeldt (Yahoo: 6 percent owned)

Giants manager Bruce Bochy finally saw enough with Sergio Romo after he gave up a game-tying home run to Brandon Phillips on Saturday, so now Casilla and Affeldt are expected to share save chances. I think both are worth grabbing where available, but Casilla has the clear edge since he throws from the right side. The 33-year-old has been brilliant when healthy this year, putting up a 1.15 ERA over 27 appearances. Don't forget that he also saved 25 games for the Giants back in 2012. Romo could quickly reclaim his job with a string of solid appearances, but Casilla is a must-own on the chance that he runs away with the gig.

Oscar Taveras OF, Cardinals (Yahoo: 32 percent owned)

Taveras' first stint in the majors came with much fanfare, but it was all pretty much downhill after he homered in his debut. The 22-year-old hit .189 (7-for-37) over 11 games before the Cardinals sent him back to Triple-A when Matt Adams came off the DL. However, with Allen Craig scuffling again and the Cardinals still struggling to score runs, Taveras was called back up to the majors on Tuesday and batted second in his return. I'm not really worried about playing time with him, as the Cardinals appear committed to giving him regular at-bats, so he's well worth the flier in leagues where he was dropped. If he sticks this time around, he could prove to be quite the bargain during the second half.

Adam Lind 1B, Blue Jays (Yahoo: 35 percent owned)

The home runs haven't really been there for Lind so far this season, but that hasn't stopped him from being a big part of Toronto's offensive attack. Through 55 games, he owns a .335/.409/.509 batting line. Meanwhile, his .918 OPS is 16th among players with at least 180 plate appearances. The one knock against Lind is that he doesn't get many at-bats against left-handers and isn't very productive when he does, but those in daily leagues should be able to accommodate that pretty easily. Lind is a very solid corner infielder option and I'm confident that we'll see more power from him during the second half.

Lorenzo Cain OF, Royals (Yahoo: 18 percent owned)

The last time I mentioned Cain in Waiver Wired, he ended up on the disabled list with a groin injury just one week later. Let's hope for some better luck this time around. Cain has been a useful five-category contributor when healthy this season, batting .309 with 19 extra-base hits (including three home runs), 35 RBI, seven stolen bases, and 23 runs scored in 59 games. That production has been good enough for him to be a top-50 outfielder in mixed formats, yet he's still available in nearly 80 percent of Yahoo leagues. That simply shouldn't be the case at this point. Yes, he has a well-documented injury history, but it's clear that he can help in most leagues.

Jose Quintana SP, White Sox (Yahoo: 34 percent owned)

Quintana is one of those pitchers who is likely available in most shallow and medium-sized mixed leagues, but really deserves more attention. While he had a couple of shaky starts in the early part of last month, he has allowed just three runs combined over his last three outings while going seven innings in all of them. The 25-year-old southpaw has a 3.44 ERA for the year and his 90/31 K/BB ratio is plenty helpful too. He's tied for seventh in the majors with 13 quality starts, a category we're beginning to see in more leagues. The upside might be limited, but he's proven by now to be a safe option to have in the back-end of your rotation.

Omar Infante 2B, Royals (Yahoo: 18 percent owned)

After joining the Royals on a four-year, $30.25 million contract over the winter, Infante has had a bit of a weird first half. He had a stint on the disabled list due to a back injury in May, so he's only played in 63 games, yet he has five home runs and 41 RBI despite a mediocre .252/.298/.364 batting line. At this rate, he'll pass his career-high of 55 RBI early on in the second half. Infante recently found himself in a bit of a funk, but he has hit safely in eight out of his last nine games, so there's a decent chance he finds himself back near the top of the order if he keeps it up. Infante doesn't really excel in any one area, but he's capable of doing just enough in all categories to be a useful MI (middle infielder) option in most leagues.

Shopping at the five-and-dime:

(Players owned in under 10 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Odrisamer Despaigne SP, Padres (Yahoo: 7 percent owned)

Based on what I've seen from Despaigne over his first two starts in the majors, the word "crafty" doesn't really do him justice. While he only has six strikeouts and a handful of swinging strikes over his first 13 2/3 innings, he has allowed just one run in the process. Signed to a $1 million deal back in May, the 27-year-old Cuban defector succeeds by changing speeds with a varied arsenal and multiple arm angles. He's fascinating to watch at the very least. Perhaps the success won't last as teams get more of a book on him, but he's worth using as a matchup play for now. He'll make another start against the Giants on Saturday, this time at PETCO Park.

Craig Gentry OF, Athletics (Yahoo: 2 percent owned)

Now that Josh Reddick is back on the disabled list with another injury to his right knee, Gentry should see semi-regular playing time in the A's outfield once again. That's a good thing if you need speed. Gentry is tied for 14th in the majors this season with 15 stolen bases despite logging only 164 plate appearances. That's a 40-stolen base pace over a full season. The 30-year-old swiped 55 bases with the Rangers from 2011-2013, so he has proven useful in this category before. He's not going to do much else, but he's not going to hurt you in batting average and he might even get the occasional start near the top of the order. He certainly should be owned in more than two percent of leagues right now.

Eugenio Suarez SS, Tigers (Yahoo: 6 percent owned)

It's early, but it looks like the Tigers have solved their shortstop problem. Suarez has thrived since coming up from Triple-A Toledo last month, batting .296/.375/.493 with seven extra-base hits (including three home runs), eight RBI, and 13 runs scored in 24 games. While the 22-year-old has been strikeout-prone thus far, he has also drawn walks 10 percent of the time, which is right in line with what he did in the minors. His .367 BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is worth monitoring, but he has sprayed a lot of line drives so far, so you can't say that he's not earning it. It would be really nice if he had a little more speed in his game, but he's worth a try in deeper leagues if you need help with your MI (middle infielder) spot.

Scott Van Slyke OF, Dodgers (Yahoo: 1 percent owned)

The Dodgers will play a four-game series against the Rockies in Coors Field beginning Thursday and Van Slyke is someone you should want on your roster in deeper formats. Why? Well, the Rockies are currently going with all left-handed pitchers in their starting rotation. Meanwhile, Van Slyke has mashed southpaws to the tune of a .291 batting average with six home runs and 1.178 OPS over 71 plate appearances this season. See, that wasn't so hard. Now go get him.

Zach Putnam RP, White Sox (Yahoo: 6 percent owned)

White Sox manager Robin Ventura yanked Ronald Belisario from the closer role over the weekend, but there's still plenty of uncertainty about where this situation is going, as Putnam, Jake Petricka, Javy Guerra, and Eric Surkamp have all been mentioned as possibilities for save chances. Feel free to speculate where you can, but first in line might be Putnam, who has had success in a set-up role this season and notched a save on Saturday. Keep in mind that Guerra has previous closing experience with the Dodgers, so he could be a sleeper here.

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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.
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