September is finally here. I really wish I had some exciting call-ups to talk about this week, but I don't expect most of them to make a significant impact in mixed leagues down the stretch. Maikel Franco is still the most interesting one to me, which is essentially what I said last week. Joc Pederson might end up playing a bit more than initially expected, but Don Mattingly still figures to juggle that outfield on the regular. Andrew Heaney could also be interesting, but it's unclear if he'll get an extended chance in the Marlins' rotation, even after Henderson Alvarez's oblique injury. Basically, if you need help in mixed leagues, you will need to make the most out of who is already here.
If you are still hanging with me this late in the season, that likely means that you are doing pretty well in your league(s). I hope that Waiver Wired has played at least a small part in your success thus far and can get you across the finish line victoriously this month. I wanted to use this time to thank you, the reader, for all your awesome questions throughout the season for the Rotoworld Mailbag. We're taking a break from those for now, but I should be back in a couple of weeks with some season wrap-up videos and a look toward 2015. Keep an eye out for those.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day, $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Thursday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Have a specific question about your roster? Ask @djshort on Twitter.
Danny Salazar SP, Indians (Yahoo: 46 percent owned)
Now this is the Danny Salazar fantasy owners were expecting when they picked him early on in drafts this spring. The 24-year-old right-hander was completely dominant in Wednesday's win over the Tigers, allowing eight hits with no walks and nine strikeouts for his first career shutout. He now owns a 2.30 ERA with a 45/11 K/BB ratio in 47 innings across his last eight starts in the majors dating back to late July. Better late than never, right? Salazar gets the Angels in his next start, which is a tough assignment, but he's worth grabbing wherever he's still available.
Kevin Quackenbush RP, Padres (Yahoo: 11 percent owned)
Joaquin Benoit had a cranky shoulder, then he didn't, now he does again, so Quackenbush gets a mention here for the second time in the past three weeks. Corey Brock of MLB.com wrote on Tuesday that he wouldn't expect Benoit back in action for another 8-10 days, so the bearded rookie is a must-own wherever he's available. The 25-year-old has five straight scoreless appearances under his belt and owns an impressive 2.58 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 47/17 K/BB ratio over 45 1/3 innings. Who knows, if Benoit has another setback, Quackenbush could keep the job for all of September.
Adam Dunn 1B/OF, Athletics (Yahoo: 30 percent owned)
Dunn has appeared rejuvenated since the A's acquired him from the White Sox over the weekend, hitting safely in each of his first three games while going deep in two of them. The veteran slugger is hitting just .226 on the year, but he also has 22 homers and a .795 OPS. Did you know that only 20 players have hit more home runs this season? It's true. With power on the decline across the majors, someone like Dunn has sneaky value. He has never appeared in the playoffs before and might hang things up after this season, so perhaps he'll go out with a bang. I'm hoping so, anyway.
Derek Holland SP, Rangers (Yahoo: 11 percent owned)
Holland's rehab from January microfracture knee surgery took a little longer than originally expected, but perhaps the wait will be worth it for fantasy owners. The southpaw was very impressive in his season debut Tuesday against the Royals, allowing just one run over seven innings with six strikeouts and no walks. According to Brooks Baseball, he averaged 94.1 mph on his fastball and topped out at 96 mph, so his arm appears to be fresh while others are wearing down late in the year. The depleted Rangers' offense might not put him in position for many wins -- he was handed a no-decision Tuesday -- but he's worth a look for upcoming starts against the Mariners and Braves if you need a streaming option.
Trevor Plouffe 3B, Twins (Yahoo: 30 percent owned)
Plouffe just finished up his best month of the season, batting .317/.372/.558 with five home runs, 10 doubles, and 24 RBI over 26 games. Only four players (Giancarlo Stanton, Justin Upton, Chris Carter, and Victor Martinez) drove in more runs during August. The 28-year-old has quietly made some encouraging strides this season, cutting down on his strikeouts from last year while increasing his walk rate. Maybe we'll never see Plouffe hit for power like he did in 2012 again, but he's someone to consider with a number of corner infielders injured and/or underperforming.
James Paxton SP, Mariners (Yahoo: 39 percent owned)
Paxton has been dynamite after going nearly four months between major league starts due to a lat strain, putting up a 1.80 ERA over six starts. The young southpaw now owns a 1.77 ERA over his first 12 starts in the majors. The only pitcher since 1914 with a better ERA over his first 12 career starts is Steve Rogers, who had a 1.16 ERA with the Expos in 1973. Paxton only has 22 strikeouts in 35 innings since coming off the disabled list, but with his mid-to-high 90s fastball and power curve, it's probably just a matter of time before we see them in bunches. He's a must-start for a favorable matchup against the Rangers on Sunday.
Juan Uribe 3B, Dodgers (Yahoo: 10 percent owned)
Uribe has had a devil of a time staying healthy this year, but he has been pretty productive when in the lineup, batting .297 with seven home runs and 41 RBI over 85 games. He has hit safely in four straight games since coming off the disabled list, with a home run and six RBI. His production is pretty much right in line with what he did last year, when he hit .278 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI in 132 games. Nothing flashy, but it's useful at this time of year. I have picked him up as a corner infielder option in a couple of leagues with the status of players like Adam LaRoche and Michael Morse in doubt.
Jorge De La Rosa SP, Rockies (Yahoo: 25 percent owned)
Fresh off signing a two-year, $25 million extension with the Rockies, De La Rosa is on my radar for a start against the Padres at Coors Field this weekend. Sure, the veteran southpaw owns a mediocre 4.26 ERA on the year, but he's 19-3 with a 2.97 ERA in 160 2/3 innings over 27 starts at home over the past two seasons. Seriously. Nothing is a guarantee, but that's as close as you can get to money. If you need a pitcher to stream this weekend, keep him in mind.
Shopping at the five-and-dime:
(Players owned in under 10 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Juan Lagares OF, Mets (Yahoo: 6 percent owned)
Lagares is one of the best defensive outfielders in the sport, but he hasn't been all that interesting in fantasy leagues so far in the majors. Perhaps that is about to change. Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters this week that he's trying to get Lagares to run more often and the 25-year-old has listened by swiping five bases over his last six games. He had just four stolen bases over his previous 98 games this season. Lagares is batting .284 on the year and has hit leadoff in seven straight games, so he makes for a fine flier in deeper formats. Here's hoping that the running game continues.
Aaron Sanchez RP/SP, Blue Jays (Yahoo: 6 percent owned)
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons won't come out and say it, but we could be witnessing a change in the team's closer role. Impending free agent Casey Janssen has received just one of the last four save chances, with Brett Cecil getting one chance and Sanchez getting two of them. Sanchez's first was a two-inning save on Saturday against the Yankees and the latest was a more traditional three-out save in Wednesday's victory over the Rays. Sanchez still figures to be a starter in the long-term, but he owns an impressive 1.52 ERA and 22/3 K/BB ratio over his first 23 2/3 innings in the majors and might continue to be tested in high-leverage situations down the stretch.
Gerardo Parra OF, Brewers (Yahoo: 8 percent owned)
All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez is currently shut down from baseball activities due to a left wrist sprain, which is an awful break for the reeling Brewers, but the injury assures Parra of regular playing time in the short-term. Those in standard formats can do better, but we've seen Parra prove useful in deeper formats before. While the 27-year-old doesn't excel in any one area, he's currently on pace his second straight season with double-digits in home runs and stolen bases. Every counting stat matters right now. And Parra is someone who can help if you are in a bind.
Dilson Herrera SS/2B, Mets (Yahoo: 1 percent owned)
I was going to mention Jed Lowrie as a middle infielder option now that he's back from the disabled list, but he's a bit of a known quantity for fantasy owners. He's a fine pickup if you are in a deeper league, but he has struggled for a good portion of the year and indicated this week that his finger isn't 100 percent, so I'd probably stay away in standard 10- or 12-team leagues. Chris Owings is another name to consider, but I recommended stashing him just a couple of weeks ago. With all of that out of the way, let's talk about Herrera. I thought the promotion last week was pretty aggressive, but he clearly has some pop in his bat and Daniel Murphy is expected to miss more than the minimum as he works his way back from a calf injury. Herrera is only 20 years old, so ups and downs are inevitable, but he should be on your radar in deeper leagues this month.
Anthony Gose OF, Blue Jays (Yahoo: 0 percent owned)
The Blue Jays have essentially benched impending free agent Colby Rasmus, which opens the door for a combination of Gose, Kevin Pillar, and top prospect Dalton Pompey in center field. Pompey is probably the most interesting one for the long-term, but Gose is the one I'd pick up right now, especially if you need speed. The 24-year-old owns a lowly .234/.333/.291 batting line over 205 plate appearances with the Blue Jays this season, but he has swiped 14 bases in 70 games. If Gose is gone in your league and you still need speed, keep an eye on the diminutive Terrance Gore, who should get plenty of chances as a pinch-runner this month with the Royals. He's just a one-category contributor, though.
Marcus Semien 2B/3B, White Sox (Yahoo: 1 percent owned)
Semien batted just .218/.287/.327 with a 57/16 K/BB ratio over 43 games prior to being demoted in June, but he's worth another look now that he's back with the big club. The 23-year-old put up some nice numbers in Triple-A, batting .267 with 15 home runs and seven stolen bases while almost having as many walks (53) as strikeouts (59). Carlos Sanchez has been seeing a lot of time at second base following the Gordon Beckham trade, but Semien is more interesting for fantasy purposes. Hopefully the White Sox give him a bunch of at-bats this month.
Logan Watkins 2B, Cubs (Yahoo: 0 percent owned)
Starlin Castro is all but finished for the season due to a high ankle sprain, so the Cubs plan to use Javier Baez as their regular shortstop and Watkins as their primary second baseman the rest of the way. Watkins is 12-for-29 (.414) with a home run and a double over 13 games with the Cubs this season and batted .256/.327/.364 with 26 extra-base hits (including four home runs) and 23 stolen bases over 103 games in Triple-A. His ceiling is likely a utility role, but he's worth riding with in NL-only leagues as long as the playing time will be there.
Andrew Susac C, Giants (Yahoo: 0 percent owned)
Brandon Belt is sidelined indefinitely due to a concussion and Michael Morse is dealing with a strained left oblique, so one wonders if we will see more of Buster Posey at first base in the days to come. Susac could give them that flexibility, as he has hit .288 with three home runs, four doubles, 15 RBI, and an .866 OPS in 20 games since coming up from the minors in late July. The 24-year-old posted a .268/.379/.451 slash-line in Triple-A this year, albeit in the Pacific Coast League. Still, he's someone to stash as a second catcher on days Posey plays first.