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Waiver Wired

Waiver Wired: Mashing Maikel

by D.J. Short
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Not surprisingly, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa has been the most popular add in fantasy leagues this week. Despite being in the majors for just three days, he's already owned in 69 percent of Yahoo leagues. Of course, his call-up was anticipated for quite some time and I recommended stashing him one month ago. We love our shiny new toys, but this is one situation where I'm fine with being aggressive. As I said in Tuesday's Rotoworld Roundtable, it's all about context here. Correa is only 20 years old and might go through some growing pains, but it's not going to take much for him to be valuable at the shortstop position. In case you haven't noticed, it's been pretty awful. I'll take my chances on his upside.

This week's "Buy, Sell, or Hold" video features two names you'll also find below. Check it out:

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

 

Editor's Note: The growth of daily fantasy sports has been astounding. This infographic, compiled by our friends at RotoGrinders, puts the industry's rise into an entirely new light. Check out "The Growth of Daily Fantasy Sports, Visualized."

MIXED LEAGUES

Devin Mesoraco C, Reds (Yahoo: 45 percent owned)

It wasn't too long ago that it looked like Mesoraco was headed for season-ending hip surgery, but he's going to try to put it off until after the season and come back as a left fielder. He's already played a couple of minor league rehab games with Triple-A Louisville and figures to join the Reds within a few days. With his power and catcher-eligibility, this is good news, but who knows how the hip will impact his production and he might just decide to shut things down at some point. I don't think you can count on him as a No. 1 catcher in standard mixed leagues, especially now that Jonathan Lucroy, Matt Wieters, Yan Gomes, and Travis d'Arnaud are all back from the disabled list, but he's a fine gamble in two-catcher leagues or if you have multiple utility spots.

Maikel Franco 3B, Phillies (Yahoo: 28 percent owned)

I recommended stashing Franco prior to his call-up last month and he has exceeded my expectations thus far, batting .286/.320/.551 with six home runs and 16 RBI over 25 games. The 22-year-old is currently riding a nine-game hitting streak and was moved to the cleanup spot Wednesday. Plate discipline wasn't a strength for him in the minors and sure enough, he has only drawn five walks in 103 plate appearances, but he's making contact and hitting for power. As I said in "Buy, Sell, Hold" this week, I see Franco as more of a corner infielder option right now, but with David Wright and Adrian Beltre both sidelined, Ryan Zimmerman banged up, and Nick Castellanos and Lonnie Chisenhall proving to be disappointments, he's pretty intriguing.

Jesse Chavez SP/RP, Athletics (Yahoo: 49 percent owned)

Chavez has been pretty steady since joining Oakland's rotation in late-April, posting a 2.79 ERA and 47/15 K/BB ratio in 58 innings over nine starts. He only has two wins in that time and is coming off arguably his worst start, but I still think he's someone who should be owned in most formats. Remember what he did last year before the workload caught up with him. He's a strong option this weekend against the Angels, who rank 22nd in the majors in OPS against right-handed pitching.

Adam Eaton OF, White Sox (Yahoo: 35 percent owned)

Eaton isn't having the kind of season I hoped he would, which I guess you could say for a few hitters in Chicago's lineup. However, he's actually been pretty useful since returning from illness on May 5, batting .255/.314/.411 with 13 extra-base hits (including three home runs), 11 RBI, two stolen bases, and 24 runs scored over 34 games. Only nine players have scored more runs in the same timespan. It would be nice to see him run a bit more, but he's just 3-for-5 in stolen base attempts this season and has a lousy 61 percent success rate in the majors. Speed might never be a big part of his game, but I think he can help most in most mixed leagues anyway.

Chris Heston SP, Giants (Yahoo: 35 percent owned)

There's something inherently random about a no-hitter, so while it's a lot of fun, I don't want it to cloud my judgment too much. Still, I think Heston is relevant in mixed leagues. As I said in the video above, coming into Tuesday's outing, the 27-year-old right-hander had a 4.29 ERA over 11 starts this season. However, when you take out his two Coors Field starts, he had a 3.17 ERA over his other nine starts. Obviously you can't discount those Coors outings completely, but context of his performance is important. Heston isn't blowing anyone away, mostly getting by on location and movement while inducing soft contact, but he owns a 66/16 K/BB ratio over 74 innings to go along with a ground ball rate of 56.2 percent. It also helps that he has a really good framer with Buster Posey. Sure, Matt Cain and Jake Peavy are close to coming back and Heston's next two starts are against the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, but I'm fine with using him in the short-term.

Pedro Strop RP, Cubs (Yahoo: 18 percent owned)

After yanking Hector Rondon in the middle of a save opportunity on Saturday in favor of Strop, Cubs manager Joe Maddon turned to Jason Motte to close out Sunday's win. If that didn't make things confusing enough, the Cubs signed Rafael Soriano to a minor league contract on Tuesday. This situation looks pretty murky right now, but I'd rather own Strop than Motte or Soriano. Sure, Soriano has the "proven closer" tag and he has a history with Maddon, but don't forget his miserable second half last year. Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Strop owns a 2.66 ERA with 10.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 over 131 appearances with Chicago and does a good job keeping the ball on the ground. He's my choice in this bullpen, but I expect Maddon to keep us guessing.

Leonys Martin OF, Rangers (Yahoo: 44 percent owned)

Martin got off to a miserable start this season and saw his batting average sink down to .198 as recently as May 17, but he has been on fire since, hitting .355 (22-for-62) with two home runs, five doubles, 11 RBI, four stolen bases, and eight runs scored over his last 19 games. Yes, I just used an arbitrary endpoint, but we all know that Martin is a better player than what he showed through mid-May. I never thought it was a good idea to have him hit leadoff and perhaps moving back to the bottom-third of the order has allowed him to relax. Or it's just random. Either way, I'll take it. Martin's playing time should be safe as long as Josh Hamilton is sidelined and he's one of the better widely-available options if you need some speed.

Ken Giles RP, Phillies (Yahoo: 36 percent owned)

Giles is already owned in a lot of leagues, but with FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reporting Wednesday that the Phillies have engaged in recent trade talks with the Cubs and Blue Jays about Jonathan Papelbon, it's time to make sure he's safely stashed away in all formats. The 24-year-old hasn't been nearly as effective this season as he was last year, losing some velocity while seeing his walk rate jump from 6.6 percent to 10.1 percent, but he's still missing plenty of bats while posting a 2.16 ERA with 26 strikeouts over 25 innings. He'll almost certainly be next in line if Papelbon is dealt.

Shopping at the five-and-dime:

(Players owned in under 10 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Danny Espinosa 2B/SS, Nationals (Yahoo: 7 percent owned)

With Anthony Rendon finally back from the disabled list, there's no room for Espinosa in the Nationals' lineup right now. Or is there? Nationals manager Matt Williams acknowledged after Wednesday's game that he'd like to try to find a way to keep his bat in the lineup, even if it means playing him in left field. Espinosa has looked like a new man this season, cutting down on his strikeouts and drawing more walks while batting .263/.361/.481 with eight home runs and 18 RBI over 181 plate appearances. He could be a sneaky middle infield option if the Nationals try him out there. Keep an eye on this situation.

Dilson Herrera 2B, Mets (Yahoo: 1 percent owned)

Out since mid-May with a fractured tip of his right middle finger, Herrera is set to rejoin the Mets on Thursday night. The 21-year-old will presumably be the primary second baseman while Ruben Tejada will slide back over to third base as the team attempts to make due without both David Wright and Daniel Murphy. Herrera is just 21 years old and owns a .226/.301/.387 batting line over his first 103 plate appearances in the majors, so it's unfair to expect him to be a savior, but he has plenty of pop in his bat and makes for a nice pickup in deeper leagues as a middle infielder option.

Vincent Velasquez SP, Astros (Yahoo: 1 percent owned)

Velasquez's call-up understandably didn't get as much attention as Carlos Correa, but he's intriguing nonetheless. The 23-year-old made his major league debut against the White Sox on Wednesday, allowing just three hits over five scoreless innings while striking out five batters and issuing four walks. Obviously he'll have to clean up his control to be an asset in mixed leagues, but perhaps some of that was first-start jitters. For what it's worth, he averaged 3.0 BB.9 in the minors. I really like the stuff, which includes a mid-90s fastball to go along with a plus-changeup and a power curveball. Velasquez has missed a lot of time in the minors due to injury, so the Astros figure to be careful about his workload this season, but those in deeper formats should be willing to take a chance on his upside.  

Steven Matz SP, Mets (Yahoo: 9 percent owned)

The Mets already have too many starters than they have rotation spots, but it's likely just a matter of time before Matz gets his opportunity in the big leagues. After spending 2014 between High-A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton, the 23-year-old left-hander owns a 1.94 ERA and 75/27 K/BB ratio in 74 1/3 innings this season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That's pretty impressive considering that he's pitching in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. With Dillon Gee and Jon Niese on the trade block, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York recently reported that Matz could get the call within the next three weeks. Try to get ahead on this.

AL ONLY

Giovanny Urshela 3B, Indians (Yahoo: 0 percent owned)

The Indians demoted Lonnie Chisenhall on Monday after a disappointing start, which cleared the way for Urshela to make his major league debut. Known for his excellent defense at the hot corner, the 23-year-old took a nice step forward offensively last season and was batting .275/.301/.475 with nine extra-base hits (including three home runs) over 21 games this season in Triple-A. He should be owned as long as the playing time is there.

Nolan Reimold OF, Orioles (Yahoo: 0 percent owned)

It's been an interesting journey for Reimold over the past couple of years, but he's back in the majors with the Orioles. The 31-year-old earned the call-up this week after batting .286/.351/.389 with two home runs, 12 doubles, 13 RBI, and five stolen bases over 46 games with Triple-A Norfolk. He's a bit of a lottery ticket given his injury history and the Orioles could look to alternatives quickly, but there's opportunity in this outfield right now.

NL ONLY

Chris Denorfia OF, Cubs (Yahoo: 0 percent owned)

I was speculating on a Javier Baez call-up last week, but we can throw that possibility out the window now that he's out with a fractured left ring finger. Instead, we're looking at a combination of Denorfia, Junior Lake, and Mike Baxter in right field with Jorge Soler sidelined. Denorfia has been much better against lefties in his career than righties, but he has swung the bat well since coming off the disabled list and could continue to take away at-bats in the short-term.

Eugenio Suarez SS, Reds (Yahoo: 0 percent owned)

The Brewers' Scooter Gennett is a must-pickup if he's still available in your league, but he's an alternative in the wake of Zack Cozart's knee injury. Acquired from the Tigers in the Alfredo Simon deal over the winter, Suarez is batting .256/.348/.438 with eight home runs and 25 RBI over 57 games this season in Triple-A. The 23-year-old the logical candidate to take over at shortstop for the Reds and might even have some appeal in deeper mixed leagues.