10 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds For Week 3
We're just two weeks into the MLB season, and we've seen plenty of injuries that have altered the fantasy baseball landscape. Not sure where to look? Don't worry, I've got you covered.
1. Shawn Kelley, P, New York Yankees
With David Robertson shelved on the disabled list, Kelley has already picked up three saves as the interim closer. With his violent delivery, Robertson has suffered his second lower-body injury in three years and is no guarantee to stay healthy over the remainder of the season. Personally, I would prefer to trade him for the best value possible, since he is a fly-ball pitcher with a career 1.29 HR/9, and will be more prone to blowing saves.
2. Michael Morse, OF, San Francisco Giants
Luckily for his fantasy stock, Morse’s fielding will not count against him in most formats, making him a worthy pickup. So far, he has seemingly reverted back to his 2011 levels of play, plus improved strikeout and walk rates. The .429 BABIP is sure to revert back towards his career .322 rate, but the regression might be softened if he can sustain his would-be-career-high 23.3% line drive rate.
3. Edward Mujica, P, Boston Red Sox
With Koji Uehara rehabbing a bad shoulder, Mujica has moved into the closer’s role for the Red Sox. Mujica thrived as the Cardinals’ closer last season, converting 37 of 41 opportunities in his first extended shot at a closing gig. Uehara spent 268 days on the DL between 2009 and 2012 and turned 39 years old a few weeks ago, so there’s a decent chance that Mujica could keep the job as long as he pitches well. He sports career numbers including a 3.80 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 5.12 K/BB ratio and has an elite “out” pitch in his splitter.
4. Adam LaRoche, 1B, Washington Nationals
Ryan Zimmerman’s injury ensures that LaRoche will man first base for another month. His .355 BABIP means the .311 batting average is a mirage, but he has hit 20-plus home runs eight times in the eight seasons with 400-plus plate appearances. He is hitting cleanup in the Nationals lineup, and of the three hitters before him, Anthony Rendon has the lowest OBP at .380. Should he keep the job all year, he could post his third 100 RBI season.
5. Danny Espinosa, 2B, Washington Nationals
The third player on this list who has stepped into a prominent role due to an injury, Espinosa will officially return from his exile from the Nationals’ lineup now that Zimmerman has returned to starting on the Nationals’ disabled list for the fourth consecutive season. Rendon is shifting over to third base, and Espinosa will have the first shot at the second base job. While 2013’s stat line of .193/.272/.206 led the Nationals to deservingly send him down to AAA Syracuse in the middle of the season, he was suffering from wrist issues and was a quality player in 2011 and 2012, totaling 6.5 WAR. He is probably not worth it in a league that subtracts for strikeouts, but from 2011 to 2012, he averaged 19 homers and 18.5 steals.
6. Tyson Ross, P, San Diego Padres
Originally much higher on this list, Ross has pieced together three starts in which he has allowed only 6 runs in 17.1 innings with a solid 16 punchouts. However, he has allowed 10 walks , and his FIP of 3.95 and xFIP of 4.32 are well above his 3.12 ERA. Proceed with caution, but the strikeout potential here is legit and he could be a top-flight starter if he can cut down on the walks.
7. Colby Rasmus, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
As I predicted in my Blue Jays preview, Rasmus was due for a major BABIP correction, and his BABIP this year is a lowly .259, down from .356. However, the power is still there, and you were never buying Rasmus for batting average in the first place. Better yet, he hits second for the Jays, ahead of sluggers Jose Bautista, Adam Lind, and Edwin Encarnacion. He is a 20-homer threat, and his lineup spot could enable him to place among the league leaders in runs.
8. Kyle Lohse, P, Milwaukee Brewers
Since 2011, Lohse has posted ERAs of 3.39, 2.86, and 3.35. This year he's at 3.05 through three starts. His main strength as a soft-tosser is pitching to contact, preventing baserunners (1.11 WHIP), and pitching late into games, and he is continuing to do all three in 2014. As a bonus, he has struck out 9.27 batters per 9 innings, well above his career rate of 5.68.
9. Mark Buehrle, P, Toronto Blue Jays
His last two starts pretty much confirm that the 11-strikeout performance against the Rays was a fluke, but that was never Buehrle’s calling card. He has gone seven or more innings in two of three starts and has only allowed two walks thus far. His xFIP of 3.13 suggests that a correction is due in the near future, mostly due to the fact Buehrle has yet to allow a home run and has posted the best K/BB ratio of his career at 8.00. You can do worse than a workhorse pitcher with elite command.
10. Garrett Richards, P, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Juan Lagares of the Mets was originally slotted here, but he suffered a hamstring injury and is headed to the DL. Richards is off to a quick start this season, but his 91.7% strand rate and .148 BABIP indicate that his 0.75 ERA is probably closer to his 2.96 FIP or 4.04 xFIP. However, he maintained a 3.66 FIP in 2013 and has 13 strikeouts in 12 innings so far this season. If you do add him, pay attention to his walks; he has already given eight free passes in his two starts thus far.