Many fantasy baseball leagues are in the chase for playoffs, here in mid-August. Although the trade deadline came and passed without major impacts on fantasy, there are still some quality pickups out their on the waiver wire.
The Indians’ Danny Salazar recently was recalled from Triple-A Columbus, and he’s the young strikeout artist to add right now off waivers. He immediately struck out 11 Tigers among the promotion but also gave up two homers. He’s got the Twins August 12th and is a great streaming option at the very least. He figures to stick around a little longer this time than last, given the injuries to Corey Kluber, who was arguably the ace of a surprisingly decent Tribe staff.
The Angels’ Dane De La Rosa may be in line for saves with the Halos, as he notched his first one against the Tribe on Friday night. Since incumbent Ernesto Frieri was available and rested, this may signal that skipper Mike Scioscia isn’t just going to hand the ball to Frieri.
The Cardinals Joe Kelly has recently strung together a couple of nice wins, albeit against weak-ish offensive clubs (Dodgers, @ Pirates) and is worth a try. He’s got the Cubs next week and will probably remain in the Cardinals rotation. He’s got decent numbers (3-3, 2.98 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) and has only given up more than a run once in his last seven starts. His major drawbacks are not getting deep in games at all, and not really striking out guys either. He’ll help you in ERA and wins, though.
Speaking of Cardinals pitchers, midseason hot add Michael Wacha is being recalled from Memphis to start against the Cubs on Saturday night. The Redbirds are moving to a six-man rotation; a move I absolutely hate as it sinks a good staff equally but they play the Cubs, Pirates, Cubs and Brewers before meeting a team that actually hit (Atlanta) August 22nd.
Don’t look now but the artist formerly known as Josh Reddick has been on a mini-binge of late. He bashed three Friday and a pair on Saturday giving him five in two games; Reddick hit 32 last year but has been unusable for the majority of this year. The Oakland lineup is better than advertised, but he’s still hitting seventh. If he were to get going, he’s another power-speed combo guy (8 pilfered bags this year) that could put you over the top.
Justin Maxwell, who was recently traded to the Royals from Houston, has been on tear lately. He’s always reminded us of a poor man’s Giancralo Stanton in terms of his size (6’5”, 230) and speed/power combo. He’s a great grab if your outfielders are scuffling. Hitting fifth in the Royals lineup isn’t exactly ideal but we’ve seen before the change of scenery (Chris Davis, ring a bell) can do wonders for certain sluggers. He’s hit .471-3-6 in seven games for Kansas City.
While the Mets skipper Terry Collins hasn’t committed to declaring LaTroy Hawkins the closer while Bobby Parnell is sidelined with injury, he’s the one to add over David Aardsma and recorded two saves for New York this week. The Metropolitans head out on a road trip against two offenses (Arizona, Los Angeles) that have wreaked havoc on bullpens lately – ask Tampa. Speculate for saves carefully.
The Twins leadoff man Brian Dozier has been burning it up lately, and his second baseman / shortstop dual eligibility has him getting added at a pretty good clip in fantasy leagues. He’s got a tidy .720 OPS, which is hard to locate in 2013, especially at those infield positions and at the top of a lineup, which fantasy owners in counting leagues prefer. He’s stolen nine bases for a team that is strangely not running particularly well and has 10 homers to go with 4 triples and 24 doubles—he still swings too much but has 33 walks. Dozier is in intriguing and could be an even better play if the Twins power sources (Justin Morneau, Josh Willingham) continue to turn up.