Fantasy Baseball Waiver Advice: Pardon My France
Ray Kuhn provides the waiver options that may be available on your waiver wire as you head into the weekend to win your match-ups!
Eloy Jimenez (CWS); FAAB Bid: 4-5% - Jimenez is still more than a month away from returning to action, so this isn’t a short-term play. You could say that we are being overly proactive here, but after news broke on Monday that he has been cleared to resume baseball activities, Jimenez’s ownership has shot up 10% over the last day on Yahoo. It appears that he will be in Arizona getting back into shape for the next four weeks or so, and then if you factor in a rehab stint, we are likely looking at some time in August. With that being said, if you have the roster space to support Jimenez, don’t leave him sitting on your waiver wire. Given the quantity of injuries we have seen this season, having space to carry Jimenez for roughly the next six weeks is no small feat. However, there shouldn’t be any lingering effects from his injury (pectoral tear) and pre-injury he was being drafted in the second or third round. You can do a lot worse than adding Jimenez to your lineup for the stretch run. And if it comes for free, that is even better.
Robbie Grossman (DET); FAAB Bid: 3% - To some, seeing Grossman as being a waiver wire consideration and this point in the season is just crazy. He was a popular late round option in deeper, NFBC Draft and Hold leagues this winter, and it is proving to be for good reason. With that being said, Grossman is still available in 51% of Yahoo leagues and it simply doesn’t make sense to me although he has seen a five percent ownership increase over the last day. In the last seven days, Grossman is batting .333 (11 for 33) with three home runs, seven RBI, and six runs scored. That brought Grossman’s batting average for the season up to .247 but what we are really after are his nine home runs (thanks to a career best 20.9% launch angle) and eight stolen bases out of the leadoff. Grossman is one stolen base and two home runs away from his career highs, but this is also the most extended playing time he has consistently seen in his career. We are also seeing a career high barrel rate (7.6%) and hard hit rate (37.4%) from Grossman.
Jorge Soler (KC); FAAB Bid: 2-3% - We have some more low hanging fruit in the outfield here, but we also shouldn’t be sleeping on Soler. He has struggled to start the season and even after hitting .300 over the last seven days he is at just .187 for the season, so for anyone that drafted Soler in the top-100 this year it has been a disappointment. Kansas City is still running Soler out there on a daily basis in the middle of their lineup but his six home runs and 28 RBI are disappointing. Soler will never be confused as an asset when it comes to batting average, but we should expected a slight rebound considering his .242 BABIP. What is still a little concerning, is Soler’s .153 ISO and he is not barreling up the ball at the same level (11.8%) as he did in the last two years. The launch angle (18.2 degrees) and hard-hit rate (48.6%) is there so I’m willing to give him a chance.
Max Stassi (LAA); FAAB Bid: 3% - To say that Stassi has been in the zone this month after missing some time with injury might be an understatement. He has been batting in prime territory in the Angels’ lineup (third, fourth, or fifth) and entering action on Wednesday, Stassi was hitting .389 in June with four home runs, 10 RBI and 13 runs scored. It is often difficult to fill the catching position and right now few are hotter than Stassi. After he essentially missed the month of May due to injury the sample size is small (44 batted ball events) but Stassi is making contact with a blistering hard-hit rate of 59.1% to go along with a 13.6% barrel rate as he is striking the ball the best he has in his career.
Ty France (SEA); FAAB Bid: 1% - France showed how quickly and easily players can fall from grace after draft season buzz and a strong start to season. The infielder hit .289 in April with three home run and 13 RBI but then was jettisoned off a lot of teams thanks to hitting just .190 in the month of May. So far this month we have seen France batting either third or fourth for Seattle, which I would refer to as prime run production territory, but the Mariners don’t exactly boast the strongest offense. Either way, it is still a prime spot in the batting order for France who also sports multi-positional eligibility across the infield. It also doesn’t hurt that he is batting .278 entering action on Wednesday so far this month in 14 games with one home run and four RBI.
Matt Manning (DET); FAAB Bid: 1-2% - With the posting of this prior to Manning’s first career start on Thursday against the Angels, its’ very possible the suggested bid is way too conservative. That is not without cause though as young pitchers continue to show that adjusting to pitching at the major league level isn’t an easy or seamless process. Entering the season, Manning was ranked as a top-50 prospect (or close to it) by most sources but the right-hander has struggled this season in Triple-A. In fact, that might be an understatement as Manning is sporting an 8.31 ERA in 32.1 innings so far this season but he is a talented pitcher who should have success at the major league level. Just take things with a grain of salt initially and don’t overreact in either direction.
Adbert Alzolay (CHC); FAAB Bid: 1% - Alzolay had performing well prior to his finger injury with a 4.04 ERA and 1.04 WHIP and he could be back as early as this weekend against Miami. There is always the concern of a blister coming back, but all systems appear to be a go for the right-hander who has 62 strikeouts in 57.2 innings to this point. In his first extended look at the major league level, Alzolay is doing a good job at limiting walks (2.5 per nine innings) and his 3.57 xFIP is favorable.
Logan Gilbert (SEA); FAAB Bid: 3% - The beginning of Gilbert’s major league career didn’t go all that well, but it shouldn’t be a complete surprise because we know there is a big difference between facing Triple-A hitters and facing major leaguers. In reality though, it’s really just the first two starts that were rough for Gilbert that is dragging his ERA down to 4.13. After allowing seven earned runs over 6.2 innings in his first two starts, the right-hander has allowed six earned runs in his next 21.2 innings. The talent is there, so we shouldn’t write him off too quickly and he is striking out 29 batters in 28.1 innings.
Lucas Sims (CIN); FAAB Bid: 4% - There is no question that Sims has emerged as the locked and loaded closer for Cincinnati and he has earned that designation. In the last two weeks, Sims has a 1.04 ERA (ideal) along with a 1.27 WHIP (less than ideal but also just 8.2 innings) but more importantly four saves and 14 strikeouts. For as long as Sims in available in more than 50% of Yahoo leagues (currently that is 53%), I’m going to be a broken record advocating for him. We can’t overstate the importance of saves and it’s hard to argue with the strikeouts that we are getting from Sims as well.
Seth Lugo (NYM); FAAB Bid: 1% - Lugo did get the save on Tuesday, his first of the season, but it was of the two-inning variety and came only because the Mets saw an opportunity to give Edwin Diaz the night off. Diaz has pitched great this season so from that perspective the only saves that Lugo will be in line for will come when Diaz is rested. That doesn’t mean Lugo isn’t without appeal though as New York hasn’t shown any hesitance to use him in key spots and high leverage situations. Since being activated off the injured list, Lugo has a 1.17 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 7.2 innings while striking out 12 batters. If you are looking for some stabilization of your ratios along with the occasional saves and some strikeouts, Lugo could be your man.