Looking to hit the waiver wire to help your team down the stretch drive? Here are five players that are likely available that you will want to consider:
Jaime Garcia – St. Louis Cardinals – Starting Pitcher
Remember him? Garcia hasn’t started a game for the Cardinals since June 5, but he is set to return from the DL and push Joe Kelly to the bullpen. Garcia struggled early in the year (4.48 ERA, 1.46 WHIP), but he was plagued by a .357 BABIP and a 66.9% strand rate. He isn’t going to strike out a ton of batters, but he also shouldn’t hurt you there. With good control, a groundball rate north of 50% and a good chance to win some games he is a pitcher that should be added in all formats
Jhoulys Chacin – Colorado Rockies – Starting Pitcher
Here’s another starting pitcher who disappointed early but is close to returning from the DL. We will have to wait and see if the Rockies stick with a four-man rotation, but as a pitcher with control problems, a 75 pitch count would highly limit his upside potential though not completely eliminate it. He took significant strides in generating ground balls a year ago (over 56%), something we didn’t see prior to the injury. If he can ever get his control in order he has the potential to really emerge as a must use fantasy option. Now is the time to stash him to hope to get dividends in September.
Tyler Greene – Houston Astros – Shortstop
Those of you who read the site regularly are already extremely familiar with my thoughts on Greene. The strikeouts could pose a problem, but as I have said since before the season started, he brings enough power and speed to the table to have 20/20 potential. That grows even more likely in a ballpark like Houston. He should get a chance to play most days, and this far he is producing. In six games with the Asrros he is hitting .350 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 R and 1 SB. Yes, he has struck out 8 times in his 20 AB, but with him it is all about the potential everywhere but average (much like Drew Stubbs). I will continue to sell him for everyone in a deeper format.
Ryan Lavarnway – Boston Red Sox – Catcher
Forget about the concerns on if Lavarnway’s future is behind the plate or not, as it really is irrelevant. With Kelly Shoppach now in New York (a move that felt 5 years in the making), Lavarnway is going to get ample playing time so Boston can decide if he fits in their long-term plans or not (or even their 2013 plans). Remember, he hit 34 total home runs a year ago and had 8 in 83 games at Triple-A this season prior to being recalled. You can argue that last year’s power surge was an aberration, but we are going to find out quickly if he can handle Major League pitching. He has struggled in the Majors, but has also had a lot of poor luck. Maybe he has tried to hit home runs (over 55% fly ball rate), but I would expect him to settle I with regular playing time expected.
Eric Young Jr. – Colorado Rockies – Outfielder
This is obviously a lost season for the Rockies, but it has given them a chance to find out if some young players can actually perform. Josh Rutledge, for instance, looks like the team’s future at second base, a position the team once tried to have Young play. Instead, Young appears to have settled into an outfield role where he should remain even now that Michael Cuddyer is healthy (he should play 1B). While Young has hit 4 HR this season, that isn’t his game. He is purely a source of speed and a solid average (though he isn’t going to hit .323 as, even with speed, I don’t think he will maintain a ,378 BABIP). That said, he brings value and has an opportunity. That’s enough for me, as long as you are in need of stolen bases.
What a re your thoughts on these five players? Are you looking to add any of them? Who else are you picking up?