Miguel Gonzalez has excelled since his recall. (en.wikipedia.org)
By RotoRob and Michael Seff
Jacoby Ellsbury is dealing with ankle injury that is hopefully just a short-term issue, Yasiel Puig is struggling and Masahiro Tanaka is dealing with arm soreness that will delay his return to the lineup. Note that rosters expand as of Monday, so keep an eye on that situation — especially with weaker teams that will offer their top prospects a chance to strut their stuff.
With MLB Editor Michael Seff out of town this weekend, The Wire Troll falls to your trusty editor, but not to worry — Michael sent along a few names to get us going. And get going we shall…
Miguel Gonzalez, SP, Baltimore Orioles (ESPN: 6.2 per cent; CBS: 16 per cent): Heading into the season, we slotted Gonzalez 85th in our Starting Pitcher Rankings, but given a higher WHIP this season, he’s probably only been around a top 110 starter. However, the 30-year-old Mexican righty is starting to prove us right, having recently been recalled from Triple-A to take the rotation spot of struggling Ubaldo Jimenez, banished to the bullpen. Gonzalez maintained a good ‘tude upon being sent down (see video below), so when he was summoned, he was ready to hit the ground running. In his last three starts, he’s only given up 14 hits, four earned runs and three walks while fanning 13 in 19 1/3 IP. He’s won twice and taken a hard-luck loss. Gonzalez, part of a very cheap Orioles rotation (except for that Jimenez dude), seems to do enough to put himself in line for some wins given how strong the B-More offense is, so give him a look in deeper mixed leagues and add him in AL-only formats.
Joe Panik, 2B, San Francisco Giants (ESPN: 11.6 per cent; CBS: 20 per cent): Here’s a dude we recommended in late-June, and while admittedly he didn’t set the world on fire at first, given his recent play it’s time for you to press the Panik button. He recently launched his first career home run and has compiled a pair of four-hit efforts over the last eight games as part of a .385 August. Panik is now averaging over a hit per game with some gap power, and he’s capable of supplying some decent steal totals, although we have yet to see that component of his game follow him to the bigs.
Zach Walters, OF, Cleveland Indians (ESPN: 5.3 per cent; CBS: 16 per cent): This all-or-nothing dude sort of came out of nowhere, didn’t he? After smacking three homers among his eight hits with the Nationals, he was dealt to Cleveland, where he’s launched another half dozen jacks — out of only 11 hits. Seriously? In 49 games this season, Walters has all of 19 hits, yet nine have left the premises. This can’t keep up for long, but while he’s bashing long balls at this rate, Walters needs to be scooped up in AL-only leagues, under the guidance that you will take a hit in the BA department.
Jarrod Dyson, OF, Kansas City Royals (ESPN: 9.6 per cent; CBS: 15 per cent): Yes, we just recommended Dyson a few weeks ago, but he remains widely available despite the fact he’s playing his best ball of the season right now. In August, this speedster is scorching the ball to the tune of a .354 BA with five walks and nine steals. Dyson is enjoying his finest season even though his walk rate has dipped. Three straight 30-steal seasons from a dude that has never had 300 at-bats in a season? That’s elite speed as part of a team that is not shy about running (KC has 11 steals in the past week).
Eric O’Flaherty, RP, Oakland Athletics: With closer Sean Doolittle (oblique) out, the A’s have turned to southpaw O’Flaherty to finish up games. O’Flaherty converted his first chance on Wednesday, but it was not without its drama as he allowed two hits including a homer. Coming off Tommy John surgery, he hasn’t looked rusty at all so far this year, and he’s already nearly matched his inning count from last year before he got hurt. Trying to make a late-season push in saves? Give O’Flaherty a try.
Yusmeiro Petit, SP/RP, San Francisco Giants (ESPN: 6.6 per cent; CBS: 16 per cent): Perhaps you heard a thing or two about Petit’s accomplishments this week. Impressive shit, yes, but now that he’s getting another chance to start, we’re really interested. Petit has teased us over the years, but his Achilles’ Heel has always been the second and third time through a lineup, hence his struggles to stay in the rotation. However, have you seen this dude’s command this year? Petit is averaging 5.65 Ks per walk — by far the best rate of his career. Go ahead and roll the dice — it’s worth it to see if he can continue to excel in the rotation.
Adam Dunn, 1B, Oakland Athletics (ESPN: 9.6 per cent; CBS: 40 per cent): Here’s betting that a trade to the contending A’s may spark Dunn to a strong finish. This could be his swan song and he’s never been in the playoffs — that sounds like a recipe for a renaissance.
Anthony Gose, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (ESPN: 0.3 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): This talented but enigmatic flyhawk has been scorching at Triple-A of late as he readies himself for an inevitable September promotion.
Justin Turner, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN: 29.2 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent); With Juan Uribe (hamstring) out, Turner has responded, hitting safely in 10 of his last 11 games as part of a career year during which he’s even raised his usually pedestrian walk rate.
Gregor Blanco, OF, San Francisco Giants (ESPN: 3 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): The veteran is getting hot lately, hitting safely in four straight games with two homers, six RBI and a steal. Brandon Belt’s concussion forced left fielder Michael Morse to come in and man first base, opening the door for Blanco to play every day, and he’s taking advantage.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.
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