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The Wire Troll: Norman Powell Taking Toronto By Storm
Mike Alonso Left a Major League Legacy at Upland

The Wire Troll: Jarrett Parker Filling in for Giants

June 5, 2016 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Jarrett Parker is earning some respect at the big league level for the San Francisco Giants.
Jarrett Parker is going to get a chance to play a lot for the Giants. (knbr.com)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. With JB needing to hit the books, the Wire Troll duties fall to your crusty old editor today.

This week, the Pale Hose sent a message that they are all-in by trading for James Shields; Mark Teixeira’s lousy season got even worse thanks to torn right knee cartilage; and Cory Seager became the first Dodger rookie to go yard three times in a game since Don Demeter did it over 55 years ago.

And now to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations.

Jarrett Parker, OF, San Francisco Giants (ESPN: 0.6 per cent; CBS: 5 per cent): With Hunter Pence (hamstring) out for the next two months and Angel Pagan also sidelined, Parker has taken over RF for the Giants. Parker was up for a while last year, and hit extremely well (aided by a ridiculously high BABIP). His numbers have normalized this season, but he’s likely to continue to get a fair amount of PT while San Francisco’s outfield is in tatters. Parker contributed a run on Wednesday (see video below) and then another on Friday as he starts to pick up steam.

Jed Lowrie, 2B, Oakland Athletics (ESPN: 12 per cent; CBS: 18 per cent): The versatile Lowrie has always been a solid BA man, but has particularly shone in that regard this season. With hits in nine of his last 10 games — interrupted by an injury — he’s raised his average to .311, and smacked his first dinger of the year on Saturday in the ninth inning to force extra innings. Lowrie is usually good for a bit more pop than he’s shown so far, so expect a regression in BA, but an increase in extra-base knocks.

Will Harris, RP, Houston Astros (ESPN: 11 per cent; CBS: 13 per cent): With Luke Gregerson imploding of late (five blow saves in the last three weeks and change), smart owners are investing in Harris. Yes, given how much Houston paid to get Ken Giles, he’s got to be in the mix as well, but when you consider how well Harris is pitching, how can he not get the gig when the Astros finally make a change? All Harris has done is toss 24 straight scoreless outings. This dude was cast aside by Arizona, Oakland and Colorado, but sure has found his game in Houston, recording a 1.49 ERA in over 90 appearances since arriving last year.

Jon Gray, SP, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 21.2 per cent; CBS: 50 per cent): Gray has always shown sweet strikeout potential, and while his bottom line results leave something to be desired, you’ve got to love that K/9 rate of 9.7. Obviously, you want to sit him at home (6.65 ERA), but he’s a decent road play — especially Sunday in San Diego. For the first time in his career, he’s on a winning streak, so even if you’re just looking for a streaming or DFS option, Gray could be gold.

Javier Baez, 3B, Chicago Cubs (ESPN: 14.5 per cent; CBS: 36 per cent): Baez is slowly earning more PT, having started two of the last three games and scheduled to be in the lineup again on Sunday. The hard-swinging utility man has capitalized on his recent extra action, slapping two hits including a two-run homer as part of a three-RBI night against the Dodgers Thursday and then following that up with a two-run double and a run on Friday. Baez is going to become a more integral component of the Cubs’ attack as the season goes on, so give him a look in NL-only leagues or deeper mixed formats.

Jeff Locke, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (ESPN: 8.6 per cent; CBS: 16 per cent): Atlanta’s 2006 second rounder is finally turning things around after a very rough start to the season. Last week, he hurled a three-hit shutout at the Fish and the followed that up Saturday with a quality outing to win his fourth straight start. The dingers are an issue and Locke’s K/9 has plummeted this season, but he’s winning and will provide you with a solid WHIP while he remains hot.

Jurickson Profar, 2B, Texas Rangers (ESPN: 16.3 per cent; CBS: 35 per cent): Brought up to fill in while Rougned Odor served his suspension, Profar has done well enough to stay, although it’s unclear how much PT that will translate into. Formerly the team’s top prospect, Profar is back in the bigs for the first time since 2013 and is making up for lost time, scoring 10 runs in just eight games, six of which have seen him deliver multiple hits.

Others to Consider

Nick Franklin, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN: unowned: CBS: 1 per cent): Franklin has been called up with Brandon Guyer landing on the DL and the promotion is well deserved as Franklin has been scorching at Triple-A, batting .350 with two homers, seven RBI and eight runs over the last 10 games. Remember, heading into 2015, Franklin was still considered a top 40 shortstop.

Mike Pelfrey, SP, Detroit Tigers (ESPN: 0.8 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): Pelfrey’s been pretty luckless so far this year, but finally bagged his first win of the season on Saturday as he starts to build some momentum.

Shane Greene, SP, Detroit Tigers (ESPN: 0.9 per cent; CBS: 9 per cent): Now that he’s off the DL, Greene has been shifted to the bullpen and he earned a hold with a hitless inning while fanning two on Saturday. He wouldn’t be the first failed starter to really shine as a reliever, plus the move might finally allow him to stay healthy, so watch this one.

Logan Morrison, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN: 12 per cent; CBS: 18 per cent): LoMo homered for the second straight day Saturday as he’s run his hit streak to eight games. Ride him while he’s hot.

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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The Wire Troll: Whit Merrifield an Unlikely Hero for Royals

May 29, 2016 | by JB Branson | Comments Comments Off
The second Royal currently keeping the offense’s heart beating is Orlando. The second year flyhawk is hitting a ridiculous .486 over the last two weeks, along with five extra-base hits and nine RBI. Over the week, Kansas City has scored the fourth most runs in the league compared to ranking 26th for the season — certainly not a trend you would expect with three starters out. Like Merrifield, Orlando is a must add in deep league formats, and even worth a pickup in standard leagues as long as he is on this impressive tear. If Orlando cools off, he could still warrant a roster spot in leagues that allow daily roster moves, as he is always a great start when facing southpaws (he’s a career .303 hitter against LHP).
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The Wire Troll: Steve Pearce Returns to Spark the Rays

May 22, 2016 | by JB Branson | Comments Comments Off
Bour is finally beginning to regain his 2015 power stroke (when he bashed 23 dingers). In May, he has already gone yard five times and cut his strikeout rate in half from the first month. Bour is seeing the ball much better, as evidenced by his ridiculous 46.3 Hard hit percentage over the past three weeks, and this could be heading to a power surge into June. Get him before he’s gone for good, but have a backup plan for when the Marlins face southpaws. Bour owns just two hits against lefties this season.
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The Wire Troll: Can Mark Reynolds Stick at First Base in Colorado?

May 15, 2016 | by JB Branson | Comments Comments Off
This dispersion really helps drive his all-around Fantasy contribution, which is evident by his almost even total of runs and RBI (11 and 10, respectively). So if you are in need of infield help, or could use a boost to your team’s BA with modest help in the other categories, Prado is your man. The lack of homers so far this season may scare off Fantasy owners, but the way we look at it is this: Prado has never hit less than nine dingers in a full season. Be patient, and all that solid contact will eventually translate into a few trots around the bases.
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2015-16 NBA Wire Troll All-Star Team

May 15, 2016 | by Adrian Wallace | Comments (0)
After a slow start to the season (arguably because of usage), he emerged as one of the top rookies in the league, finishing with averages of 9.9 points (on 51.2 per cent shooting), seven boards, 2.4 assists, and one steal in just 21.7 minutes. The key takeaway: Jokic averaged 16.5 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 10 games when he played 30-plus minutes. Keep in mind that this kid is only 21, so could very well have a breakout season in 2016-2017.
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