Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Surfing the Waiver Wire

Hot Streaks in Waiting

Yonder Alonso – OF/1B

Alonso was blocked at First Base by Joey Votto in Cinncy, so he packed his bags for San Diago as the centerpiece in the Mat Latos deal. Thus far in the pitcher friendly PETCO Park Yonder is batting at a .293 clip, and with a recent 6 game hitting streak the former Red is gearing for a red hot run in the middle of the Padres lineup.

The Padres do have a tough schedule in the immediate future facing the top notch Phillies and National rotations, but they miss Kershaw in a two game stint with the Dodgers. Alonso will be rewarded at the end of this month, when he visits hitter friendly parks Wrigley Field and Citi Field.

Look for some power to join Alonso’s already solid batting average and he will quietly sneak into competition for a spot on most fantasy team’s starting roster. It is a buy low opportunity to get a middle of the order, former top prospect who can contribute in RBIs, OPS and Batting Average. Alonso is available on the Waiver Wire in the majority of leagues.

Ryan Doumit – C/OF

Doumit can hit; he has always hit for average and power. His lowest batting average is an even .250 back in 2009, and although he has never topped 15 round trippers, he also has never been healthy enough to get 450 ABs. Currently, Doumit has Catcher and Outfield eligibility and should see 500 ABs.

It could be argued that the best attribute of a fantasy catcher is not catching, and Doumit is obviously not an everyday catcher with teammate Joe Mauer around. The opportunity to DH and play in the outfield should allow the switch hitting 8 year veteran to contribute his first 20 HR and 75 RBI season, which means he is a starting fantasy backstop.

Doumit started a little slow, but he has 3 bombs in his last two games and sits in the middle of the Twins lineup. He will avoid the wear and tear on his body this season in the AL and could even land 1B eligibility by the end of the season. Doumit should be on your roster unless you have one of the elite catchers, and he is available in almost all leagues.

Proceed with Caution

Josh Reddick – OF

Reddick is hot right now, but he owns an ugly home vs. away split and is far from a consistent hitter week to week. Although, he has an everyday job, and is likely a serviceable player at times, it is a concern that his best statistical minor league season is similar to his statistics thus far in 2012. Also, Reddick wont be confused as a patient hitter either, his KO to BB rate (20/5) is concerning, as is his OBP.

Reddick is the perfect sell high candidate right now, he was never a hyped prospect, plays in a pitcher friendly ball park and doesn’t mind stringing together a few days of 0 for’s. He is a popular Waiver Wire target on a number of lists, but I’m not buying it. He does chip in each category across the board, but he has never played this good at any level. Which leads you to wonder when the bottom will fall out?

If Reddick keeps up this pace he is going to finish with a respectable stat line, but I don’t project that he will. Often times the most touted prospects, who have banner rookie years fall victim of the sophomore slump, Reddick will hit the wall. He is a temporary fix when hot, which is a streak that likely has just passed. Are you willing to wait it out for the next one?

Joe Blanton – SP

Blanton has been serviceable so far this season, only twice has he allowed more than 3 earned runs, and he has 21 Ks in his last three starts. Blanton is an experienced starter, at 31 years old he has only twice had an ERA under 4.50 since 2006, and only once struck out more than 150 batters. Joe Blanton is not worth a permanent roster spot.

The second major issue with Blanton is that the Phillies aren’t providing him with any run support, and although Howard and Utley will return at some point, they’re far removed from their 2009 primes. Blanton has been mediocre for almost a decade, but you just don’t own mediocre starters on below average offensive ball teams that don’t strikeout a lot of batters.

Blanton is worth streaming and spot starting based on matchups, but there have to be better options available. He may be back after his injury plagued season last year, but Blanton is just not worth a roster spot with so many available arms on better ball teams. Look for an option with a higher upside because Blanton has already reached his ceiling, and is likely on his way down.


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