Waiver Wire Report (Week 4)

The luster is gone from all the shiny new toys and it’s a blue-collar week with boring adds. For hitters, I pushed up the full-time at-bats, so those managers with daily lineup moves might want to drop down to the platoon bats. With the starters, it seems full of guys with a 7.0 K/9 and 4.25 ERA.

In the article, I cover the players using CBS’s (about 40% or less initial roster rate) and Yahoo’s ADD/DROP rates. Both hosting sites have the option for daily and weekly waiver wire adds. CBS uses a weekly change while Yahoo looks at the last 24 hours. Yahoo is a great snapshot of right now while CBS ensures hot targets from early in the week aren’t missed. The players are ordered for redraft leagues by my rest-of-season preference grouped by starters, relievers, and hitters.

Hitters

Taylor Ward: I’ve been pushing Ward for a couple of weeks. It’s probably too late to add him since he’s hitting .404/.517/.830 with 5 HR.

Ramón Laureano: He’s scheduled to come off the IL on May 8th. It’s rare to find a potential 20 HR/20 SB player on the wire.

Eric Hosmer: He’s improved his eye with a career-best 12% BB% and 13% K%. He’s going all groundballs (60% GB%) with a .446 BABIP leading to a .397 AVG. He might be a .300 AVG and 12 HR guy if he keeps the “eye” improvements. For now, I’m valuing him the same as Yuli Gurriel.

Brandon Marsh: He has been hitting (.308/.377/.481 with 2 HR and 3 SB) and moved up to the second spot. The only issue is that he’s sat against all lefty starters (career .531 OPS vs LHP, .786 OPS) with Jo Adell taking his place. Six of the seven scheduled starters for the Angels next week are righties.

Josh Naylor: He’s been crushing the ball (.317/.333/.512 with 2 HR) since coming off the IL. He’s had six games at first base and should be dual-eligible by the end of next week.

Wilmer Flores: He’s started nine straight (3B and DH) while hitting .290/.333/.449 with 2 HR and qualified at three positions. Like every Giant, his full-time at-bats could turn into a platoon once (if) everyone gets healthy.

Austin Hays: Steady (.296/.383/.479 with 2 HR) while playing every day and hitting cleanup.

Joey Wendle: He has a career-low strikeout rate (11%) that has pushed his batting average up to .304 with his BABIP (.326 for his career, .333 this season) near career levels. The average has come with 1 HR and 4 SB so far. The only issue is that he doesn’t start against lefties. Miami is scheduled to face five righties next week.

Santiago Espinal: Neuse and Espinal have almost identical profiles (power, speed, average, dual-position) but simply: Jays > A’s right now.

Ha-Seong Kim 김하성: He has bat at the end of the lineup while starting in nine of the last 11 games. He’s hitting a respectable .273/.373/.568 with 3 HR and 1 SB. Most of the gains are from an improved eye with his walks up (7% to 12%) and strikeouts down (24% to 20%).

Sheldon Neuse: I believe he needs to be 100% rostered in Roto leagues as at least a bench bat. The .328 AVG being fueled by a .442 BABIP won’t last, but the 3 SB and dual position qualification make him a near-perfect sub.

Joc Pederson: He’s dealing with a groin injury and only starting against righties. The Giants are scheduled to face four righties so he may not be startable next week even though he’s been on fire (.353/.382/.745). Tough to rank. Might be #1 in daily move leagues with long benches.

Thairo Estrada: While it’d be nice to see a higher AVG (.233), the 2 HR and 3 SB help a ton. The big question will he keep up the playing time once everyone gets healthy.

Daniel Vogelbach: He continues to hit ( .311/.373/.508 with 3 HR) and play every day.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa: While his .373 BABIP won’t last, he’s doing what he’s always done, hit (.311 AVG) and steal bases (2 SB).

Luis Arraez: A great eye (10% BB%, 6% K%) has him with a .311 AVG but little power (.082 ISO).

Nico Hoerner: He’s started all but 2 games this year while batting ninth in all of them while hitting .295/.328/.410 with 1 HR and 2 SB.

Yandy Díaz: He’s halved his walk rate (16% to 7%) and pushed his batting average over .300. He’s one of several hitters who won’t hurt a team, but also, might not help them. Bench option.

Jorge Mateo: If it wasn’t for the seven steals, he’d be completely off the fantasy radar. His .578 OPS is simply pathetic and his defense is below-average (five errors on the season). Get those steals while you can.

Michael Chavis: He continues to keep the strikeouts down (34% to 21%) and is rosterable with a .269 AVG and 2 HR. He’s started in seven of the last eight games.

Odúbel Herrera: He’s been great (1.169 OPS and 2 HR in 17 PA) since coming off the IL, but is only facing righties (career .704 OPS vs LHP, .771 vs RHP). At some point, he’s got to be the full-time starter with Matt Vierling struggling (.424 OPS) on the other side of the platoon.

Travis Demeritte: He’s started four straight while leading off on Friday. He’s hitting .389/.450/.778 with 2 HR so far. He’s shown a little speed in the minors. An interesting deep league add for a week and see how it goes.

Christian Walker: He’s hit 4 HR but not much else (.155/.241/.366). His .143 BABIP (career .297 BABIP) should improve bringing up the rest of his profile.

Hunter Dozier: He’s got 3 HR so far and dual qualification, but he’s a huge drag in roto leagues with his .226 AVG and .262 OBP.

Jonathan Villar: I know that Villar (.643 OPS) has had a history of stealing bases, but he has just one this season. He has started two straight at second base with Nick Madrigal struggling (.556 OPS) so more playing time might be coming.

Raimel Tapia: He has started 11 straight while just hitting .254/.261/.343 with 1 HR and 2 SB. His playing time is probably safe for another week with Teoscar Hernandez on the IL.

Gavin Sheets: The White Sox have been beset by injuries and during that time, Sheets didn’t get full-time at-bats until the last three games. The main reason for the lack of playing time is that he’s not been hitting (.213/.260/.298).

Luis González: He’s been on the strong side of a Giants outfield platoon while hitting .286/.292/.476.

Cooper Hummel: He’s on the short side of an Arizona platoon while hitting .179/.360/.359 with 2 HR and 1 SB.

Alfonso Rivas: Even though Rivas is hitting (.471/.550/.706), the 25-year-old is doing it in an Eric Hosmer or Nathaniel Lowe sort of way, heavy on the groundballs (57% in MLB, ~50% coming through the minors). While Rivas is not yet playing enough to be fantasy viable, he’s stealing playing time from Frank Schwindel (.645 OPS, 2 HR) making Schwindel unstartable in all but NL-only leagues.

Catchers

Tom Murphy: Murphy has started only 10 times but is hitting .417/.533/.625 in those games.

Jonah Heim: He has hit (.333/.444/.600 and 2 HR) when he starts over Garver.

Zack Collins: While his plate discipline (4% BB%, 41% K%) will eventually catch up with him, he contributing (.256/.304/.512 with 3 HR) in limited at-bats.

Max Stassi: His 30%+ K% from last season stuck so he no longer helps in AVG. Just a 12 HR, .220 AVG catcher.

Hitting Prospects

Nolan Gorman: He continues to destroy AAA pitching with .343/.390/.800 and 10 HR.

CBS Hitter Rostership Rates
Name Begin Roster% End Roster% Change
Brandon Marsh LF LAA 39% 58% 19%
Austin Hays LF BAL 37% 41% 4%
Luis Arraez 1B MIN 36% 47% 11%
Isiah Kiner-Falefa SS NYY 35% 38% 3%
Thairo Estrada 2B SF 34% 54% 20%
Nolan Gorman 3B STL 34% 41% 7%
Hunter Dozier DH KC 34% 36% 2%
Joc Pederson LF SF 32% 72% 40%
Max Stassi C LAA 32% 35% 3%
Ramon Laureano CF OAK 32% 34% 2%
Eric Hosmer 1B SD 31% 51% 20%
Jorge Mateo SS BAL 25% 31% 6%
Jonathan Villar 2B CHC 25% 28% 3%
Taylor Ward RF LAA 20% 76% 56%
Jonah Heim C TEX 20% 29% 9%
Wilmer Flores 3B SF 18% 29% 11%
Joey Wendle 3B MIA 17% 36% 19%
Christian Walker 1B ARI 17% 19% 2%
Zack Collins DH TOR 14% 30% 16%
Nico Hoerner SS CHC 14% 28% 14%
Ha-seong Kim SS SD 13% 15% 2%
Sheldon Neuse 3B OAK 12% 20% 8%
Gavin Sheets RF CHW 12% 14% 2%
Raimel Tapia RF TOR 12% 14% 2%
Josh Naylor 1B CLE 11% 27% 16%
Santiago Espinal 2B TOR 10% 23% 13%
Daniel Vogelbach DH PIT 10% 19% 9%
Yandy Diaz 3B TB 10% 12% 2%
Michael Chavis 1B PIT 9% 11% 2%
Odubel Herrera CF PHI 6% 10% 4%
Tom Murphy C SEA 3% 6% 3%
Cooper Hummel LF ARI 3% 5% 2%
Travis Demeritte RF ATL 0% 3% 3%
Luis Gonzalez RF SF 0% 2% 2%
Alfonso Rivas 1B CHC 0% 2% 2%

Starters

Bruce Zimmermann: He continues to get it done with his 90-mph fastball in a Kyle Hendricks sort of way against decent teams (NYYx2, LAA, MIL). At this point, he needs to be rostered in all leagues.

Cristian Javier: Javier is going to make a few starts in the rotation. Over his career, he has a 3.43 ERA, 9.4 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 4.75 FIP, and 4.72 xFIP. Being just a fastball-slider pitcher will struggle the second or third time through the order.

Chris Paddack: With Minnesota, Paddack has made some adjustments to take a step forward. First, he’s cut his walk rate in third by throwing more pitches in the strike zone (54% Zone% to 60% Zone%). The second adjustment was to throw his fastball less (60% to 55%) and his curve (12% to 21%) more. The curve has been a worm killer (82% GB%) and pushed his groundball rate up from 43% to 51%. Now, will the changes stick?

Glenn Otto: In two starts, he has been decent (9.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 50% GB%). My interest is up since he diversified his pitch mix with his four-seam and slider usage dropping from 84% to 72% with his changeup having a 13% SwStr%. Hopefully, the extra pitches will help him navigate a lineup a third time (career 2.86 xFIP 1st TTO, 3.05 the 2nd TTO, 10.66 3rd TTO).

Daniel Lynch: His 9.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 are almost identical to Walker Buehler’s stats from last season (9.2 K/9, 2.3 BB/9). He’s taken the jump up by not throwing his fastball as much (52% usage to 45%) and it has played up (5% SwStr% to 12% Swstr%). With the adjustment, he’s leaning on his slider (14% SwStr%) more.

Jakob Junis: (Note: I didn’t notice he got demoted so I’d push him down near Wacha) He has a couple of things going his way. First, the Giants are using a follower ahead of him so the chance of a Win increases. Second, he’s added a changeup that has gotten great results (16% SwStr%) so far. The key to his overall value is if he’ll remain in the rotation once Anthony DeSclafani returns from the IL.

Ross Stripling: He’s finally moving away from the four-seamer and going with the pitch mix that worked with the Dodgers. The groundballs are up (36% to 50%) and he hasn’t allowed a home run this year. He looks to be a ~3.50 talent pitcher and that decent as long as he remains in the rotation.

Kyle Bradish: In Bradish’s debut, he had 2 K, 1 BB, and 1 ER over 6 IP. Without much to go on, here are the comps to his four-seamer (labeled cutter in places) and slider.

The comps are encouraging and with his minor league results (10.2 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, and 1.20 ERA), I think he’ll get universally added to see what comes next.

Josh Fleming: While some of the pitchers profiled are getting help from a low BABIP, Fleming is surviving even with a .436. Any pitcher with an 11.3% K% and 70% GB% should be immediately added from the wire.

Tyler Anderson: While he’s not been 2.55 ERA good, he’s been good enough for a mid-3.00’s ERA to go with his 7.6 K/9.

Michael Lorenzen: A .179 BABIP is suppressing his WHIP (0.98) and ERA (2.93) while his ERA estimators come in around 4.50. His 50% GB% will limit some hard contact, but not to his current levels. There are few reasons to roster a player with 7.0 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9.

Jordan Hicks: It has been so far so good for the Hicks starting experiment. His 9.0 K/9 and 67% GB will always play. The only possible issue is 6.0 BB/9 (5.2 BB/9) for his career. In his last starter, he threw just 42 pitches.

Michael Wacha: Another pitcher riding a low BABIP (.154) to a good ERA (1.77 ERA) and WHIP (0.93). Once his BABIP normalizes, those two stats will get worse since he just has a 7.5 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9.

Martín Pérez: I’ve been fooled by him several times, so he needs to make a significant change for me to get sucked in again. While there isn’t one obvious difference, he’s trying to keep the ball on the ground by throwing his sinker (25% usage to 34%) more. The sinker (76% GB%) and change (65% GB%, 18% SwStr%) are a nice foundation but he doesn’t have a third pitch.

Daulton Jefferies: His talent is going in different directions. For the bad, a 5.6 BB/9 is unplayable, especially with his fastball velocity down over 1 mph. On the good side, He has increased his groundball rate from 44% to 49%.

Michael Pineda: Just stay away from now. His fastball is averaging a career-low 90.1 mph leading to another career-low, a 9.6 SwStr%. Ignore the 3.60 ERA and only roster him once his strikeout at least doubles from its current 3.6 K/9.

Kyle Freeland: While Freeland can streamed on the road against soft matchups, he’s unrosterabe in his home starts

Chad Kuhl: He might be good enough (6.5 K/9, 2.7 BB/9) to steam on weak road matchups. A .177 BABIP has him with a 1.90 ERA and 0.85 WHIP.

Sam Long: He is being used as an opener for Junis and has almost no fantasy value.

Pitching Prospects

Max Meyer: A 12.4 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 60% GB%, and 1.83 ERA in AAA.

Daniel Espino: Continues to dominate AA hitters with a 52% K%.

Andrew Painter: A 70% K% and 0.00 ERA in 12 IP in A-ball.

CBS Starter Rostership Rates
Name Begin Roster% End Roster% Change
Jordan Hicks RP STL 33% 38% 5%
Cristian Javier RP HOU 30% 51% 21%
Max Meyer RP MIA 29% 32% 3%
Chris Paddack SP MIN 28% 35% 7%
Michael Lorenzen SP LAA 26% 33% 7%
Michael Pineda SP DET 20% 28% 8%
Tyler Anderson RP LAD 19% 26% 7%
Michael Wacha SP BOS 17% 37% 20%
Daulton Jefferies SP OAK 16% 19% 3%
Daniel Espino SP CLE 13% 16% 3%
Daniel Lynch SP KC 12% 20% 8%
Josh Fleming RP TB 12% 15% 3%
Kyle Freeland SP COL 11% 13% 2%
Bruce Zimmermann SP BAL 10% 28% 18%
Chad Kuhl SP COL 8% 30% 22%
Ross Stripling SP TOR 4% 7% 3%
Andrew Painter SP PHI 4% 6% 2%
Glenn Otto SP TEX 3% 8% 5%
Martin Perez SP TEX 3% 5% 2%
Kyle Bradish SP BAL 1% 5% 4%
Jake Junis RP SF 1% 5% 4%
Sam Long RP SF 1% 3% 2%

Relievers – Save speculations

Jorge López: Good reliever who is the closer.

Lucas Sims: Good reliever who is the closer.

Emilio Pagán: OK reliever who is the closer.

Andrés Muñoz: Great reliever who might be sharing the closer’s role.

Hansel Robles: OK reliever who might be the closer.

Chris Stratton: Below-average reliever who is sharing the closer’s role.

Dany Jiménez: Good reliever who is temporarily the closer.

Clay Holmes: Good reliever who is next in line to be the closer.

Matt Bush: Good reliever who looks to next in line to be the closer

Ryan Helsley: Elite closer who may be next in line to be the closer.

Steven Wilson: Great (so far) reliever who looks to be a couple of steps away from being the closer.

Adam Cimber: Somehow has 4 Wins as a low-leverage reliever (4.9 K/9, 87-mph fastball).

Drew Smith: Good reliever who is a few steps away from sniffing the closer’s role.

Multi-inning middle relievers

Michael King: King has been an elite middle reliever (13.9 K/9, 0.69 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2 Wins, 1 Save) while averaging over 2 IP per appearance. Check his usage to hope for two appearances in the upcoming week. He’s always thrown with at least two days of rest, normally more.

Keegan Thompson: He’s not started a game yet but has 2 Wins and a 0.54 ERA (ERA estimators in the 2.00 to 3.00 range). He’s been doing it with a four-pitch mix with the lowest swinging-strike rate on any pitch at 10%.

Wil Crowe: He’s been nearly elite (9.8 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 49% GB%, 1.15 ERA) as a multi-inning guy.

Dillon Peters: A 0.34 BABIP has him with a 0.00 ERA and 0.45 WHIP. I’m not buying since he has a career 6.9 K/9 and a 6.1 K/9 this season.

CBS Reliever Rostership Rates
Name Begin Roster% End Roster% Change
Lucas Sims RP CIN 35% 38% 3%
Emilio Pagan RP MIN 27% 33% 6%
Jorge Lopez RP BAL 19% 56% 37%
Hansel Robles RP BOS 16% 23% 7%
Michael King RP NYY 15% 33% 18%
Andres Munoz RP SEA 13% 19% 6%
Dany Jimenez RP OAK 12% 35% 23%
Keegan Thompson RP CHC 10% 18% 8%
Wil Crowe RP PIT 9% 12% 3%
Chris Stratton RP PIT 9% 11% 2%
Adam Cimber RP TOR 7% 12% 5%
Clay Holmes RP NYY 7% 11% 4%
Steven Wilson RP SD 5% 9% 4%
Ryan Helsley RP STL 3% 6% 3%
Drew Smith RP NYM 2% 4% 2%
Dillon Peters RP PIT 1% 4% 3%
Matt Bush RP TEX 1% 3% 2%





Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR once, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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squidmember
6 months ago

Slim pickings on the wire here. Looking at Dunning and Brieske. Al Only. Looking for best for the rest of the season. Thanks