A little turmoil today leads to two easy waiver wire pickups. Run don’t walk!
Michael Wuertz, Athletics (20% owned)
Looks like Andrew Bailey is going to Dr. James Andrews and is done for the year. That sounds terrible because it is. Well, the ‘done for the year’ part is not so terrible considering there are two weeks left, but the ‘Dr. James Andrews’ part is pretty bad. Wuertz has been good but not great this year – the strikeouts are still there (9.31 per nine), but he lost all the gains he made last year with his control. His walk rate (4.6 BB/9) is too close to his career level (4.05 BB/9) to think that this is really fluky. Instead, it looks like last year’s walk rate (2.63 BB/9) is the outlier. It’s a shame, but he has the punch to close, at least against right-handed lineups (3.29 career FIP against righties). His 4.21 FIP against lefties probably means that Craig Breslow will steal a save or two (3.43 FIP against lefties career). Together, that’s a decent closer, although a long-term injury to Bailey would have the Athletics hoping that Wuertz can corral the slider better next year. He does throw the pitch a whopping 65% of the time.
Mike Aviles, Royals (22% owned)
Well, maybe you don’t have to run to get Mike Aviles in your lineup. But Chris Getz did get shut down after experiencing renewed dizziness after working out today. He’s probably done for the year, given how long other concussion victims have been out this year. Aviles didn’t quite take the season by storm, as his ISO (.093) never got back to his career levels (.118). That’s sort of important, considering he doesn’t walk (4.4% career), and the only other offensive skill he offers is “not striking out” (11.2% this year, 13.8% career, average usually around 20%). In the last thirty days, however, Aviles has hit over .300 with power and speed and has been more than a decent middle infield stopgap. He’s not a great player, and while he has more power than Getz, the fact that Getz walks more, has more speed, and is a better defender will probably win out long term.
With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.