In an extremely disappointing move this week, the Indians opted to roll with Josh Tomlin to fill the void left by a struggling Carlos Corrasco in the rotation, leaving fantasy favorite Trevor Bauer down in the minors, dominating his way through inferior competition.
Bauer took his latest turn at Triple-A Columbus on Thursday and continued to cruise, tossing 7.2 innings of one run ball. On the season he’s posted a 1.12 ERA and 0.94 WHIP over 40.1 innings in the minors with a solid spot start in the majors also on his resume. Across both levels, Bauer looks to have finally figured out his control issues, walking just 13 batters against 48 strikeouts in 46.1 innings.
The strikeout upside remains and it looks as though the 23-year-old has very little left to prove at the minor league level. His path to the rotation is not exactly open as Tomlin was quality in his first turn with the big club. Still, the Cleveland starters have put up a middle-of-the-pack 4.17 ERA for the season as the team finds itself slipping in the standings.
You’ll need to exercise patience with Bauer as we wait on injury or ineffectiveness to force the organizations hand, but all that means is that there is still time to scoop up the 15%-owned hurler as a bench stash. Even without a clear timeline, Bauer is worth a look in all leagues.
Each week we’ll provide a position-by-position roundup of the top talent on the wire. To qualify, players must have an ownership rate below 50% in standard 12-team Yahoo leagues. For our deeper formats, we’ll also throw out names with under 15% ownership. Check out last week’s list to find a number of other options who may still be out there on the waiver wire.
Working The Waiver Wire
Yan Gomes (50%): Ownership has slipped with some early season struggles but remains a solid source of power with four homers over 98 at-bats.
Yasmani Grandal (4%): Grandal has seen the playing time tick up as he gets further away from an ACL reconstruction and the power stroke is certainly worth playing. He’s got three home runs and six RBI in his last seven games (six starts).
Adam Lind (29%): Fresh off the DL, Lind — like most of his teammates– took advantage of a pitiful Philadelphia bullpen and homered in his first game back. He sits against most lefties, but there’s no reason that Lind can’t duplicate his quality .288/.357/.497 line from last season.
Adam Dunn (40%): The average won’t stick, but if you need some cheap power, Dunn is your man, batting .268/.405/.485 on the season.
C.J. Cron (6%): We’ll have to see how playing time shakes out for Cron once Josh Hamilton is ready to return in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, the lumbering first baseman should continue to see plenty of at-bats and has a power stroke that can make an impact in all leagues.
Mitch Moreland (3%) : If you can play the matchups game with Moreland, you’d be plenty happy with his production.
Darin Ruf (1%): A spring oblique injury cost Ruf the first month and a half of the season but the Phillies have been experimenting with new defensive alignments (Marlon Byrd to center field) to potentially open up at-bats for Ruf when he is finally able to return. Expect him back within the next week.
Alcides Escobar (34%): Ten steals and a .271 average will play at the shortstop position in all leagues.
Scooter Gennet (9%): There’s not a ton of fantasy juice here with Scooter’s limited power and speed, but he’s earning at-bats with his high-contact approach and can be useful in deeper formats.
Derek Dietrich (2%): As Rafael Furcal (hamstring/quad) continues to struggle to get healthy, Dietrich is making a strong case to stay in the lineup, sporting a .254-16-3-11-1 5×5 line over 23 games played.
Rougned Odor (1%): A surprise call-up for the Rangers as they attempt to plug a hole at second base with Jurickson Profar still down, Odor brings some enticing skills to the table. He batted .305/.365/.474 last season in the minors with 11 home runs and 32 steals across two levels. He was bringing the power and speed again prior to earning a promotion smacking six dingers and swiping six bags for the Rangers’ Double-A club. It’s hard to know how long this experiment will last, but we’re gonna make the add now and assume that if Odor hits, he’ll stick.
Trevor Plouffe (39%): Plouffe has cooled in May, batting just .132 over his last nine games with just two walks against 15 strikeouts. Still, he’s a streaky bat who could be a nice value once he’s finds that groove again.
Juan Francisco (18%): Francisco’s all-or-nothing approach at the plate fits perfectly with into the Blue Jays’ lineup and he’s certainly been getting all a lot more than nothing during his red-hot start. Francisco has five homers in just 61 at-bats and we have to consider this power legit after he belted 18 home runs in 124 games with Atlanta and Milwaukee last season. Playing time is a concern with Adam Lind now healthy and Brett Lawrie on the mend, but he’s done more than enough to earn additional at-bats against left-handed pitching for the foreseeable future.
Marlon Byrd (48%): Byrd is on some kind of tear, posting two hits ion four straight games and seven of his last nine contests, smacking a pair of home runs over that time. He’s bumped his season long slash line to .317/.348/.516 and looks poised to show his resurgent 2013 was no fluke.
Gregory Polanco (27%): He’s tearing the cover off of the ball in the minors… can Pittsburgh wait much longer to give this kid a shot?
Chris Young (8%): Young has long been a fantasy favorite around here as his tantalizing 30/30 upside has us repeatedly ignore his inability to hit for average or draw walks. Young has been stinging the ball for the Mets lately though, batting .321 with a .536 SLG over his last eight games. He’s also walked four times against just four strikeouts in that time.
Drew Stubbs (4%)s: Like most of the Rockies, Stubbs is off to a fast start and is getting plenty of at-bats versus lefties while Michael Cuddyer is on the DL. In deeper formats, give Stubbs a look.
Dillon Gee (47%): The results have been phenomenal (2.51 ERA, 1.05 WHIP in 46.2 IP) and he was even able to survive a terrifying matchup at Coors over the weekend. There are warning signs, however, and a mediocre 6.17 K/9 certainly caps his mixed-league upside. Still, a Saturday matchup with the scuffling Phillies offense seems like plenty of reason to continue to ride the streak.
Jonathan Niese (27%): Sticking in New York, Gee’s teammate Jonathan Niese has been equally impressive, railing off five-straight quality starts. He offers a bit more in terms of strikeouts and is the preferred long-term add of these Mets hurlers.
Henderson Alvarez (15%): Would you believe that Alvarez leads the league with a pair of shutouts so far this season? Couple that with his no-hitter to close out last season and Henderson is on some kind of roll. The strikeouts wont always be there, but Alvarez’ power sinker will keep him in the game more often than not.
It will be a constant race to the wire to go mining for saves, here’s how we see it.
Go get ’em: Matt Lindstorm (49%), Hector Rondon (40%), Aaroun Loup (16%)
Keep an eye on: Cody Allen (28%), Chad Qualls (10%)