Surfing The Waiver Wire, Week Two

Kevin Luchansky

Now that we have almost a week and a half under our fantasy baseball season belts, we finally have some stats and slash lines to dissect. Most importantly, these stats aren’t just those that are plucked from meaningless spring training games, or those just merely based on projections. These are regular season stats!

They, like, count!I know, I know: you should beware of drawing any conclusions on small sample sizes. I completely agree with this school of thought, which is why I think you should step off that Jump To Conclusions mat you didn’t realize you were standing on, and seriously consider the fact that you would be your own worst enemy – a fantasy Jeffrey Loria, really – to your team, if you were to actually drop Giancarlo Stanton all because he hasn’t left the yard yet this Spring. (extreme example , but you get the picture)

At this point in the young 2013 season, patience is the key to your fantasy success. Especially in the case with batters, roughly 10 games is much too little to warrant dropping a player you likely used a draft pick to select. On the other hand, ignoring potential additions available through using the waiver wire to gain an advantage is foolish, too.

So, what am I getting at?

Essentially, the additions and subtractions you make right now should be low risk, decent reward. Think pitching. More specifically, think bullpens, closers and the saves department while on your morning waiver wire surf.

First and foremost, give Joaquin Benoit of the Tigers a closer look, literally. Though he has never been a true closer – his highest saves count is 6 with Texas in 2007 – he was officially named the Tigers closer by skipper Jim Leyland this morning. With an increase of almost 25%, Benoit is now owned in 33% of leagues. While that is quite the jump, he is still available in nearly 2/3 of ESPN fantasy leagues.

Benoit may not have real “closer stuff” because of control issues, I like the fact he plays on such a strong team that he should see plenty of save opportunities. Hopefully for his fantasy owners, he is able to convert those opportunities and help us out in the Saves column.

Sticking with relievers this week, we keep it in the AL Central division with Kelvin Herrera of the Kansas City Royals. The small righty, who has had a hard time staying healthy since being named a Top 11 in ’11 prospect for the Royals by Baseball Prospectus, was just recently handed the closer reins and is owned in just 38% of ESPN leagues.

Herrera has a mid-to-upper 90s fastball and a deceptive changeup as an out pitch, so owners may also see some strikeout value here. In just 4 1/3 innings this season, Herrera has recorded 10 strikeouts without yet surrendering a run and is 2-for-2 in save opportunities.

Again, low risk, pretty decent reward.  It’s an even bigger reward if you, like myself, ignored closers in your draft this season. An even bigger, bigger reward if you are in a deep or AL League only, as closers are quickly snatched off the wire almost minutes after the manager has made up his mind on whom to hand the ball over to in the 9th.

As always, I hope your fantasy teams are off to dazzling starts. If you have questions, or would just generally like to poke fun at my writing, find me on twitter @kpLUCH and some of my writing at NorthsideWire.

See you next week!

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Posted on April 11, 2013, in 2013, Fantasy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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