May 03

Week 6 MLB Waiver Wire: Revenge of the Smith

In this week’s edition of the Weekly Waiver Wire, we have a player nicknamed “The Tank”, a ground-ball pitcher, two Gold-Glove Winners, and a World Series MVP.

Week 6 MLB Waiver Wire players to add:

Garrett Richards has started strong for LA. Count on some regression, but he's still an ownable commodity (Photo: Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports).

Garrett Richards has started strong for LA. Count on some regression, but he’s still an ownable commodity (Photo: Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports).

Garrett Richards(SP,LAA,51 % owned)Richards almost out-pitched Masahiro Tanaka last Sunday. He only allowed 3 hits to the Bronx Bombers which is pretty darn impressive if you might ask. Yankee Stadium is known for being a pretty hitter-friendly stadium and for Richards to only give up 3 hits against them is impressive. While one game doesn’t speak enough, he has also thrown 2 one-hit games this year, against the Mariners and the Nationals. Richards’ 4.3% HR/FB ratio is almost certain to rise, and with it we should expect his ERA to wind up in the above-three range as opposed to his current 2.53 mark, and the same goes for a BABIP that registers at .195. Nevertheless, Richards, who is just shy of 26-years-old seems to be in peak physical form as his 95.9 MPG average fastball suggests (that’s a full mile ahead of any season in his career, and its pretty darn fast). The young righty’s strong start is a product of strong pitching – to this point he leads the AL giving up just 4.5 hits per nine – and as long as you keep your expectations in check, he is most certainly worth an add.

Joe Smith (RP,LAA,64% owned)It should come as no surprise that Joe Smith should be added in all leagues. With the demotion of Ernesto Frieri, Joe Smith now gets his chance to shine as the Angels’ closer. He has recorded back-to-back saves right out of the gate for the Angels, which is precisely how many saves Frieri had in 12 opportunities. Plus, I am recommending you drop Santos (see below), so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go ahead and replace one relief pitcher with another.

Dayan Viciedo (OF,CWS,47% owned):The same case applies with Viciedo. Our Jon Collins briefed you on Viciedo and whether he thinks “The Tank” can keep on rolling. I am recommending you drop George Springer, and in exchange, replace him with another outfielder a la Dayan Viciedo. Viciedo is batting an impressive.348 to start the season, and with Avisail Garcia out for the season, it looks like Viciedo has the job all to himself. While he isn’t hitting many homers or driving in many runs, he is a very good hitter as you can see by his .348 average. Now, his lifetime average lies around .270 so we can expect his current average to regress. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to think that Viciedo can finish the year batting at or over .300.

Week 6 MLB Waiver Wire – heating up:

(*These are players who are performing very well as of late. You should keep an eye on them and if they continue their great play you should take a long look at adding one or two of them)

Nick Markakis (OF,BAL,49% owned):Per Jon Collins, Markakis’ .300 Batting Average doesn’t seem to be a fluke. His LD% lies at an impressive 22%.The interesting thing about Markakis is his consistency. He is currently batting .300 but I really don’t expect that to regress much. He is a lifetime .292 batter so there’s no reason to believe he can’t sustain hitting .300. Like Viciedo, he won’t wow you with his homers or RBI’s, but he is a good hitter than can really boost up your average.

Jason Hammel: (SP,CHC, 53% owned):Hammel had a no-hitter going through the 6th against the Brewers, which to me is impressive given the fact that the Brewer’s hold the MLB’s best record. And, while Hammel has never really been anything special, he always has a knack for getting the job done. His current performance should be expected to regress, but, he is worth a second look if he keeps this up.

Week 6 MLB Waiver Wire players to drop:

Sergio Santos (RP,TOR,67% owned)Sergio Santos’ days as the closer for Toronto are just about over. He has a horrific 10.61 ERA to go along with 3 blown saves, after yet another ugly performance against Pittsburgh on Friday night, he could be demoted in the next few days. Saves are one thing, but at this point time to drop him in all leagues. While incumbent closer Casey Janssen is not quite ready to return, with yet another blown opportunity the team has to be nearing the end of its rope with Santos. Expect Toronto to contemplate a closer by committee approach at this point, while waiting for the once dominant Janssen to return.

George Springer (OF,HOU,45% owned): Never have I ever recommended to drop a player just weeks after I endorsed him for an addition. Nevertheless, that seems to be the case for Springer. When it comes down to prospects who have yet to make their MLB debut, it’s tricky. It’s almost always bust or boom. For Springer, it seems to be the latter. It has become very clear that Springer is not ready for the Majors, a fact hinted at by his high career minor league strikeout rate. He whiffed 19 times in his first 61 plate appearances and has been piling up the errors as a fielder as well. Simply put, Springer has struggled to run with the Bulls. This isn’t a player I would drop if you’ve got the bench space to support him, and we have no real indications that he is headed back to the minors any time soon, but you can’t have him in your starting lineup at this point. In shallower leagues, there are more usable options out there.

Week 6 MLB Waiver Wire – cooling off:

(*These are players who have good track records, but have not had the best start to the season. Let these guys chill on your bench until they heat up)

Pablo Sandoval (3B,SF,82% owned):Things are not looking good for Kung Fu Panda. We know he has the potential because we all witnessed him terrorize Justin Verlander and Co. in the 2012 World Series. For now, let Sandoval sit on your bench until he begins to heat up, which he will. The question is, when? It could really happen at any given time of any given day. So, just let him chill on your bench and be ready when he has his big day at the plate.

Chase Headley (3B,SD,47% owned):Our Esten McLaren suggests you drop Headley, but I say wait. Last week I was too quick to endorse a drop of Kyle Seager and it came back to bite me in the butt. Chase Headley, season after season, is one of the most underrated players in the Majors. He is a Gold Glove winner, Silver Slugger, RBI Leader, etc. He finished 5th in the NL-MVP voting back in 2012. His problem has been his health. Last year he was playing with a fractured thumb and a torn meniscus in his left knee. Then, this season, he just strained his right calf and now finds himself on the 15-day DL. He started the season off poorly, batting .186. Hopefully his time on the DL will be a blessing in disguise that allows him to come back fresh and start dominating.

Hiroki Kuroda (SP,NYY,86% owned):Kuroda has been on a downward spiral for a little while now. He turned 39 in February and he’s not getting any younger. His velocity has gone down and his ERA has gone up. His WAR went down significantly from 2012 to 2013 as well. Kuroda is currently sitting at a 5.14 ERA, which we can definitely expect will go down. Once he settles in, he should be back to the same-old 3.45 ERA pitcher he has always been. Patience is a virtue my friends.

Have specific questions about your team? Questions/Comments about the article? Ask @RyanDorf on Twitter.

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