Week 11 Waiver Wire: In The 11th Hour
Hello and Welcome Back Fantasy Baseball fans to the Week 11 Waiver Wire.
The demand for instant results is prevalent in every corner of our lives. Retailers are jumping into same-day delivery services. Smartphone apps eliminate the wait for transportation, a date, or even a table at a hot restaurant. Movies and TV shows begin streaming in seconds.We respond in near real-time to emails and tweets. We have the ability to make things happen without having to wait.
Our need for instant gratification is not new, but our expectation of “instant” has become faster. Growing up with technology has made us dependent on the idea of always being connected. Information, entertainment, and communication are only a click away, all day every day.
Fantasy owners depend on the instant gratification to get the latest news on how their player hit/pitched today, injuries, etc. This information allows owners to make any necessary adjustments to their lineups and rosters. How many times did you change your lineup when you found out that your player was going to sit out at the last second? The incoming news blurb or tweet probably won many games for Fantasy owners as they reacted to the lineup change so they would not record a big fat zero for that player.
The ability to make the lineup and/or roster changes at the latest possible time before it is too late is a Fantasy owner’s delight. With every Fantasy owner gawking at their phone, they are looking for even the most minuscule edge on their competitors. The outcome and the gratification are instant.
Take a look at which players will provide you instant gratification in the Week 11 Waiver Wire.
Week 11 Waiver Wire
Tom Murphy, Colorado Rockies
Tom Murphy has been working his way back from a broken wrist he suffered during spring training. He is scheduled to return this week and is definitely worth a look if he was dropped in your league.
Murphy’s plus right-handed power will play anywhere, but it’s a particular asset in the thin air at Coors Field, where he’ll play half his games. He has solid plate discipline and plus bat speed.
Murphy has flashed big power in his limited big-league experience. He hit .273/.347/.659 with five home runs in 44 at-bats with the Rockies last year.
Murphy is an attractive Fantasy option in a terribly thin catcher position. He won’t make enough contact to hit for average, but he’s a guy who could bat .250 and hit 15-plus home runs with 300-400 plate appearances. Considering his track record and his hitter-friendly home park, he is a sneaky add now as he returns from injury. Murphy is a must-stash in a weak position and could take over as your starting catcher sooner than later.
On-Deck (Players you should consider)
- Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers
- Tyler Flowers, Atlanta Braves
Matt Adams, Atlanta Braves
The big left-hand slugger has provided the Braves with a much-need offensive boost while Freddie Freeman (broken wrist) is out until after the All-Star break.
He has six homers and 15 RBI in 18 games since the Braves acquired him to serve at first base until Freddie Freeman returns. He is seeing regular playing time, only against right-handers, and is batting in the heart of the Atlanta lineup.
Matt Adams should supply solid power numbers and is a recommended addition to a corner infield spot and deep mixed leagues at first base if your current first baseman is struggling.
On-Deck (Players you should consider)
- Lucas Duda, New York Mets
- Yuli Guerril, Houston Astros
Jed Lowrie, Oakland A’s
Jed Lowrie regularly bats in the top third of the lineup, and most recently, exclusively hitting in the three hole. He is slashing .294/.359/.480 with seven home runs, 20 RBI, and 36 runs scored. He leads the A’s in batting average, hits (65) and total bases (106).
Lowrie is producing every day and if he continues to hit at this clip, the runs scored, RBI and homers will follow. While he does lack speed, he is a four-category contributor at a key position.
On the negative side, there are questions concerning his durability. He has played in more than 100 games in a season only twice. There is a distinct possibility that Lowrie will be traded or that the A’s want to take a longer look at their young players when the A’s fall out of contention. A trade presents a risk that his role could be reduced to a utility role for a contender. He is still hitting well enough to deprive such thoughts right now.
I believe that Jed Lowrie deserves more attention in mixed leagues. He is currently owned in just under 40 percent of ESPN leagues. Lowrie is a strong option in AL-Only leagues and is starter-worthy in deeper mixed leagues.
On-Deck (Players you should consider):
- Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals
- Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers
Ryon Healy, Oakland A’s
Ryon Healy came into this season with sleeper potential. Even if you were optimistic about Healy coming into his sophomore season, Fantasy owners were not expecting a repeat of his 2016 slash line over a full season.
He hit like a superstar in his 72 games last season by slashing .305/.337/.524. Only 11 other major leaguers had as good of a slash line with at least 100 plate appearances.
He started off slowly in April but the slugger started to prove in May what he is capable of. Since May 12, the 25-year-old has hit .312 (34-for-109) with eight homers and 22 RBIs.
His defense is defensive. He is very shaky at the hot corner, and his throwing makes him a liability in the field. Manager Bob Melvin has been utilizing Healy as the DH to get his bat in the lineup.
Ryon Healy’s power potential will keep him in the lineup. He is on a 25-plus homer pace with a .270s average, which makes him an intriguing play in AL-Only Fantasy formats and a fine corner-infield asset in deeper mixed leagues.
On-Deck (Players you should consider)
- Danny Valencia, Seattle Mariners
- Wilmer Flores, New York Mets
Jody Mercer, Pittsburgh Pirates
Jody Mercer has been on fire lately. He is hitting .395 (30-for-76). He has raised his batting average from the Mendoza line to a respectable .267 batting average since May 20.
Mercer has posted multiple hits in 12 out of his last 18 games.
While always known as a defense-first infielder, Mercer has made himself into a valuable Fantasy contributor this season. Mercer provides solid value in the middle infield position in NL-Only and in deep mixed leagues.
On-Deck (Players you should consider)
- Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels
- Amed Rosario, New York Mets
Odubel Herrera, Philadelphia Phillies
There were major concerns with Odubel Herrera during the first two months of the season. Herrera was hitting a disappointing .218/.262/.326 line on the season coming in June. However, Herrera has woken up since the calendar turned to June. He is hitting .389 (14-for-36) with 10 doubles and two home runs so far in June.
He had a breakout campaign in 2016. The young outfielder hit .286 with 21 doubles, six triples, 15 homers, 49 RBI and 25 stolen bases.
Hopefully, this is the start of the bounce-back for the All-Star. With the manner in which he started this season, some Fantasy owners dropped him. He remains available in just over 50 percent of leagues. That should NOT be the case. With his double-digit potential in both the power and speed departments, Herrera should be viewed as a must add in all Fantasy formats.
Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers
Chris Taylor continues to get valuable playing time. With injuries to Logan Forsythe and Justin Turner, Chris Taylor was asked to fill in at second, shortstop and third base. The recent injury to center fielder Joc Pederson due to a concussion after his collision with teammate Yasiel Puig has presented Taylor the opportunity to now fill in at center field.
Taylor has been a life-saver for the Dodgers this season. He is slashing .310/.401/.524 with seven homers, 24 RBI, 28 runs and has even stolen four bases. He will continue to play centerfield until Pederson is deemed ready to return, and there seems to be a lot of uncertainty on when that will be.
In addition to playing different positions on the field, Taylor has batted in multiple spots in the lineup with impressive production. He is sporting an impressive .938 OPS through 44 games with the big-league club.
It seems obvious that the Dodgers have to keep Taylor’s hot bat in the daily lineup. Whether it is in centerfield for now or filling in for others throughout the season, he should see a consistent number of at-bats to be Fantasy relevant in all formats, especially with the multi-position eligibility.
Matt Holliday, New York Yankees
Matt Holliday historically always seems to heat up with the weather, and this season is no different. Holliday is in the midst of an absolutely torrid stretch at the plate, hitting .381 with four homers and four doubles in his past 11 games.
He is slashing .274/.369/.521 with 12 homers, 39 RBI and 27 runs scored in 55 games. With 12 homers on the season, Holliday is on pace to hit more home runs in 2017 than he did in the 2015-2106 seasons combined.
Holliday is hitting in the heart of a potent Yankees lineup. He figures to get plenty of RBI opportunities and can provide pop for owners in need of power-hitting options.
Holliday is still available in approximately 50 percent of ESPN leagues. Fantasy owners need to grab Holliday immediately. Attention Fantasy owners of Mike Trout and Freddie Freeman, IF Holliday is still available in your league, he would be a great Fantasy option to play while you wait for their respective returns. Matt Holliday should be owned and started in all formats.
On-Deck (Players you should consider)
- Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels
- Jorge Bonifacio, Kansas City Royals
- Mallex Smith, Tampa Bay Rays
Edison Volquez, Miami Marlins
The right-hander has given up just one run over 22 innings with 21 strikeouts in his last three outings.
The recent game that stands out of course is the no-hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He walked just two while striking out 10 on 98 pitches. He followed up that gem with seven shutout innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Due to these outings, his season ERA dropped from a 4.87 to 3.41.
Volquez started the season 0-7 and the Marlins scored only one or two runs in seven of his 10 outings. His current overall record is 3-7 with a 3.41 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He has struck out 65 batters in 68.2 innings.
Edison Volquez should be owned and started in 12-team mixed leagues and deeper formats.
Ariel Miranda, Seattle Mariners
The southpaw has won five consecutive decisions to boost the Mariners’ injury-ravaged starting rotation. He has lasted at least five innings in each of those starts while allowing two runs or fewer. He has a posted a 3-0 record with a 2.17 ERA during that span.
Miranda wasn’t even supposed to start the season in the major leagues. He was scheduled to be the opening day starter for Triple-A Tacoma before injuries brought him back to the big leagues.
His control continues to be his biggest problem. He has issued multiple free passes in six of his last seven trips to the mound. Miranda has avoided disaster as his WHIP remains a respectable 1.17 and his ERA is a solid 3.67. He did not have any of those issues when he pitched a four-hitter for his first career complete game and tied a career high with nine strikeouts on June 4 as the Mariners defeated the Rays.
Ariel Miranda is a must start in AL-Only leagues and a streaming option in deeper mixed leagues.
Jaime Garcia, Atlanta Braves
The veteran southpaw has pitched into the seventh inning and allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his past four outings. He has a 1.23 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and a 19:5 K:BB ratio over 29.1 innings during that stretch but only one win to show for it.
Known mostly for his fantastic 2015 season, he has pitched well overall this season. He is carrying a 3.16 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP despite a 2-4 record.
Garcia is a low-end Fantasy play who is relevant mostly in deeper formats thanks to the lack of quality starting pitchers these days and the poor run support provided by the Braves offense.
He is best used as a starter in NL-Only leagues and a streaming option in most mixed leagues.
CC Sabathia, New York Yankees
Sabathia has proven to be very inconsistent this season. Currently, he is on a hot streak. He has won five straight and has a 1.11 ERA in his those starts.
Sabathia now has a 7-2 record with a 3.66 ERA and 1.26 WHIP on the season. He has lowered his ERA by more than two full runs over the course of his winning streak.
The veteran innings-eater has become an all-around pitcher. He is in the middle of a starting rotation for a hot Yankees team. He is still best utilized only in favorable match-ups.
Sabathia is someone to grab while he is hot. The downside is inevitable but Fantasy owners should take advantage of his streakiness. Sabathia is a starter in AL-Only leagues and mixed leagues while he is on a roll.
Jeff Hoffman, Colorado Rockies
Jeff Hoffman has flourished in his four spot starts this season. He has a perfect 4-0 record with a 2.33 ERA, a 0.74 WHIP, and a dominating 34/3 K/BB ratio in 27 innings.
The rookie right-hander has bounced back and forth between Triple-A and the bigs this season. He has been recalled numerous times due to injuries to starting pitchers Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson. He has certainly pitched well enough to stick in the rotation regardless of their return. His Fantasy value is trending skyward.
With the obvious concerns of a Rockies pitcher pitching at the hitter-friendly Coors Field, Hoffman has registered a minuscule 1.03 ERA in his last three road starts. He has averaged seven innings and eight strikeouts in those starts.
Jeff Hoffman is a very appealing Fantasy option. He has been pitching lights out this season and needs to be owned in all leagues. Of course, the Coors Field factor makes Fantasy owners hesitant, BUT he has been dominant in each of his road starts. He should be owned and streamed in any Fantasy format and started in all lineups when he is pitching on the road.
Warming Up (Players to consider)
- Jimmy Nelson, Milwaukee Brewers
- Buck Farmer, Detroit Tigers
- Ty Blach, San Francisco Giants
- Junior Guerra, Milwaukee Brewers
- Jordan Montgomery, New York Yankees
Felipe Rivero, Pittsburgh Pirates
Felipe Rivero was expected to split closer duties with Juan Nicasio after the removal of Tony Watson from the closer role. Tony Watson blew a pair of saves this past week, his fourth and fifth blown saves of the season. In his last 10 appearances, Watson has given up 10 earned runs on 13 hits, including four homers.
Rivero featured a 0.60 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 32:6 K:BB in 30 innings before he was promoted to co-closer. Although it was originally announced a split duty affair with Rivero and Nicasio for the Pirates’ closer, Rivero has been given both save opportunities so far after the switch. In fact, he has followed Nicasio in each of those appearances.
The left-hander is 2-for-2 in save opportunities in 2.2 innings and has not given up a hit while striking out three.
On the season, Rivero has a 0.56 ERA, 0.71 WHIP with 37 strikeouts and six walks in 32.1 innings. While this is a fluid situation, the stats speak for themselves. Rivero will be the closer and should be added in all leagues in which owners are looking for saves.
Pat Neshek, Philadelphia Phillies
The veteran right-hander saved his first game this season on Tuesday with incumbent closer Hector Neris has been struggling of late. Neris will probably remain the primary closer, but Neshek will work his way into more save chances due to the strong possibility that Neshek gets traded to a contender.
Neshek has been the Phillies’ best reliever this season. He has posted a remarkable 0.82 ERA over 24 appearances and 21 strikeouts in 22 innings. If Neshek does close, even temporarily, he would be the Phillies’ fourth closer this season following Jeanmar Gomez, Joaquin Benoit, and Neris.
Pat Neshek is an immediate pickup for those in need of saves even though the Phillies haven’t generated a lot of save opportunities this season. Please be aware that it will only be a short-term fix for your Fantasy team, as Neshek will be traded before the July 31 deadline.