It’s tough to say whether a quiet non-waiver trade deadline is an indication of a busy waiver trade deadline, but Thursday gave us our first taste of the potential for big names on the move as the Rangers put a waiver claim in for Alex Rios. That’s not to say that Rios is definitely going to be dealt, but right now the Ranger shave about two days of exclusive negotiating rights to see if they can work out a deal with the White Sox for the veteran outfielder. The two teams were apparently talking before the non-waiver trade deadline, but nothing came to fruition. Perhaps now that Nelson Cruz has been suspended, the Rangers will be willing to up their offer and make it a little more worthwhile.
But this could just be the tip of the iceberg. While not big names, there were a few other players put on waivers recently – Melky Cabrera, Placido Polanco, Mike Gonzalez, and Aaron Harang. All of them could find new homes, although it’s doubtful very many contenders would look to add any of them right now. None have proven themselves to be much of an asset recently and all probably have contracts that had made them a bit of a tough sell earlier on.
But this is what we as fantasy owners have to look forward to between now and the end of the month as the waiver trade deadline is August 31. We’ll likely see a few big names tossed about here and there and we’ll still see some player movement. How much movement we see, though, is definitely still up in the air.
Now let’s hit some Thursday highlights…
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|Tim Lincecum, SF||8.0||1||1||0||0||1||8||0.00||0.25|
I was actually in attendance for this performance and I have to say that it was impressive to watch. The Brewers are obviously a team in transition right now, fielding players like Khris Davis and Yuniesky Betancourt, but Tim Lincecum still looked vintage out there, dominating hitters every step of the way. He gave up just one hit, issued one walk and struck out eight en route to his first win since July 13. Now I’m certainly not saying that he’s back in form, but he has looked a lot better recently, firing off his third straight quality start and fifth in his last six outings. He’s obviously still susceptible to the occasional blow-up, but right now, he could definitely be a guy to trust in a favorable match-up. I would be careful with him next week though as he faces a Nationals tram that has not been kind to him over the years. In fact, he’s 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA in his last five starts against them.
|Christian Yelich, OF MIA||3-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB|
|A.J. Ellis, C LAD||2-3, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB|
|Cody Asche, 3B PHI||3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI|
|Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP LAD||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 7 K|
|Bruce Chen, SP KC||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 2 K|
Congratulations to Christian Yelich for his first career home run Thursday. The rookie has been a big boost for fantasy owners who were lucky enough to snag him off the waiver wire, batting .318 with a home run, five RBI and a stolen base over 66 at-bats, but even better has been his more recent performance. Yelich has now hit safely in his last eight games and along with this homer he just hit, he’s batting .412 with a triple, two doubles and three RBI. Expect to see more from the promising, young, outfielder.
Dodgers backstop A.J. Ellis hasn’t been nearly as impressive this season as he was last year, but Thursday he showed that there’s still a little something left in the tank. Last year appears to have been his power peak, but thanks to a continued double-digit walk rate, he remains a beast in OBP leagues. You probably won’t see a whole hell of a lot out of him in the counting stats the rest of the way, but he also probably won’t hurt you either so long as he continues to keep that strikeout rate down.
Rookie third baseman Cody Asche fell just a triple short of the cycle as the Phillies pounded the Cubs on Thursday. Though primarily a second and third baseman, the team is expected to move the kid around the diamond to keep his bat in the lineup as he is just starting to come around – five hits in his last nine at-bats. With the waiver deadline approaching, it should be interesting to see what the Phillies do here. They just signed Chase Utley to a two-year deal, but could still find a new home for Michael Young, although he’s being real difficult about it. Stay tuned to this situation as it should take a few weeks to get settled still.
While Yasiel Puig continues to get all the attention in Los Angeles, it’s Hyun-Jin Ryu who deserves a look at the team MVP award when the season is over. In his first season in MLB, Ryu is 11-3 with 16 quality starts in 22 outings this year. After this dominant performance, he’s got a 2.99 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP and a 118:42 K:BB over 141.1 innings this year. Owning him in not one, not two, but three leagues this year has been a pleasure. He should continue this momentum against the Mets next week, but be wary of chasing wins as he squares off against Matt Harvey.
When the Royals pushed Bruce Chen into the bullpen during spring training, you figured that at some point, he’d act as a good fallback option. Injuries happen and while Wade Davis was dominant as a reliever back with Tampa Bay, he was still unproven as a starter. Well, it was actually Luis Mendoza who faltered and Chen has been a fantasy owner’s dream since stepping back into the rotation. With this outing, Chen has now thrown five straight quality starts with two wins, a 1.14 ERA and a 23:4 K:BB over 31.2 innings. With the way he’s pitching and with the way the Royals are surging, you must have him active for his next outing against the Marlins.
|Allen Craig, 1B STL||0-4, 3 K|
|Carlos Gomez, OF MIL||0-4, 3 K|
|Tony Sanchez, C PIT||0-5, 2 K|
|Jeff Samardzija, SP CHC||L, 24.30 ERA, 3.30 WHIP, 3 K|
|Zach McAllister, SP CLE||L, 19.29 ERA, 3.43 WHIP, 3 K|
We don’t have to add insult to injury with a lot of these guys, but let’s just point out that Jeff Samardzija has just three quality starts in his last seven outings and over that span, he’s allowed 30 runs in 40 innings (6.75 ERA) and has issued 22 walks. It’s easily time to start pulling him from your starting rotation during tougher matchups and that starts next week when he faces the Reds.
Cliff Pennington, SS ARI – foot (day to day)
Dioner Navarro, C CHC – ankle (day to day)
Corky Miller, C CIN – quadriceps (day to day)
Tyler Chatwood, SP COL – elbow (15-day DL)
Alex Avila, C DET – head (day to day)
Jose Iglesias, 3B DET – toe (day to day)
Ramon Santiago, 2B DET – knee (day to day)
Jonathan Villar, SS HOU – thumb (day to day)
Howie Kendrick, 2B LAA – knee (day to day)
Hanley Ramirez, SS LAD – shoulder (day to day)
Ryan Doumit, C MIN – illness (day to day)
Alberto Callaspo, 3B OAK – forearm (day to day)
Michael Young, 3B PHI – hamstring (day to day)
Andrew McCutchen, OF PIT – shoulder (day to day)
Carlos Quentin, OF SD – knee (day to day)
Shelby Miller, SP STL – forearm (day to day)
Wil Myers, OF TB – asthma (day to day)
J.P. Arencibia, C TOR – knee (day to day)
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on RotobuzzGuy.com and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
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