Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Desperate times call for ... Clay Buchholz and Koda Glover?
Are we seriously going to trust in Clay Buchholz? Are David Dahl and Koda Glover relevant again? What about Harrison Bader? Scott White looks at some of the players emerging on the waiver wire.
For every player who's doing something you can't bring yourself to believe, there comes a point when he does it for so long that you have to get out of your own way, hold your nose and take the plunge.
Actually, no. There never comes a point when you have to do that. In fact, it's generally unwise given the capricious nature of this game and how quickly a seemingly good thing can go wrong.
But there comes a point when it's near impossible to resist, and we may be about there with Clay Buchholz.
He threw a one-run complete game Thursday. San Diego or not, that's impressive, especially given that it was his 11th start in 12 allowing three runs or fewer and his 10th in 12 allowing two runs or fewer. He has done it with a modest strikeout rate, which itself seems too good to be true given his swinging strike rate. He hasn't gotten an inordinate number of ground balls or induced a bunch of weak contact.
So what gives?
Look, the correction will come. Given enough time, the math always works out — unless of course a skill change interrupts it, which happens sometimes, but more often for younger players than 34-year-old journeymen who have little reason to suspect anything is wrong. But the correction may not be as severe as we've long feared. Buchholz's BABIP, while low, isn't outrageous, and he has a FIP in the mid-threes. He hasn't hurt himself with walks and has been able to depend on his cutter (the one pitch that actually has gotten some whiffs) like he did in his prime. He's not as good as he's been, but he may not be any worse than, say, Mike Leake.
I don't know that he needs to be added in more than the 63 percent of leagues where he's already owned, especially with a one-start week against the Angels coming up, but he should be among your streaming considerations going forward.
Relief pitcher, you may have noticed, is kind of a mess right now, with more than half the league's closer roles up in the air. We know who's getting saves for the Nationals, though, because they've lost so many closer options that there's basically no one left, and Koda Glover did in fact record his first save Thursday. He may get only a couple weeks on he job, so you shouldn't be adding him over, say, Will Smith or Jose Leclerc. But in leagues where saves are scarce, he offers a chance at a few more.
With two more hits and another stolen base Thursday, Mallex Smith is now batting .370 (17 for 46) with nine steals in August, walking nearly twice as often as he has struck out to earn him the leadoff spot in the Rays lineup. Take it back even further, to the start of July, and he's the 12th-best outfielder in Head-to-Head points leagues. So if you think he's just a steals specialist for Rotisserie leagues, you are sorely mistaken.
I've been so busy touting Tyler O'Neill and his monster power potential that I've overlooked the other rookie in the Cardinals outfield, the one who's more likely to play every day because of his elite defense. With another home run Thursday, Harrison Bader is now on what would be a 22-homer, 29-steal pace over 600 at-bats. The batting average is a little too good to be true, judging by the BABIP, but he could be what we hoped we were getting from Kevin Kiermaier at the start of the year.
David Dahl, who already lost all of last season to a rib injury, lost all of June and July this year to a fractured foot and looked terrible upon his return to Triple-A. So it's surprising he got the call in the first place and doubly surprising he has started 8 of the past 10 games for the Rockies. But he had his best game back in the bigs Thursday, collecting a home run and a stolen base, and that's the kind of potential he brings with the added advantage of playing half his games at Coors Field.
You see those season-long numbers for Logan Forsythe? Pretty awful, right? Well, since joining the Twins, he had gone 17 for 44 (.386) with two doubles, and that was before he went 5 for 5 with two more doubles Thursday against the Tigers. He was never right with the Dodgers, which he blames on sporadic playing time, but was a solid contributor in the two years prior for the Rays (which is how they were able to trade him for a top pitching prospect in the first place). He makes consistent contact and has a perfectly viable batted-ball profile, so here's betting his five percent ownership will jump to about 25 by next week.
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