We'll have to dig a bit deeper today.
As impossible as it may seem, the waiver wire has been more or less picked clean here in mid-August. And while September expansion may present us with some fresh options for the stretch run (emphasis on the may), any of the recommendations I could make now you've surely seen before.
I could make the case for Mark Canha again, who remains rostered in less than 50 percent of CBS Sports leagues even though he's batting .322 (49 for 152) with 10 homers since becoming an everyday player in mid-July. Or I could again point out that Matt Magill has recorded three saves in the past week and appears to be Mariners' one and only choice for saves. I could do these things, but well, . And it'd be a waste of all of our time to do them again.
So understand that this edition of waiver wire comes with muted enthusiasm. There's a case to be made for each of these players. It's not a case I'm terribly interested in making, but ... the job's the job.
CLE Cleveland • #32 • Age: 26
Franmil Reyes' ownership rate isn't as low as I normally aim for in this space, but in the shallower three-outfielder leagues where he might be available, it's worth pointing out he's heating up after a miserable first month with the Indians, homering for the fourth time in three games Tuesday. His average exit velocity, hard-hit rate and barrel rate are all top-20, so he's actually been a season-long underachiever in spite of the impressive home run total. Maybe now he can get that strikeout rate down to the more reasonable level it was with the Padres and start getting some hits on balls in play.
MIL Milwaukee • #37 • Age: 28
Adrian Houser has been one of the most added players in CBS Sports leagues over the past week, and unlike, say, Adam Plutko, who also appears on that list and indeed turned in an impressive outing Tuesday, Houser actually has a skill to get excited about. He keeps the ball on the ground, delivering a top-five rate over what's become a pretty decent sample between the starts and relief work. Whether he's enough of a swing-and-miss pitcher remains to be seen, but he has more than a strikeout per inning since moving into the rotation in late July. Of course, he left Tuesday's start with a hip issue, so this may all be a moot point.
Pablo Lopez SP
MIA Miami • #49 • Age: 25
Let's circle back to something I wasn't able to touch on Monday: the return of Pablo Lopez. The actual performance — four earned runs in five innings — wasn't noteworthy except for the fact he was throwing with the same velocity as before the shoulder issue that sidelilned him for two months. And that's encouraging because he was looking like an intriguing Fantasy pickup in the weeks leading up to the injury, putting together a 2.27 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 7.8 K/9 in his final six starts, five of six innings or more. He offers plus control, decent bat-missing ability and the efficiency to go as long as the Marlins will let him, which seems to be pretty long. You won't want to use him this weekend against the Nationals, but next week against the Royals? Maybe.
SF San Francisco • #1 • Age: 27
And now we come to the call-up portion of this waiver wire column and begin with the most celebrated and permanent of them, Mauricio Dubon, who the Giants acquired from the Brewers in a deadline deal. He wasn't in the lineup Tuesday, but the Giants released Scooter Gennett — yes, that Scooter Gennett — to free up second base for Dubon. The 25-year-old's contact skills are without question, and like many players in the juiced ball-fueled PCL, he has enjoyed a power surge that may or may not be legitimate. His intangibles have consistently earned high marks, too. "We'd like to find time to give this kid a chance to show what he can do," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He has really, really good instincts."
Sam Hilliard CF
COL Colorado • #22 • Age: 27
A simple rule for those new to the Fantasy Baseball thing is to never sleep on a Rockies hitter, and so in that vein, I give you Sam Hilliard, the new fill-in center fielder who homered in a two-hit debut Tuesday. And judging by his numbers at Triple-A Albuquerque, there's plenty more where that came from. It's just that there's a crazy number of strikeouts, too — as in nearly a 30-percent rate. Still, in the BABIP-maximizing environment of Coors Field, and with the possibility he turns out to be a prolific base-stealer as well, it seems like the strikeout rate shouldn't be the top item of note here. And while his stay may be short with David Dahl nearing a return from the IL, it's possible he gets hot enough to displace Ian Desmond and stick around.
Seth Brown RF
OAK Oakland • #15 • Age: 29
A 27-year-old with no prospect pedigree to speak of, Seth Brown is exactly the type of player the Athletics have come to depend on during the post-Moneyball era. And every now and then, one of them pans out. His 37 home runs ranked second among all minor-leaguers, and he had a high line-drive rate down there as well. Called up to replace the injured Stephen Piscotty, it sounds like the Athletics will play him until he proves he doesn't belong, which maybe never happens. "Brown is up here to play, especially against right-handed pitching," manager Bob Melvin said. "He's a hard-nosed player and putting up great numbers. There are certain guys you feel really good about making their major-league debuts. We're all excited about him being here."