Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Kyle Schwarber gets back in the fold, and Bud Norris, Sam Dyson continue to pick up saves
The Cubs are welcoming Kyle Schwarber back, but should Fantasy owners? And where can we turn for stolen bases? Scott White looks at the waiver wire.
I don't know what comes next for Kyle Schwarber. No one does.
But I do know this: Most talent evaluators think he's really, really good.
The Cubs, who may have the smartest front office in baseball, think he's really good. They selected him fourth in the 2014 draft and promoted him to the majors after just one year, after all. And he was really good prior to this year, when he hit .171 in 222 at-bats prior to his demotion.
But if his 11 games in Triple-A Iowa -- where he hit .343 with four home runs and a 1.192 OPS -- are any indication, he can be really good again.
Again, no one can say for sure whether the production will carry over until it plays out, and as bad as he was for as long as he was, there's ample reason for skepticism. But if he was still a mess mechanically, I have a hard time believing he'd dominate even at that level.
And it's worth noting he didn't at first, striking out in eight of his first 17 at-bats before putting together back-to-back two-homer games. It looks like something clicked, and the Cubs certainly believe so.
We'll know soon enough whether that's the case, but I'd rather you be the one to find out than one of your opponents.
Schwarber's ownership rate never dipped below 79 percent in CBS Sports leagues, which is strange since we're one of the sites where he's not catcher-eligible. In leagues where he is, as well as five-outfielder formats, he's a no-brainer. In three-outfielder leagues, given the depth at the position and the likelihood of Schwarber sitting against tougher left-handers, it's not imperative that you to add him. It's never a bad idea, though, to take a flier on the hot call-up in a let's-see-where-this-goes kind of way.
Ah, some clarity. When Bud Norris (sore knee) went on the DL about the same time Cam Bedrosian (strained groin) came off, there was some question as to whether the latter would reclaim the job and then mass confusion when Bedrosian ended up working mostly the seventh and eighth innings. Turns out the Angels were indeed saving Norris' seat. He handled the team's first save chance since his return from the DL Wednesday and seems to be in a good spot for being owned in just 52 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
Of course, there's also that one closer owned in 33 percent of leagues. I'm talking about Sam Dyson, who still sports an 8.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP after his colossal meltdown with the Rangers earlier this year. But he seems to have recaptured his sinker and, with it, his ninth-inning form, dominating over his last 10 appearances. With Mark Melancon nursing the same elbow strain that landed him on the DL back in early May and the Giants having no incentive to rush him back, Dyson has the job for the foreseeable future.
I'm going to double down on one of Heath Cummings' Trevor Cahill. You like what Zack Godley has done for you, right? It's the result of an elite ground-ball rate combined with an improved whiff rate due to the increased use of his breaking ball. Cahill performed the same trick but even better before going on the DL in May.because I want there to be no doubt where I stand on
If he had the innings to qualify, his ground-ball rate would rank second among starting pitchers and his whiff rate would rank eighth. We're talking about front-line potential for the 29-year-old journeyman, and I want to be the one to see if he picks up where he left off.
With only six players having met the 20-steal threshold at the season's halfway point, I've gotten a lot of questions about where to find the scarcest of stats in Fantasy. And since Mallex Smith is only 32 percent owned in CBS Sports leagues, he's one of the first places I point. I don't know that I'd value him over Jarrod Dyson (43 percent), but he's the one in our sights right now after a 4-for-4 performance Wednesday. His steals-per-game rate is in the same range as Dee Gordon's.
If stolen bases aren't a high priority in your format, Raimel Tapia might be an even more attractive pickup than Mallex Smith, which isn't to say he's a zero in that category. He's one of those players who does most everything pretty well, but then the one thing he does really well is put the bat on the ball -- a particularly valuable skill at Coors Field, where BABIPs are naturally inflated. The rookie came within a single of the cycle Monday and should have an opportunity to shine with Ian Desmond sidelined indefinitely by a strained calf.
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