Here we go again.
When it comes to the waiver wire, we're always looking for upside first and foremost. That's why the Fantasy community will never be able to give up on Nick Pivetta, who's back in the Phillies' rotation this week. Pivetta will take Vince Velasquez's spot in the rotation, taking on the Cardinals Tuesday and then the Dodgers to close out Week 10.
That's a tough landing spot for Pivetta, and Fantasy players shouldn't even think about trusting him just yet. But you definitely should consider adding him.
Yep. We're doing this again.
Why, after all the times he's disappointed? Because Pivetta has big-time strikeout potential and went down to Triple-A and posted 50 strikeouts in 37 innings, with a 3.41 ERA. His 4.86 BB/9 was uncharacteristically high, but in Pivetta's case, I think that's a good thing; he's a pitcher who could stand to throw a few more pitches outside of the strike zone.
Pivetta's got top-of-the-line stuff, but he's been derailed by an approach that left too many hittable pitches in the zone. A willingness to give up a walk in the right spots isn't the worst thing, if it makes you less predictable. That has been an issue for Pivetta, who has thrown nearly 70% fastballs when behind in the count, compared to 51% when ahead.
If Pivetta can live up to his potential, he could be a real Fantasy difference maker. Taking a risk on him as a 10th-round pick like you had to in the preseason was tough to justify. For free on the wire is a lot easier to handle.
Five more players to add on waivers
Andrew Heaney (62%) — It was nice to see Heaney on the mound at all Sunday, and it was even better to see him pitch so well. With eight strikeouts and just one walk in 5 innings of work, it was a solid debut for the lefty, who has struggled with elbow issues for years. He's not a superstar, but he struck out a batter per inning a year ago, with solid ERA and WHIP results. That's someone worth owning.
Mitch Keller (30%) — The latest prospect callup may be back down to Triple-A shortly after his MLB debut, but it's a chance to see what Keller is capable of. He's clearly next in line for the Pirates, which means he's always potentially just a few days away from being back in the bigs. He's managed a 3.45 ERA in Triple-A Indianapolis, with 10.7 K/9, and has potential to be a useful Fantasy option once he's up for good.
Cavan Biggio (45%) — After going hitless in his first two games, we got a glimpse of what Biggio is capable of Sunday, as he had three hits, including his first big-league home run. Good things happen when he makes contact, and there's a decent amount of speed here, too. The Blue Jays are going to give Biggio a chance to play every day, making him close to a must-add as a second baseman.
Didi Gregorius (67%) — Gregorius is clearly recovering nicely from Tommy John surgery, as he moved his rehab assignment to Triple-A this week. Chances are you don't need much help at shortstop given the depth of the position, but we know Gregorius can be a difference maker at that spot, and if you are in need of a corner infielder, he's a no-brainer add.
Kevin Kiemaier (26%) — If Kiemaier has fallen off the Fantasy radar, it's because of injuries, more than anything. When healthy, he's always been a solid Roto contributor, he's just not often healthy. However, after playing 47 of the Rays' first 50 games, Kiermaier sits at five homers and nine steals. The .242 average isn't helpful, but he does enough to need to be owned in category leagues.
Winners and losers from the weekend
Brandon Woodruff — There's a breakout happening here. Woodruff has maintained his gains from the bullpen last season, and after a one-run, 10-strikeout outing in 8 innings Sunday, he has his ERA down to 3.22 for the season. Given his stuff, it's easy to buy into Woodruff as a must-start option at this point.
Juan Soto — Remember when Soto was struggling? His OPS is back over .900, and we probably won't see it below there too often moving forward. He's a stud — he just needed some time to find his footing.
Nick Senzel — We might have hoped for a bit more batting average from Senzel, but it's hard to argue with the results overall. He went 5 for 14 over the weekend, and now has a .256/.330/.422 line with three homers and five steals in 21 games. That'll do.
Trevor Bauer — Bauer was having some trouble with his footing on the mound Sunday, which gives him an excuse for that start. What about the other 11? He has a 4.11 ERA with nearly a walk for every two innings pitched and looks a lot more like the perpetual disappointment we saw in pre-2018 than last year's Cy Young candidate.
Tyler Glasnow — Glasnow didn't suffer a setback, but Fantasy players did. He was placed on the 60-day IL, meaning he'll be out through at least the All-Star break. So much for 4 to 6 weeks.
German Marquez — Another home start, another underwhelming performance from Marquez. He surrendered four earned runs over 6.1 innings to the Orioles, raising his home ERA to 5.40. He's made up for it by being unhittable on the road, but this is no path to becoming an ace. Coors Field is undefeated, and it seems to be holding back yet another great young pitcher.