There doesn’t seem to be as many players jumping off the map for the week 4 waiver wire, especially when it comes to the pitching side of the article. Now, for the closers it’s natural there will be weeks with lots of available talent and then weeks where it feels extremely bare, but for the starters it just doesn’t feel like anyone has come from nowhere to blow us away the way some guys seem to have in previous weeks. In fact, this week there seems to have been the opposite with injuries happening left right and centre at the pitching position. My advice on pitching this week is to wait and see who people get frustrated with and drop because there has been a few regression performances in weeks three and four.
On the hitter front the big stand out injury to me was Jed Lowrie because he’s been a shining star at an awful position. Correa would be the perfect ray of sunshine here but I think they hold off going to him for a while longer, at least so as not to rush him if they can get by.
AJ Pierzynski, C, ATL: Pierzynski has hit at a storming 0.422 to start this season and with it has come some very nice production. He currently has three homers, eight runs and 14 driven in, making him a decent replacement option for injured catchers even though he is only playing part time.
Miguel Montero, C, CHC: Montero has been no lock for performance so far but at a position that is struggling as much as the catcher position, he has been a fairly safe option. He’s hitting around 0.260 with three home runs, four runs and 10 runs driven in. A solid if unspectacular catching option in this week’s waivers if you still haven’t found a good replacement for your injured catcher.
Mark Teixeira, 1B, NYY: If you need some power and can afford to sacrifice some average then Teixeira may be your man. Eight home runs in the first four weeks have come at a 0.216 average. And frankly, that feels like the type of hitter he is now. Beware the almost set in stone injury that’s going to happen at some point in the next couple of months.
Adam Lind, 1B, MIL: For someone off to as hot a start as Adam Lind he doesn’t seem to have gained a lot of trust in the fantasy world. Having spent years as a platoon guy, Lind now appears to have earned/fallen into almost every day AB’s in this terrible Brewers team. With four home runs at a 0.333 average, eight runs and 13 RBI’s Lind needs to be owned in way more leagues until we see whether this is just a hot streak or a legit difference.
Alex Guerrero, 2B, LAD: If we could be guaranteed that Guerrero was getting everyday playing time he would be must-owned and a near lock for a top five second baseman. So far (in just 26 AB’s) he is hitting 0.423 with five home runs and 13 runs driven in, but unless he learns how to defend in just one of the positions of a baseball field his value lies in no man’s land for fantasy. Must own in 14 team or deeper and in daily line-up leagues then 12 team could also be a good place for him to be owned.
Chris Owings, 2B/SS, ARI: Owings is not setting the world on fire by any means, but there was some definite excitement surrounding him last year. And if he can just figure out the strike outs he could be a really solid MI option. Currently, he has more strike outs than hits but he is a MI with 15/50 or even 20/20 upside. A deep bench speculative add because if he figures it out he will finish top 10 at potentially two of the weakest positions in fantasy.
Andrelton Simmons, SS, ATL: Simmons hasn’t been anything special to start this season but you don’t need to be special to worth adding at shortstop right now. Hitting at a 0.260ish average he has 10 runs and 13 RBI so far this year and they are the categories where his value mainly lies as he won’t hit many homers or steal many bases in 2015.
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, MIA: A pleasant surprise at the SS position so far in 2015, having hit 0.321 with two homers and one steal. Little was expected of Hechavarria coming into the year but he has scored and driven in 16 runs a piece to make him a virtual must-add if you are struggling up the middle of your fantasy infield. Hechavarria should be owned in all 10+ team leagues.
Denard Span, OF, WSH: I am keeping Span in this article even with the soreness he experienced in Thursday’s game. Since returning, Span has been hitting 0.302 and already has two homers and steal whilst scoring 10 and driving in seven. Those numbers would make him a must add in all formats but this injury just puts a hold on that. If the injury is more serious then Michael Taylor figures to see playing time and is an interesting 20/20 potential player.
Jimmy Paredes, OF, BAL: Paredes has muscled his way into this Orioles line-up and seems to have taken away everyday playing time from both Steve Pearce and Travis Snider. Hitting at 0.385 with three homers, one steal, and a combined 19 runs and RBI have seen Paredes shoot from un-owned across the board to a must have fantasy option – at least until his playing time decreases.
Travis Wood, ChC: Wood has struck out over a batter per inning so far this year and has only given up six walks to those 26 strikeouts. An ERA just over three is a fairly decent start for the season and I expect Wood to be around that mark come the end of the season. A decent add in 12-14 team leagues if you have suffered some injuries!
JA Happ, SEA: Happ is showing some consistency with Seattle and even pitched well in hitter friendly Texas this week. Okay, Texas aren’t great and that may help to explain the nine strikeouts, but Happ has just a measly 2.30 ERA so far this season. For him to be a more universally useable guy he needs to get the strikeouts up as he currently only has 18 in 27.1 innings so far this year.
Mike Pelfrey, MIN: Take away Pelfrey’s first start and he has given up just two runs in 19 innings with 13 strikeouts so far this year. Pelfrey is coming off two elbow surgeries so it would be a lovely story if he was now going to have a nice run in the majors. In 14 and 16 team mixed leagues he is a streaming option this coming week but another good performance next week and he edges into the needs to be owned category.
Steve Cishek, MIA: Cishek has been dropped in a few leagues because of his early season struggles so this is just more of a shout for you to check your leagues and grab him if you can as he has been better lately even if he does seem to be struggling with a couple of pitches. Right now he has the job and in roto leagues that is important.
John Axford, COL: With Ottavino on the disabled list Axford has become the number one in Colorado and so far he has done a decent job picking up a couple of saves without taking any damage. Ottavino isn’t expected to be out long but saves are saves and if Axford performs well then he could at least make it a discussion of a committee.
Brett Cecil, TOR: Cecil has been handed the job back at least temporarily by the failings of Miguel Castro. Cecil lost his job early in the year when he struggled with his control but he has now not walked a batter in eight innings and has only given up one run in his last five outings. The strikeouts are not quite what they were in previous years but if a drop in K’s comes with a decrease in the number of walks and allows him to keep the closers job that is fine by me. Right now he has a very small leash but he has the ability to do this and I am going out to get him where I can.