The Wire Troll: Chi Chi Gonzalez is Mowing Them Down
The calendar has hit June, but it’s not too late to save your Fantasy season. Here are some names that might help you in a pinch as the injury bug and other pitfalls of a six-month season start to wear on you:
Chi Chi Gonzalez, SP, Texas Rangers (ESPN: 16.7 per cent owned; CBS: 33 per cent): We imagine Gonzalez’s ownership numbers will skyrocket if he keeps this up. He’s been throwing strikes since his first pitch in the bigs (see video below) and he threw a complete-game shutout Friday against Kansas City — his second straight scoreless outing since being recalled by Texas. The Rangers aren’t flush with starting pitching, so expect Gonzalez to stick around a while. This kid has the frame to be a serious workhorse and he’s got the polish and stuff to maintain his effectiveness.
Josh Phegley, C, Oakland Athletics (ESPN: 0.2 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): Phegley doesn’t get a ton of at-bats versus righties, but he had multi-hit efforts in three of his last four games, and with Stephen Vogt a little nicked up and seeing some time and first base, Phegley may keep finding his way into the starting lineup. Consider Phegley an option in two-catcher or deeper AL-only formats.
Trevor May, SP, Minnesota Twins (ESPN: 4.8 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent): May was phenomenal in the nightcap of Wednesday’s doubleheader in Boston, giving up just two hits over seven shutout innings while striking out nine. Despite moderate overall numbers for 2015, May has now produced three quality starts in his last four outings, with two nine-strikeout performances in that span. How about this command? In 26 1/3 IP, he’s fanned 26 and walked one.
Justin Turner, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN: 8.9 per cent; CBS: 22 per cent): Turner’s ownership numbers seem very low considering the Dodgers’ constant third base flux (they recently traded Juan Uribe to Atlanta), and Turner has been productive, hovering around the .300 mark all year and showing some pop as well.
Matt Duffy, 3B, San Francisco Giants (ESPN: 8.3 per cent; CBS: 11 per cent): Like Turner, Duffy is a third baseman with some pop and solid numbers, yet you wouldn’t know it by his ownership. With the Casey McGehee experiment officially a failure, Duffy’s time is now.
Jon Moscot, SP, Cincinnati Reds (ESPN: 0.2 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): The youth movement is underway in Cincy, and Moscot — one of the club’s highly-touted pitching prospects — made his MLB debut on Friday against San Diego. There is no reason to believe the former Pepperdine standout won’t get a few more chances to shine.
Kevin Kiermaier, CF, Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN: 9 per cent; CBS: 16 per cent): Kiermaier is known a little more for his defence, but he showed his offensive potential with a big home run on Wednesday in extra innings against Huston Street. Kiermaier’s extra-base pop is down a bit this year, but he may nab you some homers and steals here and there.
Pedro Strop, RP, Chicago Cubs (ESPN: 7.2 per cent; CBS: 10 per cent): Word on the street is that Hector Rondon is still the Cubs’ closer despite being yanked after one batter Saturday in Washington, but it is clear that Manager Joe Maddon isn’t fully convinced. That could mean a few more save opportunities for the enigmatic Strop, who can be filthy when he’s on, but has struggled badly at times in 2015.
Erasmo Ramirez, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN: 4 per cent; CBS: 8 per cent): Though manager Kevin Cash doesn’t seem to let Ramirez go too deep into games, with a potential DL trip looming for Jake Odorizzi, Ramirez might stick around a bit longer. After all, Ramirez held the Yankees and Orioles scoreless in winning starts in May, and has won four of his last five starts overall.
Kevin Jepsen, RP, Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN: 8 per cent; CBS: 9 per cent): No, this isn’t Ray Day here at RotoRob.com, but Jepsen is yet another Tampa player that could help your Fantasy team in a pinch, just as he got the Rays out of a pinch in saving back-to-back games as Cash gave regular closer Brad Boxberger a couple of nights off after a rough outing in Anaheim on Wednesday.
Jeff Francoeur, RF, Philadelphia Phillies (ESPN: 0.7 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): Francoeur’s grand slam on Saturday against Madison Bumgarner makes him worthy of consideration in deeper NL-only formats, as he has provided some power here and there for the floundering Phillies and could earn a bit more PT.
Others to Consider
CC Sabathia, SP, New York Yankees (ESPN: 22 per cent; CBS: 42 per cent): Before he got tossed Sunday, Sabathia looked very strong for six innings. He’s whiffed 13 (reaching 2,500 career) and walked just three over the last two starts, showing signs of life in each outing. Maybe the big guy has turned the corner? It could be worth a flier to find out.
Justin Wilson, RP, New York Yankees (ESPN: 0.3 per cent; CBS: unowned): Need some relief help in a deeper AL-only league? Wilson has tossed seven straight scoreless outings, and although the LOOGY doesn’t pitch many innings, he has a decent amount of Ks (relative to IP count), is racking up holds, has a sweet WHIP and a couple of wins.
Mike Pelfrey, SP, Minnesota Twins (ESPN: 27.9 per cent; CBS: 40 per cent): Pelfrey has looked great over his last four starts, including eight shutout innings on Sunday against Milwaukee for his fifth win of the season.
Jake Marisnick, OF, Houston Astros (ESPN: 24.5 per cent; CBS: 41 per cent): Toronto’s third rounder from 2009 has finally found a home in Houston and after getting benched for a couple of games because of a recent slump, he responded Sunday with two hits (including his fourth homer) and a couple of runs. Could the benching kick off another hot streak like he had in April?
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.
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