The Wire Troll: Curt Casali Flexing His Muscles
Take a deep breath, the non-waiver deadline has finally passed. This undoubtedly has caused Fantasy owners some panic, but now that the smoke has cleared, it’s time to get back to basics, and we are here to help. Our first Wire Troll of August should help provide you some solid options in a pinch.
Curt Casali, C, Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN: 7.1 per cent owned; CBS: 10 per cent owned): Remember not too long ago when the catcher’s spot was a gigantic black hole in the Rays’ lineup? Well, not anymore. Casali is powering up in a big way, with a back-to-back two-homer games last week (see video below) and five in a four-game span. He won’t suddenly conjure up memories of Mike Piazza, but Casali’s long-ball antics will get him regular playing time… and perhaps a look in your Fantasy lineup as well.
Matt Wisler, SP, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 23.2 per cent; CBS: 35 per cent): Wisler just keeps on keeping on for Atlanta, with last Sunday’s start in St. Louis showing what the future might hold for the young right-hander. Once he cuts down on his walks he will be a very effective starter.
Rusney Castillo, OF, Boston Red Sox (ESPN: 20.7 per cent; CBS: 44 per cent): The Red Sox once-jumbled outfield mess is starting to come into focus now, and Castillo will undoubtedly be part of that equation. He has been on a hot streak of late and is just waiting for his power to come around.
Edward Mujica, RP, Oakland Athletics (ESPN: 20.4 per cent; CBS: 24 per cent): Mujica’s ownership numbers are skyrocketing as it was announced he will become the Athletics’ closer following the Tyler Clippard trade. Mujica has closing experience, even as recently as earlier this season with Boston, albeit briefly.
Arodys Vizcaino, RP, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 26.4 per cent; CBS: 32 per cent): Like Mujica, Vizcaino will assume the closer’s role following a trade, in this case the dealing of Jim Johnson. Vizcaino has great stuff but is inexperienced in the role.
Aaron Hicks, OF, Minnesota Twins (ESPN: 28.7 per cent; CBS: 30 per cent): Hicks had a torrid five-game span last week when he racked up 12 hits, including a pair of three-hit efforts, and he’s starting to drive in runs the way the Twins thought he would.
J.T. Realmuto, C, Miami Marlins (ESPN: 16.4 per cent; CBS: 32 per cent): Realmuto has transitioned seamlessly into an everyday role after the Fish cut Jarrod Saltalamacchia loose. Realmuto has some pop in his bat and has even stolen four bases on the year.
Others to Consider
Jose Martinez, OF, Kansas City Royals (ESPN: unowned; CBS: unowned): Too old to be a prospect, but too hot to ignore… that’s where Martinez slots right now as he tears through his Triple-A debut. This minor league vet is batting .486 over the last 10 games to raise his BA to a ridiculous .380 through 64 games and 216 at-bats. Suddenly, Martinez’s walk rate has spiked as has his slugging, leading us to believe he’s not only ready for a major league trial, but could be a late bloomer worth keeping an eye on.
Travis Shaw, 1B, Boston Red Sox (ESPN: 1.2 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): Another somewhat late bloomer, Shaw has burst his way onto to the scene in Boston in his most recent attempt. Recalled before the game Saturday, all he did was go 4-for-4 with five runs, two homers, a double, a walk and three RBI. This rookie is just 10 games into his big league career, but with Boston desperate for a spark, he could be worth a look — especially if Pablo Sandoval (forearm) is slow to heal. Another possibility is that Boston moves Mike Napoli to a contender, opening up first base for Shaw.
Kyle Kubitza, 3B, Los Angeles Angels (ESPN: unowned; CBS: 1 per cent): Okay, so Kubitza didn’t exactly set the world on fire in his MLB debut earlier this season, but he’s headed back to Triple-A and shown some promising power (five dingers, career-high 35 doubles). This kid looks like the the third baseman of the future in Anaheim.
Erasmo Ramirez, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN: 23.1 per cent; CBS: 48 per cent): Ramirez is nearly back to being that dude who impressed us all so much in 2012 before disappearing for a couple of years. Throw out a bad start last week and we’d be talking about a run of 11 straight starts with two earned runs or less allowed. Um, that’s good.
Ben Paulsen, 1B, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 7.7 per cent; CBS: 12 per cent): The Rox have farmed out Wilin Rosario, giving even more at-bats to Paulsen. Last Sunday, Paulsen blasted two big flies, and he launched another one while driving in three runs on Saturday. We’re starting to love the counting cats he’s racking up.
Caleb Joseph, C, Baltimore Orioles (ESPN: 5.5 per cent; CBS: 17 per cent): No, he doesn’t play everyday, but we like what we’ve seen out of Joseph lately. Over his last four games, he’s 5-for-16 with three runs, two homers, six RBI and three walks.
Wily Peralta, SP, Milwaukee Brewers (ESPN: 5.3 per cent; CBS: 27 per cent): Peralta looked solid on Tuesday, earning the win in his return after missing over two months with an oblique injury. He’s got more strikeout potential than he’s shown this season, but with two starts coming up in Week 17, it’s time to grab him and see what he can do down the stretch.
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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