The Wire Troll: Elvis Andrus Has Left the Bay
Elvis Andrus rarely found reasons to smile in Oakland. (AP Photo | Tony Gutierrez)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. Now that we’re into late-August, the season’s finish line is within sight, so don’t take your foot off the gas and make sure you employ the waiver wire.
This week, Marcell Ozuna is in hot water — again — as his contract turns into an albatross; speaking of hot water, Fernando Tatis Jr. will address his teammates this week as he tries to make amends for his PED suspension; and Albert Pujols amazed his teammates Thursday as he inches closer to 700 homers.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks
Elvis Andrus, SS, Chicago White Sox (ESPN: 2.5 per cent; CBS: 6 per cent): Over two months ago, we wondered whether Andrus was nearly done in Oakland. Okay, so it took longer than expected, but the A’s waived him this week and almost immediately (see video below) he was scooped up by the White Sox, going 0-for-4 with two whiffs in his debut on Friday. And while we aren’t expecting miracles here, Andrus could have some short-term value with Tim Anderson (finger surgery) still out for another five weeks and now Leury Garcia (back) also on the IL. A two-time All-Star, Andrus actually went yard the day before getting his walking papers, but he had cooled significantly in August after a solid performance last month. He’s been more productive this season, but is still nowhere near his peak in 2017. Andrus definitely gives the Pale Hose more depth at shortstop, and for the time being, could be a useful AL-only asset. Let’s not forget that he is a superb athlete with speed and a bit of pop. However, how much is left in the tank remains an open question.
Mauricio Dubon, 2B/3B/SS/OF, Houston Astros (ESPN: 0.3 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): Two years ago, Dubon was good enough to earn consideration for a spot on our Wire Troll All-Star Team, but he regressed last year, and has been even worse this season — especially since being dealt to the Astros in mid-May. However, he showed he’s still capable of delivering from time to time (racking up three hits including a double on Tuesday), and should be in line for a bit more PT now with Aledyms Diaz (groin) landing on the IL. Dubon hurt his elbow on Friday and is now day-to-day, and we’d definitely like to see a bit more extra-base sock from him, but once he returns, he could provide some short-term value in very deep AL-only leagues, while offering fantastic positional flexibility.
- Colorado 1B prospect Michael Toglia was recently promoted to Triple-A, and he’s been killing it so far, with 27 total bases through his first 40 at-bats. Interestingly, this season he’s started to see a bit more work in the outfield for the first time in his career, a development that could expedite his arrival in the bigs. This kid has a chance to be a highly productive player very soon.
- Chris Stratton looked like a closing option heading into this season after logging 15 saves/holds last year. But man, the wheels sure have come off in 2022. He remained a workhorse for the Pirates this season, but was allowing way too many baserunners to be a dependable late-inning option. Stratton was packaged up with Jose Quintana in a trade to St. Louis at the deadline, but has been ever worse, getting tattooed twice among five appearances since. Feel free to dump Stratton as it’s unlikely he’s going to offer any value with the Cards.
- Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel has been rather shaky lately, but did manage to nail down his 21st save on Thursday. He’s now just seven shy of becoming the seventh pitcher ever with 400 career saves, but he’s giving up a lot of runs over the last couple of months and it now seems his great first half last year was an outlier in looking at his overall results since 2019. There’s talk that Kimbrel is too busy going after strikeouts rather than simply recording outs. This is worth watching…
- There’s no getting around the fact that Max Muncy has had a tough season, but he’s showing signs of life, reaching base in 18 straight games. His August slash line is .320/.404/.780, yet that only takes him up to a .185 BA and 700 OPS for the season, which tells you how badly he struggled in the first half.
- It’s high time to give Texas catcher Jonah Heim some Fantasy love. Before Friday’s 0-fer, he had a single, triple, walk and two ribbies Thursday for his second straight multi-hit effort and third in the four games. Heim had a slow start to the month, but is now looking more like the guy that posted an 815 OPS in July. He’s already set career highs almost across the board in a very fine breakout effort that has seen him emerge as viable a low-end starter in standard-sized mixed leagues.
- Back to the all-time saves leaders, Arizona closer Mark Melancon logged his 17th save on Wednesday and is now just six away from matching Bob Wickman for 35th all-time. Still, with a career-worst 10 losses and an elevated ERA, Melancon is suffering through probably his worst season ever, so perhaps the end of the line is coming soon for the 37-year-old.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
English alt dance band New Order started in 1980 and, despite two lengthy breaks, remains active to this day. In 1994, they released a greatest hits package (the best of) NewOrder, a compilation that included “The Perfect Kiss,” originally released in 1985 on the album Low-Life. As a single, it reached No. 46 on the UK charts.