The Wire Troll: David Peterson Wins Rotation Job
David Peterson should have plenty of rope in the Mets rotation. (Rob Schumacher via Imagn Content Services, LLC)
Welcome back to another season of Fantasy baseball. As always, we bring you weekly Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations that are actually available (owned in 50 per cent or fewer in both ESPN and CBS leagues). Let’s play ball!
This week, Shohei Ohtani employed PitchCom to whiff 10 in his season debut; Jacob deGrom wasn’t thrilled with his first outing as a Ranger (and neither were his Fantasy owners); and Daniel Bard has landed on the IL with anxiety issues, leaving Pierce Johnson as a nice looking pickup.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks
David Peterson, SP, New York Mets (ESPN: 19 per cent; CBS: 48 per cent): In June, we recommended Peterson based on some increased job security, and he was inconsistent down the stretch. But really — other than a poor showing in September — he was pretty damned good. All told, it was a nice bounce back season for him as he improved his record, logged more frames than ever, and enjoyed a much better ERA after the shit show that was 2021. Now, Peterson has beaten Tylor Megill for the fifth starter competition with the Mets, and Peterson got to start Friday (looking damn sharp in the process) thanks to Justin Verlander‘s injury. We really like Peterson’s K potential (see video below), and after he struggled to stay in the rotation last year, it looks like he has a set role this season, which should allow him to take the next step. The 20th overall pick from 2017 is capable of putting some very good starts together, so give him a long look if you need pitching help.
- Max Fried, the 2022 NL Cy Young runner-up, had to leave his start Thursday early with a leg injury. He’s likely headed to the IL, which should give either Ian Anderson or Bryce Elder a chance to start at least one game in his absence. Fried was healthy enough to make 30 starts last year, so let’s hope this isn’t too serious.
- Coming off a very fine bounce back season last year, Clayton Kershaw looked really strong this spring. He’ll make his season debut Saturday at home against the Diamondbacks and seek to start his journey of another great record. Last year, he went 12-3 to up his career winning percentage to .694 (second best all-time among pitchers with at least 1,000 career innings).
- The Mets’ pitching situation is already facing issues. Beyond Verlander, Jose Quintana (out until July) and Edwin Diaz (out for the season) are big losses. Quintana is coming off a tremendous rebound season, during which he was a workhorse for the Pirates and posted a better record and much improved ERA after getting dealt to the Cards. His injury further cemented Peterson’s role, as discussed above.
- Matt Olson enjoyed a fine Opening Day for the Braves, going 2-for-5 with a double and a run. Despite taking a step back offensively in his first season in Atlanta, he ranked sixth in exit velocity last year (92.9 mph) among batting title eligible players. Olson’s walk rate has dipped in each of the last two seasons, and that’s a concern, so it’s something we’ll be keeping an eye on this year.
- Reigning 2022 NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara was not at his best on Opening Day, ceding four walks and three earned runs to the Mets over 5 2/3 frames. Considering he’s improved his control every season, we’re not going to worry about some wildness in his first start — especially when you recall he did the same thing in his 2022 debut.
- Stephen Strasburg (thoracic outlet syndrome) was placed on the 60-day IL by Washington on Thursday. After making just one awful start last year, it’s questionable if Strasberg ever pitches in the majors again, leaving the Nats’ rotation so sparse that they had to trot out Patrick Corbin as their Opening Day starter. Yikes.
- Pirate outfield prospect Travis Swaggerty did everything he could to win a job this spring (11-for-29 with three dingers), but will begin the season at Triple-A as the team wants him to get regular at-bats. He made his MLB debut last year, but didn’t do much in his five-game look (1-for-9). Swaggerty, who fell off our Top Prospect Rankings in 2020, has potential given his on-base skills and speed.
- Seattle lefty Marco Gonzales will make his season debut Sunday afternoon against the Guardians. He showed real promise in 2020, but things have regressed for him since, and last year he lead the majors with 15 losses, although he did reach double digits in wins again. We like that he drew more ground balls last year, but he’s a pitcher that makes us nervous given that he’s consistently posted a much better ERA than the advanced numbers suggest. Will Gonzales’ luck run out this year?
- One-time top prospect Jeimer Candelario looked like he was finally coming into his own in 2020, but it’s been all downhill since. After another unproductive season last year, Detroit non-tendered him, and he wound up in Washington on a one-year deal. Candelario managed a walk in the opener, but took an 0-fer, and it’s become clear he’s never going to deliver on his promise.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
English rock band Cutting Crew formed in 1985 and remained active until 1993, but got back together in 2005 and are still at it today. The band is best known for its 1986 single “(I Just) Died in Your Arms,” which reached No. 1 in the U.S.