The Wire Troll: Seth Brown to See More Action
Seth Brown will get a shot to turn around his season. (Sports Illustrated)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball goodness. The dog days of summer are here, so you better roll over to the waiver wire and take a sniff.
This week, Jarred Kelenic got knocked out for a few weeks after losing his temper (see below for the Fantasy opportunity his injury presents); Ryan Nodo broke his jaw (creating another opening we cover in this issue); and Josh Donaldson (calf) has been shifted to the 60-day IL.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks
Seth Brown, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics (ESPN: 3.6 per cent; CBS: 13 per cent): When we slotted him 57th in our Top Outfielder Rankings heading into the season, we expressed concern about what upside, if any, Brown had. That’s certainly proven prescient given his major regression and the resulting decrease in opportunities this year. However, with Nodo out for three weeks, Brown has first base to himself for the time being, and he responded well on Thursday, snapping a skid with two hits (including a double) and an RBI. Brown has played better as the season has progressed and with the extra PT, is likely worth a look in AL-only leagues. He’s hit the ball in the air a lot more often this season, and the metrics suggest he’s been quite unlucky, so this one could be a very useful addition for the second half. Given the 45 dingers Brown slugged in the two seasons previous to 2023, we know there’s much more pop in his bat (see video below) than what he showed in the first half.
Mike Ford, 1B, Seattle Mariners (ESPN: 1.2 per cent; CBS: 7 per cent): After Jared Walsh suffered a season-ending injury last year, we recommended Ford, and while the PT was there down the stretch, the performance wasn’t. Well, since being recalled last month, Ford has delivered, spanking a two-run shot Thursday to reach double digits in dingers for the first time since his rookie season, and following it up with a pinch-hit RBI single on Friday. He’s batting .333 in July, which is unlikely to continue, but deserves your attention for now. Pitchers are throwing strikes to Ford more often this year, and so far he’s responded, so give him consideration in AL-only formats.
Cade Marlowe, OF, Seattle Mariners (ESPN: 0.1 per cent; CBS: 2 per cent): Kelenic is going to miss weeks with a broken foot courtesy of a water cooler. Enter Marlowe, who has shown solid glovework, tremendous speed, nice power and a decent walk rate at Triple-A. He was hitless in his MLB debut on Thursday, but did manage a walk, and is likely worth a flier in deeper AL-only formats, especially if he can cut down on the infield flies. Speed and power are always intriguing qualities, and Marlowe possesses them both; it’s just a matter of how much PT he’ll get.
Clarke Schmidt, SP/RP, New York Yankees (ESPN: 14.1 per cent; CBS: 47 per cent): Just over a year ago, we pimped Schmidt based on an anticipated increase in his duties. Unfortunately, that larger role didn’t really come (just two starts after July) and his results were mixed. However, Schmidt has seen extensive time in the rotation this season (career-high 21 starts), and has generally been better recently despite an inconsistent July. Sure, his record is no picnic and he’s been more hittable as a starter — as you’d expect — but he has set a career high in wins already and offers value as a streaming option. Not surprisingly, Schmidt’s fastball velocity is down as a starter, but he’s used this pitch less and less as his career has progressed and nearly eliminated his changeup altogether while adding to his mix a cutter that has become one of his most popular offerings.
- It’s now been over a month since Royal 1B Vinnie Pasquantino underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. This was a crushing blow for his owners, especially considering the injury had clearly been bothering him for some time, thereby reducing his chances of building on such a promising rookie effort in 2022 when he had been an on-base machine.
- Austin Riley played the hero on Thursday with a three-run bomb and then went yard again Friday for his fifth jack over the last four games. He’s been on the upswing since the end of May, and even if he hasn’t been hitting quite as well BA-wise this month, he’s made up for it with a great power performance. Thanks to his recent exploits, Riley is well on his way to a third straight 30-homer campaign and is just 12 back of Fred McGriff for 19th place in franchise history.
- On Friday, Bryce Harper made his first career start at first base as the Phils explore their options with the trade deadline coming up. If he can handle himself at the position, Philadelphia will seek to add a right-handed outfielder. We’re still waiting for Harper’s usual pop to return since he’s come back from TJS, but there’s nothing wrong with his .294 BA.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Quantic is the most common name under which English musician William Holland operates. He’s been active since 2000, and one of his best tunes — featuring Alice Russell — showed up Soulshaker, Vol. 4 (2007). This series is must listen material, and on this particular volume is the majestic “The Sound of Everything,” mixed by Senor Lobo and Watch TV. It was originally released in 2004 on Quantic’s third album, Mishaps Happening.