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The Wire Troll: Can Nick Martinez Make It as a Starter?

June 8, 2024 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Nick Martinez could get another shot to start for the Cincinnati Reds.
Nick Martinez could get another crack at the rotation. (MLB.com)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We’re about two-fifths of the way through the season now, so be sure to use the wire to your advantage.

This week, Kris Bryant (ribs) is hurt — again (see below for Fantasy opportunity); Aroldis Chapman proved he can still bring the heat; and Framber Valdez dominated in his seventh career complete game (did you have him in your DFS lineup?).

While you wonder whether Mookie Betts’ current run of drawing walks improves his NL MVP chances (currently +140 at FanDuel), let’s get to this week’s…

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks

Nick Martinez, RP/SP, Cincinnati Reds (ESPN: 1.4 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): Towards the end of the 2022 season, we were convinced that Martinez was far better suited to relieve than start, and that trend has continued over time (2.94 career ERA as a reliever vs. 4.83 as a starter). With Graham Ashcraft demoted to Triple-A, could Martinez start again? He’s most likely the next man up, but the Reds don’t need a fifth starter again for another week and a half, so it’s not immediately clear how this will play out (he tossed one inning of relief on Friday). In making five starts vs. 10 relief appearances this season, Martinez has delivered top 175 value, only enduring one poor outing since the end of April. He doesn’t have the most efficient delivery and hasn’t been as good as he was in San Diego in some ways, yet his WHIP and command have never looked better, so don’t sleep on him as a streaming option.

Cal Quantrill, SP, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 12 per cent; CBS: 32 per cent): Quantrill looked like an up and comer for a couple of years, but last season he got hurt and regressed. Now he’s in Colorado (exactly where you want your pitchers to wind up, right?) and he’s bounced back. On Thursday, he hurled five shutout innings to earn his fifth win, topping his 2023 total — in six fewer starts. Quantrill has done a great job of limiting major damage this season, and that’s a skill. So yes, there’s risk here, but he can provide some help as well.

Greg Jones, OF/SS, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: unowned; CBS: 1 per cent): Former Ray Jones fell off our Top 100 Prospects list last year, but after getting dealt to Colorado in March he’s now been recalled to make his MLB debut with Bryant and Sean Bouchard on the IL. Jones hasn’t been hitting great at Triple-A, but his speed (15 SB in 23 games) could make him an asset in deep NL-only leagues.

Jake Meyers, OF, Houston Astros (ESPN: 7.7 per cent; CBS: 40 per cent): Two years ago, we pimped Meyers as a second half sleeper, but that didn’t really pan out despite some flashes. His power returned last year and he’s been even better so far this season despite a rough start to his June. Meyers’ extra-base sock has again improved, he’s been among the top fielders in the game, and his base running value has been elite. If he could just improve his whiff rate, he’d be even more enticing.

Humberto Castellanos, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks (ESPN: unowned; CBS: unowned): Two years ago, Castellanos gave up too many baserunners to be successful in the bigs, but he’s going to get another chance with Blake Walston landing on the IL. Castellanos may not even get any starts, but rather act as a bulk reliever (which he did on Friday, and the results were yucky), so it’s hard to get too excited here, although he has improved his homer rate at Triple-A. Let’s just hope he’s a bit harder to hit than he was the last time he was in the bigs.

Cade Povich, SP, Baltimore Orioles (ESPN: 4.7 per cent; CBS: 28 per cent): Povich didn’t exactly fool many people in his MLB debut on Thursday, but he’s figured out Triple-A so deserves a longer look in the bigs. He actually wasn’t hit that hard, but some wildness and a three-run homer made his start look worse. Povich has upside.

Yimi Garcia, RP, Toronto Blue Jays (ESPN: 13 per cent; CBS: 38 per cent): Back in 2016, we considered Garcia a top 80 reliever, but he only last nine games before elbow surgery shut him down until 2018. He’s definitely had his moments since, earning 15 saves in 2021 and flirting with 25 holds the following season. Now, with Jason Romano on the IL, Garcia is going to get another crack at earning saves, and he deserves the shot, going undefeated with his best WHIP since his first taste of the bigs a decade ago. Strangely, he’s done his best work when he throws into the heart and shadow areas of the strike zone, mostly struggling when he tries to get hitters to chase at the edges.

Blake Dunn, OF, Cincinnati Reds (ESPN: 0.1 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): Dunn was recently recalled from the majors to make his MLB debut, and while he hasn’t see a ton of PT (although he did get another start Friday), we do know this about him: he knows how to draw a walk. Strangely, he’s also scored in every game he’s appeared so far, despite taking until Friday to record his first hit. Dunn’s strikeout rate at Triple-A was worrisome, but he’s an on-base machine with tons of speed and nice pop. That has our attention.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

American disco band Chic got its start in 1972, remaining active until 1983, reforming from 1990 to 1992 and again from 1996 to present. In 1978, they released their third single “Le Freak,” and the B-Side was “Savoir Faire.”

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