MLB fantasy waiver wire: Machado, Marcum and other worthy pickups
Manny Machado hit three HRs and seven RBIs in his first four MLB games
Shaun Marcum will rejoin the Brewers lineup next week if his rehab start goes well
Chris Johnson has been one of the hottest hitters since getting traded to Arizona
The Waiver Wire is here to offer up the choicest cuts of waiver wire goodness, paying attention to mixed, as well as AL- and NL-only leagues. Every league is different, and some players listed here may not be available if you play in a deep mixed league. However, we'll try to address everyone's needs, whether the depth of your league resembles a kiddie pool or the Atlantic Ocean.
Manny Machado, Orioles -- The Orioles surprised the baseball world a bit by calling up Machado last week, but he has justified the move, hitting three homers driving in seven runs in his first four games. Machado, a 20-year-old shortstop prospect who likely projects as a third baseman, has been one of the top prospects in the minors since the Orioles made him the third pick in the 2010 amateur draft. He had been at Double-A Bowie before getting the call to the majors, where he hit .266/.352/.438 with 11 homers, 26 doubles and 59 RBI this season. Those of you in keeper leagues should snag him immediately, and even owners in redraft leagues can make good use of Machado. He should be owned in all formats.
Shaun Marcum, Brewers -- Marcum allowed a solo homer and nothing else in three innings in his first rehab start at Low-A Wisconsin last week. More importantly, he reported no issues with his injured elbow. He'll make a second rehab start this week, and should rejoin Milwaukee's rotation if all goes well. He had been having a very strong season before going on the DL right before the All-Star break, posting a 5-3 record with a 3.39 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 77 strikeouts in 82.1 innings.
Chris Johnson, Diamondbacks -- Johnson has been quite possibly the hottest hitter in the majors since getting traded to Arizona from Houston. I guess going from a historically bad team to one contending for a division title can do that to a guy. In 13 games as a Diamondback, Johnson is hitting .286/.308/.612 with five homers and a ridiculous 18 RBI. Obviously he can't keep up this pace, but he's a guy who can immediately help a power-needy owner at third base or corner infield. Manager Kirk Gibson will start him everyday, and there's little doubt the hitter-friendly environment in Arizona is playing at least a small part in his surge.
Alex Cobb, Rays -- Cobb has made four strong starts in a row, allowing just six runs in 28 innings. He has whiffed 21 batters while walking just three in that stretch, lowering his ERA nearly a full point in the process, and he has had his success against the Angels, A's and Blue Jays, so it's not like he's beating up on the worst of the American League. His ERA is down to 4.08, and his FIP of 3.28 suggests he has pitched much better than his surface stats would have you believe. He could be added in most formats.
Andrew Bailey, Red Sox -- Bailey is expected to return from the DL sometime this week after pitching on back-to-back days at Triple-A Pawtucket. Reports from that second outing had Bailey topping out at 94 with his fastball while sitting in the low-90s for most of the appearance, suggesting that he is over the thumb injury that has kept him out all season. With Alfredo Aceves struggling in the closer's role, expect Bailey to immediately take over as the closer once the Red Sox activate him.
Brett Anderson, A's -- Anderson is expected to be activated from the DL this week after missing more than a calendar year due to Tommy John surgery. His results at Triple-A Sacramento weren't overwhelming (4.42 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 18 innings), but we've seen dominance from him before. He's well worth taking a shot on in AL-only leagues.
Erick Aybar, Angels -- Aybar returned from the DL last week and went 11-for-25 with a homer, a double and three RBI in his first week back. He should have a spot in manager Mike Scioscia's lineup every day.
Jean Segura, Brewers -- In one week as Milwaukee's starting shortstop, Segura is hitting .286 with three RBI. He should get to start most every day, providing another option if you're struggling up the middle.
Eric Young Jr., Rockies -- Young has quietly put together a solid season in limited duty, hitting .318/.378/.446 in 157 at-bats. He's starting to see more regular playing time and should continue to do so with Michael Cuddyer on the DL.
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