Fantasy baseball Waiver Wire: Pick up Dee Gordon, Drew Smyly
We all miss from time to time. As fantasy owners, we take all the information we have at hand and try to make the best decision possible for our team, but sometimes we're just simply wrong. And that's exactly what happened last season to many in the fantasy community, this writer included, when it came to Dee Gordon (currently available in 82 percent of Yahoo leagues, 73 percent of CBS leagues and 93 percent of ESPN leagues).
In 2012 Gordon was the object of affection for many owners looking for the next big thing at shortstop, but he proved to be about as ineffective as a player can be in fantasy (minus his 32 stolen bases). He hit .228/.280/.281 after playing only 87 games due to injury and was sent back to the minors near the end of the season. He started 2013 down at Albuquerque where he posted a .314/.397/.431 line, stealing 14 bases while getting caught just twice.
But with Hanley Ramirez hitting the DL again, Gordon is back in Los Angeles and starting at shortstop. He's 3-for-7 with two walks and three steals in his first two games, and a strong couple of weeks could keep him in the starting lineup for the foreseeable future. Given that he's a shortstop who could be an elite base stealer, feel free to add him at will.
Let's get to the rest of this week's best waiver wire options:
• Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins (Yahoo: 93 percent, CBS: 84 percent, ESPN: 99 percent) -- The Marlins promoted Ozuna when Giancarlo Stanton went to the DL with a hamstring injury. He had been tearing up Double-A Jacksonville, hitting .333/.383/.810 with five homers and 15 RBI in just 10 games. In his first six games in the majors, he's 11-for-24 with a homer and four RBI. The Marlins have no justification to send him back to the minors, not with the way their offense has performed as a whole. If you add Ozuna, you won't just be getting a two-week rental player. He should be owned in all but the shallowest of formats.
• Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks (Yahoo: 38 percent, CBS: 12 percent, ESPN: 6 percent) -- After another strong performance Saturday in which he allowed one run on five hits in seven innings, Corbin proved that he indeed deserves your attention. He's now 4-0 on the year with a 1.80 ERA, 295 FIP and 32 strikeouts in 40 innings. He has gone at least six innings in all six of his starts, and has yet to allow more than two runs in a game this year. He's still not the world's hardest thrower, but his velocity continues to increase, running his average fastball up to 91.6 MPH. You shouldn't consider breaking the bank for him, but he offers solid rates and decent strikeout totals at what should be an affordable price.
• Drew Smyly, Detroit Tigers (Yahoo: 82 percent, CBS: 64 percent, ESPN: 96 percent) -- This is more a speculative add based on the belief that Smyly will eventually make it into Detroit's rotation this year. In 10 relief appearances covering 20 innings, Smyly has a 1.35 ERA, 1.65 FIP and 21 strikeouts against five walks. His high strikeout rate and even ground ball/fly ball ratio makes him an ideal fit for the Tigers, a team that does not exactly boast the league's best infield defense. On the flip side of this zero sum, Rick Porcello has a 7.52 ERA and 4.90 FIP. He's barely striking out more than five batters per inning, and while his 57.6 percent ground-ball rate would be a huge asset on most teams, its value is marginalized in Detroit. I'm betting Smyly eventually takes his spot in the rotation. When he does, you'll be very happy you already have shares in the lefty.
• Didi Gregorius, Arizona Diamondbacks (Yahoo: 87 percent, CBS: 71 percent, ESPN: 88 percent) -- Gregorius returned from the 7-day concussion DL in a big way Sunday, going 2-for-3 with a solo homer. He had never shown much of a power profile in the minors, but that's already his third round-tripper this season, to go along with four doubles. Hanley Ramirez owners looking for a replacement should turn to Gordon or Gregorius, depending on overall team need.
• Kevin Youkilis, New York Yankees -- This is more directed at those of you in shallower leagues, but it could apply to deeper mixed leaguers, too. Some guys are worth holding on to when they're injured, but Youkilis is not one of those guys. He does have a 23.9 percent line-drive rate to this point, but the .346 BABIP won't last much longer once he returns from the DL. I'm not buying the slightly resurgent Youkilis we saw before he got hurt.
• Ike Davis, New York Mets -- Owners should only drop Davis if you have plenty of decent options available and aren't in a keeper league. If that describes you, it may be safe to look for another first baseman. Davis is striking out nearly 30 percent of the time this year and has a 13.6 percent infield-fly-ball rate. The increase in strikeouts is truly cause for alarm, as is the three percentage-point dip in home run/fly ball rate. Again, you don't want to make this cut on a whim, but you shouldn't be afraid to take the plunge if there are attractive names on the waiver wire.