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Brad Lidge and Travis Snider: Waiver Wire Preparation for the Second Half

While most are taking a little breather from their fantasy baseball teams during the All Star Break, it can’t hurt to scour your waiver wire and see who’s still out there that may help you out for your second half push.  Players coming back from injury are always a good target as well as players recently called back up from the minors.  Here are two for you to consider…

Brad Lidge |RP|  Ownership:  ESPN – 24.8%  Yahoo – 49%

Easily, the most dismissed name in fantasy circles these days as Lidge’s health and meltdowns have sent owners running from Houston and Philadelphia bullpens over the years.  But for those in need of saves help in the second half, I happily point to Lidge’s impending return and note his 2010 second half in which he posted 21 saves with a 2.10 ERA and notched 31 Ks in 30 innings of work.  Opposing batters hit just .162 against him, and Lidge went on to be one of the more productive closers after the All Star Break.

Obviously the injury issues this season have been a little more severe for Lidge who started off on the DL with a rotator cuff issue and then extended his stay with elbow inflammation.  But positive reports are coming in from his rehab stints down in Single and Double-A and the Phillies say that they want him to make another half dozen appearances in the coming weeks.  That puts him on track for an end of July/early August return and given Ryan Madson’s injury and the rest of the Philly pen, Lidge could be closing out games for them soon enough.  If you need the relief help, it’s probably a risk worth taking so long as the rest of his rehab goes well.

Travis Snider |OF|  Ownership:  ESPN – 31.5%  Yahoo – 26%

Since his recall from the minors, Snider has hit a cool .367 with 1 HR, 8 RBI and 6 doubles.  Sure, it’s just in 31 plate appearances and sure, this teeny-tiny sample size is also supported by a .500 BABIP, but you’re going to want to strike while the iron is hot….and right now, that iron is sizzling.  A lot of credit is being given to the coaches down in Triple-A Las Vegas who, once Snider was cleared to play after suffering a concussion, revamped his swing in an effort to generate more power.

He still strikes out too much, and his average will certainly come down dramatically.  But he is considered the Blue Jays starting right fielder moving forward and he will receive an abundance of opportunities here.  if he can trim down on the Ks and can continue to cut down on the ground balls as he has done recently, then, on the generous side, be looking at 10-12 HR in the second half with some solid RBI production.  Maybe it’s a big if, but if you have the roster spot, how many other full time starting outfielders on a high run producing team are still available to you?  I think Snider is worth the look.