It’s that day of the week again, time for another walk along the waiver wire. Do you make it safely to the end or fall off and fail miserably with your free agent pickups? Luckily, you have the Mike Podhorzer guide ropes to help you keep your balance.
Brian Matusz | BAL SP | 15% Owned
Just when I thought I cracked the code of spring training pitcher stats, Brian Matusz reminds us that what may be true on a general level, may not necessarily work for any specific individual pitcher. Coming off a fantastic spring training with improved velocity, Matusz returned to the disappointing pitcher he has been as soon as the games started to count. His 4.84 SIERA is nearly identical to last year’s disastrous season and his SwStk% has barely increased.
But after a rough first two outings, he has now posted a 33/11 K/BB ratio over his last 40.1 innings. Even better, in his last start (excluding yesterday’s), he showed his best average fastball velocity of the season at 92.6 miles per hour. He remains a fly ball pitcher and obviously pitches in a tough division and park, so his upside isn’t that high. But maybe my bold prediction that he will outearn Ervin Santana won’t end up being so laughable after all.
Todd Frazier | CIN 3B | 10% Owned
With Scott Rolen‘s future now up in the air due to injury once again, Frazier should receive most of the third base at-bats. The 26-year old is no spring chicken, but he has shown some pretty good power in the minors and some surprising speed. His power has so far translated, though with fewer than 200 plate appearances, it’s a pretty small sample size. Unfortunately, his speed has yet to really appear in the Majors, which would have provided a nice boost to his fantasy value. He stole 17 bases in just 359 plate appearances in Triple-A in 2011 and 14 bases the year before. The biggest flaw in Frazier’s game is his contact ability. His strikeout rate increased rather consistently throughout the minors and is teetering at the bottom end of the range of acceptability. That means he is unlikely to be much of a contributor in batting average. That said, he will be a source of home runs and does have the ability to swipe some bags, all while hitting in a good ballpark and what should be a strong lineup, despite what the team has shown so far.
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