Today’s Deep League Waiver provides fantasy owners with a potential third base replacement for Ian Stewart and my first dive into the pitching free agent pool.
Ryan Roberts, OF, ARI | 5% Owned
No, not Brian. Ryan Roberts has played seven games at third base, so is just three games away from qualifying at the position in those leagues with 10 game in-season eligibility. Of course, Melvin Mora is currently the starter in Arizona, but Melvin is like 82 years old now, right? Roberts is no spring chicken himself at 30 years of age, but there is no reason any Major League ball club should be married to the idea of having Melvin Mora as the club’s starting third baseman. Roberts had a career game yesterday, swatting two home runs and upping his average to .382, which should earn him some extra playing time. Over 429 career at-bats coming into the game, he had hit 12 homers and stolen 8 bases, while posting decent wOBAs in the minor leagues. With the ability to also play second base and the outfield, Roberts could find himself with plenty of at-bats at various positions and could chip in with some power and speed for those hurting in NL-Only leagues.
Chris Capuano, SP, NYM | 7% Owned
Capuano returned to the big leagues in 2010 after undergoing the second Tommy John surgery of his career in 2008. His skills didn’t miss a beat as he posted a 3.90 xFIP, the best of his career, and his velocity was at its highest mark since 2004. Fast forward to 2011 and we find excellent skills once again. His SwStk% has jumped back above 10.0%, velocity bump has been sustained, and his xFIP, albeit in a tiny sample, has improved further to 3.71. Of course, there has to be a good reason why Capuano is owned in just 7% of leagues. Look no further than a grotesque 8.53 ERA and 1.74 WHIP and that gives you all the explanation you need. However, those surface numbers are inflated by a ridiculous .375 BABIP, along with an inflated 21.4% HR/FB ratio and low 60.6% LOB%. Health will always remain a concern, but as long as he is taking his turn every fifth day, he could provide real value in NL-Only leagues and may even be a mixed league asset as well.