Wow. Scour that waiver wire and it’s slim pickins out there, for sure. Trying to find some legitimate help can be a daunting task, especially if you’re looking to pick someone up for an extended period of time. So you’ve got to find the door where opportunity is knocking the loudest. Here are two guys who may not actually be Mr. Right, but can at least be Mr. Right-Now.
Garrett Jones |1B, OF| Ownership: ESPN – 10.5% Yahoo – 11.0%
With Jose Tabata demoted to Triple-A, Alex Presley concussed and a .464 average over his last seven games, Jones looks more like a staple in the Pirates lineup these days than he does a guy who rides the pine whenever there’s a southpaw on the mound. They even left him in to hit on Monday when the Astros brought in a lefty reliever and then started him on Wednesday with left-hander Dallas Keuchel on the hill. He ended up 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and both of his hits came off Keuchel. If you can grab him now and ride this hot streak over the next four games, you could be in line for a quick, little power boost.
But even after the break, Jones should have significant value. If he finishes the first half hot, chances are, the Pirates will keep him starting every day to begin the second half. Depending on how he does then, you can formulate your game plan. If he stays hot then you leave him and don’t give it another thought. If he starts to cool down and the Buccos begin to sit him against lefties again, then you find a nice platoon partner. After all, he’s still a career .277 hitter against righties with an .841 OPS and .217 ISO. Again, this might not be a long-term solution, but if there’s a chance that Jones sticks full-time, better to grab him now than to have to fight for him later.
Brett Wallace |1B| Ownership: ESPN – 0.0% Yahoo – 0.0%
With Carlos Lee headed for the sunny beaches of Miami, the door has opened for Wallace to leave Oklahoma City and return to Houston to take over full-time duties at first base, according to Houston Chronicle. Earlier in June, Wallace made a quick cameo appearance and while 42 plate appearances is hardly enough time to make an accurate assessment, he did hit safely in eight of the 11 games in which he played and had four multi-hit games in that span. His time in the majors last season and the year before, he appeared over-matched at times but even with a 33.3% strikeout rate this year, that didn’t seem the case this time.
He’s not going to dazzle you with any kind of eye-popping numbers, but as a regular contributor with a little bit of pop in his bat, he’ll make for a decent choice at the corner infield spot in deeper leagues. His minor league totals may not perfectly translate to the majors, but so far this season in Triple-A he’s posted a slash line of .284/.346/.508 with 13 home runs and 14 doubles through 260 plate appearances and his .225 ISO gives promise for developing power on the horizon. Strikeouts? You’ll see plenty, but if he can continue to improve his plate discipline as he’s done over the last few seasons, those should slowly dwindle as well. He may not lead you to a championship all on his own, but he can definitely be a helpful cog in the machine.