I have to admit, these posts are a joy. In no other article could you possibly recommend a hitter slashing .243/.305/.360 AND a rookie pitcher who allowed six runs over four innings in his Major League Debut and avoid losing your entire readership. I could do no wrong!
Juan Rivera, LAD OF | 6%
Usual lefty-mashing Marcus Thames was released yesterday and the Dodgers subsequently replaced him with Rivera. Initially, it appears he will take over that same role, only facing left-handers. This makes sense of course as in his career, he has posted a .357 wOBA against southpaws, but just a .326 mark against righties. Even this season, despite his overall struggles, he has put up a .393 wOBA against lefties, albeit in a small 55 at-bat sample. Obviously, you don’t really want Rivera if he only faces left-handers. However, Tony Gwynn, Jr. is no one’s idea of a starting left-fielder, even given his excellent defense. At age 33, it is certainly in the realm of possibility that Rivera is done. But we cannot forget he hit 25 home runs just two years ago. If he hits well out of the gate, he could easily win more playing time and provide some deep league value.
Kyle Weiland, BOS SP | 4%
This may be the first recommendation that literally throws up zeroes for the rest of the season. That is, it is very possible he does not pitch another inning for the Sox this year. But, with Jon Lester‘s status up in the air, and no other clear-cut options, Weiland may stick around for a little while. He posted a strong set of skills at Triple-A this season and has seen his skills improve as he climbed the minor league ladder, which is a great sign. He has induced an above average percentage of grounders and his fastball averaged 93.1 miles per hour during his first outing. Control may be an issue, as it has not been great during his minor league career and he threw just 40.9% of his first pitches for strikes during his debut. At least he has the powerful Sox offense backing him, so he could luck into some wins even if he does have some struggles, assuming he makes it through five of course.