Welcome to the pressure test.
If you still care about waiver wire pickups, chances are good that you’re in a title game. There’s a temptation to move away from your regulars for the hot hand, especially those of you in head-to-head leagues, and that’s a call you have to make for yourself. My personal bias is to dance with the team that brought you, but I can’t blame Andrew McCutchen owners for getting a little jittery.
Here’s the caveat: Over the course of a week, anything can happen. Guys post crazy high BABIPs over a week; pitchers you’ve depended on all year don’t have their good stuff, it’s all in play. That’s why, while I recommend staying with players you know rather than rolling the dice, there’s no such thing as a sure thing when the sample size is this small.
Nolan Reimold (Yahoo: 5 percent owned, ESPN: percent owned)
In the month of September, only two players have at least 3 HR and 5 SB. They are: Matt Kemp and Nolan Reimold — if you happen to be in the 1 percent of leagues where Kemp is available, go ahead and grab him right now. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. For the other 95 percent of you, Reimold is a somewhat risky play, but the upside is real. His average is surprisingly low, just .256 for the month, but the back end of his slash line — .404/.558 — is worth the risk if your league counts those categories.
Of the hot hands out there, Reimold is among those I like best. You can hope that his .241 BABIP this month will rise, and he’s already notched three more hits and a home run this week, so the floor hasn’t dropped from beneath him yet — though he isn’t going to see too many more pitchers of the quality of Kyle Weiland and John Lackey in the coming games.
If you’re in a traditional 5X5, his average is somewhat worrisome. If you’re in an OBP or OPS league, Reimold seems like a good gamble, especially if you’re unwilling to wait on the health of someone like Carlos Gonzalez.
Rafael Furcal (Yahoo: 38 percent owned, ESPN: percent owned)
A few weeks ago, I wrote that I felt like Javier Vazquez had so thoroughly burned bridges with some owners with his terrible first half that people who needed his skills were still avoiding him; the very same thing could be said of Furcal. His year with the Dodgers was the stuff of nightmares, totally unplayable in a fantasy sense, as he alternated between injury and ineffectiveness, compiling a pitiful .197/.272/.248 with a home run and 5 SB in just 37 games over the season’s first four months.
Since moving to St. Louis at the trade deadline, Furcal has reversed fortune, hitting .262/.326/.424 with 6 HR and 4 SB in the 43 games he’s played in nearly seven weeks. His September numbers are even better, as all four of his steals and half of his home runs have come in the last 17 games and his overall line for the month is a much more impressive .299/.382/.507.
He’s still not putting up the kind of numbers he did in 2008, but he has been a boon for the Cardinals and could be a stopgap for Troy Tulowitzki owners. Tulo is likely to come back later this week, but stashing Furcal just in case something goes awry in the next day or two is a prudent stratagem.
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