In truth, I am not in favor of a lot of roster movement this early in the game. Unless you totally botched a series of draft picks or have gotten hit early and hard by the injury bug, I’m more of a “trust your draft instincts and let the team marinate for a little while before you start the overhaul” type guy. But between the possible bad luck and all the jumpers out there, there is an early call for waiver wire suggestions. Since I won’t encourage the jumpers, this week’s waiver piece from me will focus on replacing the injured Ryan Ludwick who dislocated his shoulder and will now be out for three months.
My natural inclination it to direct you to Chris Heisey who will be taking over for Ludwick in the Reds’ outfield but since Mike Podhorzer just published about him, I’ll turn elsewhere…
Vernon Wells, NYY |OF| Ownership: ESPN – 4.7% Yahoo – 5.0%
Yes, yes, I know. No one really wants to admit that they are going to use Wells, but he actually has some decent value for at least the first two months of the season. The batting average might be atrocious, but there is still plenty of lif in his bat. Last season’s power totals obviously show a decline in power, but with the frequency with which he did play, it’s pretty tough to build any kind of momentum. But check out Wells’ totals in just the two years prior to that. He hit 25 home runs and posted an ISO of .194 with pitcher-friendly Angel Stadium as his home and the year before that he had 31 homers and a .242 ISO in hitter-friendly Toronto. Now I’m certainly not saying that he’s going to go back to his 2010 stats, but as a right-handed pull hitter with a distance of 318 feet down the left field line, Wells has the opportunity to produce some decent power totals with an everyday opportunity like he has right now. You could be looking at upwards of 10 home runs in a relatively short time. And should Wells take advantage of such a friendly line and produce, then there is certainly the possibility that the Yankees use him as a DH when Curtis Granderson returns, either full-time or part-time, depending on how Travis Hafner hits. It might not be that pretty, but for a quick counting stats boost, it could be quite helpful and inexpensive.
David Murphy, TEX |OF| Ownership: ESPN — 32.0% Yahoo – 38.0%
If you’re in a mixed league, then there seem to be a few more choices to replace Ludwick found in the American League, one of whom is Murphy, the Rangers “new” starting left fielder. With the departure of Josh Hamilton, Murphy has been given the chance to play full-time and show what he is capable of doing. He’s been fairly consistent over the past five years as a part-timer and there’s no reason to think that he can’t repeat his level of performance and build of his past numbers. He consistently makes good contact, he doesn’t strike out too often and should be good for roughly 20 home runs and a .280-ish average with a full season’s worth of at-bats. Should he still be available in your league he becomes a must-add if you just lost a guy like Ludwick.
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