Waiver Wire: June 15

It’s terrible to be inside on a Tuesday in the summer, but here are a couple players that will set your mind right by virtually putting you on the pitch to use a world cup metaphor. Either that, or they will help you win your league.

Aaron Heilman, Arizona (9% owned)
The worst bullpen in the majors is moving their closer out of the role according to AJ Hinch today. This, despite Chad Qualls being the only pitcher in the pen with an xFIP under four. Well, no matter, it looks like the team will be giving interim save chances to Heilman, the only pitcher in the bullpen with an FIP under four. Seriously, this pen is terrible – their league-worst ERA (7.33) is almost two runs worse than second-to-last place (Milwaukee, 5.88). The only other option is possibly Esmerling Vazquez, who has the best strikeout rate in the pen (9.53 K/9) but has a correspondingly high walk rate (4.76 BB/9) and a mediocre-to-poor groundball rate (37.3%). At least he doesn’t have Juan Gutierrez problems with the fly ball (27.5%). Last but not least is newcomer Sam Demel, fresh off his trade from Oakland – but let Joe Pawlikowski and David Golebiewski run you through the Arizona ramifications for the big trade today. It seems Demel has some hurdles to clear first, like actually pitching well in the major leagues. In the meantime, there’s Nick Pieocoro, the Arizona Republic beat writer, saying that AJ Hinch announced that Heilman gets the save chances for now, and my more lengthy run-down over at Bloomberg Sports.

James McDonald, Los Angeles (0% owned)
This is pure speculation that is most useful to those in the deepest of leagues. But let me lay out the reasons McDonald might be up soon. First, Chad Billingsley went on the 15-day DL today with a groin strain. Second, the replacement for the injured Vincente Padilla, Ronald Belisario, has started two games since 2007. Third, Vincente Padilla himself just got rocked in his first rehab start and may miss another start to extended rehab. Fourth, McDonald is on the 40-man roster and is currently starting. Sure, he has a 5.05 ERA and 1.51 WHIP right now, but he’s playing in a tough league and and still has 47 strikeout in 46.1 innings so far this year. The only other pitcher at AAA that’s showing anything is Seth Etherton, who is not on the 40-man roster. Etherton is a name to remember, though, because he does have a non-adjusted 3.25 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 39 strikeouts in 36 innings. I don’t see the team wanting to drop an actual prospect from the 40-man to make room for the 33-year-old journeyman Etherton (6.18 major league career FIP). And for those that think that McDonald has no upside, there are two simple numbers that say he should be given another shot: he owns a 9.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 career in the minor leagues. THIS might finally be the year, when they turn to him with no other options and he wasn’t even pitching well in the minors. Stranger things have happened.




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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.


17 Responses to “Waiver Wire: June 15”

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  1. Rob Moore says:

    I think McDonald is on the DL, isn’t he?

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      Oh, [insert bad word]. I didn’t see new news so thought he was okay. He strained his hamstring 13 days ago. Does anyone have news? I’ll check the twittermachine.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        Okay, I feel bad. Twitter user @eblynch suggests looking at Feiix Doubront for his upcoming spot start, and it’s not a bad suggestion. Though he’s had some inconsistent control over the years (3.9 BB/9 at AA last year), he’s had a good year this year (8.1 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 over AA and AAA), is still young for his level (22) and gets his chance to try the major leagues. Maybe more of a watch-and-learn, but you get an extra name for the price of two.

        I will return with more information about McDonald once I get it.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        This is how hard it is to find out news. Had to twitter Dylan Hernandez and wait two days.

        Response: James McDonald is scheduled to make a rehab appearance in Arizona on June 22.

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  2. slogue617 says:

    Thoughts on Kris Medlen? He’s been solid except for a couple of starts in which he allowed 9 hits each. He won’t exceed 150 innings, but he seems like a decent end-of-the-rotation guy as his Zips projection is pretty favorable: 3.88 ERA (3.81 FIP) and roughly 7 k’s per 9. While he’s outperforming his FIP right now, he apparently has gotten help on his grip from from Derek Lowe, which has contributed to his improved control. Perhaps his recent success is a sign of better things to come?

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  3. Jim Birkel says:

    You really should do your homework if you are going to write articles of this sort. McDonald has been on the DL for some time with a pretty significant hamstring injury. If you did not even unearth this in your “research”? Weak.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      See above. I thought no news was good news, and the ins and outs of the minor league DL are not well documented. He’s been out two weeks, I figured he’d be on his way back or we would have heard more bad news. In any case, knowing who is behind Vincente Padilla would be interesting to some either way, I figured.

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      • DonCoburleone says:

        Yeah way to go Eno, jeez dude get your facts straight you BUM!!! LOL, just kidding man its not a big deal keep up the good work!

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    • casey says:

      you suck, Jim

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  4. Casey Blake's Beard says:

    Not to pile on, but Belisario has never started. I think you meant Monasterios.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      He’s started 61 times actually. To be fair, the two starts since 2004 were one-inning rehab starts, so he really hasn’t started since 2004. I’m guessing you weren’t aware of his extensive minor league history.

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  5. Mike says:

    Regardless, Belisario isn’t the replacement, as you wrote. Monasterios is.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      Interesting, but I disagree… when McDonald is healthy. Of course, Monasterios has shown good numbers in the pen, but his starting numbers in the minors pale in comparison to McDonald’s. Maybe it’ll never happen for Mc, but I also don’t think he’s been given enough chances.

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      • Mike says:

        That wasn’t really the point, though. I agree that when McDonald is healthy, he deserves a shot. It’s just that you wrote that Ronald Belisario would be filling in for Padilla. But Padilla is starting on Saturday, and Monasterios is starting on Friday. Belisario will never be starting for the Dodgers.

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  6. Jim Birkel says:

    Good God. Get a clue. Guys just don’t jump out of the pen and start games. They need to get stretched out to pitch 5-6 innings. It’s the reason spring training lasts a month. Monasterios has already made 5 starts for the Dodgers and is the likely replacement. McDonald is out until at least mid July. How did you even get this gig?

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      I think both Belisario and Monasterios are failed starters that should remain in the pen. Their minor league starting numbers are ugly. I would not pick up Monasterios even for a spot start.

      McDonald, though his numbers right now are ugly, has a park & luck adjusted 4.09 FIP. According to Dylan Hernandez, Dodgers beat writer, McD makes a rehab start on the 22nd. I think he’ll immediately be the best option as the sixth starter / fill in for the Dodgers. I remain upbeat about his chances at becoming a major league starter despite the org’s reluctance to start him. That’s why I wrote about him.

      Mea culpa on not mentioning the hammy. I couldn’t find anything newer than two weeks old so I thought he was close to returning, and really I was a week off.

      Thanks for reading.

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