Some final cuts were made today, and a closer “decision” was made. Let’s get right into our first of many 2010 waiver wire articles, shall we?
Jon Rauch, Matt Guerrier, Jose Mijares, Pat Neshek
Well, it looks like Jon Rauch is not the winner of the Minnesota closer sweepstakes. Manager Ron Gardenhire announced that the Twins will go with a committee at the position, and Aaron Gleeman is right to predict some media hand-wringing and hair-pulling concerning the decision. In fact, as he points out, that insanity (or inanity) has already begun. While we applaud the decision from a real baseball viewpoint (a Mijares/Neshek platoon could be deadly in the ninth), it does make things difficult on fantasy owners. Jon Rauch still has the best package from an overall skills standpoint, but everyone on this list has had a good spring save Mijares. If you need some cheap saves however you can get them, take the guy from this group that is still available on your wire. It will be your closer lottery ticket.
Chris Young (SD)
There really isn’t any news to back up this item, but Young has pitched well this spring and went un-drafted in many leagues (319.46 ADP). He leads the Friars with strikeouts (16 in 17.2 innings) and has a nice ERA to boot (3.57 if you care about that sorta thing). The walk rate this spring (10 walks so far) is not terribly exciting, but he the surgery he’s recovering from did not show a torn labrum – just fraying – so there’s a chance he can recover to his former glory. Let’s not forget that he was a decent pitcher before last year’s (hurt) disasterpiece, regularly putting up k-rates over eight against average walk rates. Oh, and then there’s that home park that he plays in, too.
Right after touting Chris Tillman as a good $1 option just last week, the Orioles go and reassign the youngster so that he can get more work in with his new pitch. It’s a testament to the young pitching talent the O’s have acquired that the guy behind him is also interesting – provided you are in an AL-only league and looking for a spot-starter / end of bench option. Now, Hernandez didn’t strike many people out last year (K/9), and he gave up way too many fly balls (FB%), but that was not the case in the minor leagues. Well, at least on one front. He’s always been a fly-ball pitcher (44.5% career in the minors) but he’s always struck out gobs of players (10.12 K/9 career in minors), too. He’s no slop pitcher, as his 93 MPH fastball is augmented by three decent pitches – so here’s a bet that Hernandez will look a lot better in his second attempt at the bigs.