Waiver Wire: American League (Week 13)

Matt Garza | TB | SP – Garza doesn’t have impressive numbers on the year and really never has in the majors, but he has been very good over his last six starts. In that time, he has a 8.2 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9. He’s posted two TQS “Great” starts, but he’s also posted a “Below Average” and a “Bad.” I have a hard time recommending him given a small sample size, especially when two of the six starts really weren’t good at all. Pick him up if you’d like to speculate, as he certainly showed good skills in the minors, but there’s likely to be better guys out there for you.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 14-team mixed leagues, for now. Should be considered in 8-team and owned in 10-team AL-only leagues.

Sidney Ponson | NYY | SP – Ponson has a spot in the Yankees’ rotation now, but I’m not touching him except in very deep leagues. His ERA should be over 5.00, his WHIP over 1.50, and his strikeout rate below 5.5. He’s a Yankee, but don’t get excited.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 14-team AL-only leagues.

Chris Davis | TEX | 1B – Davis was called up this week and has a lot of potential. He has good power and could hit 25 homers (with upside) given 500 at-bats and put up a .270 batting average (assuming a .320 BABIP). There’s even a little upside with the average given his amazing BABIPs in the minors. He strikes out a lot, though, and if the BABIP is lower than that or the power doesn’t translate as well as expected to the majors, he would lose a lot of value. Still, he’s got great potential and is worth a pickup in many leagues. Hank Blalock might take some playing time or force him back to the minors when he returns, but that won’t be for a few weeks at least.
Recommendation – Should be strongly considered in 10-team and owned in 12-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all AL-only leagues.

Gary Sheffield | DET | OF – Sheffield is back from the DL. Before his injury, he was striking out a lot more often than he normally does, so it will be interesting to see if that improves. His BABIP was also where it was at last year, which was much lower than his career and three-year average. It’s also possible that his injuries have sapped some of his power. In addition, he’s only batting seventh, but he could be moved up once he gets going. There is a lot of uncertainty and risk with Sheffield, but when he’s himself, he’s a great player capable of hitting .280-.290 with 20 homers (given 500 at-bats) and can even steal double digit bases. If you have the room, he’s worth taking a chance on in any league.

Billy Butler | KC | OF/1B – Butler is being recalled from Triple-A and is definitely worth a look. He has the potential to hit over .300, but .290 might be more realistic. He could also hit 15 homers given 500 at-bats. Whether he has mixed league value might depend on where he bats. He was batting fifth, sixth, and seventh when he was sent down, so if he bats there again, he could probably be used in certain mixed leagues.
Recommendation – Should be considered in deep 12-team and owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all AL-only leagues.

Brian Buscher | MIN | 3B – Buscher is starting at third for the Twins and playing pretty well. His .375 average is being propped up, however, by a .378 BABIP and an uncharacteristic 96 percent contact rate. These should probably be closer to .310 and 90 percent. He could still hit .290-.300 with a handful of homers, though RBIs and runs won’t be plentiful since he’s batting eighth. Not a bad player, but definitely more of an AL-only guy.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12-team AL-only leagues.

Adam Lind | TOR | OF – Lind will be starting for Toronto against righties, but the possibility of another demotion looms. He’s got some talent, but he doesn’t figure to excel in any one category. Might hit .270 or so with a little power, but he doesn’t have much speed and is hitting ninth, so RBIs and runs will be pretty scarce.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12-team AL-only leagues.

Aubrey Huff | BAL | 1B/3B – Huff is basically the same player he has been the past few years, and his low 9 percent HR/FB last year looks like a fluke (as we could have guessed looking at his HitTracker data). He’s hitting 39.5 percent fly balls as opposed to his usual 36 percent, but everything else is right in line with what he’s been doing. He’s actually striking out a little more than usual, but really everything checks out. If you want a guy who can hit .280 with 25 homers (maybe a couple more if his fly ball rate keeps up), Huff is a good pickup. He isn’t playing everyday, but he is playing most days and bats fourth or fifth, good for his RBI and run totals.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 12-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all AL-only leagues.

Evan Longoria | TB | 3B – Longoria is likely owned in your league, especially after his nice week. If he isn’t, though, go get him. He has great power, a good spot in the order, and can post a decent batting average.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

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