In this piece, RotoBaller delves deeper into three players who are currently in our Daily Updated Waiver Wire Watch List that you should look to own over the next few weeks. These are fringe players, available on the waiver wire in many leagues, who could have an immediate impact on your team. If you invest a roster spot in one of these guys and catch a hot streak, you could then trade for a more stable player, or roll the dice on continued hot performance. Either way, you could see a fairly nice return from any of these players.
David Murphy, OF (TEX) – The only thing different about Murphy’s slow start this season is it lasted one month rather than his customary two. Witness his April: .170/.215/.295 with two HR in 93 plate appearances. That’s been followed this month by a scorching .319/.377/.574 with three HR in 52 PA, bucking a trend where he’s hit an aggregate .242/.313/.361 in May since 2010. Coming off the finest season of his career, this year represents Murphy’s best chance to show he can handle a full-time outfield job and secure a substantial multi-year deal going forward. Murphy has always been a useful player, so his solid play of late should serve as a reminder that he's worth adding in deeper mixed leagues.
Jarrod Parker, SP (OAK) – Owners who drafted Parker hoping he’d build off last season’s strong finish were sorely disappointed when the southpaw went 1-3 with a 7.48 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in April. A high walk rate and soaring BABIP were two of the biggest issues dogging Parker but better control and a dramatic decrease in batted balls finding holes has resulted in a much-improved 3.93 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in three May starts. His problem with left-handed hitters appears anomalous and should correct itself, so as the hardest thrower on the A’s staff and a former top prospect, Parker is a strong buy-low candidate.
Jeff Locke, SP (PIT) – Acquired from Atlanta in the Nate McLouth trade a few seasons ago, Locke carries a fourth or fifth starter projection but has surpassed expectations by opening the current campaign 4-1 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. There are definitely some areas of concern, as the lefty’s strikeout rate is below-average and he sports an underwhelming 1.5:1 K:BB ratio, but he’s been quality in five of his past six outings and continues to defy the odds. Locke is more of a stopgap or sell-high player at this time, but that’s enough to make him claimable in the right circumstances.
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