Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups For The Home Stretch
With the non-waiver trade deadline passed and the waiver trade deadline looming, teams are being shaken up, rosters are changing and players are getting new opportunities in new cities. Specifically in Los Angeles, starting rotations have been altered dramatically due to injuries or trades. In this week’s column, I will focus on three Los Angeles pitchers who have benefitted from such recent roster moves.
C.J. Wilson, SP, Los Angeles Angels
Owned in 64% of Yahoo! Leagues
Not that Wilson would have been bumped from the Angels rotation had everyone remained healthy, but given his struggles all year, it is a bit hard to justify choosing him over Matt Shoemaker, Hector Santiago or even Tyler Skaggs, who turned in two impressive starts before his elbow injury. That said, Skaggs and newly-developed ace Garrett Richards are out for the year, so Wilson guarantees himself a rotation spot by default.
While you cannot ignore his struggles thus far, it is also hard to ignore his five straight sub-3.00 ERA seasons prior to 2014. If he is finally healthy, which he appears to be, given his last three starts he may just find himself under a 4.00 ERA by season’s end once again. To do so, Wilson would need to be the C.J. Wilson that prompted Jerry DiPoto and the Angels to sign him for $75 million over five years back in 2011, which isn’t all that far-fetched. He has allowed just four earned runs over 18.1 innings in his three most recent outings.
Surprisingly, 64% of Yahoo! owners have stuck with Wilson this long, and those whose leagues still find Wilson unowned might want to jump on that right about now, except for owners in the shallowest of mixed leagues.
Roberto Hernandez, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Owned in 10% of Yahoo! Leagues
The artist formerly known as Fausto Carmona was enjoying his best year under his true name for the Phillies in 2014, but seeing as the Phillies didn’t find themselves winning many games, neither did Hernandez. The Dodgers claimed him off of waivers and struck a deal with Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies for the 33-year-old right-hander. Since the trade, Hernandez has boasted a 3.18 ERA with one win in three starts. He had a 3.87 ERA with the Phillies, but earned just six wins in 23 games started, so he has without a doubt been put in a much better situation in LA, with a more explosive offense around him and a stronger bullpen behind him.
With Ryu’s injury, Hernandez got to move up in the rotation, and he is finding his way in Dodger Stadium. Additionally, he will likely be fighting with Dan Haren for a place in the Dodgers’ starting rotation for the postseason, so is he pitching with a purpose.
Hernandez is owned in just 10% of leagues, but that number could increase as he continues to pitch well. Over his last seven starts, his ERA has dropped from 4.48 to 3.78, and he has picked up five quality starts. Consider him a viable option in all NL-Only leagues and extremely deep mixed leagues for the remainder of the season.
Kevin Correia, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Owned in 2% of Yahoo! Leagues
The Dodgers followed the Hernandez move with a deal for the 34-year-old Correia just two days later, and he found himself in the Dodgers rotation as a result of an injury to Hyun-Jin Ryu. Correia is just a career 4.55 ERA journeyman pitcher, so you’d have to be incredibly injury-plagued in a deep league with a shallow waiver wire pool to consider adding him, but he does provide some value in such leagues.
He posted a horrific 6.75 ERA over 12 starts at Target Field and a 10.13 ERA at Dodger Stadium in his first two starts, but has a 3.03 ERA in 12 outings on the road. If you can afford to use a roster spot on him to stream him in road games with favorable matchups and park factors, he is at least worth a look.
Correia is currently allowing a 8.5% HR/FB, which is his lowest since 2009, so the veteran righty isn’t much of a risk to give up too many longballs. While he is not a dominant strikeout pitcher, he is allowing a career-low 2.13 BB/9, and he can pick up a couple of wins as we head down the home stretch of the season. Correia is worth some consideration for the short term, but again only in a very deep NL-Only league, at least until he is inevitably replaced by Ryu.
Side-note: If you are really desperate for innings and cannot get Correia, Wade LeBlanc is another once-serviceable starter now getting the ball every fifth day in Los Angeles.
Both Los Angeles teams are fighting for playoff spots, and are making sure their respective rosters are perfect. These three pitchers, by some way or another, have found themselves in favorable situations, and at least for the time being, are interesting considerations in different types of leagues.
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