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RotoBaller’s Three Fringe Waiver Picks for the Upcoming Weeks

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.

Tony Cingrani, SP (CIN) – With Johnny Cueto set to miss time due to a lat strain, Cingrani is getting a chance to show his stuff as a starter at the major league level. Thus far the lefthander has had a remarkable minor league career, posting a 1.62 ERA and astounding 278/60 K/BB ratio in 211.2 innings. Cingrani relies heavily on a deceptive delivery and low-90s fastball, but questions persist about his secondary offerings. In 2012 he infrequently threw a changeup and slider, but in 2013 he has added a sweeping curveball that he’s been able to locate for strikes. The addition of a quality breaking pitch now puts the onus on his changeup development, but scouting reports vary on its current effectiveness. Cingrani made three appearances out of Cincinnati’s bullpen late last season and rung up a 9/2 K/BB ratio and 1.80 ERA in five IP, but that performance still makes him tough to project since scouts had already pegged him as an effective relief prospect. Regardless, his talent and spectacular minor league history make him an immediate add in all 12-team leagues.

JorgedelarosaJorge de la Rosa, SP (COL) – Over the 2009 and 2010 campaigns, de la Rosa was a solid pitcher who tended to struggle with control while posting an above-average strikeout rate. In 2011, the Rockies' lefty had cut back on his walks and was off to a terrific start until he tore his ulnar collateral ligament, an injury that cost him the remainder of that season and almost all of 2012. De la Rosa was knocked around in his season debut at Milwaukee this year, but he has strung together back-to-back quality starts against San Francisco and San Diego and has a 3.86 ERA and 13/6 K/BB ratio through 16.1 IP thus far. He may be erratic at times, but his ability to provide strikeouts and a decent ERA gives him quiet value in deeper leagues.

Carlos Villanueva, SP (CHC) – A relief pitcher and spot starter for most of his career, Villanueva was moved into the Toronto rotation shortly before last season’s All-Star break. For two months the move worked perfectly, as the right-hander put up a 2.83 ERA and 59/16 K/BB ratio in 60.1 IP. September was another story, however, as the wheels came flying off to the tune of an 8.10 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. Villanueva relies on an average fastball and mediocre breaking stuff, so his money pitch has always been his changeup. Unfortunately, when he can’t locate the changeup it gets hammered, a big reason why he owns a career 1.3 HR/9 rate. Now toiling on Chicago’s north side, Villanueva has started 2013 with a 0.64 ERA and 9/3 K/BB ratio over 14 IP. Villanueva’s ceiling may only be as a competent fourth or fifth starter, but as someone who misses bats and can get hot in stretches he offers cheap upside early in the fantasy season.