BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues
ANALYSIS: Jim Johnson has lost his closers job in Oakland, maybe even permanently, and Sean Doolittle looks like the waiver wire pickup. Currently only owned in 31% of Yahoo leagues, he can be considered another one in the list of recent sleepers for leagues that count saves. Even though he's a lefty, Doolittle has been dominant since he came up to the bigs. 28 K vs. 0 BB this year in 21 IP with a 0.80 WHIP. Last year, a 0.95 WHIP in 69 IP. In 2012, a 1.08 WHIP and 60 K in 47 2/3 IP. His stuff is nasty.
It certainly seems like Oakland has lost all confidence in Johnson. Even though he has a $10 million contract, lots of players get platooned in Oakland and they really have no appetite for underperformers. Pitching in the 6th inning on Sunday, Johnson gave up 3 BB and was lucky to escape with just 1 ER. His ERA now sits at 7.00 with a 2.05 WHIP, and a putrid 16:13 K:BB ratio. Ouch.
The A's just scooped up Jeff Francis off the waiver wire. Maybe they plan on using him as a situational lefty, so Doolittle can focus on dominating the 9th inning? Luke Gregerson had his chance to step in as the closer, but he wasn't able to run away with the job. And recent game usage shows that Doolittle is the most trusted reliever in Oakland right now, so they may have already decided to turn to him as their closer for the long haul.
Check out RotoBaller's entire 2017 fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!