AL Waiver Wire:  Week 24

Lonnie Chisenhall|Cleveland|3B|4 percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: .240/.269/.431
Oliver ROS: .244/.297/.411

It’s hard to view Chisenhall’s rookie season as anything other than a disappointment. He has struck out more than a league average player and walked less than half as often.

Not all has been bad, though. He has hit for some pop (.192 ISO). The surprising thing is, five of his seven home runs have come against southpaws, in just 36 plate appearances. Obviously small sample sizes can make anyone look good for a stretch, but it is a glimmer of hope for a player who struggled mightily against them in the minors. His groundball rate is still noticeably higher against left handers than right handers, and he doesn’t hit line drives as frequently against them, but the power is at least a start.

His ability to square the ball up against right-handed pitchers (20 percent line drives) should help translate into a better BABIP and average in the future as well. This may not help in re-draft leagues, or shallow keeper formats, but it makes him add-worthy in dynasty formats in which he was kicked to the curb. He came into the season considered by most scouting pundits as the best prospect in the Indians organization, and 176 plate appearances are far too few to give up on the young third baseman.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all dynasty formats.

Ben Revere|Minnesota|OF|3 percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: .249/.296/.282
Oliver ROS: .270/.312/.322

How badly do you need stolen bases? Revere offers no pop, and his run and RBI totals are lackluster as well. That said, he is a capable base stealer with 30 steals in 37 chances and his remaining schedule is conducive to tacking on to the steals total. The Twins have six games left against the Indians and three with the Royals. Indians catcher Carlos Santana has allowed base runners to steal 56 bases at a 76.7 percent success rate. While that should provide a nice opportunity to steal bases, the match-up against the Royals is the one Revere has to be licking his chops over. Royals catcher Salvador Perez has allowed 24 stolen bases in just 29 games at an embarrassing 85.7 percent success rate. In Wednesday’s contest against the Royals, Revere swiped three bases against Perez, and he’ll look to resume his thievery the last series of the year in their second showdown Sept. 26-28.

Recommendation: Should be owned by stolen base-needy owners in leagues of all sizes.

Jim Johnson|Baltimore|RP|8 percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: 2.68 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 5.79 K/9, 1.93 BB/9, 61.0 percent GB
Oliver ROS: 3.70 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 6.5 K/9, 1.3 BB/9

He hasn’t struck out any batters in his last four appearances, but Johnson has been able to successfully save each of those games. Orioles closer Kevin Gregg has blown seven saves in 27 chances, including a blown save in his last appearance. Each of the last two save chances have gone to Johnson, and he may continue to receive the opportunities the rest of the season. He doesn’t strike many batters out, but he’s stingy with the free passes and is able to get hitters to pound the ball into the ground regularly. It’s not an exciting package, but if it gets the job done and allows him to save a few more games this year, that may be enough for fantasy owners. It’s rare to find saves freely available in the stretch run, so if you need some, pounce on this bird.

Recommendation: Should be owned by any owners in need of saves regardless of league size.

Addison Reed|Chicago (AL)|RP|0 percent Yahoo! ownership
YTD: 1.93 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 15.43 K/9, 1.93 BB/9, 25.0 percent GB
Oliver ROS: No projection

Stephen Strasburg’s former San Diego State Aztec teammate Addison Reed has had an outstanding season. He has pitched at five levels, including the majors, starting in Single-A and advancing each rung of the minor league ladder. His MLE for his lights-out minor league performance this year is a 2.15 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 10.6 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9. Those numbers are eye popping, and are supported by a power arsenal of a heater that has averaged 95.3 mph in his 4.2 innings in the majors and a wipe-out slider. He also throws a change-up that graded below average coming into the year, but has good separation in velocity from his fastball according to FanGraphs, sitting at 84.2 mph.

He had experience both closing and starting in college, and started two games last year, his draft year, in Rookie Level ball. He didn’t start any games this year in the minors, so it appears that the White Sox are content with him serving as a high leverage weapon at the end of games. Sergio Santos had a fantastic season as the club’s closer, and both Chris Sale and Matt Thornton were successful in setup roles. The emergence of Reed should allow the White Sox to stretch Sale out and develop him as a starting pitcher.

Reed may not be able to overtake Santos as the White Sox stopper, but he’s a prime candidate to emerge as an elite reliever worthy of being rostered in fantasy leagues as soon as now. Those in holds leagues should file his name away for drafts next year, and pass on pricier, more established relievers and select Reed.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all holds leagues now, and by others in need of every last strikeout they can squeeze out of their remaining allowable innings pitched.

A Hardball Times Update
Goodbye for now.

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