American League Waiver Wire

Today we’ll go over the American League Waiver Wire, and tomorrow we’ll do the National League.

Justin Duchscherer | OAK | RP – Hurting a little himself, but with Huston Street on the DL, Duke becomes the go-to-guy in the Oakland ‘pen. The A’s say he should be ready to pitch today. His BB/9 is up this season, but I expect it to come down shortly. Solid K rate, good GB rate. If you need saves this is the probably the best guy to pick up this week.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Octavio Dotel | KC | RP – Could be back on Tuesday, so if he’s available in your league, pick him up. Has pretty good peripherals, assuming his injuries haven’t affected him much. A closer with skills needs to be owned in all leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Akinori Iwamura | TB | 3B – Maybe you’ve forgotten about this guy, but he had dynamite numbers to start the year. We’re going based on a small sample size, but he could be the answer to 3B woes for a lot of teams. I’m still struggling to fill Edwin Encarnacion‘s void in one league, and I’ll probably be picking up Iwamura soon. He’s got 20/20 potential, seems to have good discipline, and makes good contact. On Wednesday, Joe Maddon said Iwamura was 2-3 weeks from returning. Might be too soon to pick him up, but make sure you don’t get beat.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10, 12, and 14-team leagues until he proves otherwise. Should be owned in all AL-only leagues until he proves otherwise.

Joe Blanton | OAK | SP – Still owned in just 46% of ESPN leagues, Blanton should probably be owned in all of them, at least for now. Solid K/9, great BB/9, and good GB%. If his BB rate regresses he won’t be as valuable, but there’s a good chance that won’t happen.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Andrew Miller | DET | SP – Talked about him a couple of days ago. Was less than dominant at Single A.
Recommendation: Should be avoided in all mixed leagues. Should be owned in only the deepest AL-only leagues.

Scott Baker | MIN | SP – Interesting guy. He’s a tough one to predict, but he’ll be getting the Twins start today and could stick in the rotation for a little while. Last year he had a 6.70 K/9 and 1.73 BB/9 in 83.1 IP. This year in AAA, he had an 8.65 K/9 and 0.84 BB/9 in 42.2 IP. These numbers indicate he has good control and can strike out a decent amount of Major League batters. He will need to do both to compensate for his terrible 34% FB rate. Baker will give up some HRs, but in deeper leagues he might be worth using for a little while.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deep 12 and 14-team mixed leagues, for now. Should be owned in 10, 12, and 14-team AL-only leagues.

Devern Hansack | BOS | SP – Has shown decent numbers in the minors this year and last with K rates above 8.00 and BB rates below 2.5. GB rate sits around a decent 42%. Tough to tell how this will translate to the majors. Might be worth a use in some AL-only leagues. It’ll be easier to make a judgement if he can get a few starts. Will probably be sent back down when Beckett gets back.
Recommendation: Too risky to be owned in mixed leagues. Should be owned in very deep AL-only leagues for a couple of starts.

Kevin Youkilis | BOS | 1B/3B/OF – Not sure why, but Youkilis is only owned in 66% of ESPN leagues and comes in at #17 on CBS’s Most Added Players list. Youkilis should be owned in all leagues. His Contact rate is much better than last year, and while it might regress he has good selectivity/patience and is a good LD hitter. He could also be good for 20 HRs. Plus, he hits for the Red Sox.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Reggie Willits | ANA | OF – I meant to write about him last week; I’m not sure why I skipped over him. He is a LD machine, both in the majors and minors. He nearly had a 90% Contact rate in the minors last year, and it’s at 85% in the majors this year. He takes a ton of walks and has good speed. Won’t hit .371 forever, but a BA well above .300 is very likely. He has 9 SBs so far. He doesn’t have much power, but this is a guy who can help a lot in 3 categories while he has a starting spot. It would be smart for the Angels to keep him starting, but it may not happen once Garrett Anderson returns.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all but shallow leagues until he loses his starting spot.

Jesse Litsch | TOR | SP – Has shown good control and an amazing ability to induce GBs in the minors, but his first Major League start was less than impressive. His K/9 might not get above 5.00, and he’ll have to keep the walks down to be effective. Like Hansack, he’s a risky pickup, but the GBs make him a little bit safer if his other numbers blow up in his face. Might not get many more starts, but the possibility is there.
Recommendation: Should be watched in deep mixed leagues. Should be owned in deep AL-only leagues, at least for now.

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