Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Liriano may have turned the corner
The Waiver Wire is here to offer up the choicest cuts of waiver wire goodness, paying attention to mixed, as well as AL- and NL-only leagues. Every league is different, and some players listed here may not be available if you play in a deep mixed league. However, we'll try to address everyone's needs, whether the depth of your league resembles a kiddie pool or the Atlantic Ocean.
Francisco Liriano, Twins -- It has been a rough year for the formerly electric Liriano, but if his last three starts are any indication, he has turned a corner. Since getting back into Minnesota's rotation, Liriano has allowed five runs in 17.2 innings, striking out 23 batters and walking just six. Before that, he made five appearances in relief, and didn't allow a run in four of them, fanning nine batters in 7.1 innings. We know what this guy can do when he's healthy and on his game. Even if the days of him posting elite rates are behind him, he remains a strikeout artist. For the first time in 2012, it appears as though you can trust him.
Gaby Sanchez, Marlins -- Sanchez had a miserable start to the season that earned him a demotion to Triple-A New Orleans, but all he did once he got there was hit and get on base. While he didn't hit for much power, Sanchez posted a .310/.494/.483 at New Orleans, getting himself back to the majors over the weekend. Logan Morrison has started at first in place of Sanchez, but he's a natural outfielder, and likewise has struggled all year. Sanchez should hit for moderate power and average, making him a worthy add in 12-team leagues or deeper.
Andrew Cashner, Padres -- Cashner got a spot start against the Brewers over the weekend before getting sent down to Triple-A Tucson, presumably to get stretched out so he could come back and rejoin San Diego's rotation. Cashner's short career has been marked by uncertainty with whether he should be a starter or reliever, and he endured a similar dance in Chicago. While he boasts typical closer stuff, the Cubs viewed him as a starter more often than not, and that's where he could make a significant fantasy impact, especially with Huston Street entrenched as the Padres' closer. If you can afford to stash the fireballer on your roster while he's in Tucson, do so. If not, keep an eye on the wire and grab him once the Padres bring him back to the majors.
Ryan Cook, A's -- Manager Bob Melvin announced the team would employ a closer-by-committee, unseating Brian Fuentes and making Cook a hot commodity in fantasy leagues. He had a scoreless streak of 23.1 innings earlier this year, and is currently sitting on a 0.67 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 27 innings, with 27 strikeouts against 16 walks. It's rare for a manager in this era to stick with a committee of closers for long, and Cook is the odds-on-favorite to eventually stick in the big boy's chair.
Wilin Rosario, Rockies -- So why is it that fantasy owners continue to ignore widely available catchers with ample power? We talked about Jarrod Saltalamacchia last week, and this week we offer up Rosario, who has nine homers, eight doubles and 25 RBI in 120 at-bats. Yeah, he's not going to do you any favors in the rate categories unless you're in a league that uses slugging percentage, but it's awfully rare to have a catcher who is hitting one home run every 12 ABs or so. Even when the injured Ramon Hernandez returns, the Rockies can't justify burying their catcher of the future on the bench. Grab him while you still can.
Ross Ohlendorf, Padres -- While mixed leaguers are stashing the aforementioned Cashner, NL-only leaguers can feel free to grab Ohlendorf, who will at the very least keep Cashner's rotation spot warm. If nothing else, he'll benefit from Petco's cozy confines.
Jim Thome, Phillies -- If you need a quick power injection look to Thome. He figures to handle DH duties when the Phillies make travel to Toronto this weekend.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox -- Matsuzaka returned over the weekend, allowing four runs on five hits in five innings against the Nationals, striking out eight and walking one. He's not going to win an ERA crown any time soon, but the Ks are a welcome sight for any AL-only leaguer.
Brian Roberts, Orioles -- Roberts looked good in his first game back from a concussion, going 3-for-4. It's nearly impossible to bet on him staying healthy, but he's definitely worth a shot in AL-only leagues.
Chat with me on Twitter, @MBeller.
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