5 NL Waiver Wire Pickups
No longer a matchup pitcher, Wandy Rodriguez has proved he is for real since last season’s 3.54 ERA. Rodriguez has been completely dominant at home the last several seasons, being nearly unhittable. Last week’s outing being no exception, as he hurled a 2-hit gem against the Reds along with 10 K’s. I think he makes the jump this year and continues to be successful on the road. If you knew there was a pitcher on the waiver wire who would give you nearly a strikeout per inning and be capable of posting a sub- 3.50 ERA would you be interested? Well, he’s probably sitting there, and his name’s Wandy.
Making his MLB debut this Monday, Zimmerman is the future of the Nationals staff. While you might be thinking what exactly can I get out of a Nationals pitcher, consider this: in the minors, Zimmerman’s K/9 rate was 9.9 and went 3-1 with a 1.65 ERA in five appearances with the minor league Potomac team. He has only been improving after getting drafted in the 2 nd round from a Division III school, considered a late bloomer by many. The Nats expect great things from this young prospect, and you should be quick to grab him before the rest of your league mates find out about him.
Now here’s a familiar face. After a miserable 2008, Francoeur has started off hot early on this season, hitting .326 with 7 RBI’s. He has shown more patience at the plate and could be a definite bounce back player. He still has legit power and if he can manage his strikeouts, he should continue to get playing time and produce. Unlike another player, Eric Byrnes, who also suffered with a dismal 2008, Francoeur is still approaching his prime at age 25 and it’s possible we could look back on his career and see his 2008 season as just a blemish on his otherwise productive career.
This is not so much that I think Murphy will be a star or breakout player in the league, but that he will produce a lot of runs because the Mets brass really like him and as long as he is penciled into the 2 spot he will be able to help a lot of fantasy teams. With David Wright, Carlos Delgado, and Carlos Beltran hitting behind you, runs will come aplenty. Even with the Sheffield acquisition, the Mets have made it clear that they want Murphy getting playing time out in left field. Over 100 runs is entirely plausible, and he will hit well enough to drive in a few himself.
The Rockies are adamant about playing him wherever they have an open spot, and while he is a natural 3 rd baseman, we aren’t worried about his fielding abilities, but that he can hit and hit well. His park will only help him, and he is the future of the Rockies organization once Helton leaves. The Rockies will put him in as much as possible throughout the year, with the ability to hit for average and power, and he is currently hitting .389 with 2 HR’s. Expect more good things from Stewart throughout the year as balls will be flying out of Coor’s Field.
By Joseph Kelley
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