While it’s still early in the season, owners need to be constantly evaluating their rosters. If your team is in need of reinforcements, there’s still obviously plenty of season remaining and time to make changes. If you’re dealing with injuries or players struggling in an AL-only league, here are three names that could help you out this season.
Chris Taylor – Seattle Mariners
As I mentioned last month, I’m no fan of Brad Miller, as I don’t believe in his ability to hit for average. Since that article went up, Miller happens to be 5-for-29 with three walks and his AVG is down to .250. Also working against Miller is the arrival of Taylor, who joined the team in Anaheim Monday and started at shortstop. Taylor debuted last year and hit .287 with five steals but didn’t hit a home run in 151 plate appearances. He also broke his wrist before the season, which is concerning when it comes to a hitter’s power, but Taylor hit two home runs in 21 Triple-A games this year. In 96 games with Tacoma going back to last year, he’s hit .325 with seven home runs and 20 steals. Taylor has more potential in his bat than he showed in his time in the majors last year and he should be a good source of speed. If he wasn’t stashed on someone’s bench in your AL-only league, he’s certainly worth owning there or any place where shortstop help is needed.
Jesus Montero – Seattle Mariners
Since there aren’t many good offensive options likely to be on the waiver wire in AL-Only leagues and Mike Gianella already highlighted Kyle Blanks Monday, I’d like to mention Montero. Even if most people stop reading now, Bret Sayre will enjoy this. Montero is off to a hot start with Tacoma, hitting .323 with three home runs and 16 RBI in 22 games. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been four years since he debuted with the Yankees because he’s done very little in the majors since then, but we all remember that he was a highly touted power prospect, and he showed up to spring training in some kind of shape this year. The early returns in Triple-A are good and if his good start continues he should get a chance again in the majors soon enough. Logan Morrison is hitting under .220 and Nelson Cruz is playing right field regularly leaving the DH position open. There’s potentially an opportunity here for Montero if he keeps hitting. He’s not someone you have to preemptively add right now, just don’t forget about him should his time come.
There are a few starting pitching options that could be out there on the waiver wire in AL-only, as a few teams made changes to their rotations. Marco Estrada is taking over for Daniel Norris in Toronto, the Indians don’t seem to have anyone else to fill in for T.J. House except Zach McAllister, and Chase Whitley has had two pretty good starts since taking over for the injured Masahiro Tanaka. Unfortunately, all three of these pitchers have serious drawbacks. Estrada’s struggles with the long ball figure to make him a risky proposition pitching in the AL East ballparks. McAllister has good velocity, but his secondary offerings and command continue to hold him back when he’s starting. Whitley has looked good and was serviceable when he was called upon last year (4.16 FIP), but it’s unlikely that him occupying a rotation spot for an extended period will end well for anyone involved. That brings us to Colome, who beat the Orioles in his first start of the year after recovering from pneumonia. Colome threw five shutout innings with three hits and no walks while striking out six. The strikeouts are what separate Colome from trio of starters I mentioned earlier. He had a 3.77 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, and struck out 73 batters in 86 innings in Triple-A last year. While Colome can sometimes struggle with command, he has the arsenal to be a successful starter and could stick in the rotation ahead of Nathan Karns even after Alex Cobb returns.
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