He is healthy, and when healthy at the big-league level, he hits. This year has been no different.
It seems that he has taken a more ground-ball/line-drive/spray-the-ball around approach, which is not necessarily a good thing (often it is not), but with Cervelli’s new home run suppressing home park, it probably works to his benefit. All in all, he has performed as a top-12 catcher to date, but is largely available as he has not been prolific in any category save for AVG and OBP. He is certainly not going to maintain a .370 BABIP, but the with the new approach, he has a chance to improve on his career norm and not regress all the way back to .330. Additionally, the Pirates have done some good work with keeping their players healthy, and if they continue to do so with Cervelli, he should threaten to be a top-10 catcher by year’s end.
A disappointing debut with the Marlins might put Heaney in the post-hype prospect class, which is nice for owners searching the waiver wire for pitching. In his first 13 innings, his fastball velocity is a bit up from last season and he is using his curveball with more confidence. He is commanding his pitches well, which has manifested in his excellent walk and ground-ball rates. I do not think Heaney will continue to strike out 25 percent of the batters he faces, but the excellent ballpark to go along with the previously mentioned control should make Heaney worth looking at in 12-team leagues.
While his season started with off with a roar, he has been relatively quiet since returning from the disabled list. That said, Lamb has been playing every day versus righties and even some versus lefties. Moreover, Yamsany Tomas has played almost zero third base since Lamb’s return.
Lamb’s walk and strikeout rates are improved in his 110 at-bats this year compared to his 133 at-bats last year. If those numbers continue to get closer to what he displayed in the minors, Lamb should be able to provide plus AVG/OBP while being a solid contributor in runs, RBI, and home runs.
After a strong spring training caused his draft- and auction-day prices to soar (probably to unprofitable heights), Graveman produced an 8.27 ERA through his first 16 1/3 innings. This earned him a demotion, but since coming back on May 23rd, he has been the solid ground-ball pitcher we expected. Graveman has been even better over his past five starts, going at least seven innings in each and allowing a total of six earned runs. He is not going to break out and lead your staff, but he should be able to provide reliable, above-average innings from the bottom of your roster. —Jeff Quinton
After being released by the Phillies last month, Sizemore got a chance to latch on with the Rays and signed a minor-league deal. Two weeks later, Sizemore was back in the majors, and after going 3-for-5 with an RBI in his first game with Tampa Bay, the former All-Star has started four of the last five games and has already launched first home run of the season. He’s also compiled a couple of multi-hit games and a stolen base. It’s hard to predict what to expect from Sizemore going forward, but he is certainly looking like a solid AL-only option if you have a dead spot in your outfield.
It’s another repeat appearance for Shreve, who I have profiled a couple of times in this spot in the past. With Andrew Miller still on the DL, Shreve continues to see time in late-inning, high-leverage situations, and he has made the most of his opportunity. Shreve has now posted 15 consecutive scoreless appearances, and during this ongoing streak, the reliever has registered four wins and four holds. Shreve has improved his inherited-runner-strand rate to nifty a 92 percent, allowing just two of 25 to score in his 43 career big-league games. Thanks to his strong K rates and ratios, he has earned a tidy $7 in standard AL-only formats to date. He should be owned in deep AL-only leagues.
Other AL-Only FAAB options: Franklin Gutierrez, OF, Seattle Mariners; Alex Presley, OF Houston Astros; Deven Marrero, IF, Boston Red Sox; Michael Feliz, RP, Houston Astros; Chaz Roe, RP, Baltimore Orioles; Charlie Furbush, RP, Seattle Mariners; Alex Wilson, RP, Detroit Tigers; Josh Fields, RP, Houston Astros; Alex Meyer, SP, Minnesota Twins; Zach Putnam, RP, Chicago White Sox
It’s yet a again a pretty thin week in terms of NL position players available on the waiver wire, so Ciriaco gets a shout out. Ciriaco is what he is, but he has been getting additional playing time of late for the Braves, and has made the most of his opportunities. The utility infielder has appeared in 10 games the past three weeks, including a few starts, and has gone 10-for-20 in those games with five RBI. Overall, he is hitting .309 with 10 RBI and a SB in his 55 at-bats this season. Ciriaco has some additional positional value in standard leagues, as he qualifies at 2B, SS, and 3B. He has some speed (32-for-37 in SB attempts over his brief career) and swiped 16 bags for the Red Sox back in 2012, when he was give semi-regular playing time. He’s not a bad one-week fill-in option.
I wrote about Lopez in the week 12 Deep League Report, but with the news this week that Giants manager Bruce Bochy “will back off Santiago Casilla for a few days due to fatigue,” Lopez has immediate relevance in NL-only leagues. Lopez has proven to be an effective LOOGY, but should have potential for saves if Bochy goes with a matchup approach in the ninth inning. I am a big fan of relievers with superb ratios, and Lopez has been spectacular in relief for the Giants against left-handed batters, but he actually has a sparkling .135/.210/.203 line overall against RHB and LHB in his league-leading 40 appearances. The 13-year veteran has been very effective against all comers in 2015, and his 1.61 ERA and 0.76 WHIP over 22 1/3 innings have earned $4 in standard NL-only leagues even without the benefit of a win or a save. His current 73 percent ground-ball rate and 86 percent inherited-runner-strand rate (37 of 42) are very impressive, possibly leading to some save opportunities—or, at least, some random wins.
Other NL-Only FAAB options: Gorkys Hernandez; OF, Pittsburgh Pirates; Darin Ruf, 1B/OF, Philadelphia Phillies; Hernan Perez, IF, Milwaukee Brewers; Corey Knebel, RP, Milwaukee Brewers; Luis Avilan, RP, Atlanta Braves; Adam Morgan, SP, Philadelphia Phillies; Javier Lopez, RP, San Francisco Giants; Deolis Guerra, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates —Keith Cromer