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Remember back when Mark Reynolds was steamrolling the homers and RBIs? I do. It was right around May 21, the day I picked him up and dropped Adrian Beltre.
I felt no remorse cutting him at the time. He was putrid. He didn’t deserve to be on anybody’s team. Now, Beltre’s the 3B du jour. And, for some reason unknown to me, my league hasn’t noticed that there’s pure molten lava shooting out of his bat.
In his last 13 games, the Seattle 3B is 21-for-57, hitting .368 and upping his season batting average to .244. In the last week, he’s hitting .464, with a 1.09 OPS, 5 R, 6 RBIs, a HR and a SB.
Available and added.
And I didn’t have to drop Reynolds to pick him up either — I dropped some other shlub, whose name escapes me. The point I’m trying to get to is the journey I took to get Beltre.
With Indians 2B/SS Asdrubal Cabrera on the DL, and only Colorado’s Troy Tulo-pfffft-ski to replace him, I went hunting on the waiver wire. I found Tampa Bay utility monster Ben Zobrist — who coincidentally is still available in 32% of Yahoo leagues and has hit grand slams from each side of the plate already this season — and set him to start the next day.
But the name at the top of the overall hitters list was Beltre. The 11th best hitter according to our league’s scoring system this week was still sitting there. And, as mentioned above, he’s a slow starter so his best weeks are months from now.
So, why have I rambled on for eight-and-a-half paragraphs about an underrated .270 career hitter whose best season could be a case study in the steroid effect? Because it pays to check your waiver wire all the time.
I’m not saying you need to be on your computer every hour or every day — in daily leagues it does really pay to check every day — but every time you set your lineup, you should give it a quick perusal. I’m sure you’ll find an addable player in even the deepest keeper leagues.
A couple rules for waiver wire diving:
- Be generous. Like money and cheeseburgers, you can’t take roster moves with you when the season is over.
- Never get too attached to a marginal sleeper. Instead, think of them as roster flexibility you can use to swap out some other marginal sleeper who is actually waking up.
- Even if it’s only for a couple weeks, picking up a Jason Kubel or a Casey Blake when they are hot can help a struggling team compete and increase a winning team’s lead.
Zobrist probably isn’t available in your league, but Beltre is available in 49% of Yahoo leagues. Go now and check out your waiver wire.
- For more reading, check out a terrific Grey/Rudy combo post over at www.razzball.com. They go into great detail about Tommy Hanson, and even talk about Zobrist and Beltre.
What do you think? Did you drop Beltre and lose him? Are you going to try to get him in the second half? Let us know in the comments or start a conversation in our forums.