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RotoAuthority League - Best Pickups Recently

This feature is written by Jeff, owner of the Volvo Stationwagons.  Jeff has been moving and preparing to go back to graduate school for the past few weeks, so he's barely been able to follow his team, let alone write a weekly column.  However, he's back, and this week he plays catchup for the period of July 27th-August 24th. 

Strangely, there have not been any trades since the last post I made, since the 8/10 deadline has come and gone.  However, there have been a flurry of roster moves, especially during the first month in August as players start spot-starting pitchers in an effort to max out their innings pitched.  Here's the best of the last month or so:

8/6 - Los Genius picks up Brad Ziegler
Ziegler, a friend of Baseball Prospectus writer Kevin Goldstein, got some publicity earlier this season for his funky delivery and more recently, his Athletics franchise record-setting scoreless innings streak for a rookie pitcher.  With the furor involving Huston Street's fastball velocity reaching full bore (with the results just not there for Street), the A's bullpen became a bit of a free-for-all.  Ziegler's deception has proved worthy of absolutely insane ratios this year, and despite a fairly low K rate for a back-end reliever (21 K in 44 IP), he's picked up a few save chances of late.  He's 4 for 4 thus far since being given his first chance about a week ago.

8/6 - Volvo Stationwagons picks up Chris Perez
A personal anecdote: As a Cards fan, I had the pleasure of witnessing Perez's first major league save against the Dodgers in person at Busch Stadium.  The Cards' bullpen was a mess after the Isringhausen/Franklin tandem blew a 4-0 lead in the ninth the previous evening, but I was unaware that Perez had even been called up that day until midway through the game.  When it became apparent that Perez would pitch the ninth inning, I scrambled to call anyone I could trust to log onto the league page and pick him up for me, since I'd lost out to other saves-hungry owners before (see: Guardado, Eddie).  Unfortunately nobody answered, so in haste to get home and to a computer I skipped my traditional post-game Ted Drewes trip in order to make sure I got my man.  Sure enough, Perez was still out there, and thankfully he's been simply nasty in his second major-league stint - 8.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 9 K, and most importantly, a perfect 5/5 in saves while seeing the bulk of the ninth-inning work for the Cardinals.

8/15 - Los Genius picks up Jed Lowrie
Lowrie has done his best Dustin Pedroia impression since being called up in the wake of the Julio Lugo injury.  He's hit .308/.387/.495 in his 31 games with the Sox in that time.  He hasn't shown a whole lot of home run pop (only 1 HR in 125 PA in the above sample), but add in the fact that he's 24 with some decent upside and you could certainly do a lot worse at the SS/MI position.  You never know, maybe some of those doubles (11 in 125 PA) will start creeping over the Monster in September, assuming he keeps hold of the starting job. 

8/20 - RotoAuthority picks up Al Reyes
Tim jumped on Reyes when he was signed by the Mets, and rightfully so - he was a "veteran" closer going into a very inconsistent bullpen without its anchor, Billy Wagner.  He hasn't pitched for the major-league club yet, as the Mets sent him to the minors for a quick tune-up.  He has pitched one scoreless inning for AA Binghamton as of this writing.

8/24 - Ms. Behavin' picks up Rocco Baldelli
Quick, what would be your first guess for Rocco Baldelli's middle name?  I'll bet it wasn't Dan.  No, not Daniel, just Dan.  Rocco Dan Baldelli... one of the more incongruous name combinations out there.  You can't make this stuff up.  Anyway, another thing you can't make up is that Rocco has homered twice in the past three games - yeah, it's not earth-shattering, and he hadn't done much prior to that, and he's only a part time player, etc.  But we are talking about a 26-year old with 20/20 potential if he could remain healthy, which is not something you see on the waiver wire often.  It's certainly worth it for Ms. Behavin' to see if she can sneak some value out of a very talented, yet fragile player.


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