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Stock Watch: Buy & Sell Analysis

In last week's Stock Watch, I recommended that owners also pick up Rafael Soriano in case the Yankees did not want to disturb David Robertson's excellent production in the setup role. The Yankees would not be the first team to bypass a superior pitcher for the closer role (see the Nationals with Tyler Clippard to start this season). Yesterday, Soriano picked up a save after Robertson had worked consecutive games and blown a save in spectacular fashion. Soriano is an excellent add for owners searching for saves on the waiver wire.

Buy

  • Kyle Seager - Qualifies at shortstop in Yahoo leagues and has been hot in May with three home runs and 13 RBIs. Nice power and speed combo, and will continue to get at-bats with Chone Figgins benched.
  • Peter Bourjos - Waived in many leagues after a poor start to the season and inability to get consistent at-bats following the promotion of Mike Trout. The Angels are rumored to be discussing a trade of Bourjos to the Nationals, where he would receive regular playing time and would attempt to prove the Angels wrong (see: Mike Napoli).
  • Jason Hammel - Leads the AL and is fifth in MLB in SIERA at 2.75. Hammel pitches in the pitcher-unfriendly AL East, but his average fastball velocity compared to 2011 is up by .6 mph, while his average changeup is down .7 mph. These changes have resulted in a massive increase from 4.97 strikeouts per nine innings in 2011 to 8.84 in 2012. Meanwhile, his walks per nine innings have decreased from 3.59 to 2.56. Hammel is a different pitcher this year, and owners should look to acquire him from an owner that wants to "sell high".
  • Max Scherzer - Pitched well in getting a win in Oakland last night, and his SIERA entering that start was only 3.48 compared to a 6.32 ERA. His ERA has been bloated by a .407 BABIP entering last night's start, but his swinging-strike percentage was actually up from 9.8% in 2011 to 12.3% in 2012.
  • Allen Craig - Has been raking since coming back from the DL with 3 homers and 11 RBIs in only 31 plate appearances. With Lance Berkman returning from the DL shortly, the Cardinals will need to find Craig a position. If this position is second base, Craig will gain position eligibilty there in leagues using the standard 20 games played last season or five games played in current season. Craig already qualifies at the keystone in Yahoo leagues.
  • Edward Mujica - Despite recording saves on May 3 and 6, the Marlins turned to Steve Cishek in a save opportunity on May 9. Cishek blew the save, and Mujica may see the next opportunity while Heath Bell works himself back into form.
  • Aroldis Chapman – Sporting insane ratios of 0.00 ERA and 0.57 WHIP with 27 Ks in 15 2/3 IP, it may only be a matter of time before Chapman replaces the struggling Sean Marshall as closer.
  • Wilton Lopez - Those with room on their bench should stash Lopez. He is pitching well enough that he will not hurt you when activated, and he should move into the closer's role when the Astros turn Brett Myers' hot start into a nice return from one of the many teams whose bullpen has been decimated by injury or poor performance.
  • Addison Reed - Two saves and zero earned runs on the season. Although the White Sox announced Chris Sale as their closer, Sale had a MRI yesterday and was used in the 8th inning in his last appearance, while Reed later recorded the save.
  • Jeff Samardzija - Dropped in many leagues after consecutive poor starts on April 13 and 19, Samardzija is back to dealing with a 3.03 ERA, 2.61 FIP and 3.10 SIERA. Samardzija is succeeding despite not being lucky with balls in play, as he is sporting a .305 BABIP. Wins may be hard to come by on a Cubs team with a poor offense and an even worse bullpen. But, Samardzija is still a good acquisition from skeptical owners.

Sell

  • Brett Myers - Fast start should net a good return from owners that have lost saves in the year of the closer carousel. He's not guaranteed to close if he is traded, and I am skeptical he can keep his walks per nine innings at .84, which is far below his 2.96 career average.
  • Rafael Dolis - Closing for the Cubs despite a 5.03 SIERA, Dolis is more smoke and mirrors than effective stopper, as shown by .63 K/BB ratio and 5.1 swinging strike rate. Dolis' 2.79 ERA is propped up by a lucky .183 BABIP. I expect Dolis to implode sooner rather than later, and the Cubs to turn back to Carlos Marmol to increase his trade value.
  • Kyle Drabek - He's sporting a 3.34 ERA, but a high 5.36 walks per nine inning average show that Drabek is living on the edge. I am hesitant to roster AL East pitchers, particularly ones like Drabek with a 4.53 SIERA and 5.29 FIP.
  • Derek Jeter - Rocking a .388 AVG that is the result of an inflated .413 BABIP. Jeter is unlikely to have rediscovered his power stroke at the age of 37, so I expect his 31.3 home run per flyball percentage to return to the levels of 2011 (7.0%) and 2010 (9.9%).


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