There are always guys that you can grab for some extra speed if you need it, and this week we’ll look at a few more players who are not widely owned but who may be able to contribute some steals to your lineup. After batting .000 last week with my picks of Michael Saunders and Aaron Hicks, we’ll dig a little deeper in the waiver wire pile for some speed. Hicks can’t seem to hit the broad side of a barn, and Saunders, who was off to a great start, decided to play chicken with the right field wall and is now sidelined for about a month. Let’s take a look at this week’s speedsters and let’s hope for some better luck…
Alexi Casilla, 2B, BAL - The Orioles are actually running a fair amount so far this year and with the Brian Roberts injury there is a clearer path to more playing time for Casilla. His batting average isn’t going to get you all excited, but he has averaged 20+ steals in his career and he’s a super cheap source of speed at the middle infield position.
Craig Gentry, OF, TEX - Gentry stole 13 bags in 269 PA in 2012 and averaged 40+ SB per 162 games in the minors. He is starting the year in a platoon with Leonys Martin, but he’s gotten off to a better start than Martin and he could be a sneaky contributor in steals should he see consistent playing time. It’s also worth noting that the Rangers match up against the Cubs this week, who have up to this point allowed the most SB in the majors. Texas then goes on to play the Mariners, who are also in the top ten for SB allowed.
Justin Ruggiano, OF, MIA – Ruggiano’s current ownership (~20%) is a lot higher than both Casilla’s and Gentry’s, but he is still somebody that may be available in your league. He already has a handful of steals this season and while there isn’t much to love about the Marlins, he should be able to contribute a 20HR, 20SB season a la the previously mentioned Michael Saunders. If you are thinking about adding him for this week only, however, keep in mind that the Marlins will see the Reds later this week and Cueto & Co. are one of the best teams in baseball at controlling the running game.
One of the things that I enjoy about Razzball is the fact that the folks who comment on articles know their stuff. Something I took from last week’s comments was that it would be helpful to take a look at how pitchers fared last season in terms of SB allowed to go along with the catcher data. I always aim to please so here is that info:
|2012 SB Allowed (Min. 150 IP)|
|Red Light||Green Light|
|Harrison, 1||Burnett, 38|
|Cueto, 1||Jimenez, 32|
|Colon, 1||Hanson, 31|
|Wainwright, 2||Bumgarner, 27|
|Fister, 2||J. Johnson, 27|
|Alvarez, 2||Lincecum, 25|
|Hudson, 2||Masterson, 25|
|Westbrook, 3||A. Sanchez, 23|
|Detwiler, 3||Hamels, 23|
|Miley, 3||Darvish, 23|
Notes: A.J. Burnett continues to allow a mess of stolen bases, with 4 bags swiped on his watch already this year. Razzball commenter Wallpaper Paterson noted last week that Matt Harvey is awfully good at slowing down the opponent’s running game. He doesn’t appear on this list as he did not meet the innings requirement, but it’s worth noting that has allowed only 1 SB in just under 75 IP in the majors (not that you needed another reason to like him).