Waiver Wire: First Impressions

Russel Martin
in their baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Tuesday, April 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Russel Martin
in their baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Tuesday, April 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The first weekend of baseball speaks volumes towards the old, tired adage, “You never get a second chance at a first impression.”

By nature, fantasy baseball owners are mostly fickle beasts. Haphazardly, if players you expected to do well stumble out of the gate, panic sets in and itchy trigger fingers may lead you to sell your player up the river based on the opening weekend. Exercising a decent amount of patience is a virtue not only in life; patience could save your team from over management.

However, plucking players from the wire that made strong opening weekend statements could net huge profits. Dropping core players is never recommended but tweaking interchangeable parts on both offense and pitching could provide your team with an early advantage.

Here’s a list of readily available players that could help your team burst out of the gates this season.

Percentage of players available taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues

Zach Britton (BAL-SP): 12 percent owned

The Orioles recalled prized left-hander Zach Britton to replace another young up and coming lefty, Brian Matusz. Matusz is expected to miss three to six weeks with a strained muscle in his back. Britton is expected to shoulder some of the starts missed by Matusz and his debut was nothing short of spectacular. The hard throwing left-hander tossed six innings of one run baseball while striking out six and walking three. Britton features a hard sinker, slider and changeup and could net some quality starts as the league gets their first glimpse of the O’s prospect. With Britton, the Orioles young rotation of Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz offers O’s fans a glimmer of hope for the future of Baltimore baseball.

Russell Martin (NYY-C):  43 percent owned

The sexy catcher pickup of the weekend may well be J.P. Arencibia of the Blue Jays after his two homer performance on Opening Day but for the long haul, Russell Martin might be the safer play. Martin certainly started to earn his pinstripes this weekend by going 5 for 11 with a home-run, stolen base, three RBIs and five runs scored. Nestled safely in one of baseball’s best offenses, Martin could benefit from the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. The former All-Star catcher could be a good source of runs with plenty of opportunities to hit with runners on base. The former all-star catcher is owned in less than half of Yahoo! leagues.

José López (COL-3B): 10 percent owned

Owners looking for some free power at a shallow corner position should look no further than Colorado’s, Jose Lopez. Lopez moves from the hitter’s purgatory that is Safeco Field to hitter’s paradise in Coors Field. Lopez was slated to hit fifth in the lineup before the Rockies-Diamondbacks game was snowed out. With 35 homers combined over the last two seasons and a minimal ownership tag, Lopez is a nice play in deeper formats for owners looking for a power boost.