This article was originally published at fantasypros911.com.
Week 12 is now upon us, as the All-Star game voting is heating up and fans begin deciding who will represent the teams in St. Louis. Many people like to refer to the special occasion as a “popularity contest,” as only the top-named players in baseball make the trip each year. Here on the waiver wire, though, we like to give some of the lesser-named men some notoriety. As always, each player’s availability at ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, and CBS Sports is displayed. So here is the Week 12 Waiver Wire.
Ryan Hanigan, C, CIN (ESPN- 0.5 percent owned) (Yahoo! Sports- 1 percent owned) (CBS Sports- 6 percent owned)
It is amazing how one injury can affect a team. In the Cincinnati Reds’ case, the entire situation stems from Joey Votto, the team’s starting first baseman. The youngster was placed on the 15-day disabled list with “personal issues,” and his return is unknown. This leaves a gaping hole on the right side of the infield, and manager Dusty Baker needs to find a way to fill it. So what is his solution? Stick the former starting catcher, Ramon Hernandez, over at first on occasion, leaving home plate currently unmanned. Here is where Hanigan comes in. Hanigan is now logging several more innings behind the plate, and his production continues to be impressive.
He is currently hitting .303 with a HR, eight RBIs, and 14 runs scored in 37 games for the Reds. ] As his playing time grows, so will his numbers. The real question for fantasy owners is this: What will happen to his value after Votto returns? One would automatically assume Hanigan out as the everyday catcher; however, I beg to differ. Comparing the offensive productions of both players, Hernandez hits for a lesser average (.244) with only four more HRs and 18 more RBIs than Hanigan. So what does this mean? If the 28-year old backstop can continue to perform at a high rate, Hernandez’ job may be in jeopardy. I suggest grabbing Hanigan as a bench catcher/injury replacement in mixed leagues, while he may make a solid starting option in deeper NL-only formats. Hopefully, Hanigan will be seeing plenty more playing time in the near future.
To read the entire waiver wire, click here.