Week 12 is here, and Interleague play is starting up once again. This week, many NL batters will get the opportunity to DH in the American League stadiums. This gives many hitters the chance to gain some fantasy value while they play. Here are my Week 12 "Hot" Waiver Wire Pickups:
* Ramon Vazquez (3B,SS) (TEX)- Playing as a backup for most of his career, Vazquez finally got the opportunity to start at third base for the Rangers once Hank Blalock went down with a wrist injury weeks ago. Since then, Ramon has been a third baseman that has gone unnoticed in most fantasy leagues. He is currently hitting .333, with three homers, 16 RBI, and 24 runs scored. Vazquez has been filling in nicely for Blalock, and he is now worthy to be picked up on any fantasy team. If he is still available, grab him and use him as an injury reserve or backup. You never know when you might need him.
* Wes Helms (3B, 1B) (FLA) - Helms in not normally the starter for the hot-hitting Marlins; however, with two road series against American League opponents, he seems like a likely candidate to be a DH for the team. Helms is hitting.239, with three homers, 17 RBI, and 15 runs scored. Wes might make a nice pickup for the next week, especially since he should receive twice as many at-bats than usual.
* Mike Fontenot (2B) (CHC)- With Alfonso Soriano going down with a hand injury, the Cubs normal everyday second baseman Mark DeRosa will be moving all around the field. This gives Fontenot the perfect opportunity to play everyday. The former LSU Tiger should aid the Cubs' lineup, as he is currently hitting .239, with two homers, 12 RBI, 16 runs scored, and two stolen bases. If he hits well while he is starting, he may threaten DeRosa for his starting job. For now, Fontenot can be used as an injury-reserve or bench player.
* Edgar Gonzalez (2B) (SD) - Now with Tadahito Iguchi out with an injury, Gonzalez has been given the opportunity to start for the Padres. In 24 games, he is hitting .296, with one homerun, five RBI and four runs scored. As long as Iguchi is out, Gonzalez should get regular at-bats. Watch his progress over the next week.
* Eric Patterson (CHC) - Just recalled from Triple-A Iowa, Patterson has been given the opportunity to start in left field for the injured Soriano. Soriano was classified as a second baseman; however, the Cubs plan to use him in both the outfield and the infield. Eric's bat has been compared to his brother Corey's, and he is just as quick. Monitor his progress as well, for he may be a star someday in the Cubs' outfield.
* Brad Wilkerson (SEA) - Now with Shannon Stewart hurt, the Jays have no starting left fielder. This gives both Kevin Mench and Brad Wilkerson the chance to compete for the spot. Wilkerson is currently hitting .239, with three homers, 19 RBI, three stolen bases, and 14 runs scored. Wilkerson is clearly the better hitter out of the two, so look for him to get more starts, and with that, more at-bats
* Marlon Byrd (TEX) - Finally, Byrd is beginning to heat up in that hot Rangers' offense. Marlon is currently hitting .286, with two homers, 11 RBI, 14 runs scored, and a stolen base. Byrd is getting the chance to start everyday, and he is finally starting to produce. Look for his numbers to steadily increase as he gets more at-bats, making him a nice fantasy pickup for Week 12.
* Eric Hurley (TEX) - The 22-year-old made his major league debut Thursday, against the Royals. He went six innings, giving up four runs on six hits and striking out three. Now, I know what some of you are saying, "He did it against the Royals, one of the worst offenses in the league." Yes, I know he gave up four earned runs, but he looked good in his debut, and I expect him to get better every time he steps on the mound. See how he does in his next start before you make a final decision.
* Mitchell Boggs (STL) -Another youngster making him MLB debut, Boggs went seven innings, allowing four hits, two ER, and walking three. He picked up his first career victory, and should get plenty more opportunities with the many injuries to the Cardinals' staff. Boggs could be a sleeper, so picking him up early may be a steal. Keep him on your bench until you know that he has officially established himself as a pro starter.
* Jonathan Sanchez (SF) - Sanchez has been pitching well as of late, picking up four consecutive victories for the Giants. That puts him at 5-3, with a 3.70 ERA and 75 strikeouts. As long as he continues to pitch well, he can make a nice pickup for Week 12. He has been a surprise thus far, and he should be starting on any fantasy squad.
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