Week 14 is now upon us as interleague play begins to wind down throughout baseball. AL teams will be getting their regular designated hitters back, while the NL teams will have their pitchers hitting again. Here are my Week 14 "Hot" Waiver Wire Pickups:
* Alex Cintron (SS,2B) (BAL)-The Orioles have now tried four shortstops in order to fill the gaping hole on the left side of the infield, and none have worked out the way that Baltimore had planned. Now with three of them out of the way, the O's are turning to veteran Alex Cintron. So far this season, Alex is hitting .268, with one homer (the only one hit by a SS so far this season), five RBI, and three runs scored. Cintron has the potential to hit for a higher average; however, his power numbers will never exceed expectations. Pick him up if you need an injury-replacement or someone to fill in while your starting shortstop has the day off.
* Brian Buscher (3B) (MIN)- Buscher has been a surprise thus far, as he is now taking Mike Lambs' spot at third base for the Twins. Brian is currently hitting .386, with one homer, 14 RBI, and 10 runs scored. Now with the Twins on a hot winning streak, look for the entire offense to be producing more than normal. As of now, if your third baseman or utility player is struggling, start Buscher for a solid hitter for Week 14.
* J.J. Hardy (SS) (MIL)- After Hardy had a solid year last season, the beginning of this campaign was not looking so great. This may have caused many fantasy owners to look for a new shortstop to replace the struggling Hardy. However, J.J. is finally starting to pick the hitting up. He is currently hitting .256, with five homeruns, 24 RBI, 27 runs scored, and a stolen base. Hardy is now a must-start in all fantasy formats, so if you have the opportunity to acquire him, pick him up.
* Adam Lind (TOR)- Earlier this season, Lind had the opportunity to stick with the team; however, his struggles at the plate forced the Blue Jays to demote him back to the minors. Now since being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse, Lind is showing that he deserves to stay in the pros. Though he is only hitting .182, he is finally showing his power. He has two homers, four RBI, and three runs scored. Watch Lind's progress at the plate over the next week.
* Josh Willingham (FLA)- Josh has finally been activated from the DL, something that Florida has been waiting a while for. He is currently hitting .320, with six homers, 17 RBI, 16 runs scored, and two stolen bases. Willingham has great power and good contact, so if someone made the mistake of putting him on waivers, pick him up and start him immediately.
* Randy Winn (SF)- Winn is probably the least known Giants' outfielder; however, he is putting out some of the best numbers. He is currently hitting .302, with five homers, 32 RBI, 42 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases. His high average, runs scored, and number of steals should make him good enough to start in any fantasy outfield.
* Shin-Soo Choo (CLE)- Choo is not yet considered a starting outfielder for the Tribe; however, he is sure giving Franklin Gutierrez a run-for-his-money in right field. Choo is currently hitting .271, with to homers, 14 RBI, and 13 runs scored in only 23 games. The young outfielder is looking to get more starts over the next week, so pick him up and watch his progress to determine if you should start him.
* Sean Marshall (CHC)- With Carlos Zambrano now on the 15-day DL, Marshall has been called up from the minors to fill in his place. In his first start since returning from the minors, Sean lasted only 4 2/3 against Baltimore, giving up seven hits and four runs resulting in a Cubs' loss. Monitor Marshall's progress over the next week to see how well he bounces back in his next start.
* Daryl Thompson (CIN)- Thompson was impressive in his major-league debut, working 5 innings against the New York Yankees. He allowed four hits, zero runs, four walks, and had two strikeouts. For now, Daryl is looking to be another stellar young pitcher to the already very talented Reds' rotation. Thompson has potential, so we'll have to see how well he does in his next start. For now, pick him up in case you need a spot starter or injury replacement. He should make a nice fill-in for now, and later he may be one of the better pitchers on your staff.
* Brandon Morrow (SEA)- With J.J. Putz now on the DL, youngster Brandon Morrow will get the opportunity to close out games for the M's. So far this season, Brandon is 0-1, with a 0.86 ERA and 30 strikeouts. He has only recorded two saves so far this year, yet that should increase with every opportunity. The only downside to Morrow is the team he pitches for. The main question is: Will the Mariners be able to get into enough save opportunities? I guess we'll just have to wait and find out.
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