Welcome to Pickup of the Day, where every weekday we'll pick an under-the-radar player whose immediate value is on the rise. The idea here is to identify a starter who can give you some solid innings off the scrap heap, a talented backup who's been given a chance because of a starter's injury, an unheralded regular with a favorable matchup, or a potential breakout player who's starting to put it together. Unlike regular waiver-wire advice, Pickup of the Day is geared more towards interim success, but hopefully we'll have the intuition to help you snag a waiver-wire gem a few times this season.
Zack Wheeler’s command has understandably been shaky in his return from Tommy John surgery, but there’s plenty to be encouraged about as well. In addition to striking out 40 batters in 43 1/3 innings overall, he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five out of his last six starts. He’s been flirting with danger during that time, so there’s some risk involved with trusting him from start-to-start, but he carries appeal for his upcoming assignment against the Pirates this Friday at PNC Park. Only three teams have scored fewer runs than Pittsburgh this season.