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.
Adam Ottavino inherited the closer role from LaTroy Hawkins just two weeks ago, but he was placed on the disabled list Monday with right triceps inflammation. It's too bad, as he has been excellent so far this season, but the injury opens the door for John Axford to get the majority of the save chances. The 32-year-old has enjoyed success as a closer in the past and has thrown five scoreless innings so far this season while going 3-for-3 in save opportunities. Pitching in Coors Field is dangerous and Axford has had his issues with the home run ball over the past two seasons, but he should be owned in all formats as long as the opportunity is there.