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.
If you find yourself deep-digging for fantasy closers here in late April, consider adding Astros reliever Raul Valdes. The 36-year-old left-hander earned his second career save Saturday in the Astros' 7-6 win over the A's and was then called upon to record the final out in Sunday's 5-1 victory over Oakland -- a non save opportunity. Astros manager Bo Porter acknowledged recently that he does not have a designated ninth-inning man. Valdes seems to be the flavor of the week.