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.
Mariners left-hander James Paxton was brilliant in his 2014 debut on Wednesday night against a good Angels lineup, yielding just two hits and striking out nine batters over seven scoreless innings as Seattle got the win. He now owns a 1.16 ERA, 0.839 WHIP, and 30/9 K/BB over his first 31 major league innings yet is owned in just 22 percent of Yahoo leagues. With a power fastball and big, sweeping curve, the 25-year-old southpaw could have staying power in the M's rotation even when Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker return to full health. Grab him before someone else does. He'll take on the A's in pitcher-friendly Oakland next time out.