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 Wainwright is headed for season-ending surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles tendon and the first shot at replacing him in the Cardinals' rotation goes to Tim Cooney, a 24-year-old left-hander and former third-round pick. Cooney doesn't have eye-popping minor league numbers -- a 3.50 ERA, 1.248 WHIP, and 7.6 K/9 in 385 1/3 career innings -- but he does have the benefit of joining a very good St. Louis team and with that comes a high probability for wins. Give him a run in deeper mixed leagues. If he pitches well in his debut Thursday afternoon against the Phillies, Cooney could get an extended look in St. Louis. Marco Gonzales is still the best bet to ultimately fill Wainwright's spot, but he's currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.