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.
It's time to give Edinson Volquez some love. He was brilliant last year in Game 5 of the World Series, shortly after losing his father at age 63, and he looked like a fully rejuvenated person on Opening Night against the Mets, striking out five batters over six innings of scoreless ball to pick up his first victory of the 2016 season. The veteran right-hander was hitting 97 mph with his sinker throughout the evening after averaging 93.7 mph on that pitch in 2015. Volquez, 32, boasts a 3.25 ERA (117 ERA+) in 399 innings since the beginning of the 2014 season and he looks capable of taking another step forward this year. His average draft position this spring in Yahoo leagues? 232. The guy is still waiting to be plucked in some leagues.