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.
The Padres’ $1 million investment in Cuban defector Odrisamer Despaigne back in May understandably didn’t draw much fanfare, but it’s paid off in the early going. Despaigne has allowed just one run over his first 13 2/3 innings for the Padres, picking up wins versus the Giants and Diamondbacks. He’s struck out just three and walked four, as Despaigne gets by on mixing up his variety of offerings rather than pure stuff. The 27-year-old figures to hit a wall at some point, but he’s worth using in deeper formats for now while the league tries to figure him out.