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.
We’re all aware of the health issues Travis Hafner has had over the last few years. He’s played in more than 100 games just once since 2008. However, when he’s on the field, “Pronk” usually hits, as his OPS hasn’t been lower than .811 in any season where he’s accumulated at least 90 games played. He’s healthy right now for the Yankees, and his bat is scorching, as he’s put up a .342/.444/.711 batting line with four homers and eight RBI over 45 plate appearances. A trip or two to the DL is coming eventually, and Hafner can only be started in your UTIL spot, but feel free to use him while you can.