Posted: Thursday May 3, 2012 8:30AM ; Updated: Thursday May 3, 2012 2:40PM

Fantasy baseball waiver wire

Story Highlights

Cubs will keep hot-hitting Bryan LaHair in lineup even if Anthony Rizzo called up

Tommy Milone has been effective in limiting walks even without many strikeouts

Dodgers' little-used catcher A.J. Ellis has produced a fantasy-friendly .446 OBP

By Michael Beller, Special to SI.com

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With six homers and 15 RBI in his first 21 games this season, Bryan LaHair has earned an everyday spot in the Cubs lineup.
With six homers and 15 RBI in his first 21 games this season, Bryan LaHair has earned an everyday spot in the Cubs lineup.
AP

The Waiver Wire is here to offer up the choicest cuts of waiver wire goodness, paying attention to mixed, as well as AL- and NL-only leagues. Every league is different, and some players listed here may not be available if you play in a deep mixed league. However, we'll try to address everyone's needs, whether the depth of your league resembles a kiddie pool or the Atlantic Ocean.

Bryan LaHair, Cubs -- I'm a little disappointed in myself for not recommending LaHair sooner, given the fact that I'm a Cubs fan and all. Still, I was able to scoop up LaHair in my 16-team mixed league over the weekend, and if you can do the same, even in a shallower league, I suggest you do so. Through May 1, LaHair was hitting .390/.471/.780 with five homers, eight doubles and 14 RBI. He's currently sitting on a ridiculous .600 BABIP, but he's also hitting line drives at a 25.7-percent rate, so he's earning his numbers. Even when the Cubs call up the hot-hitting Anthony Rizzo from Triple-A Iowa, LaHair can move to one of the corner outfield spots. One thing's for sure. Manager Dale Sveum isn't taking LaHair's bat out of the lineup.

Pedro Alvarez, Pirates -- Is it time for the post-hype sleeper to strike in Pittsburgh? It certainly looks that way. After another slow start, Alvarez has turned it on recently, posting five multi-hit games in his last nine starts. Over that stretch, he has three homers, four doubles and seven RBI. Evan Longoria owners looking for some help the next few months, Ryan Zimmerman owners looking for some help this week, or others frustrated with their production at the hot corner might want to throw a look in Alvarez' direction.

Tommy Milone, A's -- A few weeks ago, I tweeted the following: "Adventures in Over-Managing: Ned Yost giving Alex Gordon and Moustakas night off against someone named Tom Milone because Milone is a lefty."

Milone shut me up that night, pitching eight shutout innings, allowing just three hits and three walks. Since then, he has had a dominant outing against the White Sox, and a solid performance against the Angels, while getting roughed up by the Mariners and Red Sox. Still, Milone, while he doesn't miss a ton of bats, makes a good add in deeper mixed leagues. He doesn't walk anyone which helps mitigate his lack of strikeouts. With the spacious confines in Oakland, he could end up being a guy whose good and bad outings are easy to predict, making him even more attractive to a discerning owner.

Ross Detwiler, Nationals -- The Nationals pitching staff has been the talk of the league after one month, and it's not just the likes of Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann grabbing the headlines. Detwiler, the No. 5 starter in Washington, has a gleaming 1.64 ERA and 1.00 WHIP to go along with 19 strikeouts in 22 innings. His .233 BABIP probably isn't sustainable, but he has an average strand rate (72.9 percent), and two-thirds of all balls batters have put in play against him have been on the ground, helping to explain the low BABIP. With ground-ball and strikeout rates this high, Detwiler makes a great addition in nearly every fantasy format.

A.J. Ellis, Dodgers -- Time for our weekly meeting of Catchers Anonymous, where owners frustrated with a complete lack of production from their catchers look for a new option. Allow me to present Ellis, an on-base machine for the Dodgers. Yeah, he's 31-years old and has just 265 major league at-bats, but he's always had a great eye at the plate, and has ridden his 15 walks this year to a .446 OBP thus far. He also has a pair of homers, four doubles and 10 RBI, so he'll contribute to other categories, as well. Additionally, with Dee Gordon struggling to get on base, manager Don Mattingly could put Ellis, his best on-base guy, at the top of the order.

NL-only

Allen Craig, Cardinals -- Craig returned to St. Louis' lineup Tuesday, going 2-for-4 with two singles. Remember, he hit .315/.362/.555 in 219 at-bats last season with 11 homers and five steals.

Cody Ransom, Diamondbacks -- Ransom has seen an uptick in playing time with Ryan Roberts struggling. He hasn't done a ton with the opportunity, but Roberts isn't giving manager Kirk Gibson any reason to play him. Ransom is worth a flier.

AL-only

Brad Eldred, Tigers -- Eldred's getting another shot, this time with the Tigers after tearing it up with Triple-A Toledo to the tune of a .388/.444/1.013 slash with 13 homers. He'll slot in as the team's starting DH.

Alex Liddi, Mariners -- Liddi appears to have secured a daily starting job at one of the corner spots in Seattle, starting six of the last seven games. He's got a pair of homers and three RBI in that stretch.

Chat with me on Twitter, @MBeller.

 
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