StrategyApril 17, 2012

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Wide World of Waivers: LaHair Baller

By R.J. White

It’s time for the next installment of our weekly Waivers article. Here’s how this is going to work. We’re going to review last week’s pick at each position and find another option sitting on the wire at each position. If both qualify for a waiver pickup (in this case, being owned in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues or less), we’ll declare a winner for our waiver team. If only the new player qualifies, he’ll be designated the winner by default. Confused? Good.

First Base

W2Adam LaRocheWAS9/29.310008045
W2Bryan LaHairCHC6/18.333225029

LaHair has been labeled a Quad-A player by some, and a placeholder for Anthony Rizzo by others. Meanwhile, he’s posted a .348/.423/.696 line in 23 at-bats this year, showing the Cubs (and Mariners, the club that drafted him) that maybe his awesome Triple-A numbers weren’t a mirage. Is he going to hit .331 with 38 HRs like he did in Triple-A last year? Probably not, but this 1B/OF eligible player certainly has earned a spot on fantasy rosters at this point. LaRoche is picking up hits but hasn’t homered since doing so twice in the first series of the year.

1B of the Week: Bryan LaHair, CHC

Second Base

W2Jose AltuveHOU9/27.333203122
W2Robert AndinoBAL7/24.292213017

Andino is the Baltimore starting second baseman until Brian Roberts gets healthy, so he’s the Baltimore starting second baseman until they find an upgrade. Hitting .306 this season, Andino is also eligible at 3B and SS, improving his fantasy stock just a bit. However, despite a solid start to the season, there just isn’t a whole lot here. He sports an 11/2 K/BB ratio, and his sky-high BABIP is due for a correction. If Altuve is still out there, I’d go with him. He has nice speed upside and is now hitting .351 after singling and doubling Monday.

2B of the Week: Jose Altuve, HOU


W2Ruben TejadaNYM6/23.261201011
W2Alex GonzalezMIL5/18.27832506

Alex Gonzalez has missed the last few days while on paternity leave, but he had been pretty hot prior to his departure, going 6-for-21 with two HRs and six RBIs. With Gonzalez, you’ll have to sacrifice average for power, but shortstops that can hit 15 HRs aren’t exactly abundant in fantasy baseball. For a MI slot, why not? I’ll certainly take him over Tejada, who isn’t providing power or speed. You essentially need him to average a hit per day to be worth using.

SS of the Week: Alex Gonzalez, MIL

Third Base

W2Chase HeadleySD6/20.300313034
W2Chris DavisBAL8/20.40011307

Chris Davis was tabbed as a post-hype sleeper by us in the preseason, and he has four multi-hit games in his last six appearances. If he stays hot, he’s due to rise in the lineup, especially if some of his doubles (he has four this year) start clearing the fence. Headley is just out of our eligibility range, but I’d roll with the power upside of Davis anyway if I was choosing between the two. His 10th inning double last night gave the Orioles a 5-4 lead and boosted his average to .387 this season.

3B of the Week: Chris Davis, BAL


W2A.J. EllisLAD2/14.14320103
W2Chris IannettaLAA6/17.353527029

We dug deep to help owners in two-catcher leagues last week, and Ellis rewarded us with a two-hit Week 2 performance. So let’s do the sensible thing and look for a nice catcher available in one-C formats. Iannetta went to New York this weekend and hit homers in back-to-back games, unsurprising since he’s always been a nice power option at the catcher position. But he’s also getting on base at a nice clip while hitting for average early in the year. Owners in two-C leagues should be looking at Josh Thole, who has an incredible 1/6 K/BB ratio.

C of the Week: Chris Iannetta, LAA


W2Eric ThamesTOR4/13.30830105
W2Nolan ReimoldBAL8/22.364423115
W2Luke ScottTB3/9.33322507

We’re doubling our OF picks this week, as most league formats require you play more outfielders than any other position. Reimold has homered in three straight games, even though he didn’t start last night against the White Sox. He’s also in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak and batting .353 on the season. Scott has been limited with a hamstring injury, but he started at DH in each of the Rays’ last three games, hitting two HRs in those games and batting cleanup on Monday. He hit .284 with 28 HRs in 131 games in 2010, his last full season. Don’t sleep on a repeat.

OFs of the Week: Nolan Reimold, BAL and Luke Scott, TB

Starting Pitcher

W2Jeff SamardzijaCHC5.019.002.201537
W2Danny DuffyKC6.010.000.834811
W2Gavin FloydCHW6.010.001.003628

Duffy’s first start went pretty well, as he allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings. It wasn’t without flaws though, as he managed to walk four batters. He was much better Monday despite allowing three runs, as he struck out seven batters in 6.2 innings while walking just one. That gives him 15 Ks in 12.2 innings, which is understandable when you sit at 97 to 99 MPH with your fastball while occasionally touching 100. A boatload more Ks could be on the way. Floyd finished last year with a 1.16 WHIP and has posted a 1.11 WHIP through two starts this year. With 151 Ks in each of the last two years, Floyd should be owned in more leagues. I’m still holding on to Samardzija or buying wherever I can get him, though he’s not eligible here anymore.

SPs of the Week: Danny Duffy, KC and Gavin Floyd, CHW

Relief Pitcher

W2Henry RodriguezWAS3.100.000.902432
W2Santiago CasillaSF1.200.000.600132

Rodriguez picked up his second save of the season on Monday, making him 2-for-2 this year in conversions. Teammate Brad Lidge is 1-for-2, and the veteran clearly can’t afford another hiccup in his next save chance. Owners may want to preemptively add Rodriguez and hope he’s named the full closer soon. Casilla recorded five outs in the eighth and ninth innings of his only appearance last week, though that did come after Brian Wilson was lost for the year. Casilla is in the mix for saves with Sergio Romo, making he and Rodriguez the only two guys available in two-thirds of Yahoo leagues that are expected to get at least some short-term work as a closer. I still give the nod to Rodriguez.

RP of the Week: Henry Rodriguez, WAS

R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and has previously written for FanHouse and Razzball. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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