July 12, 2012

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.

Tyler Colvin, Rockies -- It may be a disappointing season in Colorado, but no one can blame Colvin, whom the Rockies acquired from the Cubs for the low, low price of Ian Stewart. Colvin is on a tear over the last month, which just happens to coincide with when he began getting regular starts. On June 5, his slash line was .265/.283/.451. Heading into the All-Star break, it's up to a cool .305/.335/.626. In that time frame, Colvin has 10 homers and 27 RBI. Given the way he's hitting, the Rockies will continue to find plenty of time for him, be it in the outfield or at first base. He should find a spot on a roster in fantasy leagues of all sizes, as well.

Alexi Amarista, Padres -- On June 18, Amarista's season looked like a lost cause. He was hitting .186/.226/.228 for the last place Padres, and didn't appear to have any serious hope to turn it around. However, he turned it around since then, and went into the All-Star break with a .273/.298/.473 slash line. He has flashed some pop in that time, belting out four homers and driving in 16 runs. And the Padres managed to get out of the cellar, relegating the Rockies to the bottom spot on the NL West totem pole. He started eight of San Diego's nine final games before the break, and appears to have won over manager Bud Black. Middle infield help is hard to find this time of year, but Amarista is readily available in most leagues. Snatch him up if you need a jolt at second or short.

Ryan Doumit, Twins -- Continuing this week's theme of the mid-season turnaround, allow me to present Doumit for your consideration. Back on June 21, Doumit was hitting .253/.313/.405. Since then, he has raised his line to .286/.343/.453. He has locked down a spot in the middle of Minnesota's not-as-bad-as-it-appears lineup, giving him plenty of RBI chances. Doumit has long been a catcher with a decent amount of pop willing to take the occasional walk. Now that he's back on track, he looks like a guy worthy of attention from the catcher-needy among us.

Juan Carlos Oviedo, Marlins -- Oviedo's long journey back to the majors as himself, as opposed to Leo Nunez, comes to its grand conclusion on July 22 when he's reinstated from his eight-week suspension. In the meantime, Heath Bell has done all in his power to lose the confidence of Ozzie Guillen. Over the weekend, Guillen talked about his excitement for Oviedo's return and suggested that he could share the closer's job with Bell, depending on how the latter was pitching. Bell promptly went out and blew a save the next day. The bet here is that Oviedo is closing for Miami before August 1. Go ahead and grab him now.

Pedro Ciriaco, Red Sox -- Ciriaco figures to get the most playing time at second with Dustin Pedroia on the DL with a thumb injury. He hit .301/.318/.406 with four homers and 14 steals in 289 plate appearances at Triple-A Pawtucket this year.

Chris Tillman, Orioles -- Tillman shined in his first start of the year over the weekend, allowing two unearned runs on two hits and two walks in 8.1 innings, striking out seven. He's still just 24, and looked like a different pitcher at Triple-A Norfolk this year, where he went 8-8 with a 3.63 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 92 strikeouts in 89.1 innings.

Ben Sheets, Braves -- Sheets is expected to get the call to the big leagues sometime during the last week of July. This is not the formerly dominant righty we knew in Milwaukee, but he can still be a useful arm for NL-only leaguers. Keep an eye on his promotion and make the move accordingly.

Josh Vitters, Cubs -- With Ian Stewart done for the year and the Cubs sputtering along, it wouldn't be surprising to see Epstein and Co. give Vitters a chance. The Cubs need to find out if he's a piece for the future or if third base remains a question mark, and they need to do it sooner rather than later.

Chat with me on Twitter, @MBeller.

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