Fantasy Baseball Diamond Notes: Injuries Woes

by Joe Bond

The injured players are really starting to build up this year and I have no doubt it has taken a toll on your fantasy team. Star players that you drafted to build your team around like Ryan Braun, Evan Longoria, Pablo Sandoval, Adrian Beltre, Kevin Youkilis, Cliff Lee are either banged up or on the DL. Even up and comers like Mat Gamel and Nolan Reimold who you picked up off the waiver wire to give you an added boost to your team have been hit with the injury bug. You can not drop most of the guys I mentioned but you need to find somebody to replace their productivity, that is where I come in.  

Before I get to my list of players who are available in 50%(or at least close to) of ESPN leagues I want to mention some players that aren’t widely available but if they are still available in your league you should go take a real close look to see if you can fit them on your roster: Bryce Harper(OF - Was), Chris Davis(1B/3B - Bal), Brian LaHair(1B/OF - ChC) and Rafael Furcal(SS - Stl), Tim Hudson(SP - Atl).

Gerardo Parra (OF - Ari) - The average is not where you would like it to be but you will gladly take all the other numbers. For the year Parra has scored 15 Runs, hit 11 RBI and what really increases his value is the 8 stolen bases. He is hitting lead off for a pretty good offense in Arizona so I have no doubt that this production can continue.

Jed Lowrie (SS/3B- Hou) - There is always injury concern with Lowrie but there is also no doubting that he is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now.  In the last 7 games he has hit .524 with 2 HRs, 6 Runs and 6 RBI.  Do I think this will continue? Of course not, but I’m sure plenty of you have underachieving short stops on your team right now and would gladly take this kind of production right now in that position.

Carlos Ruiz (C - Phi) - On Tuesday Ruiz hit 7 RBI in one game, yes you read that right. Now of course that has inflated his RBI total on the year a bit, 17 total, but he has been hitting really well all year and is carrying a .329 average with 4 HRs on the year. That makes him one of the top catchers in all of fantasy baseball right now.

Tony Campana (OF - ChC) - If you need speed then this is your guy.  He only cracked the lineup on April 21st, but in that short amount of time he has stolen 8 bases. He is helping in the batting average and runs categories with .344 and 7, and even though the batting average is sure to dip as he gets more at bats you can’t ignore the early success.

Brennan Boesch (OF - Det) - Boesch has gotten off to a really slow start hitting only .230 for the season so far, but he does have a ten-game hit streak right now so things seems to be turning around for him.  Also in those ten games he has 3 HRs, 10 Runs and 7 RBI.  He is in a great spot batting in front of Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera so this should only continue.

Chris Capuano (SP - LAD) - Capuano has been outstanding so far this year going 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP and added 29 strikeouts.  He has shutdown two potent offenses in his last two outings, Braves and Nationals, so to me this is no fluke. It also helps the Dodgers are playing such great baseball right now so he should be in line for a lot more wins this season.

Joe Saunders (SP - Ari) - Saunders ERA and WHIP are even better than Capuano’s at 1.24 and 0.96 but my gut tells me I’d rather have Capuano. But if you miss out on him Saunders is a great consolation prize. He is 2-1 on the year and should be 3-1 if J.J. Putz didn’t blow the save on Wednesday.

David Robertson (RP - NYY) - Well we all know by now that Mariano Rivera is out for the year with a torn ACL, if you didn’t know then now you do. It is not official yet but Robertson appears the most likely to take the mound in save opportunities now.

Steve Chicek (RP - Mia) - Heath Bell has been awful this season and it has already been reported that Ozzie Guillen would not commit to Bell. He quickly shut down those allegations and said that Bell would still be his closer, but if he does not improve soon then Ozzie will have no choice but to make a change. That is where Chicek comes in as he is supposedly the next in line for the job.

Max Scherzer (SP - Det) - Can somebody tell me why a pitcher with a 7.77 ERA and a 2.05 WHIP is still owned? He has been getting crushed this season and none of his starts have looked good, not even the one win he has.  His career ERA is 4.07 so there is some improvement coming, but do you consider that good?  I don’t.

Carl Crawford (OF - Bos) - Crawford has been officially moved to the 60-day DL and there is no real timetable for his return.  If you have a DL spot and have nobody else to fill it with then sure go ahead and put him there, but if not I think its time to cut bait.

Dustin Ackley (2B - Sea) - Ackley has been bad this season batting only .226 with 1HR. The Mariners don’t have anybody else to play so he probably won’t lose playing time but he should not be on your fantasy baseball team if you have any other options.

Daniel Murphy (1B/2B/3B - NYM) - I get that he is valuable to own because of the multiple position eligibility but come on how valuable can that be when he only has 7 Runs and 7 RBI on the year. His batting average is good at .283, but when you don’t have an RBI since April 23rd how much good can he really be doing for you.

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