Archive for May, 2011

Third Base!

(Bob Cole voice) “What’s going on here?!?”  Well, it’s as if major league baseball is a mad scientist toying with its third-basemen.  It started with the Zimmerman-Who-Can’t – surgery to repair a torn abdominal will have him out about six weeks.  A Wounded Panda soon followed – Pablo Sandoval fractured his hamate bone.  He’s targeting a mid-June return.  Next was the Deep Freese – Cardinal David broke his hand.   He’ll be on the shelf for 9 to 12 weeks.  Toss in nicks to Jose Bautista (neck stiffness) and Pedro Alvarez (tight quad) and more fantasy owners than not are stuck with a third-base crisis on their hands.  While the options are too slim to bother finding a plug-in for Bautista or Alvarez – they’re not expected to miss many games – owners who were enjoying production from Zimmerman and Sandoval are left looking for a long-term replacement.

Jonathan Herrera – 2B, 3B

- His average won’t stay at .311 but it shouldn’t get worse than .280.  Herrera should cross home plate plenty as long as he sticks in the 2-hole in a potent Rockies lineup.

Jamey Carroll – 2B, 3B, SS, OF

- Another guy who’s strictly runs and average, but tough to ignore a guy getting leadoff looks for the Dodgers.

Jeff Baker – 1B, 2B, 3B

- Carlos Pena’s struggles are resulting in more at-bats for Baker, especially against left-handed pitching.  He’s slotted 5th in the order to face Ted Lilly as I type this afternoon, and should make a for a good stop-gap with a few bonus RBI (the guy’s hitting .480 off lefties this season coming into Wednesday’s action).  The best thing about Baker is he’ll probably still be there once you’ve kicked the tires on the two guys above.

Wilson Betemit – 3B

- Who’s a guy who shouldn’t kill your average over the next month, has a little bit of pop, and should get plenty of RBI opportunities batting 6th in the Royals’ order?  Just like my buddy sings in his best Eddie Vedder voice “That’s Wilson Betemit”.  While you’re sure to find better men in shallow leagues, deep-leaguers may find themselves counting on Betemit.  His nearly-regular at-bats may only last another month though, as Kansas City will likely have some prospects arriving around June 1.

Mike Moustakas – 3B

- Speaking of Royals’ prospects, these 3rd-base injuries have given me an excuse to check in on baseball’s 7th-best prospect at AAA Omaha.  His .226 average with 4 home runs in 93 at-bats makes you wonder if an actual moose has been sent to the dish in his place at times, but I’m looking past this year’s minor league numbers to the 15 homers and .293 average that Moustakas managed in just 225 at-bats in 2010.  Stash him on your bench by mid-May if you have the space.

For those wondering, I would rank each of the options above about the same.  For those worried about missing out on Mike Aviles or Chone Figgins, don’t lose much sleep over it, Herrera is the same guy minus a few steals.  For those expecting to see an Ian Stewart or Brett Lawrie endorsement, you’ve come to the wrong place.  Neither will perform well enough in one category to make up for their shortcomings in others.  For those looking for me to stop starting sentences with ‘For those’, the blog’s almost done so that’ll occur soon.  For those looking for other options, perhaps we can find you a buy-low candidate to solve your 3rd-base problem.  We won’t get into that today…maybe on this Sunday’s show…

Fantasybiotics will appear whenever a relevant (as defined by the author) professional baseball player incurs a serious injury.  For more fantasy expertise (as defined by the author) subscribe to The Fantasy Show blog and tune in to The Fantasy Show every weekend on Sportsnet Radio THE FAN590.

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