Fantasy Baseball: Kung Fu Panda Latest Top 3B to Get Hurt
Fantasy Baseball: On May 3, Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval went on the DL with a fractured hamate bone. It was the third straight day a top third baseman ended up on the DL. On May 2, Boston’s Kevin Youkilis went on the DL with a back injury. On May 1, Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria went on the DL with a partially torn hamstring.
With all of these third basemen injured at the same time, and joining yet another top third baseman, Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman, already on the DL with shoulder inflammation (but expected back in a few days) it figures to be a scramble to find replacements. Here are some possibilities who are available in at least 60% of Yahoo! leagues.
Chipper Jones (37% owned in Yahoo!) turned 40 in April. He had knee surgery in March, and though he returned in late April, still needs frequent time off. Yet when he does play, in 13 starts Jones has 4 HR and 14 RBI while hitting .273. On May 2, Jones not only played all 11 innings of a game against the Phillies, but hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th to win it for the Braves. Jones has an OPS of .837. In his 19-year career, Jones has never had an OPS below .800.
Pedro Alvarez (36%) hit .270 with 13 HR and 53 RBI after the All-Star break in his rookie year of 2010. Alvarez, the second overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft*, seemed headed for stardom. But the luster wore off in 2011, when he hit just .191 with 4 HR in 235 AB. Alvarez started 2012 going 2-for-30, but then heated up. On May 3, Alvarez hit his seventh homer to raise his BA to .257, though he has 24 K in 70 AB. (The player picked third in 2008, right behind Alvarez, was Eric Hosmer, and Buster Posey went fifth. The top pick, Tim Beckham, was suspended 50 games on May 1 for violating minor league drug policy.)
Oft-injured Jed Lowrie (34%) missed the first few games of the season with a thumb injury, but since returning has gotten off to a fast start with the Astros, batting .329 with a .927 OPS. Lowrie is only playing shortstop this season, but still has 3B eligibility from last year, when he filled in for Youkilis while a member of the Red Sox. Boston traded Lowrie to Houston along with Kyle Weiland for Mark Melancon. Weiland just underwent shoulder surgery and Melancon was sent to the minors after starting the season with an ERA of 49.50.
Ty Wigginton (20%) has a career 162-game average of 21 HR and 75 RBI. As recently as 2010, he went 22-76 for Baltimore. Wigginton hit .322 with an .853 OPS in April, but has gotten off to a slower start in May. He has usually batted fifth or sixth for the Phillies this year. Wigginton also has eligibility at 1B and OF.
Will Middlebrooks (13%) was hitting .333 with 9 HR and a 1.057 OPS at Pawtucket when the Red Sox called him up to fill in for Youkilis. Middlebrooks is one of the Red Sox’ top prospects, so he could be worth a speculative add if he flourishes in place of the injury-prone Youkilis.
Photo by SD Dirk.
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