Eric Chavez would look sharp on your roster.
Another week scrambling for injury replacements is upon us. Curtis Granderson’s return was short-lived as he’s now looking at another four-to-six weeks on the DL with a broken finger. Jim Henderson and Shane Victorino have both found their way to the DL with hamstring issues. Jaime Garcia is lost for the season with a torn labrum, throwing the Cards’ rotation into disarray. Meanwhile in Philadelphia, both Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz have landed on the DL.
This week we’ll take a look at some under-the-radar types that might help to combat those injury blues.
Jason Castro, C, Houston Astros (CBS: 21 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): Castro’s two-homer outing Saturday against the A’s gives him a half dozen jacks for the season to go along with 15 RBI and a serviceable .265 BA. We’re finally seeing him enjoy some health and given that he’s the principle catcher in Houston he should be owned in all two-catcher leagues — if for no other reason than his power potential.
Francisco Rodriguez, RP, Milwaukee Brewers (CBS: 18 per cent owned, ESPN: 26 per cent): Henderson has been placed on the 15-day with a strained hammy, leaving a bullpen-by-committee approach in Milwaukee which means former closer John Axford should also be in the mix. Rodriguez got the first opportunity and closed out the same game that Henderson got hurt in, for K-Rod’s first save of the season. We’re betting that they give Rodriguez the bulk of the opportunities during Henderson’s absence, but nothing can be ruled out at this time.
Eric Chavez, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks (CBS: 28 per cent owned, ESPN: 48 per cent): We keep looking at Chavez’s numbers and shaking our head, but you simply can no longer afford to be passing up his production. Who would have ever predicted that nearly two months into the season Chavez would have six bombs with 22 RBI and a spectacular .336 BA? His playing time will eventually take a hit with the return of some of the walking wounded but for now he simply has to be rostered and active in all formats.
J.D. Martinez, OF, Houston Astros (CBS: 8 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): The on-again/off-again relationship with Houston and Martinez is in the on-again phase. He was one of our favourite sleepers heading into 2012 and after a great start, he struggled badly in the second half. Last week, Martinez went deep in back-to-back games and at this point, he should be owned in deep leagues and monitored closely in standard mixed leagues.
John Lackey, SP, Boston Red Sox (CBS: 40 per cent owned, ESPN: 15 per cent): Very quietly, Lackey has been delivering the goods this year in Boston. His last two starts have been gems as he shut down both Minnesota and Cleveland. In 39 2/3 IP, Lackey has allowed 34 hits with 11 free passes, while surprisingly racking up 40 strikeouts on his way to a great 2.72 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. It seems Lackey is finally going to start delivering on that huge deal he signed back in 2009.
John Danks, SP, Chicago White Sox (CBS: 19 per cent owned, ESPN: 7 per cent): Danks made his 2013 debut Friday and it was a solid return. He pitched six innings against the Marlins (let’s keep things in perspective) allowing four hits and three earned runs while striking out five — a typical pre-injury start. Danks’ velocity was still a bit off but being this was his first big league start in over a year it has to breed optimism that a return to his pre-surgery form is a possibility.
Tim Stauffer, SP, San Diego Padres (CBS: 1 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): Stauffer’s solid 5 2/3 IP mopping up for an ineffective Burch Smith Wednesday should be enough to at least give him consideration for a spot in the Padres rotation.
Jose Iglesias, SS/3B, Boston Red Sox (CBS: 5 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): Will Middlebrooks landed on the 15-day DL with lower back spasms and Boston has called up Iglesias to help fill in the gap. The at-bats might be thin as Pedro Ciriaco will also be in the mix, but Iglesias is worthy of a look in deeper AL-only formats.
Robert Coello, RP, Los Angeles Angels (CBS: 2 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): Ryan Madson has experienced another setback in his rehab and Ernesto Frieri is, well, Ernesto Frieri. Coello is off to a great start and cleaned up a Frieri mess last week in earning his first career save. Coello is worth a gamble in all formats for those looking for speculative saves.
Steve Delabar, RP, Toronto Blue Jays (CBS: 3 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): Casey Janssen is in no danger of losing his job, but with Sergio Santos on the shelf indefinitely, Delabar is now the No. 2 man in the Jays pen.
Josh Phegley, C, Chicago White Sox (CBS: 1 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): How much longer do the Sox roll out Tyler Flowers and Hector Gimenez? Phegley has bashed 10 homers in 137 at-bats at Triple-A Charlotte.
Logan Morrison, 1B, Miami Marlins (CBS: 22 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent owned): Morrison’s rehab has now moved to Double-A Jacksonville putting him on schedule to return to the Fish in early-June. NL-only owners should make a move now.
D.J. LeMahieu, 2B, Colorado Rockies (CBS: 16 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): The Rox finally ran out of patience with Josh Rutledge and sent him packing to Colorado Springs. Solid on-base skills and a smattering of stolen bases make LeMahieu a worthy investment in deeper formats.
Zack Wheeler, SP, New York Mets (CBS: 58 per cent owned, ESPN: 3 per cent): If Wheeler is available, find a home on your bench as his arrival date in New York is drawing near.
Steve Lombardozzi, 2B, Washington Nationals (CBS: 2 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): Danny Espinosa is dealing with a bone chip issue in his right hand, giving Lombardozzi an opportunity (at least short-term) for increased at-bats.
Jackie Bradley, OF, Boston Red Sox (CBS: 18 per cent owned, ESPN: 3 per cent): Victorino is on the DL with hamstring issues, so the BoSox may give Bradley another crack. We’re expecting better results in Bradley’s second go-round in Boston.
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