April 15, 2010

The Injury Bug Strikes

If you are as lucky as I have been to start the season, you have a fantasy team that would look like a triage camp during Vietnam if they were to come together in real life. Guys all across the league have begun hitting the IR, and if your league has a designated roster spot for injured guys, you are probably looking for the best replacement during the recovery time. For each stud who has now left a blank slot in their wake, I'm going to list a quality replacement for now. (Keeping in mind that they should be available in the majority of 12-team leagues)

Damaged Goods: Miguel Montero (Out a possible 6 weeks)
Injury Replacement:  A.J. Pierzynski
While Pierzynski may not be flashy (which is one the reasons he didn't go on draft day in a lot of leagues) you can't deny his consistency. He always ends up above .250, usually more towards .280 with about 15 homers and his fair share of runs and RBIs. Despite his terrible start, I would be willing to wager my Brett Favre rookie card on the fact that he will put up those same types of numbers, meaning he has to start raking again. And if you are a Montero owner, you have a long time to wait.

Damaged Goods: Aaron Hill (Not usable until at least fantasy week 4)
Injury Replacement: Kelly Johnson

It seems counterintuitive to recommend a guy who just left a game with an injury as a replacement player, but Johnson seems a great fit for Hill owners. If you drafted the Blue Jay's second basemen, you were expecting power and average, and not speed. That's what Johnson brings to the table as well, and has rebounded from a disappointing 2009 with 3 homers and a .360 average. He may not put up the same level of stats that you would have expected from Hill, but let's face it, making up for injury and reducing your losses is where championships are won and lost.

Damaged Goods: Brian Roberts (At least mid-April)
Injury Replacement: Aki Iwamura

Robert's injury woes were well documented this offseason, so his trip to the DL is not surprising, and more importantly, could end up taking longer than expected. Aki may have already flown off your FA list after his blistering start, but if he hasn't he should provide the same kinds of stats Roberts has left you without. On the opposite side of Hill, B-Rob was a SB fiend the past few years, as well as providing a good, not great average and elite run production. Iwamura bats at the top of a Pirates lineup that has shown some life, and has shown a suprising amount of power with 2 homers through only 9 games.

Damaged Goods: Jimmy Rollins (Returns at the end of April)
Injury Replacement: Cliff Pennington

Rollins came out raking, like the rest of the Phillies, and put up a .391 average before he went down with the calf injury. But let's face it, his 2009 .250 average makes it a bit difficult to believe he would have kept that up. Pennington isn't going to be winning any batting titles any time soon, but he does have a fairly good combo of power and speed. While he is no 30/30 type guy, he has a serious chance to go 15/20 or even better, and if you get lucky and he catches a bit of fire, he could net you a few of each during Rollins stint on the DL.