After missing all of April and then some, Miguel Andujar (3B, Shoulder) apparently returned prematurely for 34 disappointing ABs and is now back on the DL with his shoulder MRI not looking any better than his last MRI. I’m thinking the Yankees bite the bullet and put Miggy Andy under the knife especially with the emergence of… Replacement: DA GAWD GIO URSHELA (6.9%.) I hate naming the obvious same-team injury replacement, but I can’t help myself this week. It seems like for every Javier Vazquez, Carl Pavano and Kevin Brown there is a Gio Urshela — a guy who thrives under the big city lights of NYC. Can he keep this up? A career .270 hitter batting .341? Yea and monkeys might fly out of my butt. But is he due for a ROS amount of ABs behind a slowly healthy Yankees lineup? Definitely. He’s also hitting a 4th best in the league 7.9% soft contact rate — tied with a young slugger named J.D. Martinez. He’s not hitting a lot of fly balls (26.3% — would be bottom 20 if he was eligible) but is hitting a fair amount of lasers (28.9% — would be 12th best if he were eligible.) He’s probably going to cap out at 10-15 HRs this year, but with a good place in the Yankees lineup, he could get a fair amount of runs and a sneaky solid amount of RBI.
Jose Altuve, 2B, Hamstring: Let’s hope this injury is what’s causing his career-low .243 batting average, career-high strikeout rate, career-low contact rate, etc. Altuve is one of the best hitters in baseball — I’d be shocked if he didn’t take some physical and mental rest and come back strong in a week or two. Replacement: In deeper leagues take a look at Wilmer Flores (13.7%.) Flores was actually someone I was keeping an eye on this pre-season since he was guaranteed regular ABs after the Mets made him cry and play inconsistently for them. Flores’s .280 average isn’t going to hurt your team and after a slow April he has turned it on in May (3/1/7/.359.) Is going to win you a league? No, but he’s got dual eligibility to help you if you need some rotations with your offense and I think he has enough power to finish the season with around 20 HRs.
Tyler Glasnow, SP, Arm: 4-6 weeks with a forearm strain? I’LL TAKE IT! Said Glasnow owners everywhere. Glasnow, the 25th starting pitcher drafted in leagues this year, has been pitching like he should’ve been the #1 pitcher drafted (6 wins, 55 Ks, 0.91 WHIP, 1.86 ERA.) Right now, it’s looking like we’ll be without him for one to two months but hopefully, he comes back strong in the second half. Replacement: Deep-league digging for pitching is always a crapshoot. Well this week take aim at Tyler Mahle (7.1%.) Mahle’s last three starts have been pretty solid. He’s thrown 17.1 innings, allowed only 6 ERs with 23 Ks. One of those starts was a 6 inning, 1 ER, 8 K performance against his next opponent, the Athletics. Hopefully, he can produce the same results.
Buster Posey, C, Concussion: Something I do before making the list of injured fantasy relevant players is to see what their ownership percentage is in ESPN leagues. I actually had to do that for Posey just to see if people still own him. A shocking 83.4% of you still do. Posey’s slow descent towards retirement has continued this year with his lowest batting average and slugging percentage of his career. Shame. Replacement: If you’re forcing me to help you find a replacement for Posey, then go with James McCann (17.2%) I guess. McCann is getting most of the starts vs right-handed pitchers, but he’s hitting both handed pitchers well (vR: 375; vL: .400.) There’s not a lot of power and his league-high .476 BABIP should humanize a bit, but ride the hot hand while you can and stream McCann.
Travis Shaw, 2B/3B, Wrist: Shaw was hit by a pitch in April so maybe that’s why he’s got the 3rd worst batting average in the league right now (.163.) Shaw, like Altuve above, needs some R&R: rest and reflection. Replacement: David Fletcher (16.1%) has had a bad last 4 games (.125 AVG,) but the 4 games before those he was en fuego (8 for 19, 5 runs, 2 HR, 3 RBI.) He’s been hitting either first or ninth and anyone hitting close to Mike Trout gets a push from me. Plus he now has 2B, 3B and OF eligibility. He’s the perfect example of an injury replacement.
Vince Velasquez, SP, Arm: The hope right now is that VV only misses one start with this injury, but knowing that he has a history of arm injuries should give you some concern. His last few starts may have been cheeks, but I’d still hold on to him to see how he rebounds. Replacement: Digging deep for this pitcher replacement too: Danny Duffy (7.4%.) Since he’s returned from injury he’s thrown 17.2 innings, only allowed 6 ERs although only has 12 strikeouts. However, I reserve the right to say “don’t look at me!” if he gets blown up in his next start against the Angels in LA who he faced in his debut this year. It was a meh start — 5 innings, 3 ER, 1 K — but he’s since rebounded with 12.2 innings, 3 ER and 11 Ks in his next two games against the Rays and Astros — two far superior teams.