The Colorado Rockies placed shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on the disabled list on June 14 with a broken rib, expecting him to miss four to six weeks with the injury and sending fantasy baseball managers into a massive depression. How do you replace Tulo?
Well, you can’t replace the stats of the No. 1 shortstop in fantasy baseball, obviously, but let’s explore some potential options for the next several weeks until Tulowitzki gets back.
Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants, 49% owned in Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues
Stat line: 31 runs, 5 home runs, 28 RBI, 1 stolen base, .294 average as of June 14, 2013. Don’t be seduced by those five homers – Crawford hit all of them in April – but his batting average continues to hover around the .300 range for the season, including .330 over the last month and .341 over the last two weeks. He scores and bats in runs at an equal pace.
Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta Braves, 47% owned
Stat line: 32 runs, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 2 SB, .253. Simmons stumbled out of the gates this season, batting a paltry .223 on the season as of May 4. But he has turned up the heat in recent weeks, hitting .277 over the last month and scoring 14 times to raise his batting average 30 points. Simmons is a great talent, and if he can keep on the upward trend with his average, the other stats will follow.
Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals, 29% owned
Stat line: 11 runs, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 1 SB, .158. Espinosa has been dreadful this season, but it was revealed in late May that he had been playing with a broken bone in his wrist for the first month of the season. He’s rapidly on his way back from the disabled list, seeing his first rehab action on June 13 for AAA Syracuse, where he went 1-for-2 in three innings, scored a run, and felt fine afterwards. As an added bonus, he’s 2B-eligible in Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues.
Josh Rutledge, Colorado Rockies, 41% owned
Stat line: 27 runs, 6 HR, 15 RBI, 5 SB. Rutledge was called up from the minors to replace Tulowitzki and accumulated most of his stats prior to his demotion in mid-May. Eligible at 2B and SS in Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues, Rutledge’s first game back in the majors resulted in a 1-for-5 night that included a two-run homer.
Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox, 49% owned
Stat line: 25 runs, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 13 SB, .265. His batting average will hurt you and he has no power, but Ramirez steals a lot of bases. He bats second in the lineup, which is normally good news for his ability to score runs, but he plays for one of the worst offenses in MLB.
Didi Gregorius, Arizona Diamondbacks, 29% owned
Stat line: 28 runs, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 0 SB, .301. If runs are what you’re after, the rookie Gregorius may be worth a flier for you. His .301 batting average is actually trending downward from a high of .369 on May 24, but he has scored 17 runs over the past month, compared to 20 runs scored by Tulowitzki over the same period of time.