The present author must apologize. Yesterday was Star Wars Day and the RotoGraphs readers went uninformed. Of course, a reasonable assumption could be made that a Venn diagram of Star Wars nerds and fantasy baseball nerds would overlap significantly, but the author digresses.
On today’s agenda:
1. Hanley Ramirez back to the disabled list
2. The return of Didi Gregorius
3. Michael Saunders‘ two home runs day
4. Alex Avila alert (and alliteration)
Hanley Ramirez back to the disabled list
After returning from the 15-day DL just four games ago, Hanley Ramirez is back on the shelf, this time due to a strained left hamstring. He has racked up all of 12 plate appearances thus far, but he has at least tallied a home run as well as a stolen base. The splint on this thumb seemed to be a non issue, at least in this microscopic sample size. With no timetable set for Hanley’s return, keep track of RotoGraphs’ MASH Report for the latest injury news and updates on Hanley as well as every other major leaguer.
The return of Didi Gregorius
For those of you in NL-only — or even deep mixed — leagues in search of a Hanley replacement, the Arizona Diamondbacks activated Didi Gregorius from the 7-day disabled list. Gregorius was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list after being struck in the helmet via an errant pitch. Gregorius won’t replace Hanley’s numbers, but Gregorius did flash a surprising bit of power in his time prior to the hit by pitch, with two home runs and four doubles.
This is speculation, but with regular second baseman Aaron Hill currently on the disabled list, the Diamondbacks might consider Martin Prado at third, Pennington at second, and Gregorius at shortstop, at least when facing a left-handed starter. When facing a righty, expect to see Eric Chavez at third and some mash up of Gregorius, Pennington, or Prado in the middle infield. Worth noting is when both Pennington and Gregorius were healthy, Gregorius got the majority of the starts at shortstop while Pennington shifted to second base and received one start at shortstop. Gregorius is owned in a mere 11% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues and 27% of CBS formats.
Michael Saunders‘ two home run day
Racking up three extra-base hits yesterday, Michael Saunders now has seven of 15 hits going for extra-bases on the year. He has four steals to go with four home runs and has been hitting lead-off or two hole all season long. The Seattle Mariners aren’t exactly the 1927 Yankees, but hitting atop a lineup is always a nice boost from a fantasy perspective. There are legitimate concerns regarding his on-base skills (given his .285 career OBP), but as long as he is hitting — especially in the lead off spot — Saunders can be grabbed and held on to. He is available in over 70% of both ESPN and Yahoo! formatsand 50% of CBS leagues.
Alex Avila alert (and alliteration)
After starting the season sluggishly, Alex Avila has come on as of late. His past four games show two home runs and four RBIs. He is still sitting below the Mendoza line on the year, however if you are hurting in a two-catcher league, Avila makes for a great bounce-back candidate. Despite hitting in the bottom third of the Tigers lineup, Avila should see a fair amount of RBI chances by nature of the Tigers having the fourth best team OBP in baseball. Once his .231 BABIP comes back to his normal .300+ mark, expect Avila to magically “figure it all out” again. If you play in a two catcher league, grab him now and enjoy a few extra RBI’s from the catcher spot. You’ll be able to grab Avila in 60% of CBS leagues, 75% of Yahoo! leagues, and 98% of ESPN formats.