The Rockies were dealt a major blow this afternoon when they learned that homegrown star Troy Tulowitzki will miss the next six to eight weeks with a fractured wrist. Fantasy teams everywhere will feel Colorado’s pain, because few shortstops can match Tulo’s tremendous production.
There’s just no way to replace a player of this caliber, so the only thing you can do is hope to maintain the status quo. When dealing with a major injury like this, I usually just forget about the counting stats and make sure my replacement won’t kill my AVG and/or OBP. Shortstops that hit homers and drive in runs are rare anyway, so there’s no point in sacrificing rate stats while stabbing in the dark for counting ones that won’t come anyway.
Here’s three players on the waiver wire that could help you weather the storm…
Reid Brignac | Rays | 8% owned
Briggy Ball is playing regularly for Tampa with Jason Bartlett on the disabled list, and he’s quietly hit a respectable .297 with a .353 OBP going into Friday’s games. He’s enjoying some BABIP luck (.384), sure, but his minor league baseline isn’t too far off at .330 in exactly 2,700 plate appearances. There’s a regression on the horizon, but a .270 AVG with a .345 or so OBP is definitely possible for the next few weeks. (R) ZiPS isn’t as optimistic, calling for .252 AVG, .298 OBP the rest of the way. Brignac also has 2B eligibility.
Ian Desmond | Nationals | 24%
The man who displaced Cristian Guzman has been a valuable piece for the Nats based mostly on his defense (+4.6 UZR, +3 DRS), though his offense consists of an empty .268 AVG. However, he’s picked up the pace over the last few weeks, hitting .293 in his last 103 plate appearances prior to tonight’s 1-for-4. (R) ZiPS sees him maintaining that same .268 AVG the rest of the way, though he’s probably the safest bet for playing time among players mentioned in this post.
Jeff Keppinger | Astros | 16%
Seemingly the only source of offense for the punchless ‘Stros (seriously, a team .287 OBP), Keppinger has maintained his .286 AVG and .333 OBP basically all year long despite the lack of help. (R) ZiPS sees more of the same on the way, a .283 AVG and .335 OBP to be exact, which is more serviceable than greate. He also has 2B and 3B eligibility. Keppinger is playing every day for Houston, however they could go into sell mode at any moment, and he could find himself on a contender’s bench just like that.
Aside from direct replacement, you could also somewhat Tulo’s loss by improving another position. It’s easier said than done of course, but if you have some pitching depth to spare it can be done. The outfield is typically the easiest spot to accomplish this simply because there’s multiple spots.
Losing a player of Tulowitzki’s caliber is never easy, and there’s not much you can do other than tread water. Hopefully he’s back in six weeks rather than eight, and doesn’t need much time to shake off the rust.
Ownership rates are based on Yahoo! leagues.