StrategyApril 29, 2011

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Roto Medic: Doubts About Delmon

By Kim Bhasin

Things aren’t looking good for Phil Hughes and his dead arm.  After a disappointing bullpen session, the Yankees sent Hughes off for a extensive set of tests, including two MRIs, but couldn’t pinpoint the problem. Now Hughes is off to see a specialist in St. Louis, after his last tests revealed that he may potentially have thoracic outlet syndrome, a rare circulatory disorder.  But hopefully things aren’t as bad as the reports imply. Remember, Hughes is still just a 24-year-old kid and has his whole career ahead of him, and it would be tragic to see his problems linger into 2012 and beyond.

Either way, if you didn’t drop Hughes last week, it’s certainly time now.  Sever your fantasy ties and don’t look back.  Keeper-folk may want to wait until after he gets a diagnosis from the specialist though.

Now on to this week.  Both of the guys we’re discussing today sustained their injuries over a week ago, but they’ve both been recently forced onto the DL.  There’s still time for some late help, so check it out:

Delmon Young – (15-day DL – rib soreness)

With Mauer still out, the loss of another important bat was painful to swallow for the Twins.  Young hasn’t played since April 18 due to soreness in his ribs, and he just never got over it.  The Twins placed him on the DL Wednesday, but his status is retroactive all the way back to April 19, so he’ll be eligible to get back on the field in a few days.

Rene Tosoni was called up to take Young’s slot on the roster, but he has no fantasy value.  The two Jasons, Repko and Kubel, have been filling in for Young.  There hasn’t been much word about his progress, but he was originally scheduled to start in the series against the Rays.  Obviously he wasn’t ready yet, and since he’s eligible to come back very soon, continue to monitor the situation and consider him essentially day-to-day.

If your bench OFs aren’t cutting it, take a shot with one of these guys for a few days until Young hopefully returns.  You can’t rely on any of these guys for a prolonged stay in your lineup, but they might give you a quick jolt before you flip them back onto the wire.  We could all use a Willie Bloomquist for a week:

  • Carlos Gomez (7% owned) – Gomez is on a nice little streak, going 10 for his last 26.  He even hit a homer and racked up six RBIs to go along with his expected production on the base-paths (two SBs).  We’ve learned the Gomez can’t be trusted, but he’s worth a shot for a little while if you have an expendable to drop.
  • Peter Bourjos (23% owned) – Although he’s struck out in 13 of his last 44 ABs, Bourjos batted .409 in those ABs.  He’s been the Angels’ hottest hitter over the past couple weeks, and if someone’s not already along for the ride, there’s still time to catch the tail end of it.
  • Garrett Jones (12% owned) – Jones has been ripping the ball over the past two weeks, hitting .310/.444/.655 with three HRs, the most recent of which was a thick shot to straightaway center off the Giants’ Matt Cain.  Nobody ever questioned his power, and as long as he’s kept on the bench against lefties and is running into a few fastballs, he has value.

Other mixed league options: Matt Joyce (3% owned), Matt LaPorta (13% owned), Juan Rivera (2%), Ben Francisco (20%)

Deep league potshot: Gerardo Parra (1% owned)

Aaron Hill – (15-day DL – strained hamstring)

Hill hurt his hamstring on April 19 and appears on track to come back in early May, but there may be deeper problems for him.  He had tests on his hammy Sunday and he’s still feeling tightness.  The last thing he and the Blue Jays want is a lingering hammy problem, and it certainly doesn’t help that it’s the same hamstring that Hill battled with last year.  A separate concern is Hill’s slow start.  It’s evident that he’ll never reach the monster numbers he put up in 2009 — both in power and average, but there’s still some value here.

It would be hard to find a full-time replacement on waivers, so hang onto Hill and just hope he can replicate the 26 homers he smashed last year.   If you drafted him, you were likely doing it just for the homers anyway, and there’s no one available on waivers that can hit 20 HRs.  Except for one:

  • Ty Wigginton (17% owned) – If you want to replace Hill’s power at second from deep down on the waiver wire, Wiggy’s the only way to go. The big boy has hit 20 HRs three times in his career and has earned an everyday gig in Colorado.
  • Darwin Barney (30% owned) – A hugely popular pickup this week, Barney is raking up in Chicago.  There’s no power to be had here, but his put-it-in-play bat has been on fire the past couple weeks.  And besides, his name ranks up there amongst the league’s best (looking at you, Starlin Castro).
  • Orlando Cabrera (30% owned) – The most comfortable choice of the bunch, O-Cab has been quietly producing in Cleveland.  His three-run double Wednesday against the Royals boosted him to a team-leading 15 RBIs on the season.  He’s an old, regressing middle infielder with a terribly low ceiling, but he is getting a full load of ABs.  Well, he’s a much better option than Bill Hall (3% owned).

Other mixed league options: Jonathan Herrera (28% owned), Danny Espinoza (24% owned), Alberto Callaspo (24% owned), Orlando Hudson (11% owned)

Deep league potshot: Daniel Murphy (4% owned)

Kim writes for Business Insider's sports page and runs a sports business blog at while attending NYU as a graduate student in Business and Economic Reporting. Catch up with him at the Cafe as Kim Bhasin, and follow him on Twitter (@KimBhasin).
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