StrategyJuly 29, 2011

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Roto Medic: Two Weeks Makes A Fortnight

By Kim Bhasin

It’s the end of July — so enough football talk everybody, we’ve got to get back on the diamond.┬áThis was a week of potential derailments in the NL. The Braves watched their catcher Brian McCann hit the 15-day DL on Wednesday after he suffered a strained left oblique during the epic 19-inning endurance test against the Pirates on Tuesday. The Braves haven’t set a timetable for his return yet, but reports say he’ll likely be out more than the two initial weeks of his DL time, which is terrible news for a squad that still trails the Phillies by five games in the East and is trying to hold off the Diamondbacks and Pirates for the Wild Card. Backup David Ross will start in McCann’s place while he’s out.

The D-Backs also lost a key piece when shortstop Stephen Drew severely injured his ankle last Wednesday in particularly nasty fashion sliding home. A week ago he went under the knife to repair torn ligaments and put plating in his broken tibia. His season’s very much over, but they’re hoping he’ll be able to return for Opening Day next year.

Today we look deeper into what’s going on with Milwaukee’s downed all-star 2B — yet another NL casualty as the race heats up.

Rickie Weeks (15 day DL – sprained left ankle)

Fantasy owners were dealt a major blow when Weeks went down against the Cubs Wednesday night. This year he seemed to be replicating the power he found in 2010 and reclaiming a least a little bit of the speed he came up to the majors with. But his quest for a second straight season without injury folded when he awkwardly twisted his ankle on first base beating out a throw.

It’s being called a severe left ankle sprain for Weeks. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke estimated a 2-6 week time frame initially, but it’s more likely to be pushed to 3-6 weeks. A sprain like this is quite painful, so he’ll be off his feet for a while.

But it could have been much, much worse. Weeks didn’t suffer any tendon or ligament damage and x-rays were negative, so there’s no broken bones. There’s no surgery required, so he’ll just have to rest up.

You’ve got to believe that the Brewers, who are trying to hold off the Cardinals in the NL Central and boast perma-slumping Craig Counsell as a backup infielder, are going to knock on doors around the league for help before the trade deadline hits on Sunday. Keep an eye out on what they do, because they can very well make a pickup that could help you down the stretch while Weeks heals up. For now, let’s take a look at the waiver wire and see what’s available:

  • Jemile Weeks (23% owned) – Can’t help it. Who better to replace Rickie than his baby brother Jemile? The 24-year-old has been up since early June and has made a habit out of multi-hit games, boasting nine during the month of July. He keeps his average over .300, scores a few runs, steals some bases, and even drives in a couple here and there. He’s not going to replace any of his brother’s power, but the kid won’t hurt you either.
  • Ryan Raburn (20% owned) – Simply put, he’s the best source of power you can get at 2B this deep on the wire. If you go with Raburn, just know that you’ve got to eat the average, and just be happy with what homers you can get, because no one else this deep will give you his (still mediocre) over-the-wall production, aside from Clint Barmes (4% owned).
  • Orlando Cabrera (20% owned) – The veteran hasn’t had a great year, nor a disastrous one. The key for O-Cab is that he’s getting consistent playing time in Cleveland, and while he’s not making the most of it, he’s making just enough of it in that lineup to serve as a stopgap.

Other mixed league options: Adam Kennedy (7% owned), Mike Aviles (18% owned), Ryan Theriot (29% owned), Alberto Callaspo (25% owned).

Deep league potshot: Daniel Descalso (1% 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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