StrategyAugust 19, 2011

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Roto Medic: Youkilis Missed

By Kim Bhasin

It hasn’t been a fun time to be a premier shortstop. Hanley Ramirez is still trying to recover from a shoulder injury he suffered last week, but things aren’t looking good. He has been running and working out, but hasn’t swung a bat yet. There’s no timetable for his return, and some are saying that he might not make it back on to the field this season. The Marlins are 15.5 games back in the NL Wild-Card race, so there’s no reason for them to rush him. Don’t expect any Pujolsian miracles.

The outlook’s a bit better for Jose Reyes and his bum hamstring. He’s scheduled to start running today, and if all goes well the Mets plan to stick him back in the lineup when he’s eligible to get off the DL on Tuesday. Up in the Bronx, the Yankees will finally get their popcorn-fed third baseman back when Alex Rodriguez today or tomorrow, as the race for the AL East heats up as we approach September.

But A-Rod’s not all the Red Sox have to worry about. David Ortiz’s right foot is in a boot, and he’ll be missing up to two weeks. And that’s not even their biggest concern up in Boston.

Kevin Youkilis (15-day DL – strained lower back)

Youk’s season hasn’t gone as planned, but he and his beard are still a key part of that Red Sox lineup. His back had been bothering him for a couple weeks, and he was definitely in some pain. After missing a few games, the Sox finally decided to stick him on the DL on Thursday.

They’re just going to give him the time to try to rest it off. Of course, the best case is that he’ll be back the day his two weeks are over, but there’s not much we have to predict an exact date. Youk owners just have to hope that it heals by itself, and he’ll be back to 100% before he’s eligible to come back.

So, let’s assume you’ve got a couple weeks to fill his shoes. Since he’s eligible at 1B and 3B, we’ll take a look at who’s available at either corner position on waivers:

  • Jed Lowrie (19% owned) – The kid just came off the DL and was expected to play a utility role, but Youk’s injury puts him right in the spotlight. He’ll be starting at third in Youk’s absence, and is a logical filler for owners looking for that two-week stopgap.
  • Casey Kotchman (19% owned) – Kotchman, incredibly (or at least unexpectedly), is still hitting over .330 through more than 350 ABs. Despite the relative lack of power, there’s no reason for him to be languishing that deep on the wire. If Youkilis was starting at 1B for you, Kotch is a good bet to be a positive filler.
  • Danny Valencia (26% owned) – Valencia’s been absolutely mediocre this campaign, but the power he has can help you out. He’s a safer bet than Lowrie, but you’ll have to eat the low average and the Ks.

Other mixed league options: Justin Turner (13% owned), Mitch Moreland (30% owned), Garrett Jones (10% owned).

Deep league potshot: Brent Morel (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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