Fantasy Baseball: Finding a Replacement for Jose Reyes at Shortstop

John Rieger – USA Today Sports

Fantasy baseball managers who own the Toronto Blue JaysJose Reyes woke up this morning with a big hole in their lineup. Reyes suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out of action for several months.

The ranks of shortstop-eligible players were already a little thin. Hanley Rameriz, Derek Jeter, Hiroyuki Nakajima and Rafael Furcal are all on the DL. Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton are in the minors. So who do you pick up to fill in for Reyes in your lineup?

J.J. Hardy is available in 30 percent of Yahoo! leagues. You’d get more pop than usual for a shortshop, but no speed and a batting average that would pull down your team average. Last season Hardy had 22 HRs, no steals and a .238 AVG.

Alexei Ramirez is available in 43 percent of Yahoo! leagues and can get you a fair number of steals to replace those that Reyes would have gotten you. Last year he had 20 steals. In each of the four prior years, he had 15 or more HRs, so he can potentially contribute in multiple categories.

But if you can’t get one of these guys off the waiver wire, what shortshop sitting on another team’s bench should you target in a trade? At the top of the this list should be Everth Cabrera. In less than 400 ABs last year, he had 44 steals.

Project that production into 500 ABs and you could have yourself one of the top base stealers, but the price you might pay is a damaging batting average. Last season he batted .246 and so far this season, he’s hitting .237.

The second player to target in a trade would be Marco Scutaro. He is eligible at three infield positions and can be a contributor in multiple categories. Last season he had 87 runs, 74 RBIs and an AVG of .306. That is pretty good for a middle infielder. He bats second in the  San Francisco Giants’ lineup, so he could be a good source of runs this season.

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