After a head-first slide into second base on Wednesday, Ben Zobrist has dislocated his left thumb and will be out of action for a couple of weeks. By no means is he having his best season, but the Tampa Bay Rays‘ second baseman is a fixture in most fantasy lineups and will surely be missed. For those of you who are in desperate need of a quality bat to fill the void, the waiver wire is certain to be your next stop on the fantasy train. Let’s take a look at some players who are likely to be available and can keep that roster spot warm until Zobrist returns.
(Ownership percentages based off ESPN standard leagues)
Jedd Gyorko: San Diego Padres (49.6 percent) – Aside from that terrible batting average of his (.153), Gyorko has actually been pretty productive this season. His five home runs and 20 RBIs are quite strong by second basemen standards, and with the very favorable schedule he has coming up, I think that average begins to ascend. The Padres will face some of the worst pitching the league has to offer in the coming two weeks, as they’ll face the Colorado Rockies (20th ranked team ERA), Minnesota Twins (28th), Chicago Cubs (13th), Arizona Diamondbacks (30th) and the Chicago White Sox (29th) in their next five series. That’s what I would call a gauntlet of bad pitching, and Gyorko should definitely serve you well while waiting for Zobrist’s thumb to heal.
Gordon Beckham: Chicago White Sox (4.1 percent) - Beckham missed the first 22 games of the regular season due to injury but was immediately penciled back in as the everyday starter at second base. He needed a few games to shake off the rust, but he’s looking very comfortable at the plate these days and his .315 average in May backs that up. Beckham has now hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games and has three long flies in his past nine. This guy should continue to hit at the top of a potent White Sox offense on most days and makes for a nice fill in.
DJ LeMahieu: Colorado Rockies (3.2 percent) – This 25-year-old may hit way down in the No. 8-hole for the Rockies, but he certainly hasn’t produced like a bottom of the order hitter. With 12 RBIs and 18 runs scored to this point, I’m surprised more owners haven’t plugged him into their lineup already. Colorado doesn’t have a cake schedule coming up like the Padres do, but it’s not exactly scary either. LeMahieu should continue to put up solid, if unspectacular, stats on the best offense in baseball, and he deserves consideration while you wait for Zobrist to get healthy.