David Zalubowski/Associated Press
Two weeks after one of the top shortstops in Major League Baseball was placed on the injured list, another one landed there Thursday.
Replacing the high level of production from Carlos Correa, and now Corey Seager, is a difficult task for fantasy owners since few shortstops available on the waiver wire can provide that much of a punch at the plate.
On the other end of the injury spectrum, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are on the verge of returning to the New York Yankees lineup, but it might be wise to keep an extra outfielder or two on your roster in order to see what the pair of sluggers do in their first at-bats back in the majors.
Go After Gurriel as Utility Middle Infielder
Replacing Seager—on the 10-day injured list with a hamstring strain—will not be easy, but there are a few options, like the Toronto Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who could help soften the blow of losing the Dodgers shortstop.
In his past five games, the 25-year-old has recorded two hits or more on three occasions for the Blue Jays against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Baltimore Orioles.
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Gurriel has also scored a run in three consecutive games, but the one downside is he is in possession of only five home runs this season.
The Cuban is not going to produce for your fantasy team in a similar manner to Seager, who has eight home runs, 38 RBI, 21 doubles and a .278 batting average, but he can provide some versatility in addition to his hot streak at the plate.
Gurriel is listed as a shortstop, second baseman and outfielder in Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues, where he has been added more than any other shortstop.
On days when the schedule is light, or times when you want to work your lineup around for better matchups, he could be slotted into the second base or outfield spots to maximize your numbers.
If you want to have an eye on the future with Gurriel, Toronto has an extended run of home games from June 28-July 7 that could add to the middle infielder’s production.
Use Caution with Returns of Judge, Stanton
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters the team could activate Stanton from the injured list as early as Tuesday, per NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty.
And Judge, who is on a rehab assignment with Single-A Tampa, told the Associated Press he is game-ready (h/t Newsday‘s Erik Boland).
In the long term, Judge and Stanton should be solid fantasy options, but we should not expect out-of-this-world numbers from both outfielders the second they step back in a major league batter’s box.
So it’s wise to explore the waiver wire for outfielders you can plug in to your lineup for a few days if the pair of New York sluggers need time to adjust.
The Oakland Athletics’ Ramon Laureano, who hit a home run and totaled five RBIs Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays, is one of the intriguing options you could go after to bridge the gap to an in-form Judge and Stanton. He has 64 hits in 69 games with 13 doubles, nine home runs and 28 RBI.
Chris O’Meara/Associated Press
The Miami Marlins’ Garrett Cooper, who is also eligible at first base in Yahoo leagues, has recorded a hit in all but one of his games in June. During his impressive stretch at the plate, he has five multi-hit games and eight RBI.
If Laureano and Cooper continue to play well, they might end up replacing the outfielders you have on your roster to partner Judge and Stanton at some point.
At the bare minimum, they are solid options to play while the Yankees stars shake off the rust. And if another injury pops up on your outfield roster, they could be long-term contributors in your squad.