David Wright is out for a while with a stress fracture in his back. Though the New York Mets say he just needs rest and not surgery, the injury sounds worrisome.
Meanwhile, Ryan Zimmerman had to have abdominal surgery a few weeks ago and might be out until mid-June. We’ll see if he’s able to come back on time, or if there are some setbacks in his rehab.
If you are one of the unlucky fantasy owners having to deal with these injuries, keep an eye on your league’s waiver wire for these potential replacements. They won’t put up the same numbers as Wright or Zimmerman, but they’ll be valuable members of your team and you won’t have to resort to trading for a backup third baseman.
1. Greg Dobbs, Florida Marlins (4%) – Dobbs has all but taken over as the Marlins starting third baseman. He’s hitting .341 in 88 at-bats this season. He’s also hit two home runs and has 16 RBI. He won’t keep up his .341 average, but he should be serviceable while you wait for Wright or Zimmerman to get healthy.
2. Wilson Betemit, Kansas City Royals (20%) – Betemit hasn’t been showing a lot of power this season, but he’s hitting .316 in 114 at-bats. He’s also driven in 17 runs. As long as he keeps getting on base, he’ll have some value in the Royals’ surprising offense.
3. Alberto Callaspo, Los Angeles Angels (33%) – Callaspo is another third baseman who is doing quite well in the batting average department. He’s hitting .307 as the Angels starting third baseman. He’s also driven in 20 runs.
4. Jamey Carroll, Los Angeles Dodgers (17%) – Carroll’s biggest attribute is that he’s eligible at second base, third base, shortstop and outfield. He won’t hit for power or drive in runs, but he’ll score plenty (21 runs scored in 2011) and hit for a high average (.308 currently). He’s a valuable stopgap at a number of positions.
5. Adam Kennedy, Seattle Mariners (2%) – Kennedy has the lowest average of the third basemen on this list (.266). But, like Carroll, he’s eligible at a number of positions: first base, second base and third base. He can hit for power better than most of the guys on this list too; he already has four homers this season.