As every experienced fantasy baseball player knows, injuries are inevitable. In my last post, in which I rounded up a few of the many injured players, I recommended some players, including David Freese and Chris Narveson, who you should pick up if you need an injury fill in. Need more help? Fret not. There are heaps more of intriguing players out for the taking, and I'm here to give you the intel you need to dominate your league.
Need starting pitching? Try Aaron Harang of the San Diego Padres. Harang, owned in 33% of leagues according to ESPN, is 3-0 in as many starts. The former Reds ace has notched 16 strikeouts in 18 innings for the Padres as well as a sparkling 1.50 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. In his most recent start against Houston, Harang struck out 8 in 6 innings, giving up one run. His next start comes on Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs, a mediocre team that the Padres should make quick work of. Don't like Harang? There's more. Cleveland has a pair of young studs named Justin Masterson and Josh Tomlin. Masterson, a product of Theo Epstein's minor league system in Boston, is owned in 32% of leagues and is also 3-0 on the year. His strikeout rate isn't going to be as high as Harang's, as Masterson has recorded just 12 in 20 innings. Masterson has made easy work out of Seattle and Baltimore and on Wednesday faces another weaker offensive team in Kansas City. However, the Royals have been on a roll lately so they may give him a little more trouble. Still, Masterson had success against the White Sox, who have a lot of good hitters and don't just roll over. If you aren't confident in Masterson then take a look at Tomlin. Just today Tomlin crafted his third gem in as many starts. Coming into today Tomlin was 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA before turning in a 6 inning, 4 strikeout game against Baltimore in which he gave up 2 runs. Quality starts are always great for your fantasy team, and Masterson and Tomlin have been pumping them out like machines early on in this season. Tomlin is owned in just 10% of leagues.
The other day, the Minnesota Twins were hit with the unfortunate news that all-world catcher Joe Mauer, the winner of multiple batting titles, is going to land on the DL with bilateral leg weakness. The Twins aren't the only ones who are going to be reeling from this news, however, as a lot of fantasy baseball owners were counting on Joe Mauer to turn in another great fantasy performance this year. When he comes back it won't be too late for Mauer to make this a lost season, but that doesn't make finding a new source of production at a thin catcher position any easier. Fret not, however, as another San Diego Padre is there for the taking. Nick Hundley is owned in 26% of leagues but has been very solid thus far. He's currently hitting .350 with a couple of home runs and 8 RBI. For catcher, you're not going to find anything you like if you're picky, and Hundley is probably the best producer you're going to find out there. However, if Hundley isn't available in your league there is a pretty good chance you'll be able to pick up Alex Avila of the Detroit Tigers. While Victor Martinez does catch once in awhile for the Tigers, he usually DH'es to protect his legs, leaving Avila with most of the catching duties. In 36 at-bats, Avila is hitting .278 with 3 home runs, 9 RBI, and a stolen base while owned in 8% of leagues. If you want to get even deeper in your search for a catcher, take a look at former Minnesota prospect Wilson Ramos. Now starting for the Washington Nationals, Ramos is owned in less than 1% of leagues and is hitting well. His .480 average and 1.127 OPS are nice, but he hasn't hit a home run and has just 2 RBI. He isn't a bad option, but if you're trying to replace Joe Mauer you would probably like to get somebody with a little more oomph in his bat.