With the Biogenesis list hovering over baseball with impending long-term suspensions, fantasy players are going to need to adjust much like Major League teams have. For example, the Tigers brought in Jose Iglesias in anticipation of losing Jhonny Peralta, and you can do the same thing too.
If you’ve stashed Padres Catcher Yasmani Grandal on your DL (not too likely) or have even stashed Francisco Cervelli or Jesus Montero (much less likely) then you can go out and grab New York Mets prospect Travis d’Arnaud. Though he’s only played in a few games this season due to injury, he’s healthy now and the Mets may be bringing him in soon after John Buck goes on the paternity list. This is a perfect opportunity for d’Arnaud to show he belongs at the big league level and if he does well, he could stick through August and keep the job into September or even for 2014.
In the much more likely scenario that you have Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz or Melky Cabrera, you can pick up somebody like Kole Calhoun, the Angels rookie who’s been a spark for their lineup. If he continues his current pace, or even if he cools down a bit his performance will still call for everyday playing time. Other great OF options, and guys I’ve mentioned here before are Junior Lake of the Cubs and David Lough of the Royals. Each is having a great season and should be on your team for the stretch run of the season. Lough’s playing time may be cut down after the addition of Justin Maxwell and the Royals still alive in the Wild Card chase but since the Cubs might as well be out of it already, Lake will continue to see time in the field.
If you’ll be missing Jhonny Peralta or Everth Cabrera you can use current Mariners SS Brad Miller or stash Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts. I’ve talked at length about both of these guys on my podcasts and am a fan of each. Miller has hit consistently at every level of baseball he’s played. I think he’s still getting adjusted to Major League pitching and should turn his .250 average into a .275 by the end of the season. Bogaerts hasn’t been called up yet but has been playing at 3B for AAA-Pawtucket, furthering the speculation that the Red Sox will call him up to play there before the year is out. He is currently only eligible at SS in Yahoo! leagues.
Finally in the event that you’ve added the overweight yet ageless wonder Bartolo Colon, there are many great replacements out there to take up a slot on your team. First and foremost is Jarred Cosart of the Houston Astros. The kid knows how to get batters out. I know it’s incredibly cliche but after four starts he’s given up only three earned runs, has a WHIP of 1.07 and so far has given Houston a chance to win in each start, though only picking up one W. This kid is a must-add even if you don’t have Colon. Another SP just getting started in the Majors is Andre Rienzo. The first Brazilian pitcher will start Sunday and pitched seven innings of “shutout” baseball (3 R, 0 ER) last week. You can also stash Indians stud prospect Danny Salazar. This guy has been a strikeout machine in the minors and Indians manager Terry Francona has spoken recently about shaking up the starting rotation. Keep Salazar on your watch list and wait patiently for that call-up because it’s coming soon.
Even if you won’t be effected by the possible Biogenesis suspensions, these players can still find a place to succeed on your team, especially the young pitchers. I love you all…except Hawk Harrelson.