As your leagues start to wind down and the playoffs approach it’s important to be up to date on all the latest injury news affecting your players. Any little edge could pay dividends. Today we’re focusing on shortstops.
Remember this guy? No? I’ll give you a second…got it now? I know, it’s tough. He hasn’t played a game since late May. I get it. To jog your memory, he’s one of the better players in baseball, and best shortstop, when healthy. From 2009-2011 he averaged a line of .304/.376/.554 with 29 home runs, 97 runs batted in, 90 runs scored and 13 stolen bases. Sadly, this has been a lost season for Tulo. As our own David Wiers wrote in yesterday’s Roto Riteup, the Rockies are hesitant to play him. He’s still bothered by the groin injury and the Rockies are far out of the playoff hunt. There’s really no reason to play him at all if you’re not 100% certain he’s ok. Josh Rutledge has filled in nicely at short, slugging .526 in 218 plate appearances. There’s no reason to keep Tulowitzki on your roster in non-keeper leagues.
Recently activated from the disabled list, where he found himself after punching a wall in Triple-A Durham, Rodriguez has been cleared by doctors to start swinging a bat. Considering his numbers, he couldn’t have done any worse swinging a bat with an injured hand. The Rays starting shortstop for most of the season, Rodriguez never got going. He was a capable, versatile infielder the past two seasons who provided decent value in AL-only leagues. This season his average, on base and slugging percentages were all down, though he walked more and struck out less. His one useful skill at the plate – killing left handed pitching – disappeared. While Rodriguez may get some playing time, the Rays have a lot of other infield options. Couple that with his poor performance this season and owners seeking some extra help would be wise to look elsewhere.
As you’ve likely heard by now, Furcal will miss the rest of the season with a torn ligament in his elbow. It was assumed that Daniel Descalso would be his replacement, but over the last six games he’s started just two games at shortstop while Pete Kozma has started four. Kozma is right handed while Descalso is a righty, but it seems strange to platoon them in the middle of a playoff race considering Kozma has posted a sub .300 on base percentage the past two Triple-A seasons. That being said, Descalso isn’t much better, hitting .220/.294/.313 in 129 games. The Cardinals don’t have any good internal candidates and aren’t going to be able to trade for anyone of note. St. Louis fans should be used to terrible, white middle infielders by now. That’s their MO. If you had to pick one it would seem Kozma is the man for right now, but don’t expect too much production.
Erik writes for DraysBay and has also written for Bloomberg Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ehahmann.