Freddy Sanchez. Sanchez dislocated his shoulder. He will be out long-term and you will need to find someone to plug this hole. Emmanuel Burriss will play second base for now. When Pablo Sandoval returns, there is some speculation Miguel Tejada could get a look there, though Sandoval will be catching a bit when he gets back. More on that below...
Pablo Sandoval. There is quite a bit of speculation that Sandoval will be catching some when he returns to the major leagues. He does have experience there, but it seems that the Giants would be compounding the Buster Posey problem – why take a guy fresh off the disabled list and put him behind the plate, particularly when your infield is a mess? For fantasy players, catcher qualification for Sandoval is a “dream come true.” Keep an eye on this in your league.
Johan Santana. I have not written about Santana in quite a long time, but now it is time to put him on your radar screen. Sources say Santana could be back soon after the All-Star Break. Two and a half months of Santana could be very, very good.
Martin Prado. Prado is out indefinitely with a staph infection in his calf. These type of injuries are very unpredictable; his timetable is related to his response to medication. In the meantime, Brandon Hicks is back with the major league club, but Eric Hinske is the immediate beneficiary. Hinske should probably be picked up in NL-only leagues.
Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday. He should be back in your lineup immediately.
Cameron Maybin. Maybin will be back from the disabled list at the beginning of the week. Perhaps you want to see how playing time shakes out before activating him, as Wil Venable is back from his demotion to the minors as well.
Jerry Sands. Sands put up a pretty unimpressive line in the majors; you should stash him for future help.
Chris Snyder. Snyder just had back surgery and is likely out for the season. Unfortunately, until Ryan Doumit comes back, there are no good replacements.
Help From The Minors.
Gordon likely deserved his own post (like Rizzo). I may put one up yet, but, for now, we will talk a little about him here. This is what you need to know: 1) The Dodgers are committed to Dee Gordon playing every day, at least while Rafael Furcal is out for another couple of weeks; 2) The Dodgers are committed to Gordon playing shortstop full-time next year; 3) The Dodgers are committed to having Gordon lead off; 4) Gordon can absolutely FLY around the basepaths. He has no power to speak of and I would like to see a few more walks, but Gordon handles the bat well and puts the ball in play with ground balls and line drives. If you have him in your system, you should activate him now; there is no waiting until next year. If he is available in your league, then you should be bidding pretty high – he is no Anthony Rizzo, but if you have a substantial number of points to gain in speed, you better bid aggressively.
I profiled Blackmon several weeks ago, and now here he is. The Rockies are looking for a spark and Blackmon could provide one. He tortured AAA pitching some this year before his call-up, and he provides a nice power/speed combination. The Rockies would eventually like to see him lead-off, which would be very exciting for fantasy owners. Blackmon should get a pretty good sized bid if he is available in your league.
Sanchez is a relative non-prospect, but the Giants organization likes him. He is 21 years old and just made the jump from A to AAA in an effort to determine what Giants have in him and whether the Giants need to make a move for a catcher. I do not suspect that Sanchez will make this transition successfully right now, and I do not suspect he will unseat Eli Whiteside. Nonetheless, he is someone to keep an eye on as a potential back-up catcher later in the season.
Free Agent Pickups.
Tony Gwynn Jr.
When a player's manager comes out and says he wants that player to win a starting outfield position, fantasy owners need to take some notice. Gwynn is on the waiver wire this week, and if you need speed, or are playing for next year and want to take a flier, Gwynn is a solid place to look.
Tejada is also on our waiver wire this week. Stunning, really, since he is producing counting stats. He does not run much and has little to no power, but if he is playing, you probably need to use him to fill a hole in your lineup. He is also a potentially intriguing keeper for next year depending on how your league does its free agent salaries.
Oeltjen was hitting .339 with 8 home runs at AAA. He will see time in left field.
Duke is staying alive with his poor K/9 by not walking anyone; his K/BB is 11. He is probably at the point where you have to take a look if you need to catch lightning in a bottle. He gets the Marlins this coming week (who just beat up Joe Saunders).
Hand is a 21-year-old left-hander who does not excite most scouts. John Sickels, though, gave him a B-. I would not expect great things from him this year, and he is likely only up for a short stay while we await Josh Johnson’s return.