Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has a strained upper left quadriceps and will miss most of the action during fantasy baseball week two. Jeter could return as early as Friday, but could be out longer. At time of post, he will not land on the disabled list… so you won’t be able to get a free player add while Jeter gets calf massages over the next week.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi is currently planning on using utility infielder Wilson Betemit in Jeter’s place, but fantasy owners who invested their top draft pick last month on Alex Rodriguez have to be clamoring for A-Rod to return to shortstop.
Quadriceps and hamstring injuries are nagging for all athletes, especially players who need to be mobile. There’s no question Jeter needs to have his mobility to cover ground at short, and if this injury continues to be bothersome, the Captain’s time off the field could be frequent in 2008.
Morgan Ensberg is A-Rod’s backup at the hot corner, and most veteran fantasy owners remember Ensberg’s productive season in 2006 as a member of the Houston Astros. As the season hits stride and the division race heats up, who would you rather have in your daily lineup, Ensberg or Betemit? Fantasy Baseball Dugout is taking Ensberg, but both Yanks benchwarmers see increased value from ABSOLUTE ZERO in fantasy baseball if they see regular at-bats in the Yankees lineup.
Alex Rodriguez is already the top player in fantasy baseball, so it’s hard to say his value increases if he picks up eligibility at shortstop. One thing that would increase is A-Rod’s trade value, because fantasy owners of Rodriguez would hold both the top rated third baseman and shortstop in one player.
Keep in mind that if he does log starts at shortstop, A-Rod will likely need to play anywhere from 5 to 20 games there to have eligibility in fantasy baseball leagues, so Jeter might need to land on the DL with the injury for Rodriguez to get enough shortstop time.
For Jeter owners, this type of injury is not promising because it will probably lead to periodic missed games. For Rodriguez owners who might be looking to deal him later in the season, shortstop eligibility is a very sexy possibility. Watch this story closely as the season progresses.