It’s been a tough day for fantasy baseball first round draft picks. It all started with Roy Halladay who went on the DL on May 29 with shoulder soreness and will be out for 6 to 8 weeks. The best shortstop in the game, Troy Tulowitzki, went on the DL on May 31 with a groin strain. And, the best fantasy baseball player in the game, Matt Kemp, went on the DL on June 1 with a left hamstring injury.
So, where do you look for free agent pickups now that you need to store Halladay, Tulo, or Kemp on your minor league roster until they get off the shelf?
Fantasy Baseball Replacements for Roy Halladay
- Wade Miley, Arizona Diamondbacks — The 25-year-old Wade Miley was the most added pitcher in Fox Sports fantasy leagues this week. And, why not. Miley doesn’t have overpowering stuff (just 32 K’s/52.1 IP), but he’s 6-1 with a 2.41 ERA this year so he must be doing something right.
- Felipe Paulino, Kansas City Royals — Felipe Paulino probably wasn’t high on your draft chart in preseason, but he’s done the job for the Royals thus far with a 2.03 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 34K/31IP. Paulino had 13.2 scoreless innings before a disappointing last game where he walked 5 in 5.2 IP. Coming off of a 4-10, 4.46 season, however, you should proceed with caution.
- Tom Wilhelmsen, Seattle Mariners — Brandon League has been removed from the closers role and although manager Eric Wedge has said it will be a closer by committee situation, there’s no doubt that Wilhelmsen, with his high 90′s fastball, is the most prototypical closer to absorb the role.
- Roy Oswalt, Texas Rangers — Ironically, Halladay’s ex-teammate Oswalt signed with the Rangers on the same day that Halladay went on the DL. I’ll bet the Phillies wish they had held on to Oswalt at this point. Any way, the Rangers are pretty loaded and Oswalt hasn’t pitched all year so it’s not a foregone conclusion that the veteran will displace Scott Harrison or Matt Feldman in the rotation. Oswalt isn’t the best short term replacement for Halladay, but we like the irony in it all.
- Trevor Bauer, Arizona Diamondbacks –Bauer is not ready yet, but there’s no denying how good Bauer is. He’s the #1 prospect in the D-Backs organization. The club’s 2011 first-round pick started the season at Double-A Mobile and went 7-1 with a 1.68 ERA in eight starts for the BayBears before his promotion to Triple-A Reno. He went on to give up one run in eight innings in his first start for the Aces, sending the D-backs’ faithful into a frenzy. He’s been brought along quickly, but if you have time to wait until he gets the call, Bauer is worth waiting for.
Fantasy Baseball Replacements for Troy Tulowitzki
- Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners– Kyle Seager qualifies at three positions, is owned in just 57% of leagues, and has been hot lately–3 hits on Wednesday and 4 hits on Thursday this week. Seager is mostly playing 3B this year, but also qualifies at SS, and shows a .278/5/28/5 slash line thus far in 2012.
- Marco Scutaro, Colorado Rockies — Marco Scutaro had a pair of hits on both Wednesday and Thursday this week. He’s at .257/2/9/5 on the year and is hitting in the #2 hole in hitting friendly Coors Field where Colorado. Owned in just 15% of leagues.
- Evreth Cabrera, San Diego Padres — Evreth Cabrera has 3 stolen bases in the last 4 games and he’s owned in just 3% of leagues. The speedy Cabrera, a lifetime .237 hitter, has just one problem: he can’t steal first. He had a pair of hits on both Wednesday and Thursday night this week.
Fantasy Baseball Replacements for Matt Kemp
- Dexter Fowler, Colorado Rockies — Can somebody please explain to me how Dexter Fowler is owned in just 57% of fantasy baseball leagues? On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Fowler went 7 for 9 with a triple and 3 RBI. His line on the year is .282/8/26/5. Dexter Fowler is one of the most athletic players in the league and needs to be picked up now. Fowler was one of our preseason players to watch in 2012.
- Lucas Duda, New York Mets — Lucas Duda hit a homerun during the first no hitter in Mets’ history by Johan Santana on Friday night. That goes with 2 homers he hit against the Phillies on Thursday night so this guy is red hot. He’s also huge and that doesn’t hurt. Duda still whiffs too much (49k/170AB), but the Mets have to be happy with his .259/8/30/0 line this year in the middle of the New York lineup.
- Carlos Quentin, San Diego Padres — Carlos Quentin missed the first 49 games of the season, but since coming back he has clubbed three homers in his past two games and is hitting .583 (7-for-12). Quentin should be owned in all formats right now. Unfortunately, he can’t play all of his games in Wrigley where he initially came back to, but he should be a force in the San Diego lineup going forward. Quentin is a must own in all formats.