It was a tough weekend for many fantasy owners, as Trea Turner, Gary Sanchez, and Garrett Richards all went down with injuries. Sanchez and Richards have already been placed on the disabled list with biceps strains, while Turner is day-to-day with a strained hamstring. Richards is expected to miss only one start – remember that the minimum stint on the DL has been reduced to 10 days this year – and Turner may avoid missing more than a couple of games. There is no timetable for Sanchez’s return at present.
Fortunately, there are some solid short-term replacements for each player currently available on the waiver wire in a majority of Yahoo leagues.
Catcher: Stephen Vogt, Oakland Athletics
Vogt isn’t flashy, but he has some pop in his bat and plays more often than most catchers do. He also currently slots in the fifth spot in the A’s lineup, which puts him in position for plenty of RBI opportunities. The veteran hit .277/.320/.442 in the first half of last season before slumping down the stretch, suggesting he might have hit a wall. You won’t have to worry about that this early in the year, which makes him a fine option to fill in for Sanchez.
Second Base: Yangervis Solarte, San Diego Padres
Since the 2015 All-Star break, Solarte has quietly been an excellent hitter. In 663 plate appearances – roughly the equivalent of a full season – he’s hit .297 with 21 home runs, 89 runs, and 89 RBI. He plays for a bad team in a pitcher’s park, but he hits in the middle of the order and is eligible at both second and third base. Solarte is off to a strong start in 2017, with a pair of multi-hit games and seven RBI through Saturday’s action. He won’t help you replace Turner’s speed, but can contribute everywhere else.
Outfield: Chris Owings, Arizona Diamondbacks
If you were using Turner in the outfield, Owings could be a better fit as a short-term replacement. He won the starting shortstop job with a strong showing this spring, and has been solid so far, hitting .286 with a pair of stolen bases. Spring stats don’t mean much, but Owings showed some mechanical tweaks to his swing – namely, the addition of a leg kick – that could help him tap into a bit more pop. He’s been penciled in to the leadoff or #2 spot in the order in the majority of games so far, and swiped 21 bags as a part-time player a year ago.
Starting Pitcher: Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals
Lynn missed the entire 2016 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he’s a full 18 months removed from the procedure. He certainly didn’t look rusty in his first start this year, pitching 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball against the defending champion Cubs. Lynn owns a career 3.37 ERA and 8.7 K/9, and has averaged 15 wins in his four full MLB seasons as a starter.
Kyle Bishop is a lead MLB columnist at RotoBaller.com. His articles and Fantasy Baseball Rankingsare your secret weapon for winning fantasy leagues.