Line 'Em Up - Fish Flopping the Lineup
At the beginning of the season, people viewed Albert Pujols and Hanley Ramirez as interchangeable one-two selections in fantasy drafts and essential locks for top-notch fantasy production. As we've been reminded once again, nothing is guaranteed in sports, with Hanley getting benched and Pujols going on the DL with a fractured forearm. Let's take a look at the lineup repercussions generated by the disappointing situations of both star players and other lineup notes from around the league.
It's been one day, and Jack McKeon is already making some big moves in the Florida Marlins lineup. The biggest news was Hanley Ramirez getting benched because McKeon, "didn't like the way he was running yesterday," which sounds insane but makes sense when it was reported that Ramirez also showed up to the stadium late and you remember that McKeon is old enough to have grandkids in college. Guys that old just don't take flak from young punks. Gaby Sanchez deservedly batted third in his place as he is having a great season batting .309 with a .894 OPS. Obviously Ramirez won't remain benched, but considering how disappointing he's been this year (.201 batting average, four home runs, one DL stint) owners have to be really upset with their first-round draft pick. This also made room near the top of the lineup for Logan Morrison, who needs to be there due to his .364 on-base percentage. He gets a big boost in fantasy value and could remain in the spot the rest of the season with the way he is playing.
In other top fantasy selection news, Albert Pujols has been diagnosed with a small fracture in his left forearm and will miss 4-6 weeks, and there's a chance it could be longer. Lance Berkman moved to first base and Jon Jay will take over in right field for the time being. The impending return of David Freese and his .356 batting average will provide some relief, but this is obviously a huge blow for the Cardinals lineup and fantasy owners alike with no replacement for the kind of numbers Pujols provides. Matt Holliday will likely bat third with Berkman batting behind him when the team returns to action Tuesday.
With interleague play fast approaching, there's talk that Adrian Gonzalez may get some time in the outfield. It's a risky move considering the All-Star is coming off shoulder surgery and has only started in the outfield once in his career, but Manager Terry Francona will want to keep him and David Ortiz in the lineup. With Carl Crawford on the Disabled List there is room for A-Gon to play out there and would make for a nice eligibility bonus in fantasy leagues.
Dustin Ackley was called up from the minors last week and the team has committed to making him their starting second baseman for the rest of the season. He has batted seventh twice and sixth once since being called up, but that might change soon with Brendan Ryan struggling. Ryan has recorded one hit in each of his games so far, including a triple and a home run. The Mariners would love to see their young prospect settle into the number two spot in the lineup as soon as possible, and if he can keep putting quality wood on the ball that looks like a distinct possibility.
For those in desperate need of steals, Charlie Blackmon is looking more and more interesting for fantasy purposes. The Colorado Rockies outfielder is batting .378 with five stolen bases while batting seventh. In the seven-hole he isn't very interesting, but if some of the talk of him becoming their leadoff hitter comes true he could be a valuable asset in mixed leagues still stealing bases and batting in front of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.