It's never a welcome sight: your second-rounder skipping around while clutching the hand that just took a 90 mph missile off it. And then you hold your breath for the next 90 minutes waiting to hear what the X-ray would reveal -- in this case, a fracture.
But it could be worse for Corey Seager. Surgery isn't required, which means the typical 4-to-6-week timetable for a broken bone will apply, with several sources sounding hopeful it'll be on the earlier end of that spectrum. Me, I'd count it as a win if he's back before the All-Star break.
Regardless of how much time he misses, you'll need someone to fill in at shortstop, and for all the talk of depth at the position coming into the year, the waiver wire has been mostly picked clean. Here are a few suggestions:
- Who can you look at to replace Corey Seager in the short term? We break it down on the Fantasy Baseball Today in 5 podcast. You can follow us to get the latest episodes on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
The most obvious choice to pick up is Wander Franco, if he's still available. The top prospect is the only one on this list with a chance to be as good as Seager, if not better, and could be up any day now. But of course, he can't be the only shortstop you're rostering unless you're intending to take a zero at the position.
Nico Hoerner is surprisingly available given how productive he was before straining his forearm and landing on the IL. He returned this weekend after a minimal stay. He's an average-first kind of hitter but showed flashes of power in both spring training and the minors this year, all while being fairly aggressive on the base paths.
Speaking of flashes of power, Brandon Crawford has been surprisingly productive in that area despite his punishing home venue, having already homered nine times. I'm skeptical he'll be able to maintain close to that pace, but he's a former 20-homer guy and has been putting the ball in the air more this year. Sometimes, you just ride the hot hand and hope for the best.
Jorge Polanco has become something of a hot-hand play himself after a miserable start to the season. Ditto Gavin Lux, who's directly replacing Seager in the Dodgers lineup, sliding over from second base. Hoerner is my top choice to replace Seager (after Franco, of course), with Josh Rojas a close second, but the other three have some merit. If you have to go even deeper, Andrelton Simmons (19 percent rostered) will at least put the bat on the ball. Here's hoping he gets hot for you.
Let's see who else is emerging on the waiver wire ...
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HOU Houston • #59 • Age: 27
Framber Valdez was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment for his broken ring finger Sunday. It was rained out, but it still marks a crucial step in his rehabilitation that should have us all eager to roster him again. He was the best ground-ball pitcher in baseball last year while tying Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks for most outings of seven innings or more, and he'll have a great offense backing him.
DET Detroit • #8 • Age: 31
Robbie Grossman has been one of the hottest hitters of late, batting .364 (16 for 44) with two homers and three steals over his past 11 games, yet for the season, he has still greatly underperformed his expected stats, according to Statcast. He's clearly a contributor to the ever-in-demand stolen base category, and he bats leadoff against both lefties and righties. I think it's time to make a move for him.
Luis Garcia SP
HOU Houston • #77 • Age: 24
Jose Urquidy's bout with shoulder inflammation, which landed him on the IL Sunday, provides another path for Luis Garcia to stay in the starting rotation even after Framber Valdez returns. Garcia has yet to go six innings but has gone five-plus with consistency. He also has a respectable whiff rate, a diverse arsenal and an impressive minor-league track record that saw him deliver a 2.98 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 13.9 K/9 in 2019.
Rich Hill SP
TB Tampa Bay • Age: 41
Rich Hill was the most exciting player available in some of my 15-team leagues this week, but I'd say he's worth adding in most 12-teamers as well. Him going six-plus in three of his past four starts puts to rest concerns about how the Rays will handle him at age 41, and his numbers during that stretch -- a 0.83 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and 11.2 K/9 -- show that the soft-tossing lefty is still capable of dominating with his wicked curveball.
Tyler Rogers RP
SF San Francisco • #71 • Age: 30
After Jake McGee cost the Giants another win Saturday by blowing a tie in the ninth inning, it wasn't so surprising to see Tyler Rogers secure the save Sunday. Granted, McGee may have just needed a day off after working two straight, but he also has an 8.71 ERA in 11 appearances since mid-April. The side-arming Rogers' availability day after day might make him too versatile to confine to the ninth inning, but it might not.
MIN Minnesota • #24 • Age: 24
Trevor Larnach wrapped up his first big-league week with a three-hit game and has done a good job putting the bat on the ball so far. He wasn't the most hyped call-up we've seen this month, but he has the bat skills and enough power potential to emerge as a worthwhile Fantasy contributor. With Byron Buxton and Alex Kirilloff sidelined and Max Kepler also banged up, Larnach should get plenty of chances moving forward.
MIN Minnesota • #57 • Age: 30
Did a new closer candidate emerge for the Twins on Saturday when Hansel Robles recorded his first save? The circumstances were a little strange. The Twins scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead and set up the save chance, so maybe Taylor Rogers just didn't have time to warm up. But Rogers has been shaky since claiming the role from Alex Colome and blew a tie game to take the loss Sunday. Robles, meanwhile, saved 23 games for the Angels in 2019. In leagues where saves are scarce, he's not a bad gamble.