Join SI.com's James Quintong in a discussion of some of the latest news in football, baseball and other sports and how it relates to fantasy teams and leagues.
7/27/2007 02:58:00 PM
Chase cut down
Chase Utley's broken hand came at an awful time for most of his fantasy owners.
Injuries are never a good thing for your fantasy team, but a serious one to a key player at this point in the season can be crippling for your squad. And so we have a potentially damaging one in Chase Utleybreaking his hand in Thursday's game against the Nationals. It appears Utley will miss up to four weeks -- prime time to make a big move in the standings.
There's no denying Utley's fantasy value: .336 average, 17 homers, 79 runs, 82 RBIs and seven steals. He's the cream of the crop of a very thin second base pool this season, so it's going to be tough to replace him in mixed leagues.
The Phillies, though, moved quickly in replacing Utley, by acquiring Tadahito Iguchi from the White Sox for minor league pitcher Michael Dubee. NL-only owners, especially those with Utley, may now be racing to get Iguchi on their rosters. However, Iguchi has been a major disappointment this season, hitting only .251 with six homers and 31 RBIs. While he hit .309 in June, Iguchi slid back to .235 in July.
Still, a change of scenery could help him out, plus the fact that he'll still be the starter, for at least a month so, until Utley returns.
Over on the White Sox side, veteran Alex Cintron may end up seeing a lot of time at second now, although he's struggled with a .233 average this season.
More notes with the trade deadline looming: -- Kenny Lofton is back with the Indians once again as the Rangers shipped him to Cleveland for minor leaguer Max Ramirez to begin their trade deadline fire sale. Lofton continues to be quietly effective for fantasy owners, hitting .303 with 21 steals. He'll play corner outfield spots against right-handers, and should still provide the same type of stats he had in Texas. However, guys like Trot Nixon and Ben Francisco could be the losers for playing time. Meanwhile, Marlon Byrd should see more time in center in Texas replacing Lofton.
All is not good in Cleveland, though, as the Indians demoted Cliff Lee to the minors after another horrible start. Lee was supposed to be a bright spot in the rotation, but was just 5-8 with a 6.38 ERA this season. He was never much of a strikeout pitcher, but with his K/9 rate still under six, it seemed like a matter of time before the rest of his game went south.
-- Brad Penny said it was an abdominal cramp, and not something more serious, like a groin injury, that knocked him out of Thursday's start. Penny looked to be in pain after running to first on a ground ball and left after six innings.
-- Roy Oswalt will be back sooner than expected after missing Wednesday's start with a chest injury. Oswalt will now go Saturday against the Braves, which is a good sign for him.
-- Miguel Tejada is also ready to return from a broken wrist that had him on the DL, possibly taking his spot back in the resumption of the suspended game tonight against the Yankees. However, while Tejada is back, closer Chris Ray could be out more than a month with his elbow woes, meaning Jamie Walker and Danys Baez would get more save chances.
-- Don't look for Josh Johnson to come back anytime soon as he's being delayed by a stiff elbow. The next step for Johnson is meeting with Dr. James Andrews, which is never a good sign.