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Fantasy Fix: Keeping It On The DL

Scott Rolen has been having a great year (.287, 17 HRs, 57 RBIs), a comeback sort of year for a guy who was great with Philadelphia and St. Louis earlier in his career before an injury claimed his power stroke.

But now Rolen is injured again, this time with a hamstring problem. A few days ago, it looked like he was headed to the 15-day DL, but as of Tuesday, there were reports that Rolen was going to try to stay off the DL and recover from the injury on the Reds bench. Good for the Reds, who may still have Rolen's bat available in an emergency, and good for Rolen, but bad for your fantasy team if you own Rolen.

That's because you definitely can't start him, but you can't take advantage of putting him in a DL spot and picking up a replacement either. And, while Rolen has been very good, he is still barely in the top 10 at a very deep position. Do you dump him and replace him, or do you force yourself to dump another player and keep him, in hopes that his season isn't over?

I would make the hard choice to eject Rolen and go shopping on the waiver wire. You can't find a replacement with 17 HRs, but you can find moderate power in widely available players like Ian Stewart, Colorado, and Juan Uribe (Yes, that Juan Uribe), San Francisco, who both have 12 HRs. Both of them also offer the benefit of multi-position eligibility (2B/3B for Stewart, 2B/3B/SS for Uribe). Hopefully, Rolen still has some good years ahead of him, but this late in the season, you can't play wait-and-see.


It's Week 16 in the fantasy baseball world, and my DL spots are full.


Fantasy Find of the Week: Yunel Escobar, SS, Toronto.

Once highly regarded in Atlanta, his talent faded (along with his good humor, some say) and he was shipped north during the All-Star break. All he has done since is hit 2 HRs with 7 RBIs, while hitting .471. He's 52% owned in Yahoo! leagues.

Fantasy Stud of the Week: Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Cubs.

Yes, I recommended trading him last week and said he probably wouldn't hit 20 HRs this year. Apparently, all he needed to fix a horrible season was some goading by me, because he had 2 HRs, and 8 RBIs last week while hitting .368. Now you can sell him even higher.

Fantasy Dud of the Week: Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida.

He almost captured the Home Run Derby crown, but was dreadful after, hitting .200 the rest of the week with just 1 RBI.

Fantasy Match-Up of the Week: Yovani Gallardo, SP, Milwaukee.

He was having a strong year before a strained oblique landed him on the DL. He will face off against Pittsburgh and then probably Cincinnati within the next week. An easy one, then possibly a very hard one.


Expert Wire
* AP reports that Manny Ramirez is headed in that direction for the third time this season.

* Weekly Rundown says Brian Roberts is due back from the DL soon. He has been gone so long, he may be available in your league. Find out now.

* Bleacher Report has some analysis of how various trade deadline rumors might shift fantasy fortunes.

* likes Omar Infante even though almost no one liked that Infante made the All-Star team.


Finally, I'll take a stab next week at some pre-season fantasy football chatter. For the first time in ages, the No. 1 pick will not be a no-brainer.


Dan O'Shea's Fantasy Fix appears in this space (nearly) every Wednesday. He welcomes your comments. You can also read his about his split sports fan personality at SwingsBothWays, which isn't about what it sounds like it's about.

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