With just about eight weeks left in the Major League Baseball season, the fantasy baseball season has reached its final stretch. As many teams are fighting for their proverbial “playoff lives”, the last two months of the season should be the most exciting yet.
Weekly Fantasy Sportal will continue to provide information on players who can impact your fantasy baseball team.
Brandon Phillips, 2B, Cincinnati Reds
The Reds all-star 2nd baseman was hit by a pitch during Wednesday’s game in San Francisco and had to leave with the game in the bottom of the 6th inning. For now, Phillips is listed as day-to-day with a bruise but is scheduled to have X-rays on his wrist Thursday.
Reds fans and fantasy owners alike are crossing their fingers that this is only a bruise and Phillips remains day-to-day. Phillips is hitting .290 with 16 homers and 50 RBI for the first place Reds and if he misses extended time Miguel Cairo will take over as the primary 2nd baseman. Cairo has virtually no fantasy value with no power and limited speed.
Rod Barajas, C, Los Angeles Dodgers
While only hitting .233 on the season, Barajas is worth a look in deeper fantasy baseball leagues after his Dodger debut yesterday in which he went 3-4 with a home run and three RBI’s in Tuesdays win over Milwaukee. While not Joe Mauer or Brian McCann, Barajas could be a nice addition to any fantasy team needing a catcher. With Russell Martin out for the season, regular at bats will come Barajas way and in one of the worst season’s ever for catchers, you can do worse than what Barajas will give you.
Magglio Ordonez, OF, Detroit Tigers
Out since July 25th, Magglio Ordonez had season ending surgery on his broken right ankle Wednesday afternoon. Ordonez, who was hitting .303 with 12 homers and 59 RBI will be missed by all fantasy baseball owners that were fortunate enough to own him in 2010 after a down year in 2009.
His replacement, Ryan Raburn is hitting .247 with 8 homeruns and 39 RBI and is worth a flier in deeper leagues. Ordonez will become a free agent at the end of the season because he will not be able to meet games and at bat’s incentives that would have extended his deal to the tune of $15 million in 2011.
Rick Porcello, SP, Detroit Tigers
Coming off a solid rookie season, Porcello has struggled in 2010 with a 6-11 record and a 5.43 ERA. Those numbers could be on the upswing, however, after his best performance of the season last night in Kansas City. Porcello went 7 innings allowing just 2 hits while striking out 4 and only walking 1 in a 9-1 Detroit thrashing over the Royals Tuesday night. Fantasy owners have been waiting all year for this type of performance by Porcello and should monitor his next scheduled start this weekend in Toronto to see if this is a sign of things to come for the young right-hander.
Hong Chi Kuo/Jonathon Broxton, RP’s, Los Angeles Dodgers
Kuo and Broxton are ‘tied to the hip’ in that only one (or neither) can get consistent save opportunities for the Dodgers. Kuo earned his 5th save of the season in last night’s 5-3 win over Milwaukee.
While Jonathon Broxton had appeared to regain his closer’s role with a save against the Reds on Saturday, manager Joe Torre must not have regained all confidence in him as the closer just yet. With all this intrigue surrounding the Dodgers bullpen it is recommended to stay away from both Broxton and Kuo until Broxton regains his role as full time closer.