The Washington Nationals will place 3B Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder) on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, April 28, and will recall OF Bryce Harper from the minors, who will be making his major league debut.
This decision has been looming all week. It'll be backdated to April 21, so this could be just a week-long stint. But Zimmerman has had bouts of slow healing from injuries. Since this injury can linger and has delayed him several times, you might want to locate something more than a temporary backup plan for him.
Mark DeRosa, Steve Lombardozzi and Chad Tracy will be in the mix as replacements, with DeRosa being the best short-term solution for your fantasy squad, chiefly NL-onlys.
Mike Morse's DL absence has left the Nats' outfield in flux. It's a bit surprising they called on Harper, unless it's just as a temporary fix to let him taste big-league pitching before he returns to Triple-A. He hit his first homer at the level last week and still has some maturing to do at the dish, especially versus southpaws.
Someone in your league will probably sacrifice a large percentage of their budget or a high waiver priority to acquire Harper. It could pay off, but it could also leave them with a one-week rental they'll have to sit on for a few months if he's sent back down. Harper will most likely have to hit at elite levels to stay up for an extended stretch this early in the season.
Gauge your need for a spark and what he'll cost. Maybe Washington will expose him mainly to right-handed hurlers to play to his strength. Plus, you shouldn't just sit out of the bidding and let someone else reap the benefits if Harper at least shows a smidge of his potential.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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