The wait will be worth it
Some notable news and notes on this Friday…
Jason Kipnis (strained oblique) owners will be without the second baseman for anywhere from three to five weeks. That's a notable length of time for a top-tier second baseman. Oblique injuries have a tendency to linger and frustrate power sluggers, too.
At the keystone in Cleveland in Kipnis' absence, some combination of Elliot Johnson and Mike Aviles will likely be deployed, and it could be a straight lefty-righty platoon. Aviles is the more attractive bat, though, and should be your first priority.
Marcus Semien, of the Chicago White Sox, contributes a bit in each category with sporadic PT if you're looking for alternative options in very deep leagues.
Take a peek at Grant Green, too, the middle infielder that was just recalled by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Friday to play a little bit of every position. He'll probably be used mainly in left field against lefties, though.
The Houston Astros have a problem at the back end of their bullpen. Nobody has really gotten the job done in the ninth consistently, so Bo Porter is moving on from Josh Fields, who will work in less stressful situations for now. Chad Qualls and Anthony Bass will tag team fireman duties.
Jesse Crain (bursitis in shoulder) is out until at least the end of May, so fantasy owners will have to deal with this headache for at least another couple of weeks. Qualls, although he didn't endear himself to the skipper in the role to begin the year, has a bit of a track record and experience finishing games, so he should be your first target, albeit reluctantly, if you're desperate for saves.
This closing picture could remain fluid, however, so don't rule out Fields regaining the role later this month or even Raul Valdes receiving an opportunity. It's probably best to avoid this mess.
On the prospect trail, a trio of young studs may be coming up in the very near future. If you're in a deep enough league, it's probably time to start seriously considering stashing them if you don't want to miss out.
Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates - He's another can't-miss five-tool guy similar to Andrew McCutchen. His performance at Triple-A Indy is begging for a callup (.398/.454/.643). However, the Bucs have been reluctant not to start service clocks on their prospects - see McCutchen and Gerrit Cole. Regardless, this kid is probably an injury away from getting the call.
Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals - Last year's consensus No. 1 overall prospect went away for a while because of a pretty serious ankle injury. It was the main reason he didn't break camp with the team out of spring, too. Well, the ankle issue is no longer a concern, and his bat is red hot. He's also showing the Red Birds he can play center field in the minors. We've been waiting a while for this one… and that time is nearly here.
Jon Singleton, 1B, Houston Astros - Singleton is clearly ready for the next level. He's already smacked nine homers at Triple-A Oklahoma City, is hitting .282 and has driven in 27. He's past his addiction problems and appears to be a changed man. The 'Stros showed they aren't afraid to call up a prospect early, and they're already nine games out of first in the division. Singleton should be in Houston by mid-June at the latest, if they're smart.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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