Bill Chastain, of TampaBay.DevilRays.MLB.com, reports the Tampa Bay Devil Rays placed outfielder B.J. Upton (quadriceps) on the 15-day disabled list with a quadriceps strain following their game Wednesday, June 13. Upton originally suffered the injury Friday, June 8, but was slow to heal and after another MRI Wednesday, the team placed him on the disabled list for precautionary reasons. It is not known how long he will be out for, but it might not be very long as it is only a minor injury.
The team called up outfielder Jonny Gomes to take his roster spot, although it will likely be infielder Ty Wigginton replacing him at second base. Wigginton will not be a great drop-off from Upton as he has more RBI (33 to Upton's 31) and more home runs (11 to Upton's nine). His average is significantly lower than Upton's (.263 to Upton's .320), and you will lose a lot in the stolen bases department (13 for Upton compared to just one for Wigginton). The difference in batting average is also not as bad as Wigginton has been hitting .341 so far in June. If you can deal with the loss of stolen bases, Wigginton would be a decent replacement for Upton. He should be available in around 31 percent of leagues.
If Wigginton is unavailable, take a look at Colorado Rockies second baseman Kazuo Matsui. His average is comparable to Upton's (.315 to Upton's .320), and he has just two less stolen bases. However, your home run totals will take a hit, although Upton had only contributed one home run so far this month. Matsui had actually been having a better June, hitting .349 with nine runs, one home run, seven RBI and three stolen bases in 10 games. He should be available in 56 percent of leagues.
Finally, as another option, consider Cleveland Indians second baseman Josh Barfield. Barfield is only hitting .252 on the season, but his June average sits at an impressive .341. He has only three RBI and three runs this month, but on the season he has 29 RBI with 26 runs. He also brings six stolen bases to the table. He should be available in around 83 percent of leagues.
Upton's injury is not believed to be that serious, which means any of these players will be only a temporary replacement. Keep an eye on KFFL for any updates to his condition.
About Bryce McRae
Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.
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