A bad season for the Baltimore Orioles may have gotten a whole lot worse.
On the heels of a meltdown from the team's bullpen and the firing of manager Sam Perlozzo, not to mention favored candidate Joe Girardi turning down the manager's job, comes word that shortstop Miguel Tejada may have suffered a fractured left wrist. ESPN.com reported late Thursday night, June 21, that test results showed Tejada fractured his wrist. It is presumed the injury happened June 20 when he was hit by a pitch.
Tejada, who has played in 1,152 consecutive games dating back to the 2000 season, is having another solid season for the Orioles. He is hitting over .300 for the fourth straight year, with a .306 batting average, seven homers, 41 RBI and 87 hits in 72 games played. He is among the top 20 hitters in the major leagues in terms of hits to date this season.
More than likely, the value of Chris Gomez just went up in your fantasy league but it's too early to jump on him. The 36-year old veteran can play all four infield positions if needed and will likely be used more at shortstop with the injury to Tejada. Freddie Bynum Jr., the third-stringer at both second base and shortstop, is another option who may see limited at-bats. But all eyes right now are on Gomez, who will likely have to hold the fort down until at least September.
From a fantasy standpoint, this injury spells disaster to anyone's lineup. More than likely, Tejada was likely taken early in your fantsy draft, thanks to a consistently high batting average and his ability to hit the longball. He's had 20 or more home runs every year since 1999, and he has scored 100 or more runs four times in this decade.
If you're scrambling for a replacement, Washington Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman should be considered. He's available in nearly 99 percent of fantasy leagues polled. He's hitting .327 on the season with 30 runs, 12 RBI, one homer and two stolen bases. He's worth using while he's hot and could contribute some stolen bases, but don't expect much power out of him.
As for Tejada, stash him away on your disabled list or bench for the time being until a clear time frame is available as to when he may possibly be able to return.
This is not the news the Orioles wanted to hear, on top of everything else that happened. The long, hot summer just got a little hotter by Chesapeake Bay.
About Steve Ungrey
Steve Ungrey has been playing fantasy baseball since 1994. An avid baseball nut, he may be one of the only people who starts the spring training countdown immediately after the final out of the World Series. If there's a fantasy baseball or baseball preview magazine for 2003, chances are he has it. A sportswriter at The Grand Rapids Press, Steve has written for KFFL since 2001, concentrating on improving the site's baseball coverage but also helping the site with its unparalleled football coverage.
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