Jeremy Anders, of Brewers.MLB.com, reports Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Bill Hall (ankle) sustained a high right ankle sprain during the second inning of his team's game Thursday, July 5. X-rays taken were negative for a fracture. Manager Ned Yost and Hall both said they didn't know the severity of the sprain or how much time he would miss.
There is a difference between high ankle sprains and more common ankle sprains. According to the Cleveland Clinic's Web site, high ankle sprains are a potentially significant and disabling injury. With a high ankle sprain, the fibrous tissues that connect the tibia and fibula will stretch or tear. While the site says normal activity can commence eight to 12 weeks after diagnosis, you will often see athletes return to action anywhere from four to eight weeks.
With this in mind, Hall owners will want to consider the possibility that he won't return until the end of July or later. A trip to the disabled list is very likely, with the team using outfielder Corey Hart in center field. With Hart in center, the team may then be able to use both outfielders Geoff Jenkins and Kevin Mench in the lineup at the same time.
Fantasy owners will want to stash Hall away, as he might not miss too much time with the injury.
Jenkins has been solid this year, hitting .273 with 13 home runs and 37 RBI in 216 at-bats. He could be useful in fantasy leagues if he is still available, which he is in approximately 88 percent of leagues polled. It would behoove fantasy managers to check the opposing pitcher: He has hit only .212 with two of his home runs in 33 at-bats against southpaws, while he has hit .284 with 11 dingers against righties.
Other options include Oakland Athletics outfielder Shannon Stewart, who has been on fire recently. He's on a 10-game hitting streak entering July. During that stretch, Stewart is batting .468 (22-for-47) with three home runs, five RBI and two stolen bases. He is hitting .305 with seven homers, eight steals and 26 RBI on the season. Stewart is available in about 93 percent of leagues polled.
Texas Rangers outfielder Brad Wilkerson could also have some value, as he appears to be heating up. In his past seven games, Wilkerson is batting .308 (8-for-26) with four home runs and 13 RBI. So far in 2007, Wilkerson is hitting .235 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 170 at-bats. Wilkerson is available in roughly 98 percent of leagues polled.
About Michael Egnak
Michael Egnak is a Hot Off The Wire Analyst at KFFL and has been with the company since 2005. Covering both NFL and MLB, Egnak is also a key contributor to KFFL's fantasy services.
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