The New York Mets have placed outfielder Carlos Beltran (oblique) on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday, July 25. This move had been expected for a day or two. Beltran strained his left oblique during batting practice last Wednesday and has not been able to play since.
Manager Willie Randolph admitted Sunday, July 29, that it was beginning to hurt the team, as the Mets need a full contingent of players available off the bench. In a doubleheader Saturday, July 28, Randolph was forced to use starting pitcher Tom Glavine as a pinch-hittear with the team out of options.
Beltran had been having a solid but not spectacular season. In 96 games, he had posted a .263 average with 19 home runs, 62 RBI, 55 runs and 15 stolen bases. He contributes in almost every category, so this could still be a big blow to fantasy lineups. His average (.208 in July) was about the only worrying statistic. The trip to the disabled list is retroactive, so he could potentially miss only a little more than a week or so.
With Beltran out, outfielder Lastings Milledge has been getting regular playing time in center field. Milledge didn't have a chance to make an impact in April while with the big-league club; he failed to register a hit or a walk in three at-bats. However, since being called up in July, he has begun to live up to his potential. In 16 July games, he is hitting .300 (18-for-60) with three home runs, 14 RBI and eight runs scored. He will likely continue to stay in center field with Beltran out and would be a decent pickup if available in your league. He is available in around 96 percent of leagues polled.
Another option to replace Beltran would be San Diego Padres outfielder Milton Bradley. Bradley struggled for most of the season while with the Oakland Athletics, although this was in large part due to injuries. He has turned it around since joining the Padres. In 17 July games, he is hitting .349 (22-for-63) with four home runs, 12 RBI, 15 runs and two stolen bases. He is available in around 95 percent of leagues polled.
Finally, Kansas City Royals outfielder Billy Butler has been on a hot streak this month, posting a .341 average with three home runs, 24 RBI and 13 runs in 24 July games. He doesn't play in a star-studded lineup; however, he has helped to carry the Royals' lineup since being called up for a second time, in mid-June. He is available in around 92 percent of leagues polled.
Obviously, Beltran owners will want to place him in a DL spot or stash him on the bench. Injuries, even minor ones, have tended to linger with Beltran in the past. 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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