Is a Base Stealer Available to Replace Victorino?

by Bryce McRae on July 31, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT


The Philadelphia Phillies placed outfielder Shane Victorino (calf) on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, July 31, with a tear in his right calf. The injury, however, is not as severe as the one outfielder Michael Bourn (ankle) suffered the same day (Monday, July 30). The team feels Victorino could return in 15 days, when he is eligible.

The Phillies have called up outfielders Jayson Werth and Chris Roberson to replace Victorino and Bourn. Werth is a career .244 hitter with 28 home runs, 116 RBI and 126 runs in 274 career games. This season he is hitting .235 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 at-bats. Roberson has just a .195 batting average with three stolen bases and nine runs in 57 career games. He has yet to play for Philadelphia this season. Neither of these players would be a decent replacement for Victorino on your fantasy team.

Prior to his injury, Victorino had been hitting .284 with 11 home runs, 42 RBI, 72 runs and 32 stolen bases in 105 games. Aside from the steals and runs, you should be able to find someone that can replace him on the free-agent market.

One option could be Baltimore Orioles outfielder Corey Patterson. Patterson has been on fire in July, hitting .344 with four home runs, eight RBI, 17 runs and 10 stolen bases. What makes him fairly enticing is the number of stolen bases he can provide; he actually has more than Victorino does this month. On the season, Patterson has a .266 average with five home runs, 27 RBI, 46 runs and 25 stolen bases in 99 games. He is available in roughly 52 percent of leagues polled.

If you don't like the look of Patterson and want to stay in the National League, consider San Diego Padres outfielder Milton Bradley. Bradley has been on a roll this month, hitting .349 with four home runs, 12 RBI, 15 runs and two stolen bases. On the season he has a .320 average with six home runs, 19 RBI, 21 runs and four stolen bases. Bradley could provide you with a boost in the average, home run and RBI categories. His stolen bases, however, would not likely be nearly as plentiful. He is available in close to 95 percent of leagues polled.

Finally, New York Mets prospect and outfielder Lastings Milledge is finally starting to live up to some of his hype. Milledge had little chance to make a mark in April and spent the next two months in the minors. However, he returned to the majors in July and is hitting .300 with three home runs, 14 RBI and eight runs in 16 July games. Again, you will likely take a hit in the stolen base and run categories. However, his average should remain close to Victorino's, and you might get a small bump in home runs and RBI. He is available in approximately 96 percent of leagues polled.

While the team is optimistic Victorino will return soon, it is still too early to tell how the tear will affect his style of play. He is a speedy player, and the calf tear could hurt him even when he does return. Stash him on your disabled list for now, and pick up one of the players mentioned above - Patterson is the most likely choice to replace the loss of stolen bases. Don't forget to keep an eye on KFFL for any updates to his condition.

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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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