With Sori on the Shelf, Find a Substitute

by Bryce McRae on August 5, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT


Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano (quadriceps) will be out up to one month with a strained right quadriceps. Soriano strained his quadriceps while running from first base to third base Sunday, Aug. 5. After pulling up between second and third, he limped into third base and had to be helped off the field. The team has set a minimum of two weeks for him to return, although it is likely he will be out closer to one month. Soriano will undergo an MRI Sunday, Aug. 5, which will likely put a more definite timeline on his rehab.

His rehab aside, the big question you might be asking is about how to replace him in your fantasy lineup. In 104 games this season, Soriano was hitting .297 with 18 home runs, 42 RBI, 74 runs and 18 stolen bases. He did not have a great July, hitting just .265 with three home runs, 12 RBI and 19 runs. However, he has the ability to carry your team, as he showed in June, when he hit .336 with 11 home runs, 18 RBI, 21 runs and two stolen bases. His injury could also impact the hitters following him in the lineup, especially first baseman Derrek Lee and third baseman Aramis Ramirez. These batters may not see as many good pitches, as pitchers will not be worrying about Soriano, who was always dangerous on the base paths.

The team has not decided on a plan to replace Soriano; however, one option could be to call up outfielder Felix Pie from Triple-A Iowa. Pie has played in 48 games with the Cubs, hitting .216 with two home runs and 18 RBI. As you can probably guess, he is not a viable alternative at the moment, but he is available in nearly all leagues polled.

If you are willing to take a risk, consider Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton. He is hitting.304 with one run and one RBI in four games this season, but the 19-year-old is believed to have superstar potential for the D-Backs. He was called up last week after hitting .309 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI in 71 games for Double-A Mobile. He is available in the majority of leagues polled; however, that could change quickly if he has the type of impact the team envisions he will have.

Take a look at Kansas City Royals outfielder Billy Butler as well. In the past month, Butler is hitting .326 with 10 runs, two home runs and 19 RBI. You will likely lose out in the stolen bases category, as he does not have any on the season, but he should keep you even in most other categories. He is available in around 95 percent of leagues.

Soriano has not had the season expected of him, but he is still one of the top fantasy outfielders in the league. It will be tough to replace him, but if you consider players like these, you could maintain until Soriano returns. Keep an eye on KFFL for any updates on 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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