Taveras' Steals Could Be Tough to Replace

by Bryce McRae on August 15, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT


The Colorado Rockies have placed outfielder Willy Taveras (groin) on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin. It is not believed Taveras will be out much longer than the 15 days required, although the team has not said how serious the injury is.

Even if the injury isn't serious, it is likely this could be a nagging injury for Taveras the rest of the year. For a player who relies on his speed as Taveras does, this is not the type of injury that is easy to work around. In 91 games this season, Taveras is hitting .311 with two home runs, 22 RBI, 59 runs and 29 stolen bases. The last stat, stolen bases, will likely be the toughest to replace in your fantasy lineup.

With Taveras' injury, the team is expected to give outfielder Ryan Spilborghs regular playing time in center field. This season, Spilborghs is hitting .331 with 10 home runs, 43 RBI, 25 runs and three stolen bases in 59 games. He will not provide you with the steals that Taveras did. However, he should be an upgrade in home runs and RBI. He could be a decent pickup. He is available in approximately 96 percent of leagues polled.

If Spilborghs does not catch your interest, another player to take a look at is Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton. Upton, one of the D-backs' top prospects, was called up earlier this month to replace outfielder Carlos Quentin (hamstring). In 12 games since being called up, Upton is hitting .282 with one home run, four RBI and five runs. He's speedy also, having stolen a combined 19 bases at two minor league stops this season. He probably won't provide you with as many steals, but he could give you a boost in home runs and RBI. He is available in roughly 19 percent of leagues polled.

Finally, if you are looking for a player who can provide you with some steals, check out another Diamondback: outfielder Chris B. Young. Young is hitting only .233 but has 21 home runs, 42 RBI, 59 runs and 19 stolen bases this year. If you can take the hit in average, he would be worth picking up. He is available in about 60 percent of leagues polled.

With little known about the seriousness of Taveras' injury, keep an eye on KFFL for any updates on his status.

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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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