The Sports Network reports the Arizona Diamondbacks have placed outfielder Eric Byrnes (hamstring) on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.
Byrnes has been bothered by both hamstrings since spring training, and the injuries finally became too painful for him to play through.
He is hitting .219 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in the first two months of the season. The injury has affected his stolen base numbers so far this season; he has swiped four bases but has been caught stealing three times. He has struck out 30 times and walked 15 times in 2008. He has gone through several lengthy slumps so far this season, including a recent 6-for-62 slump through mid-May.
Byrnes had a very solid season in 2007, hitting .286 with 21 home runs and 83 RBIs in 160 games. The biggest thing he contributed to fantasy owners was speed. He stole 50 bases last season while only being caught seven times. Prior to last season, his career high in stolen bases was 25, which came in 2006. He also chipped in 30 doubles and eight triples last year.
From a fantasy perspective, Byrnes has been a bit of a disappointment this season, but he is a good fantasy player that can be helpful in several categories. His owners should put him on their disabled list if they have the roster room to do so. It is not known how long he will be out, but it does not appear to be a long-term injury.
There are several options for the Diamondbacks to use to take his place. Outfielders Jeff Salazar, Chris Burke and Alex Romero could all see time in left field while Byrnes is out of the lineup.
Salazar may see the first crack at the job because of how he has performed this season. He is hitting .286 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 49 at-bats.
There is the possibility that Salazar platoons with Burke in left field since Salazar is a left-handed hitter and Burke is a right-handed hitter. This season, Burke is batting .185 with six RBIs and two stolen bases.
Romero was recalled when Byrnes was placed on the disabled list. In 31 games with Triple-A Tucson, he is hitting .331 with two home runs, 12 RBIs and two stolen bases.
None of these players have much value in shallow or deep mixed leagues but could have some value in NL-only setups. Fantasy players who are interested in these players should keep an eye on the situation to see which player receives the most playing time.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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