The Associated Press reports Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano (hand) could miss up to six weeks with a broken left hand after being hit by a pitch Wednesday, June 11. Soriano will be in a splint for three weeks, according to team spokesman Peter Chase.
The team is expected to call up first baseman Micah Hoffpauir from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding roster move once Soriano is placed on the disabled list.
The Cubs won the game, but they received a big blow by losing their elite leadoff hitter. Soriano was hitting .283 with 15 home runs and 40 RBIs before being hit in the hand.
This will be Soriano's second stint on the disabled list this season. He was sidelined earlier in the year with a strained right calf. He helped the team immediately upon his return, hitting .345 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs in May.
His injury will leave a void in the team's leadoff spot in terms of production. Shortstop Ryan Theriot is expected to move into the team's leadoff spot with Soriano ailing.
The Cubs could look to outfielders Reed Johnson and Jim Edmonds along with second baseman Mark DeRosa to share time in left field and center field, based on pitching matchups. Johnson saw an increase in playing time earlier in the year when Soriano was hampered with his strained calf. Hoffpauir also could see some time either at first base or in the outfield.
Fantasy owners of Soriano should be extremely concerned. After hitting .192 in April before he was injured, he had come on strong. Soriano should not be dropped in any league format. Owners should look to place him in a disabled list spot once he's eligible there if they have the room. Otherwise, they should stash him on the bench.
Johnson, Edmonds or DeRosa could be picked up in deep leagues as a temporary replacement for Soriano. However, do not expect them to put up the same type of numbers as Soriano.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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