Jon Jay: Activation from DL Helps Cardinals and Desperate Fantasy Owners

Dan Kukla@@kooks13Correspondent IIIJune 22, 2012

Jon Jay is back to help the sliding Cardinals. He can help your sliding fantasy team too.
Jon Jay is back to help the sliding Cardinals. He can help your sliding fantasy team too.Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Jon Jay's activation from the disabled list is just as important to fantasy baseball managers as it is to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Redbirds are sliding out of contention in the National League Central without Jay's defense and production in center field. Desperate fantasy owners are now reduced to scrape scraps off the bottom of picked over waiver wires.

Pick Jay up while you still can.

Jay hit .343/.395/.438 with two homers, eight RBI and four stolen bases in 27 games to begin the 2012 season for St. Louis. Don't worry about his shoulder injury affecting his power. Jay batted .429 (3-for-7) with a homer, triple and three RBI in his two-game rehabilitation stint with Triple-A Memphis.

You can't find that anywhere in a mid-season fantasy free agent pool. Don't wait for July rookie call-ups. Grabbing a hot young bat with major league experience is even better.

Jay missed 35 games since going on the disabled list on May 16. Many fantasy owners probably dropped and forgot about him. He is currently owned in only 17 percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

St. Louis desperately needs Jay's glove in center and his bat in the lineup. Playing time should not be a concern here.

The Cardinals hope Jay's return can boost them back into contention. Fantasy owners would be smart to follow suit.

Other notes from the transaction:

Matt Carpenter was also activated from the disabled list with Jay, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report.

Carpenter missed 27 games after going on the DL May 23 with a strained right oblique. He was batting .288 with three homers and 20 RBI in 39 games before the injury. According to the report, Carpenter went 3-for-3 Thursday with a homer and three RBI for Double-A Springfield after starting his rehab stint by going 1-for-14.

He can be helpful to fantasy owners when on the field. However, he is not likely to see as much playing time as Jay. Keep him on your radar, but you don't need to add him for anything more than spot starts unless another Cardinal injury clears a path to more consistent at-bats.

The report also notes that rookie first baseman Matt Adams was optioned to Triple-A Memphis along with Adron Chambers to make room for Jay and Carpenter.

Adams burst onto the fantasy scene with surprising production in his first nine games. After that, however, he slid into a slump and lost playing time when Allen Craig returned to full health. Any manager still keeping him around can go ahead and drop him now.