Will a Healthy Shortstop Please Stand Up?

Joe KleiberCorrespondent IJune 12, 2008

First it was Troy Tulowitzki, then Rafael Furcal, Erik Aybar, Jeff Keppinger, and then Jerry Hairston Jr. The amount of injuries to the shortstop position has been incredible, and extremely detrimental to fantasy baseball teams.

Not only are these guys sidelined, but reliable options such as Jimmy Rollins, Jose Reyes, and Derek Jeter have missed games as well, with Rollins having a stint on the DL as well.

What's going on? What players can you acquire to fill in?

Well, we may not know the answer as to why there have been so many shortstops injured, but here are some names you can look at in the waiver-wire to add.

1. Troy Tulowitzki (SS-COL)

Tulo got off to an awful start: .152 Avg./1 HR/11 RBI. Things got worse from there, as he tore his left quad and has been on the DL since April 30. Because of the seriousness of the injury, and the result of impatient owners, Tulo somehow is available in quite a few leagues. If he's available, pick him up, because he's set on returning in late June (possibly June 20-22), and he should bat second in the now healthy and powerful Rockies’ lineup.

2. Ryan Theriot (SS/2B-CHC)

If the 5'11" Theriot is available in your league, pick him up. With the injury to Alfonso Soriano, Theriot will resume leadoff duties for the Cubs. Despite losing Soriano, the Cubs still have plenty of options for offense, such as Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and Geovany Soto, and they will score their share of runs.

Theriot's stats are solid for the SS position, with a .322 Avg./1 HR/18 RBI/41 R/12 SB. Those are excellent numbers for an injury-plagued position. Grab him now before he takes off.

3. Stephen Drew (SS-AZ)

Drew has been a bit inconsistent this season, but still has respectable numbers: .269 Avg./9 HR/25 RBI/36 R/2 SB. If Drew is available in your league, grab him, because he's always had great potential and will score a lot of runs in the D'backs offense, which has scored 318 runs, tied for seventh in all of baseball.

4. Christian Guzman (SS-WAS)

Before you laugh, take a look at his numbers this year: .309 Avg./5 HR/21 RBI/42 R/3 SB. Now, I don't expect Guzman to keep it up, but are you really going to keep him all year? Grab him while he's hot and ride the streak.

5. Orlando Cabrera (SS-CWS)

Cabrera got off to a slow start, and fantasy owners had enough and cut bait with him. If he's available in your league, grab him now, because he's starting to turn it around. The first two months weren't good, (.216 April .265 May), but he's batting .354 in June and is in one the major's highest scoring offenses in the White Sox.

His stats right now are: .262 Avg./3 HR/22 RBI/38 R/9 SB. Cabrera will start running more and producing more, and once that window of opportunity to buy him now closes, you'll regret it. Grab him now.

These are only a few of the options that are available, and other guys to target include: Bobby Crosby (SS OAK), Jhonny Peralta (SS CLE), and Ramon Vazquez (2B, 3B and SS TEX). Don't hesitate to grab these guys now, because they can be a solid fill-in for you until guys like Furcal come back.