After a forgetful May, Dustin Pedroia rewarded his faithful fantasy managers in June, batting .374 with four homers, 16 RBI, and six steals in 23 games.
Just as it seemed Pedroia was on his way to a career year, the injury bug bit the Red Sox second basemen on the left foot. The injury won’t require surgery, but Pedroia is expected to miss six weeks. If the injury heals as expected, he should be back in the lineup around the second week in August.
With Pedroia on the shelf, fantasy managers will turn to the league waiver wire for viable replacements at second base.
Jose Lopez struggled through the first two months of the season, but appears to have found his stroke in June. Through 102 at-bats this month, the 26-year-old is batting .265 with three homers and 12 RBI for a run-hungry Mariners lineup.
Lopez is Seattle’s third baseman, but remains eligible at second after starting 139 games at the position in 2009. He will carry an 11-game hitting streak with him into Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. He’s currently owned in 48 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Freddy Sanchez missed the first six weeks of the season with a shoulder injury, but has posted respectable totals since, batting .300 with 18 runs and 18 RBI in 130 at-bats. The former N.L. batting champion should get plenty of run scoring opportunities batting second for the Giants. He’s currently owned in just 21 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Like Sanchez, Carlos Guillen has missed time due to injury this season. That hasn’t stopped him, however, from being a productive fantasy contributor. In 158 at-bats this year, Guillen has five homers, 21 RBI, and a .291 batting average.
Guillen’s bat has been especially hot of late, as he’s hit .305 with three homers and 12 RBI in 23 games this month. The 34-year-old hit .296 with 21 homers and 102 RBI and had 13 steals as recently as 2007, and clearly has something left in the tank.
Batting behind Magglio Ordonez , Miguel Cabrera, and Brennan Boesch in the Tigers’ lineup, Guillen will see several RBI opportunities. Surprisingly, he remains available in 89 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Jonathan Herrera is a relatively unknown name, but the switch-hitting 25-year-old has done nothing but hit since being called up on June 1. Through 19 games this season, Herrera is batting .305 (18-for-59) and took a nine-game hitting streak with him into Monday night’s game against the Padres.
The undrafted shortstop (who’s currently playing second base) has little power, as he hit just 24 homers with a .715 OPS in seven minor league seasons. Herrera does have some speed (131 career minor league steals), though he has yet to display it at the highest level.
His long-term outlook is bleak, but his hot streak is worth riding in deeper formats while it lasts. He’s currently owned in just one percent of Yahoo! leagues.
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