Replacing the Unreplaceable: Strasburg, Pedroia

There’s no way around it. Some guys you just can’t replace. The last 24 hours have been quite discouraging to any fantasy owners that were hanging onto Stephen Strasburg or Dustin Pedroia as both are likely done for the season. What’s worse, Strasburg may indeed be out for all of 2011 as well as he heads for a second opinion on whether or not to have Tommy John Surgery.

 

Keeper league owners must be devastated right now with the knowledge that one of their top keeper options is likely headed for the dreaded TJS. While advances in technology have increased the success rate of a player coming back 100 percent after TJS, it is a minimum one year of recovery and rehab. As for Pedroia, his foot has yet to heel completely and he was unable to play through the pain and soreness. While there is a slight chance he could return should the Sox gain ground toward the Wild Card, the most likely scenario is that he will be shut down for the rest of 2010.

 
Possible free agent options using Yahoo owned percentages.
 
Starting pitchers
 
Mike Minor – 15%
Minor has been quite impressive since his call-up from the minor leagues. With a 22/4 K/BB ratio in 18 innings and the ability to neutralize left-handed hitters, Minor has every chance to see continued success this season.
 
Joe Blanton – 14%
See this article. 2.80 FIP in the month of August with a 5.75 K/BB rate.
 
Bud Norris – 10%
I’ve added Norris in a few leagues already. Wrote about him in depth this past Monday. 
 
Vin Mazzaro – 8%
2.56 ERA/ 3.71 FIP in August. Due to a below AVG K/BB rate, Mazzaro is more risky than the names above.
 
Jhoulys Chacin – 7%
Control issues are the only thing holding him back from being a very dominant major league starter. Worth a flier in all formats based on big strikeout upside.
 
Jordan Zimmermann – 4%
If Strasburg does go under the knife, he may be having a lot of conversation with Jordan Zimmermann, who just made his big league return after a year recovering from Tommy John Surgery. Zimmermann’s first outing wasn’t great, he allowed five earned run in four innings, but he only walked one while striking out four. His fastball held around 92-94 MPH, so the velocity was certainly there. He has the stuff to be a dominant pitcher, though it may take a couple more outings for him to settle back in. Based on upside, he’s worth a roster spot in August.
 
Second Basemen
 
Bill Hall – 11%
It’s all or nothing with Hall. He has a 571 SLG in August with six home runs, but a 31 percent strikeout rate.
 
Eric Young Jr. – 4%
Playing everyday and has five stolen bases in his last ten games.
 
Jed Lowrie – 2%
He’ll see plenty of playing time with Pedroia out and has the ability to help in AVG and OBP down the stretch, but also needs time off as he continues to recover from mononucleosis.