The headline of the past week of baseball wasn’t a hot-hitting player or even an injury. Instead, it was the brawl between the Rangers and Blue Jays, which resulted in Jose Bautista’s jaw being a bit sore.
Though many have focused on Bautista’s slide and whether Odor was justified in his reaction, this article will side-step that discussion and instead focus on the inevitable.
That is, Odor has been suspended eight games as a result of the punch. While this isn’t the most significant suspension we have seen this season, it will still take some planning to replace Odor for that time if you own him.
Other impact players have also returned or will shortly return from suspensions include Aroldis Chapman and Jose Reyes.
This article will take a look at each of these situations and their Fantasy impact.
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Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers
Though Odor probably won’t start serving the suspension until next week, he is likely to appeal the ruling, but it’s always good to be prepared with a replacement on your team. With that said, second base isn’t the most plentiful on the waiver wire, but Chris Owings, Derek Dietrich, and Jose Ramirez are all widely available in both ESPN and Yahoo leagues and could be nice short term replacements for Odor.
Owings is good for a high batting average and steals but little else. Another concern is that he has also lost playing time to Michael Bourn recently, so continue to monitor his playing time situation prior to tabbing him as a replacement for Odor.
Jose Ramirez has found a way into the Indians lineup every day, mostly as the left fielder replacing Michel Brantley, and he has played well in the role. Since May 6, Ramirez is 11-for-28 (.392) with five doubles. The counting stats largely haven’t been there as he is stuck at the bottom of the order, so again he provides mostly an empty batting average. There is some stolen base potential with him as well, which could help in replacing Odor’s production.
Derek Dietrich gained playing time with the suspension of Dee Gordon and he has taken advantage. In the month of May, he is hitting .330 (.410 OBP), with six extra-base hits, seven RBIs, and four runs scored. Unlike Owings and Ramirez, Dietrich offers little in stolen base potential, though he has the advantage over Ramirez because he is batting leadoff for the Marlins and is safer than Owings because he is a fixture in the Marlins lineup.
Jose Reyes, SS, Colorado Rockies
Jose Reyes will be eligible to return from his suspension in two weeks and the common narrative is that the Rockies will trade him as soon as possible. However, they may need to play him at least somewhat regularly to showcase him to other teams and prove he is still a capable player that is worth the PR headache that will inevitably be attached to him. This could result in the re-shuffling of the Rockies lineup.
Of course, Trevor Story has taken over at shortstop in Reyes’ absence and there is no logical way he is taken out of the lineup. Meanwhile, Nolan Arenado is clearly staked to third base.
The Rockies outfield is crowded as well so there isn’t much playing time to go around there.
Though D.J. LeMahieu has held up his end of the bargain this season, he seems to be the most likely one to lose playing time unless he or Reyes plays at first base full time. It’s too early to react by trading or cutting LeMahieu because this is all speculation and Reyes being traded is still the most likely scenario.
With that said, if you own share of D.J. LeMahieu, just be prepared to find a replacement for him in the short term if Reyes isn’t dealt quickly and remains on the Rockies roster into late June.
Aroldis Chapman, RP, New York Yankees
Aroldis Chapman returned from his suspension last week and it’s safe to say that he isn’t rusty. After allowing a run in his first outing, Chapman has allowed one runner, via a walk in his next three innings pitched.
His velocity has also been in line with last year, so the missed time is behind him at this point. As expected, he has also taken over the closer’s role in his return and he won’t be relinquishing it anytime soon. No need to worry there.
Andrew Miller loses saves but has been better than ever with a ridiculous 48.7 K-percentage to this point in the season which has helped him post a .57 ERA and .70 WHIP. These aren’t sustainable but his ratios are so good and in combination he still carries value in most formats.