We all know now know that Albert Pujols is expected to be out four to six weeks with a small, non-displaced fracture in his left forearm bone. We have also learned that Pujols has been having some shoulder discomfort, but nothing bad enough to keep him out of the lineup. Injuries like this typically take closer to six weeks to heal not four. And after the six weeks Albert’s arm will be six weeks gone without any movement or training. It might take a while for him to get back to his normal level of strength and movement.
This is bad timing for fantasy owners who were just beginning to reap the rewards of their patience. Pujols has hit .300 with 10 homeruns and 20 RBI over the last month. Even if Pujols takes a while to get back to 100% there is still no way you can afford to drop him. If you feel that you don’t have room on your bench for another guy on the DH you can try to trade him. Selling low is never a good idea, but it is better than dropping him outright. So who can you find to replace him for 4-6 weeks?
With Albert out, Lance Berkman will slide over to 1B, this allows Jon Jay to see the field more in the OF. Jay is worth a look if you are in a deep league. He is a young player without a proven track record, but he has been productive in his time in the majors. He has an OPS nearly .800 and while he won’t hit you a ton of homeruns, he can get you some (4 so far this year) and he will also steal some bases for you, so he has some value.
Jon Jay will pick up a lot of extra at-bats while Pujols heals
There are plenty of options outside of St. Louis too. Former New York Met great Ty Wigginton, now of the Colorado Rockies is an option. Wigginton has now hit 4 homeruns in his last 71 at bats, and is getting regular hitting time at Coors field. The best part is that he has eligibility at 1B, 2B, 3B, and OF. He is available in 74% of public leagues. Another player that is too hot to ignore is Roger Bernadina of the Nationals. Bernadina has now homered in three straight days. He is already a threat to steal bases going 10 for 10 so far this year. Now that he has added some pop to his bat he is a solid fantasy player, at least while he is starting everyday with Rick Ankiel out. If he keeps his power numbers up, he will be hard to replace from the lineup even once Ankiel is healthy.