The fantasy baseball world has seen more injuries this year than one can keep track of. Forget the rash of Tommy John surgeries during spring training, guys are now hitting the DL at a breakneck pace (no pun intended).
Capitalizing on injuries is important and your fantasy baseball league’s waiver wire is the best place to start.
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(Player ownership percentages are based on ESPN.com fantasy leagues)
» Mitch Moreland, 1B, Texas Rangers (1 percent owned): Moreland is arguably the top add here, mainly because he should now have an everyday role in Arlington. On Thursday, Fielder announced that he would be undergoing surgery to fix a herniated disk in his neck, which was an inevitable conclusion after his symptoms hadn’t subsided with rest. It is a serious injury that will need to be permanently fixed and will require a long recovery. Entering this year, Moreland was coming off his finest season in the pros, batting .232 with 23 HR, 60 RBI and 60 runs scored in 147 games. Once the Rangers traded Ian Kinsler to Detroit in exchange for Fielder, Moreland was relegated to spot starts at 1B, LF and DH. Ideally, the Rangers will continue to sit him against LHP (.167 BA), but he may be forced to play a little bit vs. southpaws. He does most of his damage against righties, though, hitting .301/.337/.452 with 2 HR and 14 RBI when facing them in 2014. If you need CI help in leagues of 12 teams or more, Mitch Moreland is a fine injury replacement for Prince Fielder owners and those in need of some extra infield pop.
» Nick Franklin, 2B, Seattle Mariners (1 percent owned): A hamstring injury to Corey Hart — which is expected to sideline him for up to two months — has opened the door for Nick Franklin in Seattle. Franklin had an excellent rookie campaign in 2013, smashing 12 HR and driving in 45 runs with six stolen bases to boot. After the M’s signed Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contract in the offseason, Franklin was without a position. There was a spring training battle at shortstop between himself and Brad Miller, but Miller won that affair. Franklin has shined while playing most of the season at Triple-A Tacoma. While down on the farm, the 23-year-old slashed .376/.481/.633 while launching seven homers and racking up 26 RBI in just 109 at-bats. He also swiped six bases. In his nine games up with the big club, manager Lloyd McClendon has played him all over the field, seeing two games at SS, two games in RF and even a game at 3B. Between Hart being out, Miller struggling (.156 BA), and the Mariners’ desire to possibly showcase him for a trade, Nick Franklin should be in the lineup nearly everyday and is a must-add player in anything but the shallowest formats.