Aaaahhh Albert Pujols leaves the game with a tight hamstring. Were any other Pujols owners searching twitter all night for updates like I was? The Cardinals said that the move was only a precaution, but its hard to tell if he will miss any time or not. Those of you in weekly leagues who need to set lineups will be taking a huge risk in starting him. Best case scenario is that he wakes up feeling okay, has the off day Monday, and starts Tuesday. I am not a doctor (but I am a sports psychologist), but in my opinion I think he will miss a few games and return around Thursday or Friday. Worst case scenario is that he hits the DL. He was quoted as saying that the results were “pretty good”, so that tells me that they weren’t perfect and that something is a little off there, but at the same time its nothing serious. Just remember though that even if Pujols only plays 3 games this week he can still put up the same numbers as most 1B’s during a whole week. If you do need a replacement or an insurance policy here are some options in order of who you should get.
Ike Davis- .316 AVG 4 HR 18 RBI this season
Freddie Freeman- 3 HR in his last 10 games
Gaby Sanchez- .307 AVG 2 HR 8 RBI this season.
Kila Ka’aihue- on 4 game hit streak with a HR over that span
Brett Wallace- .324 AVG this season. High ceiling, former top prospect.
Justin Smoak- .291 AVG 2 HR 7 RBI this season.
Mitch Moreland- .316 AVG 2 HR 6 RBI over the last 7 days
Michael Morse- May have broken his slump with a HR and 3 hits on Sunday.
Ben Zobrist- hitting in heart of order with 4 HR in last 9 games
Daniel Murphy- Earned a starting role, 2 multi hit games in last 4
Now on to the reigning WS Champions, The Giants. So Brandon Belt was sent down to Triple A. If you have him cut him. BUT when he comes back up grab him. Here is what is going to happen with Belt….He will start slowly to mediocrely in the minors until he finds something in his swing or his stance that needs changed. Once he changes it he will light up Triple A. Once he comes back up he will do what most star rookies who come back up do and thats play well. He will be motivated, rejuvenated, and mechanically sound as he pushes for rookie of the year.
Next is Madison Bumgarner. Don’t cut him. I say a lot that players are low risk and that if you add them or cut them it doesn’t matter. Well this isn’t the case here. You invested a middle round pick into Madison and had enough faith to take him over Hellickson, Daniel Hudson, and Matusz. So now you have to ride out his growing pains. He hasn’t experienced much failure in the majors yet and it was due to happen. In the long run he will be fine. The numbers will be there at the end and when you watch him pitch well in the second half you will be kicking yourself for cutting him, especially since you were so high on him to start the season. Don’t give up on a 21 year old in week 4 that you invested a 6th-9th round pick in. If someone has cut him in your league then grab him ASAP. He is still a high strikeout pitcher with the ability to pitch into the 7th inning and get quality starts with a good supporting offense. Stop panicking.