Fantasy baseball News & Notes: Kipnis possibly headed to the DL
In our daily fantasy baseball news and notes column, we'll be discussing hot topics in the fantasy baseball world, as well as offering up tidbits of information to help you set your lineup. Comments are welcome below.
Bad news for Jason Kipnis owners. The Indians second baseman had to leave yesterday's game with an abdominal strain, and odds are, he'll soon wind up on the disabled list. Abdominal strains can keep athletes out from just a couple weeks to sometimes even longer; in 2012, Steve Blake, back when he was on the Lakers, missed two and a half months with an ab strain. Hopefully, Kipnis' injury isn't that severe.
It's a shame, because with Robinson Cano struggling to find his place in Seattle, with Brian Dozier still somewhat of an untested commodity, and with Dustin Pedroia unable to hit home runs anymore, Kipnis could legitimately be the top second baseman in all of fantasy baseball. Or at least, he was.
If you're a Kipnis owner and you're contemplating a temporary substitute at second base, possibly available fill-ins for you to consider might be Neil Walker, Brad Miller, Omar Infante, Dustin Ackley, Scooter Gennett and Danny Espinosa. There's also the Indians' in-house candidate, Mike Aviles, who's been a serviceable player in the past -- most notably in 2012 -- when he hit spent much of the year hitting leadoff for the Red Sox. Aviles will probably be buried near the bottom of the Indians lineup, but he can offer just enough hits and steals to be a tolerable fill-in, if you're itching to still have a Cleveland Indian as your starting middle infielder.
For your consideration
• The Dodgers and Twins play a doubleheader tomorrow, which is worth pointing out considering tomorrow's a Thursday, and not a lot of teams play on Thursday, and yadda yadda yadda. If you're in an even remotely competitive league, Brian Dozier and Chris Colabello are probably long gone (and if they're not, why aren't you adding them this instant?), but Juan Uribe and Trevor Plouffe might not be, and either would be an adequate streamer tomorrow.
• Mark Teixeira went 1-for-4 and hit a home run in his second-straight game -- his third in five games. Ooh la la! Teixeira hasn't exactly been raking the ball lately, and his average still sits at .229, but he's been a productive hitter in the past while possessing a low average, and he's at least found some semblance of his old power stroke. He may not be all the way back; in fact, he may not even be better at this point than poor Adam Dunn, who's probably still waiting patiently to be added in your fantasy league. Still, he's shown enough positive glimpses in the last week that it's okay again to own him in standard leagues.
• Alcides Escobar went 0-for-3 last night, but he did pick up his fifth stolen base of the year. Escobar is a fascinating player, as on the surface, he's pretty serviceable -- a decent hitter with solid speed and the ability to occasionally hit a home run. But sabermetricians, Escobar is actually considered one of the worst hitters in all of baseball. He hit just .234 last year, and he did it while not walking and barely making any contact that didn't result in a single. Of course, that was last year, and all players deserve the chance to distance themselves from their past performances, the same way your AL RBI leader right now is none other than Chris Colabello. Still, you're just not going to get a lot from Escobar even when he's hitting .286, like he is right now. He's strictly a rental shortstop if you need short term help.
• A few days ago, I said that owners shouldn't waive Michael Pineda just because he got suspended for doctoring his pitches with pine tar. But now, Pineda will be out for the next month with an upper back strain, which means he really should be dropped at this point. All the positives are still there for Pineda, who has excellent stuff when he's healthy (and not using pine tar). Unfortunately, he gets hurt all the time, and this time, he blew out his back just from pitching in a simulated game. He's good, but no so good that he's worth babysitting for three-to-four weeks.
• Jon Niese was quite excellent in inclement weather against the Phillies, allowing just one run in seven innings while fanning five. Niese possesses a 2.20 ERA so far this season, which is lower than his 3.99 career average. However, he's always been a pitcher who'll pitch well enough to lure you into owning him, and then, once you kind of believe in him, he'll give up seven runs and completely dash your hopes. Niese's next outing is at Coors Field, against a Rockies team that may have the best one-through-eight lineup in the National League right now, so I'd steer clear of adding him just yet. If he can get through Coors without getting annihilated, though, I'll have no choice but to give him the benefit of the doubt.
You can follow David Pincus on Twitter @Reetae_.