Victor Martinez, DET - Fantasy owners always dream of players returning from injury in dominating fashion. They got their wish with Martinez who was struggling with a .250 batting average before going down with a strained groin injury. He played his first game after returning on May 4th and in the nine games since is batting .485 with two home runs, 13 RBIs and an OPS of 1.382. If you didn't put him immediately back in your lineup, do so today.
Matt Joyce, TB - The media attention this week has been on the return of Evan Longoria, and obviously his playing again is important, but it may have caused you to miss how well Joyce has been hitting the ball. Joyce was batting .286 on April 17th and in the two weeks since has pounded out five home runs, 13 RBIs and is batting .479 with an OPS of 1.393 in those 14 games. He's owned in just 50% of all leagues and I just checked my fantasy league and he's still available, or was, until I placed a claim for him this morning.
Martin Prado, ATL - When the Braves obtained Dan Uggla in the off-season and Chipper Jones recovered from injury and decided to play another year, many fantasy dismissed Prado as a valuable outfielder, thinking his hitting wouldn't rank as highly as when he was a second or third baseman. He's doing just fine in the outfield and his five homers, 24 RBIs are holding their own. If he's still available as an infielder in your league, then you are even happier to see his increased production over the past two weeks. Since April 27th, he's batting .373 with an OPS of 0.982. His only failing, at the moment, is one stolen base versus getting caught stealing four times.
Ryan Braun, MIL - Braun and Prince Fielder carried the Brewers offense in April, but Braun has struggled in May and both his fantasy owners and Brewers fans are feeling the pain. Since May 1st, Braun is batting just .159 with no homers, five RBIs and an OPS of 0.372. And Milwaukee has gone 4-8 over the span. It's obviously just a temporary situation, so don't panic and offer Braun in a trade, Don't take him out of your lineup either - he's simply too talented.
Grady Sizemore, CLE - Sizemore's return to the playing field after missing most of 2010 started out in magnificent fashion with a homer in his first game. He was still batting .378 at the end of April with an OPS of 1.251. However, his May production has been another story. In seven May contests, Sizemore is batting .152 (5-for-33) with an OPS of 0.594. He's also missed the last few days with a bruised knee. Hopefully, if you drafted Sizemore, you planned on his spending some time on the injury list and have a solid outfield backup. Even when he returns to action, he's shown no inclination to run. Sizemore is no longer a "30-30" guy or even a "30-10" type player anymore.
Lance Berkman, STL - As hot as Berkman was through the first four weeks of the season (batting .410 as of April 28th), you probably thought the "old" Berkman was back. He may still be able to produce for you, just not for an entire season as he could back during his superstar days in Houston. Since April 28th, Berkman is batting .194 with an OPS of 0.797. He still leads the league in slugging percentage and OPS, but now might be the perfect time to "sell" and get the most value in return.
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