Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Early last night we got the news that two Philadelphia Phillies infielders, Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, were placed on the disabled list and later in the evening Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez injured himself sliding into second base.
With the large number of players going down due to injury in the past few days, you're probably scanning the free agent list for at least one or more players to fill out your lineup.
So let's look at the most recent injuries and who is taking their place on the field to see if they have any fantasy value.
Dexter Fowler for Brad Hawpe - The Rockies recalled Fowler from Triple-AAA where the switch-hitting speedster had been starring (batting .340 with an OPS of 1.002). With Hawpe missing a fourth consecutive game due to a rib injury, Fowler, who will leadoff, should get a chance to play everyday and could provide your lineup with a few stolen bases.
Eric Hinske for Jason Heyward - Heyward is sidelined until the All-Star break and veteran Eric Hinske will get a chance to play on a regular basis in the Braves outfield. Unfortunately, he's not hitting very well lately, batting just .229 over the past 11 games, so you will have to search elsewhere for outfield help.
Reed Johnson for Manny Ramirez - Johnson has actually been in the lineup for the past couple of days as a replacement for the slumping Matt Kemp, but the strained hamstring suffered by Ramirez will allow him to get additional playing time. Johnson is batting a respectable .286 over the past two weeks, but with a low OPS of .667, he's not "fantasy-worthy."
Greg Dobbs for Placido Polanco - With half of the Phillies infield on the disabled list, Dobbs was recalled from the minors and should get the majority of the starts at third base. Unfortunately, he is in a season-long hitting slump, batting.145, and won't be able to supply you with much help.
Wilson Valdez for Chase Utley - Even though Utley hasn't been hitting well lately, he was still on pace to hit 25 HR and score 100 runs. There isn't a replacement for that type of production at second base anywhere in the league. Valdez can replace Utley's glove, but despite his home run last night, doesn't have a bat to replace Utley.
Clint Barmes for Troy Tulowitzki - Barmes might be the best replacement for either Tulowitzki at shortstop or Utley at second base. When Tulowitzki broke a bone in his wrist, Barmes moved to short and is now eligible at both positions. He's batting .407 this week with a couple of homers. And the best news is that he's only owned in about 20% of all leagues.
Brian Schneider for Carlos Ruiz - Schneider is known more for his glove than his bat, but over the past week is hitting .333 with a pair of homers and four RBI. However, there should be better hitting catchers available in your league. The following guys are owned in less than 60% of all leagues and would be more likely to give you better production: Ryan Doumit, John Buck, Geovany Soto or John Jaso.
Randy Winn for Ryan Ludwick - Ludwick has only played one game since June 22nd and is still day-to-day with a sore calf. Winn has been his primary replacement, but his .227 batting average and sorry .565 OPS does not warrant your attention.
Jason Varitek for Victor Martinez - Varitek will now be an everyday fixture in the Red Sox lineup, but he shouldn't get anywhere near yours. He's batting .167 over the past week and .261 for the season. As stated previously, you could probably have Ryan Doumit, John Buck, Geovany Soto or John Jaso for the price of a waiver pickup.
Bill Hall for Dustin Pedroia - Hall will likely be called on to carry the majority of the second base action while Pedroia is sidelined for the next six weeks. He hasn't done much this season, batting just .237, but he has shown a little bit of power with six homers in just 131 at-bats.