With the announcement that Manny Ramirez will be suspended for 50 games for violating MLB’s substance abuse policy there will be many fantasy owners who will have problems “performing” over the next few days as they scramble to fill the void. There is no way to replace Manny’s .348 batting average, but here are some options that can help “enhance” your home run, stolen base and RBI totals until Manny’s return.
Justin Upton, OF, Ari
Owned in 63% of Yahoo leagues. Upton has been on fire the last week hitting .375 with four home runs and seven RBI. Upton has raised his season average up to .294 and seems to finally be putting things together after a very slow start.
Mike Cameron, OF, Mil
Owned in 61% of Yahoo leagues. Cameron is hitting .293 with six home runs and 18 RBI. Cameron will finish the season with a batting average somehwere in the .240-.250 range, but should hit 20+ home runs and steal 15+ bases.
Elijah Dukes, OF, Was
Owned in 46% of Yahoo leagues. With the demotion of Lastings Milledge, Dukes will get as much playing time as he can handle and he has responded by hitting .292 with four home runs and 18 RBI along with two steals. Dukes has the tools to put up a 20/20 season, not bad for a FA pickup.
Michael Bourn, OF, Hou
Owned in 23% of Yahoo leagues. If you’re looking for steals Bourn in your man. Bourn’s speed is a given, but his current .296 batting average probably won’t last. But, that’s o.k., because even if Bourn can maintain a .250 batting
average over the course of the season, he should be good for 40-45 steals.
Matt LaPorta, OF, Cle
owned in 19% of Yahoo leagues. It’s about time the Indians brought up LaPorta! LaPorta has yet to prove himself at the major league level, but does offer a lot of upside in the power department. He was hitting .333 with five home runs and 14 RBI at AAA Columbus. With Travis Hafner possibly returning from the DL in a week, LaPorta may not have much time to prove that he should reamain in the bigs.
Jean Pierre, OF, LAD
Owned in 18% of Yahoo leagues. If speed is what you crave, look no further. You may not have to look far in order to find a replacement for Manny as Pierre should be the current beneficiary of “Manny being Manny”. Pierre got the start Thursday night and went 2-for-4 with a stolen base. Pierre stole 11 bases in only 73 at-bats this spring, so look for him run whenever he gets on.
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