We finally have a resolution to the Bigenesis suspensions and, aside from Alex Rodriguez, all players have opted to simply accept the verdict from the Commissioner’s office. That means potential opportunities, so let’s take a look at who fantasy owners should be targeting amidst the fallout:
Nelson Cruz – Texas Rangers – Outfielder
Likely Replacement – Craig Gentry; Jurickson Profar
The Rangers have downplayed the idea of Profar playing more outfield, but you have to think that won’t last long. Widely considered one of the top prospects in the game, Profar has only appeared in 49 games for the Rangers (and seen a total of 308 AB between the Majors and the minors). It never made sense to waste his bat in a utility/spot star role, so this does give them an excuse to get his bat into the lineup on a regular bsis.
He’s still maturing and has not reached his full potential, but there would be reason for optimism if Profar does slide into a starting role. The power is not fully there yet, but he has 4 HR in 164 AB for Texas and could finish the season with 10+.
Profar also has speed, with as many as 23 SB in a season. He has yet to steal a base, but the Rangers would obviously need more of a speed game without Cruz in the lineup. It could be a stretch, but seeing him post a 10/10 campaign with a solid average is believable.
If he’s unowned in your league, he is well worth stashing (as long as you don’t expect Manny Machado like production). While 10/10 is a long shot, he could go 5/5 from this point forward, which is viable from a middle infielder.
As for Gentry, he hits for no power, has seen his strikeouts (19.6%) and groundball rate (58.1%) rise. That’s helped lead him to a .241 average. A .270 career hitter, he would need to steal a lot more bases to be considered a viable. It wouldn’t look like he is a good option to grab.
Joey Butler was recalled from Triple-A to take Cruz’ spot on the active roster. He was hitting .290 with 10 HR and 1 SB over 348 AB, but keep in mind it is the Pacific Coast League (his third tour at the level). It’s impossible to expect much from him.
Verdict – Profar is the guy to nab due to his upside
Jhonny Peralta – Detroit Tigers – Shortstop
Likely Replacement – Jose Iglesias
We all know that this is why Iglesias was acquired at the trade deadline to begin with (though with Miguel Cabrera banged up he has already proven valuable). He’s had 226 AB this season, hitting .323 with 2 HR and 3 SB. His average in Boston was heavily skewed by an unrealistic BABIP (.376), however, so we shouldn’t read too much into the numbers.
The bottom line is that he is much better known for his glove and offers little power, little speed and only downside in the average department at this point. Position flexibility is nice, but it doesn’t make him an appealing fantasy option.
Verdict – Deny ‘Em
Everth Cabrera – San Diego Padres – Shortstop
Likely Replacement – Logan Forsythe; Alexi Amarista
Both Forsythe and Amarista have experience at shortstop, though neither have spent significant time there this season. That said, the team has little in the pipeline to help short-term so they really have no alternative but to give them an opportunity (barring an acquisition from outside the organization).
While Amarista is hitting just .263, he actually has hit the ball hard (25.9% line drive rate) and brings positional flexibility. Of course, he hasn’t proven that he can hit for power or provide significant speed in the Majors. He’s a nice player, but outside of NL-only formats there should be a better alternative.
Forsythe has shown an ability to hit the ball hard whenever he has been given a chance in the Majors (26.1% career line drive rate), so he should at least have the potential to hitting for a good average. Outside of that, there’s little to get excited for.
Verdict – Deny ‘Em
Antonio Bastardo – Philadelphia Phillies – Pitcher
Likely Replacement – Justin De Fratus
Bastardo’s only chance at fantasy appeal would be replacing Jonathan Papelbon. Barring an injury, that means he only would’ve been in line for a rogue save anyways. De Fratus could step into the “vulture” position, but that doesn’t mean much
Verdict – Deny ‘Em
Francisco Cervelli – New York Yankees – Catcher
His only potential impact would’ve been coming back and replacing the duo of Chris Stewart/Austin Romine, since Cervelli is still on the DL. If those guys had value in your league, keep on using them (though those have to be some deep leagues).
Others Suspended With No Immediate Impact:
- Fautino De Los Santos – San Diego Padres – Pitcher (Minors)
- Sergio Escalona – Houston Astros – Pitcher (Minors)
- Fernando Martinez – New York Yankees – Outfielder (Minors)
- Jesus Montero – Seattle Mariners – Catcher (Minors)
- Jordan Norberto – Free Agent – Pitcher
- Cesar Puello – New York Mets – Outfielder (Minors)
- Jordany Valdespin – New York Mets – Outfielder (Minors)