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A-Rod, Smoltz, Fantasy Baseball Owners Injured

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves hit the Disabled List Tuesday, causing fantasy baseball owners headaches as the season finally hits stride.

A-Rod’s injury, a strain of the right quad, has been nagging him for a few weeks. He has been playing through it, but the injury was aggravated Monday and finally led to his arrival on the DL. On the year, Rodriguez was hitting .286 with four homeruns, 11 RBI, and 14 scored in 24 games.

Because of his status as the no. 1 player in fantasy baseball coming into the season, A-Rod is going to be tough to replace. Cincinnati Reds hot corner Edwin Encarnacion is the top replacement for A-Rod, but is only available in about 20% of fantasy leagues. Scott Rolen of the Toronto Blue Jays should also earn some consideration from fantasy owners, and has much wider availability.

The Yanks will replace A-Rod with Morgan Ensberg, so because of his presence in the Yankees lineup, he should also earn some consideration.

John Smoltz went back on the DL Tuesday after an MRI and CT scan revealed inflammation in his right shoulder and bicep. Smoltz came off the DL in fantasy baseball week two and has gone 3-2 with an ERA of 2.00 and 36 strikeouts in 27 innings of work this season. There is no timetable for his return, but this will likely be a nagging injury for Smoltz throughout the season.

Replacing pitchers – even pitchers the caliber of Smoltz – is much easier than replacing a hitter the caliber of Alex Rodriguez. Streaky pitchers are always available, and Smoltz’s injury gives fantasy owners the opportunity to take early season studs like Chad Gaudin of the Oakland A’s and John Danks of the Chicago White Sox for a test drive.

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