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No Ray of Hope for Reyes’ Return

Can the New York Mets season get any worse?Jose Reyes, New York Mets shortstop

Shortstop Jose Reyes went for an MRI on Wednesday and it appears as though Reyes’ hamstring injury is worse than originally anticipated.  Doctors reported that there is scar tissue and severe inflammation in the young star’s hamstring.

Jose Reyes, 26, has not played since May 20 when he suffered the injury at Dodger Stadium.

If you are still hanging on in hopes of a Reyes’ return for 2009, give up.  There is not a rey of hope that Jose will be back.  If you’re still holding out, you’re not alone.  According to CBS Sports, although only 9% of clueless managers still have Reyes in their starting lineup, 96% of fantasy baseball owners are still holding out for a miracle return in September for Reyes.  Give up.  It isn’t going to happen.

Unless you play in a keeper league, cut Reyes loose now and replace him with somebody that might actually help you the rest of the season.

Shortstops: The Pick of the Remaining LitterAlex Cora, fantasy baseball shortstop

Replace Reyes with whom you might ask?

Current Mets’ starting shortstop Alex Cora is a possibility, but there are likely better options.  Cora has played in 77 games with a .256 average, 0 homers, 16 RBI, and 8 stolen bases.

The Mets now also have Angel Berroa who started the season in the Bronx, but Angel is never going to light up pitchers.  Berroa did have 17 homers for the Royals back in 2003, but he hit only one last year for the Dodgers to go with a .230 batting average and he hasn’t had a major league stolen base in the past three seasons.

Fantasy Baseball Shortstops 2009

Here’s some shortstops who may be available in your fantasy baseball league that you can consider picking up once you’ve made the decision to dump Reyes.  Consider the five shortstops in order of our fantasy baseball recommendations.

Erick Aybar, fantasy baseball shortstopErick Aybar, AngelsErick Aybar is in his third season with the Angels, but it’s his first chance this year to play every day.  Aybar has responded with a .311 batting average to go with 4 homers, 41 RBI, and 9 stolen bases.  Aybar bounced around between the majors and minors the past three seasons until Orlando Cabrera was let go.  Aybar is hitting .490 this month, including 24 for 43 the past 11 games. He doesn’t have much power, but his hot hitting makes him worth a flier in deeper mixed leagues.

Elvis Andrus, fantasy baseball shortstopElvis Andrus, RangersElvis Andrus is a rookie this season and he has not disappointed in Texas.  Elvis has successfully left the base for the base in front of him 20 times this season.  That goes with a .257 average, 4 homers, and 19 RBI.  Andrus, a Venezuelan, was signed at age 16, back in 2003.  His defensive skills are off the charts, both with the glove and his arm. He has plus speed that he uses at shortstop and on the basepaths. Has made great progress offensively and is developing into a future leadoff hitter.

Everth Cabrera, fantasy baseball shortstopEverth Cabrera, PadresEverth Cabrera is a Nicaraguan rookie shortstop who has been hot lately.  Cabrera has 6 stolen bases in his last 6 games and clubbed his first career homerun at Cincinnati on Tuesday night.  On the year, Cabrera is .269/1/14/15.  We like his 15 stolen bases and the fact that it looks like the Padres have more confidence lately in his ability to run.  The Padres have never been known as a stolen base team; San Diego is 25th in the league in SB’s.  Cabrera is just 22-years-old and was playing at High-A Asheville just last year where he stole an amazing 73 stolen bases!  He has no pop and isn’t going to hit that well, but if he can keep getting on base, with that speed, he just might move to the top of the lineup where he can bring home a lot of runs too.

Brendan Ryan, fantasy baseball shortstopBrendan Ryan, Cardinals — Brendan Ryan hasn’t played since July 30 when he bruised his ankle on a foul ball.  It’s hopeful he will be back in the lineup on Friday.  Ryan is not an every day player anymore with Julio Lugo on the club.  He’s .281/1/17/8 in 81 games this season.  Quite frankly, we think Lugo is the better player; he’s hitting .304 on the season.  Take Lugo instead if he’s the next best available.

Cesar Izturis, fantasy baseball shortstopCesar Izturis, Orioles — He’s not a newcomer like some of the others; Cesar Izturis is a veteran of almost 1000 games.  While you could never count on Izturis for power, he did have the ability to steal a base or two.  Not this year.  After stealing 9 bases early in the season, Izturis went out with an appendectomy.  Since returning to the lineup on July 10, Izturis has attempted only one stolen base (and he was out).  Izturis is .262/2/18/9 on the season.  We think there are probably better options available than Cesar Izturis.

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