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Why Now Is The Time To Add Sean Rodriguez

Tampa Bay Rays Sean Rodriguez connects for a three RBI triple against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto, June 1, 2010. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)During Spring Training this year, your favorite rotoball pundits at Fantasy Baseball Dugout waxed on and on about Sean Rodriguez.

The Tampa Bay Rays utility man was our unofficial Spring MVP after he spent most of the exhibition season as the top run scorer and home run hitter in either league with a batting average right around .400.

We hyped him. We told you to draft him. We lobbied the Rays to start him at second base. Then the season began, and…

On April 17, he went 0-4 against the Boston Red Sox. That 0-fer dropped his season average to .160. While he had reached base in five of the eight games he saw action in, he only had 1 RBI and no home runs.

We can’t blame you if you took our advice during Spring Training. We also can’t blame you if you changed your mind in mid-April, either.

The rest of April and most of May were still very sporadic for S-Rod. His average dipped below the Mendoza twice more – to .184 on April 30 and to .197 on May 27.

Then, on May 30, Jason Bartlett went down with an injury, opening up the everyday second base job occupied by fellow Rays rook Reid Brignac for Rodriguez. His season has been resuscitated. June will be a month to remember. In 12 games, he’s batting .400 with 3 home runs, 12 RBI, 9 runs scored and 3 steals. He’s also been on a 15-game hit streak dating back to May 29.

Fantasy baseball players have taken notice, too. In ESPN fantasy baseball leagues, his ownership percentage has changed considerably – up 31% over the last week and rising.

With Bartlett returning to the Rays this week, however, the question now looms… what are the Rays going to do with S-Rod?

Brignac isn’t exactly a slouch, hitting .300 with 2 home runs and 23 RBI, but in tonight’s action against Atlanta, Bartlett was back at short…

and Brignac found himself on the bench.

With Rodriguez hitting the ball so well recently, Bartlett getting the shortstop start, and Brignac being relegated back to the bench – the time may be now to add Sean Rodriguez to your fantasy roster.

If you own an underwhelming second baseman like Ian Kinsler, Aaron Hill, or Chone Figgins and are tired of seeing them kill your numbers each week, take a stab at adding Rodriguez. Over the next couple weeks, starting him at second base can’t hurt.

And if his minor league career and spring training performance are any indication, Rodriguez is in line to be a productive fantasy baseball second baseman the rest of the way.

Get him now, before he’s gone.

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