Troy Tulowitzki- Colorado Rockies (SS)
Was it divine intervention? We know the Rockies are into that sort of thing. How else can fantasy owners- and to a much lesser extent (obviously), the Colorado Rockies- explain a miraculously quick from one of baseball’s best young shortstops? Tulowitzki’s strained quad was supposed to sideline him until the All-Star break, but he returned Friday to take his rightful spot in the meaty part of Colorado’s order. He was struggling before the injury, but there is no reason to believe he won’t return to form. Tulo hit a double on Saturday and Sunday, which is a good sign for his power numbers. After hitting 24 homers and OPS’ing .838 as a rookie last season, Tulowitzki’s average is just .162 and he has hit only one home run. Still, he’s one of the top shortstops in the National League, and should provide a big boost to any fantasy team.
Albert Pujols- St. Louis Cardinals (1B)
Even with injury concerns heading into the season, Pujols was still a first round pick in most mixed-league drafts. While a bum elbow couldn’t slow him down (he’s third in the NL in OPS) a calf injury finally did. St. Louis has been able to tread water without Pujols, going 4-6 in their last ten games, but some fantasy teams may have fallen apart without him. As Roto Arcade points out, he’s impossible to replace with just one player.
Now Pujols is set to return come off the DL on Thursday, and don’t expect him to miss a beat. So rejoice St. Louis, your Cards are still in contention and Stephen Jackson probably won’t get hurt for another three months. Really, what more can you ask for?
Josh Willingham- Florida Marlins (LF)
I’m sure all your dumb friends laughed at you when you selected Josh Willingham this year. Of course those are the people that probably still draft Sammy Sosa, so whatever, just don’t pay attention to those losers. Truth is few left fielders have been better than Willingham in the NL the past two seasons. If nothing else, he at least should have earned the requisite ‘J-Will’ nickname from Linda Cohn at this point. But playing for the under-budgeted, under-publicized Marlins, Willingham has flown largely under the radar.
Willingham started this season off on a tear (.341, 6 HR, OPS over 1.000) before suffering a back injury that has kept him out since late April. He could return as early as today against Tampa Bay (the battle for Florida!), so he’ll free up a DL spot and give a fantasy team some solid power numbers.