In the words of Yogi Berra, "It's deja vu all over again." Last year, Yoenis Cespedes went on the DL with a strained left hand. Around the same time, the Chicago Cubs' closer (Carlos Marmol) went on the disabled list with an injured hamstring.
This year, Cespedes is again on the DL with a sprained muscle in his left hand. Also, Cubs closer Kyuji Fujikawa finds himself on the disabled list with a strained right forearm.
As for replacing them on your fantasy baseball teams, here's some names to check out:
Outfielders (to replace Cespedes)
- Chris Young - If you want Cespedes' replacement on the A's, Young is the guy. He's only owned in 2.5 percent of FOXSports.com leagues. Currently (April 13th) he's batting below the Mendoza line but he'll get his share of RBI opportunities. In Cespedes' first game on the DL, Young batted second on an Oakland lineup that is producing the most runs in baseball (70).
- Daniel Nava - The Boston outfielder caused a waiver wire frenzy along with his teammate Will Middlebrooks in 2012. Though he only hit .243, he managed to hit over .500 with six RBI in his first six games. Now, Nava is batting .421 with three home runs and seven RBI in six games and is only owned in 6.2 percent of leagues.
- Marlon Byrd - In deeper leagues, this Mets right fielder could prove to be a decent option. The 35-year-old journeyman is hitting .270 with one home run and seven RBI. His New York team is second in scoring (65 runs) with Byrd hitting in the middle of the order.
Other notables: Nate Schierholtz (CHC), Franklin Gutierrez (SEA), and Jordany Valdespin (NYM)
Closers (to replace Fujikawa)
- Carlos Marmol - It's more difficult to replace a closer for the most obvious reason, there are fewer choices. The Cubs aren't even sure who their ninth inning guy is right now. Marmol started with the job and lost it almost immediately. However, since he blew the save against the Braves (April 6th) he's been improving. In three outings Marmol hasn't allowed a run.
- James Russell - Arguably the best pitcher in the Cubs bullpen, Russell hasn't allowed a run in all six appearances in 2013. He's also only given up one hit and zero walks while striking out five batters. He is available in 95.5 percent of FOXSports.com leagues.
- Trevor Rosenthal - If you'd like to avoid the Cubs mess altogether (I don't blame you) take a chance on the future of St. Louis. Rosenthal is a 22-year-old flame thrower who has already appeared in six games sporting a 2.57 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and punched out eight batters. Manager Mike Matheny will likely make a decision on Jason Motte (tendon tear) in early May. As of now, Mitchell Boggs will assume ninth inning duties with Rosenthal looming.
Other notables: Joaquin Benoit (DET), Kelvin Herrera (KC), and Rex Brothers (COL)