A dismal Miami Marlins season just got worse. The team has placed Giancarlo Stanton on the disabled list and according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Stanton will likely miss the better part of a month, if not more. To be honest, I’m not sure things can get much worse for the Marlins, though we’re about to find out. But for fantasy owners who already have missed Stanton’s services for an extended time, losing him just as he was beginning to find his power is pretty bad.
So, can you replace him? Well, let’s take a look at some outfielders likely available to you.
Chris Carter – Houston Astros
Carter’s gotten off to a nice start this year, at least when it comes to hitting home runs. Given the better part of a full season, there is no reason to believe that Chris Carter can’t be around 30 home runs. That’s been his rate throughout his minor league career, and even briefly while in the majors. At pretty much every level, Carter’s hit home runs at a rate that would put him at about 30 for a Major League season.
This year, he’s hit five homers in the first month of the year. Well, a season is six months long so five homers a month is…30 homers. Minute Maid Park is definitely a good environment for a guy like Carter. The Crawford Boxes scream out and beg right-handed mashers to flip balls over that wall. Focusing on home runs alone, I’m not sure that Carter would be a significant drop compared to Stanton, even if Giancarlo played a full year. Stanton’s a more well-rounded player, but Carter is close to his equal with power.
There are a few things to look at here.
- If you’re in a league that uses individual outfield positions, Carter isn’t an option. He carries left field eligibility, while Stanton is exclusively a right fielder. So, you’d need to plug someone else into the RF spot if you go this route.
- Much like Stanton, Carter will get almost no help from his teammates in runs or RBI. The Marlins and Astros will be in a season-long race for the league’s worst record, and their respective offenses are a big reason why.
- Even if he’s decent in runs and RBI, Carter is an absolute drain on the average and doesn’t steal any bases. He’s a .216 career Major League hitter, with one career steal. So, you’d better have room to spare in those categories if you go with Carter, as even Stanton is good for a few steals a year and hits for a much higher average.
Gerardo Parra – Arizona Diamondbacks
If you go with Gerardo Parra, you’ll be set even if your league uses individual positions, as he’s got eligibility in left, center, and right. This looked like a problem early in the year, as Arizona’s got a very clustered outfield situation, but early season injuries to Adam Eaton, Cody Ross, and Jason Kubel have certainly opened the doors for Parra, who’s performed well in the first month of the year.
What’s really nice about Parra is that he’s a decent contributor in all categories, although I wouldn’t go this way if your team lacks power. Still, Parra won’t kill you in any area. At Chase Field, he’ll get you a few homers. The Diamondbacks lineup is good enough to help him, and he’s a .282 career hitter who can steal a base. Again, he won’t stand out in a category like Carter, but he won’t be a drain anywhere.
Parra may not be available to you. He’s available in just under half of the leagues out there.
Also, the situation in Arizona is crowded. Right now, there are at-bats for him in Arizona but as they return to health, look for that to change a little bit. Parra’s never played more than 141 games in a season, and there’s generally a reason for that. His defensive skills make Parra a good baseball player, but they do little to help fantasy teams.
If Stanton is out a month and you don’t need the power, Parra should be fine. But if you need someone to step in through the summer, you might need to look elsewhere.
Cody Ross – Arizona Diamondbacks
Ross missed some of the early part of the season, but has been a mainstay in the Arizona lineup since returning. He’s yet to find his power stroke, but that will eventually come. Remember, Cody Ross is one of baseball’s ultimate streak hitters. When the power comes, it will likely come in bunches.
But even without power, Ross has done a good job getting hits and driving in runs in the early part of the year. If Stanton’s injury is relatively short term and Ross gets hot in that period, you may not miss a thing. He’s not going to produce like Giancarlo all year, but Ross can get hot with the best of them.
All of the negatives about Arizona’s outfield situation apply to Ross, too. They signed him in the offseason and it’s hard to imagine they did that without thinking about getting him significant at-bats, but there will come a time when Ross will be competing with other capable players. Unlike last year in Boston, there is no DH to fall back on.
Also, being a streak hitter is a wild card. If he’s hot while Stanton’s out, you may not miss much. But if he’s cold while Stanton’s out, you’d almost be better off leaving the position empty.