Josh Hamilton fractured his right shoulder in the first inning of Tuesday’s game against the Tigers trying to score on an unconventional pop-fly. With Hamilton on 3rd base, Adrian Beltre popped up to the left side of foul territory that sent Brandon Inge and Victor Martinez scrambling. Inge made the catch but no one covered home plate, so Hamilton took off. Inge tossed the ball to Martinez and tagged Hamilton just before he touched home plate.
It was a gusty move, and that’s the kind of intensity that wins pennants. However the Rangers will have to wait until June before they get their MVP back.
In the meantime, you don’t have to look very far to find a fantasy stop-gap for Josh Hamilton. Just look down the roster and you’ll find David Murphy.
Analysis: After Julio Borbon’s gaffe and Murphy’s game-winning double opening day, many people were clamoring for Murphy to replace Borbon. Well, “Murph’s” going to get his shot just 11 games into the season.
Murphy has always had talent. He was a 1st-round draft pick in 2003 by the Red Sox. His minor league numbers weren’t all that great (.273, 39 home runs in 1900+ at-bats), but has proven himself as a very capable major league hitter. His career batting average is .283 and his OPS is .804. Unlike most left-handed hitters, Murphy ISN’T abysmal against left-handed pitchers, putting up a very modest .266 batting average. That means he won’t sit against a pitcher just because they’re left-handed.
David is a line-drive hitter, hence why is BABIP is well above .300 for his career. There will be plenty of RBI opportunities in that Rangers lineup and should score plenty of runs.
Almost every player of fantasy value in the Rangers’ lineup should have been scooped up by now, so the possibility of 200 at-bats from a player in that lineup is well worth the risk. Murphy is worth adding to your roster across any format, regardless of if you had Hamilton on your team or not.
Projection (while Hamilton is out – about 50 games): .280, 9 home runs, 38 RBI’s, 7 steals, 38 runs scored.