Julio Borbon was placed on the disabled list Saturday, joining Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton as the other Opening Day outfielders on the DL. AAA outfielder Endy Chavez was recalled and RHP Brandon Webb was transfered to the 60-day DL to make room for Chavez on the 40-man roster.
Borbon was on the heels of a 10-game hitting streak and a 17-game stretch that saw his batting average jump 100 points, up to .270.
Endy Chavez will take over the center-field responsibilities for the time being. He hit leadoff for Ron Washington on Saturday, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He was hitting well at AAA (.305 BA), but if he struggles there for more than a couple of games, expect another lineup shuffle by Ron Washington.
The player to keep an eye on in this situation is Leonys Martin, a recently signed Cuban import who made his professional debut Thursday, going 3-for-5 with 2 doubles and a steal. Professional scouts have conflicting ideas on who he plays like, with projections of Juan Pierre with a better arm, or Kenny Lofton, or Jacoby Ellsbury.
Borbon has played well enough so far and has the talent to be a solid player, so he’ll be given a chance if/when he comes back from the disabled list. If he struggles or doesn’t recover fully from the injury, Martin could see the Major Leagues sometime between the All-Star Break and the trading deadline.
Martin is not a blip on the fantasy radar yet. In keeper leagues, he’s worth a speculation buy.