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Jerry Manuel told the New York Daily News, "There's no doubt this is going to be very challenging for us." Talk about understatement. Beltran hit safely in 12 of his past 13 games. His batting average is .336 with 40 RBIs and 10 stolen bases, he rose to seventh amongst outfielders in the ESPN Player Rater.
There's not a lot in the Mets' organization to replace that kind of output, as evidenced by the call-up of Fernando Martinez, the rookie who was just demoted after batting just .193 in his first major-league call of duty. Martinez is currently ranked as outfielder No. 157 in the ESPN Player Rater. Monday night's starting outfield for the Mets consisted of Fernando Tatis (No. 122), Jeremy Reed (No. 156) and Ryan Church (No. 87) with Gary Sheffield (No. 58) not seeing any action at all.
Fortunately for Beltran's fantasy owners, you don't have to try to fill the void left by Beltran's injury by restricting yourself to players on the Mets' 40-man roster. In fact, look at how many of the top-40 fantasy outfielders just might be available for pickup in your league, based on ownership percentages in ESPN standard leagues: No. 29 Jason Kubel (64 percent owned), No. 33 Michael Cuddyer (35 percent), No. 36 Aaron Rowand (28 percent), No. 37 Luke Scott (74 percent), No. 39 Cody Ross (25 percent) and No. 40 Juan Rivera (34 percent).
Losing Beltran for any length of time certainly isn't a pleasant proposition, but replacing him with a quality player certainly shouldn't be as challenging for you as it will be for Jerry Manuel and the Mets.
• Atlanta's Javier Vazquez and three relievers combined on a 10-hit shutout against the Cubs on Monday in a makeup of the June 4 rainout between the teams. It was Vazquez's first win in his past six starts, even though his five strikeouts were his fewest in any start this season. Vazquez is currently leading the NL with 117 strikeouts.
• With that rescheduled game on Monday, the Cubs are currently in the midst of a stretch of 22 straight days without a day off. So, manager Lou Piniella did not put either Alfonso Soriano or Milton Bradley in the starting lineup against Javier Vazquez. Nothing to worry about there. The absence of Yunel Escobar from the Braves' lineup is something to be concerned about, though. He was a late scratch due to a recurrence of a strained right hip flexor. He is day-to-day.
• Aaron Cook got plenty of run support from the surging Rockies, who tagged Angels' starter Matt Palmer for six runs in 4 2/3 innings. It was Palmer's first loss of the season. Cook held the Angels to one run and three hits in seven innings to improve to 7-3 on the season. The Rockies have won 17 of their past 18, are 19-5 since Jim Tracy replaced Clint Hurdle as manager and are averaging 5.8 runs per game.
• Speedy Rajai Davis went 2-for-4 with a triple, a stolen base and two runs scored to help Oakland defeat Jonathan Sanchez (0-7 on the road) and the Giants, 5-1. Davis is batting .304 for the month of June, and if he continues to get on base, he should be a cheap source for steals going forward.
• Ryan Howard spent much of this past weekend in the hospital with what is now being called "acute sinusitis." Howard, whose consecutive games played streak ended at 343 when he missed Sunday's game, did not make the trip with the Phillies to Tampa on Monday. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that if Howard feels better on Tuesday, he will fly down to join the team and might even be able to play.
Seth Smith, Rockies
Owned in less than one percent of ESPN standard leagues, Smith raised his average to .400 for the month of June by going 2-for-4 with a home run and a career-high four RBIs against the Angels. Smith was the team's designated hitter, but hit ninth in the lineup. I'd say he got the job done.
Trevor Cahill, Athletics
Cahill held the Giants to one run and four hits in seven innings to even his record at 5-5 on the season. In his past seven starts, Cahill's ERA is just 2.44. Now that he appears to be comfortable with being in the major leagues, he could be a solid fantasy starting option going forward.
St. Louis' Brendan Ryan hit his first home run of the season Monday night in CitiField, snapping what was the longest active drought in the major leagues: 434 consecutive at-bats without a homer. That torch of futility has now passed to Twins' backup catcher Mike Redmond, homerless in 391 at-bats.
• The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore should be activated from the disabled list in time to start Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. Sizemore did not play any minor league games to get ready, and Sizemore told the paper he simply didn't see the need. "I just want to get back on the field," Sizemore said, "My elbow feels good. I haven't had any setbacks, but we're only going to find out how it really is by playing everyday."
• The Cincinnati Enquirer has put two and two together to surmise that Joey Votto is going to be activated for the Reds for the upcoming series at the Blue Jays. Though no official announcement was made on Monday, Toronto is Joey Votto's hometown, and the paper reports that Votto was registered at the team's hotel.
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Christopher Harris: Hi, Ryan. Yeah, I'm one of the folks who thinks Reynolds will see his average drop. You can't argue that he doesn't have raw power (as 19 HR so far will attest), but he's got 97 strikeouts, easily putting him on pace for over 200 for the second straight year. His batting average on balls in play is .353, which indicates that he's been pretty lucky, and that his overall BA should drop, and considering he hit .239 last year, I think his current .267 is artificially high. That said, if he's going to provide this kind of power, ride it. (But I don't mind him as a sell high, either )
-- Full chat transcript
Matthew Berry: Yes, I do believe and yes, it's a legit strategy as long as you are in a shallow enough league (say 10 team mix) where there are ample pitchers on the FA wire to stream like that. As for Lannan specifically, yes, he's been ridiculous at home. Wish his K/BB rate was better -- I'm a bit nervous for long term success but so far, so good.
-- Full chat transcript
Tuesday's fantasy chat schedule:
AJ Mass, 11 a.m. ET
Brendan Roberts, 3 p.m. ET
• Injured Mets starter John Maine had a decent rehab outing for Class A St. Lucie on Monday. Maine pitched four innings of relief, allowing one run and two hits to earn the victory. However, he also walked three hitters and will likely get a few more appearances before being activated from the disabled list, especially with Fernando Nieve doing well in the Mets' rotation -- 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA.
• It was "night and day" in the second game of St. Lucie's doubleheader, with Oliver Perez's turn at rehab going terribly awry. Perez allowed six runs on seven hits in three innings, and even though four of the runs were unearned, the outing won't earn Perez anything but more time in the minors.
• If only he were in the Mets' system. Outfielder Garrett Jones is "all dressed up with no place to go" after a 3-for-4 night with Triple-A Indianapolis. The Pirates' farmhand is now hitting .301 for the year, with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs. Unfortunately, with Steve Pearce, Andrew McCutchen and Nyjer Morgan all wearing the black and gold of Pittsburgh, there's apparently no room for Jones anytime soon.
• Left-handed hitters are teeing off on John Lannan, 16 of the 26 hits Lannan has allowed to southpaws have gone for extra bases, including seven home runs. That equates to a .633 slugging percentage allowed, 300 points higher than his mark against righties.
• For more on Tuesday's games, check out the Daily Notes.