Shin-Soo Choo Replacements

By R.J. Anderson //

As far as non-Cleveland Indians fans are concerned, Shin-Soo Choo’s trip to the disabled list comes at a pretty horrible time. Beyond the fantasy implications, Choo’s sprained thumb means he’ll miss the All-Star game, weakening the American League roster and watching experience alike. In his place, Fausto Carmona will represent the Indians in the mid-summer classic and Michael Brantley will be recalled to replace Choo on the Indians roster. Since the Indians are replacing Choo with Brantley, does it mean fantasy owners can do the same?

Short answer: no. The 23 year old acquired in the CC Sabathia trade of 2008 has 157 major league plate appearances with the Indians with a line of .278/.329/.313. His minor league statistics shed some more light on what Brantley’s roof might be: .284/.364/.377 in 806 Triple-A plate appearances with 57 stolen bases on 67 attempts. That is to say: Brantley is a speedster without much pop, but a decent ability to reach base and promptly take a few others by force.

Choo was hitting .286/.390/.475 with 13 blasts in a little over 350 plate appearances this season. Meanwhile Brantley has hit 13 home runs in the minors since the 2008 season began. The similarities outside of team and position between Choo and Brantley are few and far between, which means if replicating Choo’s strengths is your main goal then Brantley isn’t much of an option whatsoever.

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The Cleveland player who may stand to benefit the most from Choo’s absence is Shelley Duncan. The former Yankee farmhand has racked up 68 plate appearances this year while hitting .267/.353/.500. He won’t continue to hit quite that well, as his Triple-A career line is only .275/.370/.529, but his skill set is far more similar to Choo’s than Brantley’s. Odds are, you aren’t finding someone like Brennan Boesch on the open market to grab for no cost; so while Duncan is hardly optimal he might make more sense after doing opportunity cost analysis. A roster spot at this point in the season is less valuable than a productive player.

For more on Shin-Soo Choo and other injured stars, check out Bloomberg Sports Fantasy Tools

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