Second baseman Kolten Wong has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left elbow strain, the St.Louis Cardinals announced on Sunday morning. The team has purchased the contract of top prospect third baseman Paul DeJong.
“Wong will return in two to four weeks depending on severity and what the MRI results show,” Fantasy Doctor Dr. Jesse Morse M.D. said.
Wong was manning second base for St. Louis, seeing career-highs with a .278 batting average and .378 on-base percentage. He also had one home run, 16 RBI and 11 doubles in his first 133 at-bats of 2017. Wong was heating up in May, batting .299 in the month, after a disappointing start to the season. He had slowly gained steam as a low-end option at second base in 12-team leagues. The injury should keep him on the wire and owners should wait til he can prove his worth on the field before picking him immediately upon his return.
Greg Garcia will get the first shot at replacing him and is playing second base for St.Louis on Sunday. He is batting .262 with a .377 on-base percentage with no home runs and two RBI in 65 at-bats this season. He will likely be part of a timeshare at the position and fantasy owners should look elsewhere for middle-infield help.
The Cardinals could explore moving Jedd Gyorko to play second base full-time while Wong is out. This will free up third base and allow Paul DeJong and Jhonny Peralta to earn more playing time. Peralta is aging and has shown almost no offensive production this season. DeJong is the player to watch.
The rookie is batting .294 with 11 home runs with 31 RBI in 170 at-bats with the organization’s Triple-A affiliate. If Gyorko moves to second base while Wong is out, Dejong may have the chance to prove he is the next big prospect out of the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Fantasy owners do not need to jump the gun and pick him up, now that he has been promoted, because his playing time is not yet guaranteed.
Even though he is a top prospect, he does not have the allure of other top prospects that demand immediate pick ups like Kris Bryant or Bryce Harper did. Give DeJong a few games to adjust to the MLB, but he will likely be worth rostering down the road.