Who replaces injured Drew, Gomez? 

July, 21, 2011
Wow, Wednesday night was hardly a good one for the No. 2 hitters in the Milwaukee Brewers-Arizona Diamondbacks game, as outfielder Carlos Gomez (broken clavicle) and shortstop Stephen Drew (fractured ankle) both left with significant injuries. While Gomez is barely owned in ESPN standard (10-team) leagues despite his 15 stolen bases -- the guy is just not a good hitter, and he was a reserve for the Brewers -- Drew's absence will certainly have a bigger impact in the fantasy (and real) world. Journeyman Willie Bloomquist likely will replace Drew, and while he can steal a base, he's not Drew's equal as a hitter.

Then again, Drew wasn't exactly helping fantasy owners as much as they might think. I'd never call an injury a good thing, but Drew's owners might not have noticed what was going on, either. There are 11 shortstops owned in 100 percent of ESPN leagues, and three others owned in 96.7 percent or more of them. Drew isn't one of them. In fact, his below-average play over the past 30 days had made him fantasy's most-dropped shortstop. Over his past 80 at-bats, Drew is hitting .175 with one home run, no stolen bases and only five runs scored. I ranked Drew comfortably in my shortstop top 10 prior to the season, but the way he was hitting ... I can't really disagree that J.J. Hardy, Yunel Escobar and even -- yikes! -- Emilio Bonifacio, with his 14 stolen bases over a month's time, have become more valuable. So should Bloomquist.

[+] EnlargeWillie Bloomquist
Rick Osentoski/US PresswireWillie Bloomquist won't exactly help you across the board, but he should provide steals.
While career achievements, upside potential and, frankly, sheer talent all play a role in how we analyze and rank players, and touting Bloomquist over Drew seems irresponsible, the fact is that Drew has done very little since getting off to a strong start in April. His season started late due to an abdominal strain, but 22 RBIs in a 21-game stretch quickly got Drew to 100 percent owned. Since May 1, Drew has hit .226 with three home runs and three stolen bases. That's more than 10 weeks! From 2008-10, Drew hit .277 with an average of 16 home runs, 64 RBIs and eight stolen bases, making him a top-10 shortstop, but he still left fantasy owners wanting more. Frankly, he could have been featured in the "future stars, current disappointments" blog entry on Tuesday. We always overdraft Drew expecting that career year!