I'm not going to insult your intelligence when it comes to Tuesday's pending disabled list activations for prominent third basemen Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants panda Pablo Sandoval. Both are going to hit like top-10 options at their position and I have little reason to believe either is headed back to the infirmary anytime soon. Trust them both. If choosing between them, I would go with Zimmerman, but I wouldn't call him a top-30 player like draft day, either.
The real conundrum for many fantasy owners is who to cut at the hot corner. I see the e-mails, tweets and other forms of communication/whining all the time and I feel like some of the names being discussed warrant further investigation. For example, it seems like everyone with Hanley Ramirez -- he comes back Tuesday as well! -- owns Los Angeles Dodgers scrapper Jamey Carroll. OK, cut Carroll. Here are the third basemen that might be your version of Mr. Carroll.
Let's say in order to qualify for this blog, the third base eligible player must be owned in more than 10 percent of ESPN standard (10-team) leagues.
Ryan Roberts, 2B/3B/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks: One of the better hitting free agents this season, he's up to 96.8 percent ownership, and he's hit a pair of home runs in the past three days. He's on pace for a 25/25 season, and he's the No. 4 second baseman on the Player Rater. I'm somewhat concerned/convinced he'll end up with a sub-.250 batting average, but we own his teammate Chris Young, and Roberts brings more versatility. Verdict: Keep him.
Justin Turner, 2B/3B, New York Mets: Owned in 88.6 percent of leagues but, to be blunt, lacking the skills to deserve it, Turner lacks power and seems to be accruing runs batted in at an unsustainable pace. For standard league owners using him at third base, I think it's all downhill from here. And by the way, I can make the case the second base depth in fantasy is stronger than at third base, though Tuesday's activations probably push the seesaw back to the hot corner. Verdict: Cut him.
Mark Reynolds, 3B, Baltimore Orioles: You can't deny the guy has power. Reynolds has hit five home runs this month, already matching his May total and topping that month's RBIs in only 10 games. I think/hope he could hit .250 the rest of the way, which with the 30 home run potential tips the scales. Note that Reynolds should improve his .161 batting average against left-handers (and .167 BABIP), and he might even steal another 10 bases. I'm not saying you keep him over Zimmerman/Sandoval, but if you need power, and strikeouts are not a category in your league, try to make room elsewhere. Verdict: Keep him.
Mike Moustakas, 3B, Kansas City Royals: Most-added player in ESPN leagues could legitimately hit 20 home runs this season. In many cases, fantasy owners have just added him and might have to dump him already, but I'm telling you to find another name. Verdict: Keep him.
Casey McGehee, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers: Tough one here, because the 104 RBIs this fellow produced a year ago remain prominent in our memory banks. Until a week ago, he was still owned in 90 percent of leagues. I watch McGehee and I see the NL version of Derek Jeter, turning over on one sad ground ball after another and getting nothing out of it. McGehee isn't the same player he was in 2009-10. I'd rather own Roberts, Moustakas and I shudder to think even Reynolds at this point. Verdict: Cut him.
Maicer Izturis, 2B/SS/3B, and Alberto Callaspo, 3B, Los Angeles Angels: Each is owned in way too many leagues. Nice going, Angels, this is your answer at third base? Brandon Wood has only one fewer home run for the Pittsburgh Pirates than Angels third basemen have this season. Izturis can steal a base, but has done so only once in June, and Callaspo is a hollow batting average and nothing more. And he's dealing with a hamstring injury. Verdict: Cut 'em both.
Chase Headley, 3B, San Diego Padres: He's become a popular add in recent days, I suspect because the Padres are mercifully on the road at Coors Field, because it's not like he's hitting. Headley homered off Livan Hernandez last week -- join the club, right? -- but that unfortunately matched his season total for power. This is the ultimate free-agent third baseman you keep adding and then three weeks later you realize he has more stolen bases in his career than home runs. Verdict: Cut him.
Jed Lowrie, 2B/SS/3B, Boston Red Sox: There's a future for this fellow, but his left shoulder injury could easily linger for months, and he stopped hitting in April. Plus, he hasn't hit at all against right-handed pitching, which seems to negate a potential time-share with Marco Scutaro, and he's batting .202 in road games. Verdict: Cut him.
Ty Wigginton, 1B/2B/3B, Colorado Rockies: Has a home run and a stolen base in the past few days, and the eligibility is nice, but his defense has been a problem and it could cost him playing time. Then again, who is going to take it? Ian Stewart has shown nothing. If Wigginton adds outfield eligibility, which he might, then that would help even more. He could still deliver a 20-home run campaign. Verdict: Keep him.