Dee Gordon hasn’t been quite the same since being hit on the wrist, and now he’s going on the IL to take away a speed threat for his fantasy owners.
Since being hit on the right wrist by a pitch on May 9 then subbing into a couple games, Seattle Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon went 3-for-22 in his five games back in the starting lineup. He’s still hitting .281 this season, but on Tuesday the Mariners placed on the 10-day injured list with a wrist contusion.
Gordon has not been part of the Mariners’ homer surge this season, though he does have three after hitting four all of last season. But he does have 19 RBI,16 runs scored and 12 stolen bases to bolster his across the board fantasy stock.
Those 12 steals are tied for third in the American League right now. Gordon has stolen at least 30 bases in five straight full seasons, including leading the Majors in steals in 2014 (64), 2015 (58) and 2017 (60). One of those low water marks of 30 came over 79 games in 2016, when he served an 80-game performance-enhancing drug suspension, and the other came last year in his first year with the Mariners.
As running has declined in baseball, speedsters like Gordon are a rare, coveted commodity in fantasy baseball. The pure amount that he runs, to the enemy of efficiency at times as he was thrown out 28 times in 2017 and 2018 combined, helps Gordon drive value. For what it’s worth, he is 12-for-14 on steal attempts so far this year, with two successful attempts after he suffered his wrist injury before going on the IL Tuesday.
Gordon clearly needs a break to get his wrist back in shape. Top prospect Shed Long, who had one steal in a brief stint with the Mariners earlier this month and had 19 stolen bases for the Reds’ Double-A team last year, has been called up and should get a solid look at second base while Gordon is sidelined.
Long has been hitting well at Triple-A this season, with a .293/.362/.510 slash-line and 23 RBI, so he could become a fantasy asset himself. Otherwise, Brendan Rodgers or Keston Hiura are other options who could be available on the waiver wire to fill the void left by Gordon on fantasy rosters. Just don’t expect the same level of stolen base production.