Fill-in options for DL-bound Evan Longoria

Updated: April 4, 2011, 12:59 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
It's not that big a deal. That's my first reaction as a fantasy baseball owner when a star player has a minor injury. The season is six months long, and any team -- real or fantasy -- should be able to overcome pretty much any loss for a few April weeks. As I blogged Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals will not be eliminated sans outfielder Matt Holliday -- now it appears he could avoid a disabled-list stint -- and the Tampa Bay Rays won't fall apart without third baseman Evan Longoria, who is out for three or more weeks because of an oblique strain.

Longoria, the fourth overall pick in ESPN average live drafts, does play a more scarce fantasy position than Holliday (16th overall pick) in standard leagues, but there remain quite a few decent third base-eligible options available in more than half of ESPN's 10-team mixed leagues. Among them are Maicer Izturis of the Los Angeles Angels, currently second among third basemen on the ESPN Player Rater (Jose Bautista is first) after hitting .353 this past weekend with a home run and a stolen base. Izturis should help more in steals than power, but he is playing regularly, and hey, it's only three weeks out of 26.