Third base was one of the thinnest positions before the season and it continues to get worse. The good news is Evan Longoria is slated to return from the disabled list Tuesday. Pablo Sandoval will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken hamate bone and Ryan Zimmerman will miss additional time since he needs hernia surgery, which will take place Tuesday.
Mounting the problems at the hot corner was the broken bone David Freese suffered today in his left hand keeping him out for an undisclosed period of time. He could need surgery.
The replacements on the waiver wire aren’t very appealing. Every league is different so some of the following players may be taken.
Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays): He has yet to homer and is off to a slow start, so he may be available. He plays every day and exhibited power in the past.
Jhonny Peralta (Tigers): Surprisingly available in many leagues and also has shortstop eligibility. He’s not the sexiest option, but he plays every day and could hit 15-20 homers with 80 RBIs.
Wilson Betemit (Royals): Getting bypassed in many leagues. Playing well and forcing himself into the lineup. Batting .333 with one home run, 14 RBIs, and three stolen bases.
Ryan Roberts (Diamondbacks): Has cooled off and sat some games, but hit sixth home run today. Batting .328 with 16 RBIs and three stolen bases.
Chase Headley (Padres): Been bothered by a bad flu and might have been dropped. The home ballpark hurts but can get double-digit home runs and steals.
Juan Uribe (Dodgers): Another slow starter, but plays every day and has three home runs and 14 RBIs despite a low average.
Ty Wigginton (Rockies): Always finds a way to get at-bats and has multi-position eligibility. Will hit for power.
Jack Hannahan (Indians): A shocking fast start for Hannahan. In 77 at-bats, he is batting .273 with 14 runs, four home runs, 14 RBIs, and one stolen base. Ride the hot streak.
Danny Valencia (Twins): Like most of the Twins, he’s not hitting right now. He’s batting .217 with two home runs and 13 RBIs. A .234 BABIP shows he’s due for an uptick in average.
Emilio Bonifacio (Marlins): Getting consistent playing time lately and batting .319 with one home run, five RBIs, and two stolen bases.
Allen Craig (Cardinals): Could play the position when he returns from the DL. Has power and three steals in 11 games.
Jerry Hairston Jr. (Nationals): More for NL-only leagues as he should get most of the time at third. He had 10 home runs, 50 RBIs, and nine stolen bases last season.
Juan Francisco (Reds): Should return from the DL soon and will see some time while Scott Rolen is sidelined. Strikes out a lot, but has good power.
Albert Pujols (Cardinals): What? If you’re in a league that requires one game eligibility for a position, Pujols is now eligible at third after switching to the position in the eighth inning today.