Here we are, heading into the final week of August. From there it’s Labor Day weekend and then we’re officially in the final month of the season. This is it, folks! Not only is this the final week before head to head playoffs begin, but it’s the last week before rosters expand on September 1st. Checking the injury report is absolutely vital. You need to know who can legitimately help you for the final month of the season and who may be replaced, whether it’s from someone already rostered or some newbie rook just called up for a taste of the Show. Either way, you need to make sure you are up to date with the latest injury news and that’s what we’re here for today…
The situation with Andre Ethier is definitely worth noting if you have any expectations of him contributing down the stretch. It seems that Ethier, who is headed for offseason knee surgery but is apparently playing through the pain, is unhappy with the way he is being handled. He says he’s hurt, the Dodgers seem to think it’s not as bad as he is making it out to be, and at some point, this could all come to head and blow up. He was out of the lineup on Sunday and how much he plays this week is still undetermined. He obviously wants to be shut down but the team is not obliging and fantasy owners could get stuck in the middle. You might want to find a healthier and more productive outfielder if you can.
The Twins held Joe Mauer out of the lineup Sunday again, his fifth straight game missed due to a still neck. If it’s not one thing, it’s another with Mauer and fantasy owners have every right to be upset…especially those that wasted a high draft choice on the backstop. Apparently, they are now blaming this year’s slew of injuries on poor conditioning; that he failed to get enough conditioning work in after his December knee surgery. Whatever the case may be, he is doing very little to help fantasy teams right now and should probably be relegated to your bench while he remains banged up. There are probably plenty of other productive catchers available on your waiver wire.
After making it back from a neck issue, Michael Cuddyer finds himself on the day to day list again, this time with a wrist injury. Cuddyer says that it’s minor and that, after taking Sunday off, he should be back in a day or two. Chances are that he will be fine for this week.
Also for the Twins, second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka missed his ninth straight game with back and oblique problems, but reports are comin gin that he’ll be ready to go this week. The Twins will probably finds a way to get him into the lineup if he’s healthy which means that Matt Tolbert and Trevor Plouffe could see a reduction in time.
It looks like the Tigers might be without Ryan Raburn for another day or two. He missed Sunday’s game with a jammed finger and is undergoing steady treatments to hopefully get him back sooner than later. It doesn’t seem serious, but you might want to check his status again before lineups lock for the week. If you are able to make daily moves, then it shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
Raburn’s teammate Brennan Boesch continues to miss time as Sunday was his fourth straight missed game due to a thumb injury. This was mentioned last week and continues to linger, so unless you hear something positive between now and when lineups lock for the week, you may want to consider benching him for this scoring period.
Cameron Maybin was held out of the lineup Sunday with a right wrist problem, but is still just being considered day to day right now. He’s become quite reliable ever since coming off the DL back in June, so losing him hurts a little more than it used to. Wrist injuries can be a little tricky, so if you have a full-time guy to plug in, then you should be covered. If you don’t, then maybe hunt on the waiver wire and see if there’s someone worthwhile that may get more PT than Maybin this week.
There’s a pretty strong chance that Shin-Soo Choo lands back on the DL this week after aggravating an injury to his side on Saturday and missing Sunday’s game. It’s probably best to bench him for this week and hope for the best down the road.
Jason Bay, who was a late scratch Friday with a jammed shoulder, could still be out of action this week even after games were postponed due to Hurricane Irene. He jammed the shoulder on Tuesday and went for a precautionary MRI which revealed no structural damage so it’s just a day to day thing right now.
We finally have a bit of closure to Michael Brantley’s season as the Indians ultimately decided to shut him down and place him on the 60 day DL. Brantley had been dealing with a wrist issue for some time now and there was hope that he would make it back to complete what looked like a breakout season. Unfortunately, the injury was just lingering too much and the team thought it best to close it out. Look for Brantley in your drafts next year as he is still developing and should provide you with a nice power/speed combo in the outfield.
After missing five straight games with a fractured foot, Nate Schierholtz has finally landed on the disabled list and is likely out until mid-September. Not that he was some fantasy god out there, but Schierholtz was actually fairly productive for a guy who plays on the Giants. With Carlos Beltran back in right field, it looks like Brandon Belt will see the majority of time in left with Schierholtz out.
After leaving his start Thursday night, Francisco Liriano landed on the DL with shoulder soreness and is expected to be out until atleast mid-September. The MRI revealed no new structural damage, but Liriano will need some serious rest and rehab if he’s going to be a productive option over the final weeks of the season.
Although no timetable has been given, the Blue Jays seem to think that Rajai Davis will be back this season. He’s been out with a hamstring issue which is never good for a base-stealer, but has recently begun some light jogging and batting practice. While Davis had been pushed to 4th outfielder duty when they team traded for Colby Rasmus, he could still have some value when he returns. He’ll get a few starts in there and should be a highly-used pinch-running option which could help you get a boost in stolen bases, if you need.
The Tigers should be getting Carlos Guillen back by the end of the week here as he is scheduled to start a rehab assignment this Monday. With Raburn and Boesch both banged up, Guillen may find a bit of extra playing time opportunities upon his return.
Word out of the Bronx has the Yankees activating Freddy Garcia from the DL this Monday and will have him start that day against Baltimore. He’s certainly not the best option out there, for sure, but he’s been fairly productive this season and could still help you out if you can take the risk.
White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski will start his rehab assignment Tuesday and could be back by September 2nd at the earliest. The South Side backstop has been out ever since getting hit on the wrist with a pitch, but with no break, the recovery process wasn’t too taxing. Tyler Flowers should go back to back-up duty.
The Dodgers are hoping to have rookie shortstop Dee Gordon back this week as he will begin a Class-A rehab assignment Sunday. Manager Don Mattingly says that Gordon should only need a few rehab starts to get ready and should be back this week, for sure. Gordon has had his fair share of struggles this season, but if you’re looking for a stolen base option that should see more action than, say, Rajai Davis, then Gordon should be worth a look.
It looks like Justin Smoak will begin his rehab assignment this week and may be back in time for the weekend – early next week at the latest. Smoak has been on the DL after taking a ball to the face and fracturing his nose. Hopefully he’ll resume his spot at first as Mike Carp hasn’t exactly been tearing the cover off the ball recently.
Other players that are due back this week include: Jose Reyes, Jonathan Broxton and Hanley Ramirez
Players that are due back the following week include: Chris Heisey, Scott Rolen, Carlos Gomez, Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Quentin, Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Beltre, Brian Wilson and Phillip Humber.
Rounding The Bases - Todd Zola Looks At The First 10 Rounds of a Likely 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft
Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola - Looking Ahead To The 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season
Rounding The Bases - Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (20 Prospects for '14)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 24
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (September Call-Ups)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 23
Rounding the Bases: A Day For the Little Man
Rounding The Bases: Morse, Willingham On the Move?
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Roster Expansion)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 22
Rounding the Bases: Five Surging Pitchers & Hitters
Rounding the Bases: Rookies, Veterans & Roster Movement
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Pitching Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 21
Master Notes From Todd Zola - Taking A Look at Starting Pitching In Keeper Leagues
Rounding the Bases: Small Names, Big Production?
Rounding the Bases: A First for Stephen Strasburg and the (Near) Final Round-Up
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Hitting Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week Twenty