We’re getting closer and closer to that point where an injury to a player means “done for the season”. Time is running out. With less than two weeks before the calendar flips to September and we’re in the official stretch run, now is the most important time to stay on top of injuries and to work that waiver wire if needed. Quite a number of players visiting the infirmary over the last few days, so let’s get right to it…
Casper Wells, one of the hottest waiver claims over the last few weeks, had his four game home run streak ended on Wednesday when he was hit in the face by a Brandon Morrow 97 mph fastball. That’s certainly a way to cool a guy off. The ball clipped Wells in the nose causing blood to immediately pour out. He was immediately taken in for x-rays which came back negative, but he could be out for a couple of days here. Wells has been hot since coming over to Seattle, so losing his production does hurt here in the short run. Keep tabs on his progress to see if he is worthy of a start next week.
It seems that the Cinderella story for Adam Kennedy has come to a close. After a dismal start to August, Kennedy suffered a heel injury and has now missed five of the Mariners last six games. He did enter the game as a replacement for Wells, but this seems like a nagging injury that is going to hamper him the rest of the way.
A mini-disaster for the Giants as Brian Wilson is on the shelf for atleast the next few days with elbow inflammation. Fantasy owners’ hearts skipped a collective beat when it was announced that he was going to Dr. James Andrews for a visit, but inflammation was the only apparent issue. Anytime your pitcher visits Andrews’ office it’s a foreshadowing of disaster, so keep an eye on Wilson’s progress over the next few days. A DL stint is definitely a possibility here. Stupid beard.
The Giants actually have a laundry list of day to day issues right now as Jeff Keppinger, Eli Whiteside and Aaron Rowand are all considered day to day with a variety of ailments. They have also seen foul tips sideline both Pablo Sandoval and Nate Schierholtz, so if you’re rostering any Giants here, you’ll have to check their status on a daily basis now. They also lost starter Jonathan Sanchez who rolled his ankle during his last start, and while he may not land on the DL, he is definitely missing his next start this weekend. Oh, who are we kidding here? He’ll probably end up on the DL too. For more on San Francisco’s plight, you’ll have to look down to the other sections.
While Ryan Howard is saying that it’s not serious, fantasy owners need to get a diagnosis here. Apparently, he felt something while swinging a bat and described it to trainers as weakness in his hand. He will have it examined, which likely means x-rays and a possible MRI. He stayed in Wednesday’s game which means that he may be able to play through it, but you can’t help but think that it will affect his swing and his power down the stretch.
The Phillies are also dealing with an injury to Cole Hamels who is having his start skipped this week due to shoulder soreness. An MRI was done which revealed no structural damage and he played catch Wednesday, so there is a bit of optimism here. He’ll throw a bullpen session Friday and another evaluation will be made then, but there is no timetable for his return right now.
Whoa! Looks like someone’s holding a pound of Aunt Betty’s nut butter! Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz almost got Chris Snyder’d on Tuesday when he took a foul ball to the groin the other day. He was diagnosed with a testicular contusion and is being considered day to day. How long he will be out is not yet known, but bruised balls are probably something you’ll want to give a few days here to heal. Brian Schneider will take over for the time being.
After getting his bell rung by a foul tip on Tuesday, Miguel Olivo missed Wednesday’s game and could be dealing with a slight concussion. He stayed in the game after it happened, but was said to be feeling pretty woozy after it happened. Expect him to miss atleast a game or two and hope for the best. While he’s been slumping as of late, his power from behind the dish is critical to his fantasy owners.
Edgar Renteria pulled up lame while legging out a double on Tuesday, was out of the Reds lineup Wednesday and could miss more time on top of that. He was having it examined on Wednesday but no word has come down yet from the training staff. Consider him day to day, but he could miss a good amount of time. Todd Frazier should get the bulk of the work in his absence.
This may be pushing the boundaries of excessive coverage here, but what the heck – if you’re an Edward Mujica owner in a deep, NL-only league that counts holds, then you may have to go searching the waiver wire for help. The Marlins set-up specialist is being listed as doubtful with a strained lat muscle and is likely to miss a few games here. There’s also a chance that this lands him on the DL, so if you do, in fact, rely on him in any way, you’re going to need to find someone else.
Pick a Twin here – Denard Span or Michael Cuddyer. Which one is going to stay day to day and which one is headed to the DL? Span is still dealing with lingering effects from a concussion while Cuddyer’s neck injury seems to have worsened. The team just called up Luke Hughes, so one of them is headed to the shelf. Both should be benched, obviously, and we’ll await word as to which one is going to be gone for longer.
Making his bi-monthly appearance on the injury report is good ol’ Casey Blake, folks! The Dodgers third baseman was held out of Wednesday’s game with some recurring shoulder pain and could find himself on the DL….again. The trainers will wait to see how he feels Thursday, but you’ll probably want to find an alternative if, for some silly reason, you’re using Blake in your lineup. Aaron Miles replaced him, but picking up him isn’t going to do much for your fantasy team.
Worse third base troubles are happening in Boston as Kevin Youkilis is being hindered by some serious back problems. He’s been in the lineup the past two days, but could very well miss the weekend. The Sox could be even more cautious and put him on the DL, but no word has been officially given. He’ll be examined Thursday and a determination will be made then. Obviously this comes at an even worse time for Boston as they’ve also lost David Ortiz to heel bursitis. Ortiz missed both games on Tuesday, was out of the lineup Wednesday and is likely to miss the rest of the week and maybe part of next week as well. With Boston likely headed to the playoffs, they could sit both for a while thus killing some of your fantasy power.
If for some inane reason you are using Jeremy Guthrie in your rotation, you’ll have to find a replacement this week. After experiencing shoulder soreness, the Orioles have opted to push his Friday start back to Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Obviously you won’t have to be too picky about your replacement if you were planning on using Guthrie, but it is recommended that you try to find someone better….as if that isn’t a long list waiting for you.
Other day to day players to keep tabs on include: Conor Jackson, Marco Scutaro, Austin Jackson, Matt Tolbert, Freddy Garcia (start being skipped) and Jason Kipnis
So the Giants officially put Carlos Beltran on the DL this week, retroactive to August 8th. He’s been a complete bust since coming over in a trade just before the deadline and won’t be eligible to redeem himself until August 23rd….if he is able to come back when his 15 days are up. Track his progress over the next few days and see, but given the nature of his injury, his bat may not be all the way there when he first returns.
The Giants also lost reliever Sergio Romo to the DL with an elbow issue. The MRI revealed no structural damage, but you can expect the team to take their time with his return if they can. He is much more valuable to the post-season possibilities than he is to your fantasy team anyway.
In case you had any delusions about Zack Cozart making a miraculous recovery and coming back for a late September surge, you can officially put those thought to bed. He was transferred to the 60 day DL which puts his return date at 2012.
After being plunked on the wrist and sitting out a few games, the White Sox finally put A.J. Pierzynski on the DL. He’s out until mid-September, so you’ll have to find another backstop that could carry you through the end of the year. The White Sox will probably go with Tyler Flowers for most of the starts, so he could be worth a look.
The Chris Davis experiment is officially over in Baltimore, atleast until 2012. The former Texas slugger/strikeout king has a small tear in his shoulder and is headed to Dr. Lewis Yocum’s office for some work. That’s, pretty much, on par with your pitcher seeing Dr. Andrews, so consider Davis’ season a finished product. Not a good one, but finished.
The Blue Jays have lost closer Jon Rauch until atleast the end of the month and probably longer as he was diagnosed with appendicitis. The closer reins will be handed over to Frank Francisco again, but there are probably a few other low end save options out there that won’t punish your ratios the way Franky Frank only knows how.
Alex Rodriguez had his return pushed back by atleast a day and the Yankees are going to be extra cautious with their all-star third baseman as they gear up for the playoffs. He is currently on a rehab assignment in Triple-A and was slated to be activated on Thursday. However, to err on the side of caution, they are holding him back just to be certain that the knee is 100%. Bottom line is that the Yankees don’t care about your fantasy team. In their eyes, their playoffs are more important than your playoffs. Keep tabs on A-Rod’s rehab for now as this may put him in doubt for some of next week as well.
The Orioles are likely to get back starter Zach Britton soon who has been out with shoulder inflammation. He just wrapped up a solid rehab start in Triple-A, allowing just one run on three hits through five innings and could be activated and start as early as Saturday. He would be facing the Angels in Anaheim, which might not be a bad option for you, especially if you’re a Guthrie owner.
The Padres outfield could crowd up again pretty quickly as Chris Denorfia seems to be headed back over the weekend. He’s been out since August 6th with a hamstring injury, but has seemed fine during his rehab. He’s still just a low-end option in NL-only leagues, but he could have some late season value if you need a temporary stopgap.
The Royals could be getting Matt Treanor back soon as he is wrapping up his rehab assignment this week. How much he plays, though, is a question as the team brought up Salvador Perez and announced that he will not be sent back down once Treanor is activated. The two of them plus Brayan Pena could actually see their fantasy values drop, if that was even possible.
If you’re looking for a cheap speed burst, then keep an eye on Jordan Schafer who is on a Triple-A rehab assignment and could be back as early as August 22nd. Schafer has been out with a finger injury and there is still some swelling, so they may push his return back a few days. But once he’s back, he’ll likely take over full time center field duties for the Astros.
Other players who could make their way back next week include: Chris Narveson, Carlos Guillen, and
Howard Bender is the founder of The Fantasy Baseball Buzz and SF Giants Report. You can also find his work at FanGraphs and RotoWire. For questions, thoughts and comments, you can email Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter - @rotobuzzguy and @SFGiantsReport.
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