The Giants lose a couple of players to leg injuries. One of the most over-rated players in all of baseball hits the DL in Minnesota. The Mets lose a pitcher to an arm injury but that does not take a rocket scientist to guess who that is. On the other side of New York, the Yankees shutdown their promising pitching star to figure out his problems and the Dodgers lose their back-up closer to a back strain. All in this edition of the Fantasy Alarm injury report.
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Hong-Chih Kuo was placed on the disable list with a back strain. Kuo has struggled so far this year after being unhittable all of last season. He has not been able to locate his pitches but yet as maintained the same velocity which is at least encouraging. The trip to the DL could be a way of protecting his elbow issues which have been numerous over his career while he deals with back discomfort. Kuo's injury history is a major reason why no matter how dominant he has been when healthy the team can not rely on him. In most league formats, Kuo is waiver material unless Jonathan Broxton has some major struggles. Broxton is usually very good in the 1st half but seems to struggle in the 2nd half so maybe at that point Kuo will have more value assuming he can stay off the DL.
The Twins were forced to place Joe Mauer on the DL with bilateral leg weakness. Mauer is still dealing some problems from his off-season surgery which is not being helped with him being diagnosed with a viral infection that has cost him to lose over 10 lbs. He has not been able to do any baseball activities as planned. Mauer needs more rehab work and the illness will likely make his stay longer than just 15 days. Drew Butera will take over as the every day catching duties while Mauer is out but he is absolutely useless for fantasy purposes. Butera sported a whopping .288 OBP in 5 minor league seasons with a career high homeruns of 7 in 2008. Mauer even healthy is still one of the most over-rated fantasy baseball players. It always key for owners to remember that the likely hall of fame catcher is still not worth his draft value.
New York Mets put Chris Young on the DL with a bicpes injury. This is just another stint on the DL for Young who has spent more time on the DL the last three seasons than he has on the active roster. The quality of pitching has never been an issue for Young as he had two good starts only giving up a 1 run in each start. At this point, there is no absolutely no way you should be counting on when Young will return but no annoucements have been made. Dillon Gee started in his place and pitched very effectively. Gee made some starts last year and pitched decently but his minor league numbers don't suggest much of a promising future. He at best is a spot start in a favorable match-up while Young is out.
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Phil Hughes was placed on the DL with a "dead arm". Hughes has been terrible so far this season with a noticeable loss of velocity in his few starts. The Yankees considered optioning him to the minors to work on his issues but decided a DL stint was better. No injury has been mentioned as the problem for his struggles so maybe with a little rest he will respond with some quality outings. Hughes is likely to make some rehab starts after the original 15 days but for fantasy owners the DL trip will likely allow an extra roster spot for the time being. He is worth stashing on your roster but will not likely pitch again in the majors till Mid-May. Bartolo Colon will start while he is out but unless you want a spot start look else where for a substitute. Colon has pitched decently so far this year but has not pitched more than 100 MLB innings in a season since 2005. Before this year, the last time he was on a team he went MIA with the Chicago White Sox which tells you all you need to know about his reliability.
The Giants were forced to place Barry Zito on the DL for the first time in his career. Zito sprained his foot while fielding a bunt but the good news is that X-Rays were negative. He has not been much of a valuable fantasy option in years so this should not be devastating news to fantasy owners. Unfortunately, the Giants promoted Ryan Vogelsong to take his place who has no started a MLB game since 2004 for the Pirates when he was awful. Vogelsong spent three years pitching in Japan since then where he had some success but hard to like a guy who 10 yrs ago was a respectable prospect who fizzled out badly. Zito was rumored to be a possible cut early on during spring training but his contract is the main reason he still pitches in the majors these days.
The Giants also had to place Andres Torres on the DL with a strained achilles. Torres suffered the injury over a week ago but it has not responded well enough to feel comfortable running full speed. A career minor leaguer until his break through season it is hard to believe that Torres will be able to repeat is performance. The injury not withstanding I don't think he matches what he did last season. Aaron Rowand will take over while he is out. Rowand has not had a good season in the three previous years since he has been with the Giants. So even with his current hot streak, he is not a run producer and lacks any speed to be a fantasy contributor so another option will be needed.
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