After a sluggish start to the season, the New York Yankees have exploded in June and now have the best record in baseball. A lot of their success has been because of great starting pitching up and down their rotation. However, in a matter of 24 hours, the Yankees lost their #1 and #2 starters to injuries. This proves that no one is immune to the injury bug. It also means that you have more obstacles to overcome in your fantasy baseball league. So without further adieu, here is the next edition of the walking wounded.
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1. C.C. Sabathia (SP-NYY). The Yankees placed ace pitcher C.C. Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain. Sabathia was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his left adductor muscle which he suffered in the fourth inning of his last start and told the team following a bullpen session Tuesday. This is the least severe type of strain and he is expected to be back immediately after the All-Star break.
2. Ryan Braun (OF-MIL). Controversial National League MVP Ryan Braun was hit by a pitch in his left elbow on Tuesday. He was left out of the lineup on Wednesday after stating that he couldn’t bend his arm. There is no need to panic yet as Milwaukee has an off day on Thursday to allow him to rest. But if the pain persists, Braun could be out a bit longer. Keep an eye on Braun’s status by the weekend and hopefully he is able to get back out on the field.
3. Andre Ethier (OF-LAD). Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier left Wednesday’s game with an apparent oblique injury when sliding awkwardly into second base. The extent of the injury is unknown, but this is not good news for fantasy teams who have come to rely on Ethier’s solid batting average and run production. Oblique injuries tend to take awhile to heal, so this could mean a trip to the DL depending on how severe the strain is. Keep a close eye on any more news coming from Los Angeles about this injury.
4. Brandon Phillips (2B-CIN). Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips left Wednesday’s game early after being hit in the head by Aramis Ramirez’s forearm on a stolen base attempt. Phillips stayed in the game initially but was removed by Dusty Baker as a precautionary move. Phillips likely won’t miss any time, but check his progress and make sure he is back in the lineup.
5. Andy Pettitte (SP-NYY). After C.C. Sabathia was placed on the disabled list, another Yankee pitcher has gone down. Andy Pettitte sustained a fractured left ankle from a comebacker and will likely be out six weeks. Fortunately the injury will not require surgery, but Pettitte will need crutches and a walking boot. Or, he could opt to use HGH again to help heal faster. Hopefully he won’t mis-remember anything this time if he does decide to do that. Keep him stashed on your bench or DL.
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6. Clay Buchholz (SP-BOS). Clay Buchholz of the Red Sox was finally released from the hospital after suffering from esophagitis and gastrointestinal bleeding. The illness caused Buchholz to lose three pounds and landed him on the disabled list. There is no indication yet whether Buchholz will return when he is eligible to come back. Boston should be cautious with him and make sure he has regained his strength and endurance before sending him back on the mound. After a horrendous start to the season, Buchholz found himself on many waiver wires and has pitched sensationally before this illness. Keep him stashed if you have room on your roster.
7. Daniel Hudson (SP-ARZ). Arizona has placed starting pitcher Daniel Hudson back on the disabled list with tightness in his right forearm. This is directly related to his prior elbow injury which cost him several weeks on the DL. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the damage. There is no timetable for his return until more is known, but it is very likely that Hudson will be out for quite awhile. If you have a deep roster or available DL spots, stash him on your fantasy team. But if you need the roster space, he might be a candidate to cut if he is out for an extended period of time.
8. Colby Lewis (SP-TEX). It is not a good time to be a Texas Rangers starting pitcher. The latest victim is Colby Lewis who was placed on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right forearm. Lewis has established himself as a solid fantasy pitcher with high strikeout totals and a low ERA and WHIP. It isn’t known yet how long he will be out, but you will need to find a replacement for him for at least a few weeks.
9. Frank Francisco (RP-NYM). Beleaguered Mets closer Frank Francisco was placed on the disabled list with a left oblique strain. He felt the injury during his last save against the Yankees, a team he called a bunch of chickens. Now he is out indefinitely and Bobby Parnell will assume the 9th inning responsibilities for the Mets. Francisco has racked up saves this year, but they are always an adventure. His high ERA and WHIP makes him a less attractive option when healthy. It isn’t known when he will be back, but if Parnell pitches well he could remain in the closer’s role for an extended period of time.
10. Matt Capps (RP-MIN). The next closer to go down is Twins fireman Matt Capps who was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis. An MRI did not reveal any structural damage, so he should be out only a few weeks depending on whether he will need a rehab assignment. Minnesota is a terrible team and won’t have many chances for saves, but when they do Capps has generally produced. If you need a short-term option for saves, Jared Burton and Glen Perkins are likely going to share the 9th inning duties.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jason Bay (OF-NYM). Jason Bay was cleared to ride a bicycle earlier this week and could resume baseball activities sooner than expected. Bay, sidelined with another concussion, appears to be symptom-free and could be back well ahead of schedule. This is not necessarily good news because he is essentially useless in both real and fantasy baseball.
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