Another week has gone by and more big names have gone down with some big injuries. This is what separates the men from the boys in fantasy baseball leagues. Everyone is susceptible to having injuries to key players, but the people that are successful are those who accumulate good roster depth and can creatively make trades or transactions to compensate for such losses. So without further adieu, here is the next edition of the walking wounded.
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1. Ryan Zimmerman (3B-WAS). Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has been out of the lineup the past few days as he deals with a shoulder injury. Zimmerman will go for an MRI to confirm whether he has an AC joint sprain, which could keep him sidelines for an extended period of time. Zimmerman is one of the best third baseman in the league, but he has had a tendency to be bitten by the injury bug throughout his career. When healthy, he is an elite fantasy player. Keep a close eye on the situation and hope that Davey Johnson’s grim prognosis is incorrect.
2. Cliff Lee (SP-PHI). Phillies ace pitcher Cliff Lee was placed on the disabled list with an oblique injury sustained during a game where he pitched 10 innings. Reports are that Lee has been throwing over the past few days and he expects to be back when he is ready to be activated. Don’t bet the ranch on that one because oblique injuries typically take some time to fully heal. Lee is unquestionably one of the top fantasy baseball pitchers around so stick him on your bench or DL and hope to get by until he comes back.
3. Shin-Soo Choo (OF-CLE). After a disastrous 2011 season, Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was hoping to re-establish himself as one of the better outfielders in baseball. However, he got off to a slow start again this year and was removed from Tuesday’s game with tightness in his hamstring. While the Indians don’t anticipate he will require a stint on the disabled list, one can never be sure how long a player will be out recovering from a hamstring injury. Slowly but surely, Choo is becoming known as a legitimate injury risk and his value continues to slip until he proves he can stay healthy and produce like he did in 2010.
4. Daniel Hudson (SP-ARZ). The good news is that an MRI revealed there was no structural damage to Daniel Hudson’s right shoulder. The bad news is that there is no way of knowing how long Hudson will be out. Hudson, one of the Diamondbacks premier young pitchers, had struggled early and now it is evident why. Arizona will most certainly be cautious with Hudson so do not expect him back any time soon. Keep him stashed on your disabled list and be prepared to continue without him for at least a month and likely longer.
5. Nolan Reimold (OF-BAL). Orioles outfielder Nate Reimold couldn’t have picked a worse time to have neck spasms. He had been one of the hottest hitters in baseball but has missed the last few games with a neck injury. It appeared that Reimold, a late bloomer, had finally put it all together and was on his way to a breakout season. It is not clear yet whether he will need a stint on the disabled list, but keep an eye on him to see when he will be back in the lineup. As hot as he has been, this injury could potentially slow him down when he does come back.
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6. Sergio Santos (RP-TOR). Blue Jays closer Sergio Santos was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. An MRI confirmed there is no structural damage, so he should not be on the DL for an extended stay. However, he will not even throw a ball for 10-14 days meaning he will likely need rehab games before he can come back. In his place, Francisco Cordero will be Toronto’s closer and is a viable short-term option for saves in your fantasy league.
7. Jason Bay (OF-NYM). HOORAY!!!! I don’t mean to wish ill on someone else, but as a Mets fan I am not too disappointed about Jason Bay being placed on the disabled list. To his credit, he injured himself giving 100% trying to make a spectacular play in the outfield. But he sustained a fractured rib and will be out indefinitely. Bay has been one of the biggest disappointments in baseball since he signed with the Mets before the 2010 season. He hardly has any fantasy relevance at this point, so don’t hesitate to drop him if it frees up a roster spot for you.
8. Diasuke Matsuzaka (SP-BOS). Desperate for some pitching help, the Red Sox could be getting one of their back within the next month. Diasuke Matsuzaka has begun a 30-day rehab program and was recently promoted to Double-A where he will continue to build arm strength and endurance. Matsuzaka is coming back from Tommy John surgery so there is no assurance that he will be very valuable on your fantasy team. But he is worth stashing and taking a chance on because he will get every opportunity to pitch in Boston’s depleted rotation.
9. Mike Pelfrey (SP-NYM). After starting the season impressively, Mike Pelfrey was a decent option for a low end fantasy pitcher. However, it looks like his season may be over as he was placed on the disabled list with a partial tear of his UCL which is usually the precursor for Tommy John surgery. Pelfrey will get a second opinion from the infamous Dr. James Andrews. Even if he doesn’t need surgery, expect Pelfrey to be shut down indefinitely.
10. Chris Narveson (SP-MIL). Brewers pitcher Chris Narveson will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. He was a low level fantasy option who put up respectable strikeout numbers. But now that he is done for the year, you can drop him off your roster and open up a spot for a replacement. He isn’t worth holding onto in keeper leagues either.
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