Beware if you are a third baseman. They seem to be dropping like flies as some big names have gone down with serious injuries. Another week has gone by and more fantasy baseball rosters are in flux. This is why it is so important for you to scour the waiver wire and accumulate depth on your roster because injuries can happen at any time. So without further adieu, here is the next edition of the walking wounded.
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1. Ryan Braun (OF-MIL). Controversial reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun was forced to leave Wednesday’s game early due to an injury to his right Achilles. He allegedly sustained the injury the day before while stealing a base, and it flared up again in the middle of the game. Braun just started heating up so this is disappointing if he will miss an extended period of time. Keep a close eye on this because if Braun has to go on the disabled list then you will need to find a way to make up for his production.
2. Evan Longoria (3B-TB). This one hurts. Rays third baseman Evan Longoria sustained a partial tear of his left hamstring and has been placed on the disabled list. The early prognosis is that he will be out 6-8 weeks, but I would the latter. The hamstring first needs to heal, which could take quite awhile given there was a partial tear. This means Longoria won’t be doing much in terms of baseball activities for quite awhile. He will then need to rehab the injury and likely go on a minor league assignment before coming back. Unfortunately you should start looking for other options at third base because Longoria won’t be back until the summer.
3. B.J. Upton (OF-TB). The perpetually injured and disappointing Rays outfielder B.J. Upton left Wednesday night’s game with tightness in his right quad. Upton has been playing well since he came back from his spring training injury, so this would be disappointing if he is out for an extended period of time. Reports are that it could be a cramp and he was taken out as a precautionary move. It is unknown how much time, if any, he will miss. When he is healthy he has looked like a viable OF2 option in most fantasy formats.
4. Josh Beckett (SP-BOS). After throwing 126 pitches in his last start, Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett has been experiencing lat soreness. As a result, he will miss his next scheduled start this weekend as a precautionary move and to give him additional rest. He is not expected to miss any more starts than just the one, but monitor his status because Beckett doesn’t have the greatest health history during his career.
5. Pablo Sandoval (3B-SF). The man affectionately known as Kung Fu Panda was taken out of the Giants game on Wednesday after sustaining an injury to his left hand while swinging the bat. If you recall, Pablo Sandoval was on the disabled list last year with a fractured bone in his right hand sustained when swinging the bat as well. Keep a close eye on this one as more information becomes available. Sandoval is a critical piece of the Giants offense and has been very productive at a weak third base position.
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6. Kevin Youkilis (3B-BOS). It has been a rough year so far for Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis. After his passion and emotions were questioned by manager Bobby Valentine, Youkilis has been dealing with a back injury that forced him to miss several games and has now landed him on the disabled list. Youkilis should be able to return when he is eligible to be activated, but he has not produced at the level we were accustomed to a few years ago. In his absence, try and grab rookie Will Middlebrooks who will take Youkilis’s place at third base in the interim.
7. Nick Swisher (OF-NYY). Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher will be out until at least next Tuesday with a hamstring strain. The Yankees are hoping the additional rest will prevent the need for a trip to the disabled list, but one never knows when it comes to hamstring injuries. Swisher battled leg maladies all spring so clearly he is fragile. It is a shame because he has been one of the best power hitters and run producers during the first month of the season. You can bench him the rest of the week, but check back in early next week to see if he can avoid the DL.
8. Mat Gamel (1B-MIL). The news was not good for Brewers first baseman Mat Gamel who sustained a torn ACL in his right knee. It is likely that he will require season-ending surgery, but he is still waiting for doctors to confirm that prognosis. Gamel had not been producing much lately anyway, so he wasn’t much of an option to begin with. However, with all of the injuries to third baseman this year, Gamel was a decent option to fill in due to his eligibility at the hot corner. But after this injury, you can cross him off your lists.
9. Carlos Quentin (OF-SD). Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin has started his rehab assignment as he recovers from offseason knee surgery. Quentin has never approached his mammoth numbers he put up with the White Sox several years ago, but he still should be good for close to 20 homeruns even in a truncated season. The Padres desperately need this infusion of power in their lineup, but Quentin will have to overcome the spacious dimensions of Petco Park. If he is available in your league, Quentin is a decent option to add for some power.
10. Cory Luebke (SP-SD). After starting the season off very strong, it was disappointing that Padres pitcher Cory Luebke felt tightness in his elbow and ended up on the disabled list. Reports are that he should be back after only missing a couple starts, but the Padres will want to be cautious with their emerging star. Luebke has taken full advantage of pitching in the cavernous Petco Park and would be a top fantasy option if he received better run support. Stash him on the disabled list and put him back in your lineup as soon as he is activated.
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