After a star-studded Cinco de Mayo edition of the walking wounded, things have significantly calmed down in time for the Ocho de May version. Today’s edition features several players who have suffered nagging injuries which caused them to miss a few games and enter that gray area where we don’t know whether a stint on the DL is coming or whether they will be back tomorrow. That is arguably just as frustrating for GM’s when it comes to make roster management and lineup decisions.
Matt Wieters (C-BAL)
It is good news for Orioles catcher Matt Wieters who is set to return to action after consulting with Dr. James Andrews due to elbow discomfort. Wieters will be DH and possibly play first base until he is pain-free in his elbow. It remains to be seen whether his discomfort will affect his swing in any way, but it is a positive development that you can put him back in your lineup especially while he is not behind the plate.
Joe Mauer (C/1B-MIN)
After missing four games with a back injury, Twins first baseman Joe Mauer appears that he will avoid a stint on the disabled list. Right now Minnesota is targeting Saturday for Mauer’s return, but we should still be cautious before expecting him back in the lineup. This has to be frustrating for fantasy GM’s who drafted him with catcher eligibility expecting him to play every day at first base. Try and patient before putting him back in your daily lineups, but be warned that any setback or lack of progression will likely turn into a trip on the DL.
Brett Lawrie (3B-TOR)
Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie has missed the last several games with a hamstring injury, but he is expected to be over the weekend. That is good news for fantasy GM’s as Lawrie was just heating up before the injury With so many third baseman injured or underperforming, Lawrie has become one of the better options thus far. Keep him stashed on your bench until we get confirmation of his return in a couple days.
Billy Hamilton (OF-CIN)
Speed demon Billy Hamilton has not started a game since late last week after injuring his hand making a diving catch. While he did pinch hit the other night, he was called upon to bunt. Hamilton has been having issues gripping a bat and if he does not make significant improvement soon he could end up on the disabled list. Fantasy GM’s have been enamored with Hamilton’s stolen bases, so this injury will have serious ramifications in roto standings depending on how long he is out. Cross your fingers he comes back soon, but be careful not to sprain your knuckles the way he did.
Pablo Sandoval (3B-SF)
A thumb injury kept Pablo Sandoval out of the lineup for only one game before he returned as a pinch hitter on Wednesday and then is back in the lineup on Thursday. This elicits mixed emotions from fantasy GM’s who likely are glad to have their third baseman back in the lineup, but also despondent that their third baseman is a giant waste of space and an albatross for several roto categories. Try and stay positive that the free agent to be will turn things around and justify why he thinks he should be paid over $100M.
Joe Smith (RP-LAA)
If your head is still spinning from trying to follow the carousel of closers, then you are not alone. After Ernesto Frieri was replaced by Joe Smith as the Angels’ closer, it was expected Smith would be given ample time to establish himself. But earlier this week, Smith developed an illness and was not available for a save so Mike Scoscia went back to Frieri. The next day, Smith was unavailable with tightness in his side. All signs are leading towards Frieri being reinstated as the team’s closer. Smith is still a pitcher to hold on to because he will get another chance when Frieri inevitably implodes again.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment),