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Greetings and salutations to all fantasy GM’s out there. The 4th of July is now in the rearview mirror and the All Star break is right around the corner. As we enter the dog days of summer, injuries to key players continue to pile up and this week is no different. Now is the time to assess your situation and aggressively pursue alternatives if your team has suffered the injury bug. Let’s get right to this edition of the walking wounded as we begin Week 15 of the fantasy baseball season.
Edwin Encarnacion (1B-TOR)
Edwin Encarnacion From the department of devastating injuries, Edwin Encarnacion will miss the next two to four weeks with a strained right quadriceps. Encarnacion is an elite first baseman who will be sorely missed by fantasy GM’s who have benefited from his 26 home runs and 70 RBI. Let’s not forget what a terrible April he had, so those numbers have been accumulated in essentially two months. All you can do is stash him on your bench or DL and try to tread water until he returns.
Joey Votto (1B-CIN)
Joey Votto Continuing the trend of quadriceps injuries for first baseman, former MVP Joey Votto could be heading back to the disabled list. Votto missed several weeks earlier in the season with a left quadriceps injury that has flared up again and caused him to miss the past few games. The injury has clearly taken its toll on Votto who is hitting a pedestrian .254 with only six home runs and 23 RBI. Now would be a good time for you to start seeking a replacement for Votto who cannot be counted on for much production for the rest of the season.
Carlos Beltran (OF-NYY)
Carlos Beltran appeared to have great fantasy value coming into 2014 after signing a three-year contract with the Yankees. He would have the luxury of being able to DH, take advantage of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, and hit in the middle of a potent lineup. However, he has been afflicted with various injuries that have limited him to 61 games and pigeon-holed him as a DH because he cannot throw. Now he is out with swelling in his right knee and will be evaluated further this week. With a .215 batting average and only nine home runs, Beltran is hardly worth starting in your lineup.
Mark Trumbo (1B-ARZ)
Mark Trumbo only played 21 games with the Diamondbacks before sustaining a stress fracture in his foot that has kept him sidelined ever since. He is now with Arizona’s Triple-A club rehabbing and is expected to return after the All Star break. He was only batting .209 through 81 at bats, but he did have seven home runs and 19 RBI. Trumbo is a tremendous source of power and run production, so his return will be akin to making a big mid-season trade in your fantasy league. He has even more value in leagues that count OBP and SLG so target him as someone to pursue during the second half.
C.C. Sabathia (SP-NYY)
C.C. Sabathia hasn’t been a viable fantasy option since 2012. Now it looks like there is a good chance that he won’t be a fantasy option at all until 2015. Sabathia has been out with a knee injury and he recently suffered a setback in his rehab which may require season-ending surgery. Sabathia is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews next week to decide the best course of action. No matter what the outcome of that meeting is, you can forget about Sabathia being on your roster for the rest of 2014. He is not worth stashing in redraft leagues so feel free to drop him.
Michael Bourn (OF-CLE)
Michael Bourn is valuable in fantasy leagues because he steals bases. In order to successfully steal bases, Bourn needs his legs to be healthy. Unfortunately for fantasy GM’s, Bourn has sustained another hamstring injury. This one is considered mild to moderate, and the early estimates are that Bourn will miss three to four weeks. That is a conservative estimate because hamstring injuries are very difficult to predict return dates. Bourn only had seven stolen bases thus far anyway, so his value had been minimized even before the injury. Now that he is out again, he is just another pretty name taking up a DL slot on your roster.
Jonathon Niese (SP-NYM)
Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese lasted 12 pitches in his last start after he was struck in the back by a line drive. However, he was placed on the disabled list with a left shoulder strain. Niese has pitched extremely well this year despite only being 5-4. He has been victimized by a lack of run support and a shaky bullpen which have kept his win total down. However, he has had a variety of ailments dating back to spring training so there is cause for concern with him. If he was on your roster, then it is time to move on.
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),