Welcome to what appears to be a special Yankees edition of the injury report. It has not been a good week for the Bronx Bombers in terms of the health of their players. Unfortunately, that is not good news for fantasy GM’s either. The All Star break is just days away, so hopefully the extra rest will help your players heal and limit the amount of time and number of games they may miss. Let’s get right to the final edition of the walking wounded for the first half of the season.
Masahiro Tanaka (SP-NYY)
How do you say Tommy John in Japanese? Before making that leap, Masahiro Tanaka has been placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow. Tanaka was roughed up in his last start and complained about soreness in his elbow afterwards. The Yankees put him on the DL before doctors could even review and evaluate an MRI. Tanaka has been dominant this season and is a strong candidate for both Rookie of the Year and Cy Young winner. But perhaps the number of innings, frequency of starts, and stress of pitching in Major League Baseball has caught up with the Yankees $155M investment. Stash Tanaka on your DL or bench and hope that he doesn’t need to pay a visit to Dr. James Andrews.
Billy Hamilton (OF-CIN)
Billy Hamilton plus hamstring injury equals fantasy baseball catastrophe. Hamilton left Wednesday’s game with tightness in his hamstring that he claims he has dealt with all season. He has stolen 37 bases thus far, so imagine what he could do if he did not have any pain in his hamstring. The Reds are likely going to be very cautious with Hamilton since hamstring injuries take sufficient time to heal. Hamilton thinks he can be back within a few days, but that is overly optimistic. Do not be surprised if the Reds keep him sidelined through the weekend and use the All Star break as additional time to let him heal.
Carlos Beltran (OF-NYY)
Carlos Beltran has become a fixture of the injury report over the past several weeks. Just a few days ago he was scratched from the lineup due to swelling in his knee. He was set to return on Wednesday, but during batting practice he hit a ball that ricocheted off a screen and struck him in the face. Beltran sustained fractures both above and below his nose, and he is being evaluated for concussion symptoms. He will certainly miss the rest of the first half and there is a good chance he will be placed on the disabled list causing him to miss the beginning of the second half. Beltran has struggled so much this year that you probably won’t even notice he is out of your lineup.
Joey Votto (1B-CIN)
As we suspected in the last edition of the injury report, Joey Votto has in fact been placed on the disabled list with a left quadriceps injury. He already missed close to a month earlier this year with the same injury, so this is not encouraging news for fantasy GM’s. Votto has clearly been affected by this all season as he is putting up numbers akin to a backup middle infielder. Even when Votto does come back, he cannot be trusted for any type of significant production for the rest of the year. He is still worthy of keeping in dynasty leagues, but you should seek a replacement for him now if you have hopes of contending for a league championship in 2014.
Brett Gardner (OF-NYY)
Brett Gardner was kept out of Wednesday’s game with a lower abdominal strain. Gardner thought he may have a hernia, but team doctors confirmed it was just a strain. He is expected to return to the lineup on Thursday which is good news. Gardner is an extremely valuable fantasy player with a .286 batting average along with eight home runs, 36 RBI, 53 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. Despite the Yankees overall offensive woes, Gardner has been dependable with his production in all five roto categories.
Josh Beckett (SP-LAD)
Josh Beckett has always been an injury risk. He has missed significant time throughout his career with various ailments. Now you can add a hip injury to his list of maladies as Beckett was placed on the disabled list retroactive to July 7. The Dodgers expect him to be out until at least late July, but that all depends on how quickly he heals and whether he has any setbacks during a possible rehab stint. It is unfortunate for fantasy GM’s who have reaped the benefits of Beckett’s resurgence (2.25 ERA and 1.03 WHIP) after likely not even being drafted.
Justin Masterson (SP-CLE)
To say that Justin Masterson’s season has been a disaster would be an insult to disasters. With the exception of a couple solid starts, Masterson has been absolutely brutal this season compiling a 4-6 record with an astronomical 5.51 ERA and 1.65 WHIP. After he was pounded in his last start, the Indians placed him on the disabled list with a knee injury. His spot in the rotation is in serious jeopardy as youngsters Danny Salazar and Zach McAllister will compete to replace him. There is no reason to hold onto Masterson in redraft leagues unless you have a very deep bench and available DL slots to use.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service. You can contact him at email@example.com or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment),