Welcome back to the next edition of the fantasy baseball injury report where we take a look at players who suffered significant injuries in 2016 and have red flags all over them heading into the 2017 season. These are impact fantasy players who may see their draft value slip so they can provide great value if you are patient enough to grab them when the time is right in a draft. So without further ado, here is the next installment of the MLB pre-season walking wounded.
David Wright (3B-NYM)
Injury – He suffered a herniated disk in his neck and underwent season-ending surgery in June 2016. He entered spring training this year experiencing pain in his right shoulder and has now been shut down due to his inability to throw.
2016 Season – The Mets’ Captain hit .226 with seven home runs, 14 RBI, 26 runs scored and three stolen bases in only 37 games.
Reason For Optimism
- Wright has been shut down early enough in spring training that there is still a chance, albeit miniscule, that he is ready for Opening Day.
- His desire and drive to come back and contribute on the field is unparalleled, and he is still young enough to have a few more productive seasons.
- The Mets lineup is deep so the pressure is off of Wright to be relied upon as a focal point of the offense.
Reason For Concern
- This latest setback is one of several which is jeopardizing Wright’s career.
- His neck surgery from 2016 has permanently limited the range of motion in his neck which makes it unlikely that he will be able to play pain-free for the rest of his career.
- It has been several years now since Wright stayed healthy for an entire season and produced statistics commensurate with a starting third baseman or corner infielder on a fantasy roster.
2017 OUTLOOK – The sad truth is that Wright is no longer rosterable on a fantasy team unless you have a very deep bench and can afford to simply stash him. Wright will most likely begin the season on the disabled list since he cannot throw right now. The Mets will actually field a better lineup under this scenario because Jose Reyes will be able to play every day and bat leadoff. Even if Wright somehow manages to make it back on the field, he will receive frequent rest due to his various ailments including the spinal stenosis, cervical fusion and now a shoulder impingement. He has plenty of sentimental value and could easily be taken at the end of a draft, but the question is whether it is even worth wasting that pick on him. Subjectively as a Mets fan, I am saddened by his demise and sincerely hope he is able to play again and be part of what could be a successful post-season run for the Mets. But objectively, Wright offers absolutely nothing in fantasy value and you are better served spending that draft pick on a player who is more likely going to offer depth and flexibility on your roster.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service, and co-host of the Fantasy Alarm Podcast. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment)