The dog days of August are almost over as we get ready to turn the calendar to September and the fantasy baseball playoffs. This has been a long, grueling season filled with catastrophic injuries that have devastated fantasy rosters across the board. It was survival of the fittest so the teams at the top of league standings are either very lucky or highly skilled at maneuvering the waiver wire and negotiating trades to build up roster depth. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Mike Trout (OF-LAA) – The elite outfielder has already spent several weeks on the disabled list this season due to a thumb injury. As if fantasy GMs didn’t suffer enough with that absence, they are now having recurring nightmares again after Trout crashed into the wall on Sunday. He suffered some soreness and a stiff neck (no, he did not get a Viagara stuck in his throat) and was out of the lineup on Monday. The Angels expect him back on the field on Tuesday so this was no big deal. He has seen his batting average tumble all the way down to .316 to go along with his 26 home runs, 60 RBI, 67 runs scored and 15 stolen bases despite missing several weeks earlier in the season with that thumb injury. Put him back in your lineup and watch the law of averages take over as he finishes the season with a bang.
Buster Posey (C/1B-SF) – Posey has been dealing with a left thumb injury that he sustained on a tag play just under two weeks ago. The Giants had him undergo an MRI on Monday which revealed inflammation and a bone bruise. This is great news for Giants fans and fantasy GMs who need their elite catcher down the stretch of the season. Posey is batting .311 with 12 home runs, 54 RBI, 52 runs scored and five stolen bases. He will miss Tuesday’s game and receive additional treatment. It is distinctly possible that he is back in the lineup on Wednesday which would be great news as GMs dodged a big bullet here.
Miguel Cabrera (1B-DET) – A terrible season for Miguel Cabrera only continues to get worse as he was removed from Monday’s game against the Rockies with tightness in his lower back. He has been hampered by this injury most of the season which is reflected in his uncharacteristic .254 batting average with only 14 home runs and 57 RBI. You can expect him to miss Tuesday’s game at the very least. It’s shocking to say, but his absence will barely be noticeable on your fantasy team given how pedestrian his numbers are thus far.
Carlos Gonzalez (OF-COL) – Speaking of disappointing seasons, Carlos Gonzalez is near the top of the list along with Cabrera. CarGo is hitting only .238 with eight home runs and 40 RBI which has rendered him irrelevant in fantasy leagues all year. He was scratched from the lineup before Monday’s game against Detroit due to soreness in his left ankle. Ian Desmond was just activated from the disabled list so he replaced Gonzalez in the lineup. CarGo is considered day-to-day but really doesn’t belong in your starting lineup at this point.
Adrian Sanchez (SS-WAS) – Washington is heading to the playoffs but they have been decimated by injuries over the past couple months. It’s a good thing they play in an awful division so they could build up a big enough lead to withstand all of these injuries. Adrian Sanchez, a career minor leaguer, was backing up a backup due to injury and has gotten some playing time of late compiling a .294 batting average with seven RBI and five runs scored in 51 at bats. Unfortunately, he was hit a pitch in his chest on Saturday and taken to the hospital to have a CT scan. Everything checked out fine and he should be available by Tuesday after missing the past couple days.
On the DL
Yoenis Cespedes (OF-NYM) – The Mets have been marred by injuries all year and it only makes sense that their marquee player finishes the season on the disabled list. Yoenis Cespedes suffered a strain of his left hamstring over the weekend which will effectively end his season. He was limited to 81 games this season due to several leg injuries and finishes batting .292 with 17 home runs and 42 RBI. Those statistics projected over a full season are very impressive, but he will need to prove he can remain healthy next year if the Mets hope to compete again. He can be dropped in all redraft leagues.
Danny Duffy (SP-KC) – The Royals placed Duffy on the disabled list with a pronator strain in his left elbow. He underwent an MRI which revealed the injury but also showed that his UCL is still intact. Duffy is 8-8 with a 3.78 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 116 strikeouts in 131 innings over 21 starts. He may only miss one start which is optimistic, but the Royals haven’t scored a run in what feels like two weeks so it may not matter how well Duffy pitches when he does come back.
Jedd Gyorko (3B-STL) – Gyorko is an invaluable fantasy baseball player due to all of the positions he is eligible to play. Marwin Gonzalez has set the bar for that this year but Gyorko is right behind him batting .272 with 18 home runs, 64 RBI, 48 runs scored and six stolen bases. He has landed on the disabled list with a strain of his right hamstring which he sustained over the weekend against Tampa Bay. The hamstring injury means Gyorko will be out at least several weeks as we all know these types of injuries require sufficient time to heal. This could be a tough loss for fantasy GMs who have been relying on Gyorko’s super-utility status throughout the season. Look for Matt Carpenter to slide over to third base in his absence while Luke Voit handles first base.
Victor Martinez (DH-DET) – In a serious turn of events, Victor Martinez was admitted to the hospital over the weekend with an irregular heartbeat. This is the second time this has happened this summer which goes beyond normal player injuries. There is a good chance Martinez is shut down for the season with the Tigers not playing for much the rest of the way. He has had a disappointing year along with the rest of the squad batting just .255 with ten home runs and 47 RBI. He doesn’t have much fantasy value being limited to a utility position, but now he can officially be dropped because chances are we have seen the last of him for the year.
Adam Frazier (2B/OF-PIT) – The Pirates had one of the best outfields on paper heading into the season, but that was before Starling Marte’s drug suspension, Gregory Polanco’s recurring injuries and Andrew McCutchen’s awful first half. Adam Frazier found himself with a lot of playing time this year because of that and was productive with a .280 batting average along with four home runs, 45 RBI, 46 runs scored and eight stolen bases. He also qualified at second base giving him even more value as roster depth. However, he sustained a strained right hamstring on Sunday and was placed on the disabled list. He will likely miss a few weeks and won’t return until mid-September at the earliest.
David Wright (3B-NYM) – The Mets captain has been limited to 75 games over the past three years and hasn’t been on the field since early 2016. You may be wondering why he is even listed here on the injury report. Wright was attempting to work his way back and possibly get onto the field before the season ended, but he had to end his rehab assignment after feeling soreness in his right shoulder. He will undergo some tests back in New York, but in all likelihood, he will be shut down for the remainder of the season. It’s a real shame to see a career like this get derailed so severely at such a young age. Wright clearly has aspirations of still playing, but his future looks bleaker and bleaker by the day. He would be doing the Mets franchise a real service by retiring so they can look for their next third baseman.
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).