It’s been a fairly rough week for yours truly here, not just in real life (hence the absence for the majority of the week), but in the fantasy racket as well. Injuries have been absolutely brutal to all of my fantasy teams during this young season and Friday turned out to be yet another dark and dismal day in my attempts to climb back into contention. Obviously there’s plenty more to come, but when your team is sitting in a relatively deep hole and you continue to lose players faster than you are getting them back, the fantasy doldrums seem a lot like a permanent residence than just a temporary situation.
While it sure was nice to see Aramis Ramirez finally make it back, the evening was like a trip to the emergency room as more players continued to drop. Things seemed pretty chill in the early goings of the night, but the late games hit and so did the injury bug. For starters, the red-hot Dexter Fowler, who extended his hit streak to 11 games in the first inning, left in the fourth after straining his hip flexor trying to leg out a bunt. They’re saying that the injury is mild, but you can bet that the Rockies are going to play it safe and keep him out for at least Saturday, if not the rest of the weekend. But mild as it may be, speed is the majority of Fowler’s game and a hip flexor problem is certainly something that could linger.
Now I’m not exactly sure as to which came first, but it was like a double whammy when I found out the Adrian Gonzalez was a late scratch with a neck injury and Baltimore’s Chris Davis left the game in the fifth inning with a knee injury. A-Gone is likely just day to day and should be back at some point this weekend, but Davis is heading out for an MRI which is never really good. Davis seemed to be pretty upbeat which might calm the nerves a bit, but when a guy is hitting .330 with nine home runs and 29 RBI, chances are he’s the majority of your offense and losing him can be a tough hit to take.
And then the big one happened. Just when you thought you were ready for Hanley Ramirez to take off in 2013, he was gone before he barely even got started. The injury is being classified as a strained hamstring, but we could be looking at another lengthy absence. We’ll get some test results soon enough, but given the way he grabbed the back of his leg and the fact that two trainers had to carry him off the field, the outlook doesn’t appear to be very good. What’s worse for fantasy owners is that those who own him probably dropped whatever shortstop they were using in his stead , especially after his 5-for-8 with a home run performance in the two games prior to Friday night. Now it’s back to the slim pickins of the waiver wire looking for more middle infield help. Who know....maybe Justin Sellers is still there.
Obviously injuries are a part of the game and you’ve got to fight through them year after year, but knowing that doesn’t make the outlook any less bleak for you this season. What’s even more troubling is that your waiver wire is probably thinner than a teenage girl with a self-esteem issue which means it’s time to start getting creative on the trade market. Start picking categories where you can make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time and build up your stats there as quick as you can. Rotate that methodology for a few of them and hopefully…..just hopefully, you’ll start getting some healthy bodies back into that lineup for a strong second half run.
Now let’s hit the highlights from Friday…
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|Jason Vargas, LAA||9.0||1||3||0||0||2||3||0.00||0.56|
Typically an underrated starter, Jason Vargas is starting to emerge from the shadows now that he’s pitching well in a major market. He’s never been a big strikeout guy, but his ratios were relatively solid for a back of the rotation type guy when he was with Seattle and in the first few starts this season for the Angels. But over his last two outings, Vargas has taken it up a notch and has given up just two runs over his last 17 innings (two starts) with a 10:4 K:BB. He’ll look to make it three killer starts in a row next week when he takes on the Astros, so if he’s lingering out there on your waiver wire, you might want to think about picking him up.
|Matt Holliday, OF STL||3-4, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB|
|Miguel Montero, C ARI||2-3, 3 R, HR, RBI, BB|
|Kyle Seager, 3B SEA||3-4, R, HR, 2 RBI|
|Felix Hernandez, SP SEA||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 7 K|
|Derek Holland, SP TEX||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 9 K|
Not much more you can say about Matt Holliday, is there? He’s a top 20 outfielder who makes regular appearances in this section and should continue to do so all year long. What’s probably most impressive is that he still hasn’t missed a beat since Albert Pujols left.
It’s nice to see Miguel Montero make an appearance here as he puts together a strong game on Friday. Always a consistent performer, Montero is actually off to an unusually slow start this year. Hopefully, this game is just a springboard to a nice stretch as he needs to pick it up to get back on pace for his usual career numbers.
While Kyle Seager saw a 16-game hit streak fall apart earlier in the week, he’s started another one back up just as quickly. He’s now hit in four straight and is 7-for-18 (.389) with a home run and three RBI in that span. Those who paid close attention to his line drive rate last season are likely reaping the benefits of having drafted him again this year, and the fact that he qualifies as both a second and third baseman in most leagues makes it even tastier.
Felix Hernandez continues to shine as Friday’s stellar performance moves him to 3-0 with a 0.60 ERA over his last four starts. Even better is the 35:2 K:BB over 30 innings in that span. The elbow problems seem to be plenty in the past here and while you may still be thinking about them and that a sell-high trade could be best, you should probably sit tight and let him anchor your rotation for a while.
Derek Holland’s bounce-back from a beating two starts ago continues and he’s now sitting on a 1.80 ERA with a 15:2 K:BB over his last 15 innings. With a little interleague action against the Brewers next week, look for him to make it three strong starts in a row.
|Seth Smith, OF OAK||0-5, 4 K|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B WAS||0-4, 4 K|
|Eric Young, OF COL||0-3, 3 K|
|Felix Doubront, SP BOS||L, 14.73 ERA, 3.555 WHIP, 2 K|
|Jose Veras, RP HOU||L, BS, 18.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP|
Typical stuff in this section as everyone here….yes, even Jose Veras…..can bounce back from a bad night. Nobody here has made any real regular appearances in this section, so the concern is not all that high. Just be patient.
Chris Davis, 1B BAL – knee (day to day)
Miguel Gonzalez, SP BAL – thumb (day to day)
Andrew Bailey, RP BOS – biceps (day to day)
Dewayne Wise, OF CHW – neck (day to day)
Nick Swisher, 1B CLE – shoulder (day to day)
Troy Tulowitzki, SS COL – leg (day to day)
Dexter Fowler, OF COL – hip (day to day)
Chris Getz, 2B KC – illness (day to day)
Carl Crawford, OF LAD – hamstring (day to day)
Mark Ellis, 2B LAD – leg (day to day)
Hanley Ramirez, 3B LAD – hamstring (likely headed to 15-day DL)
Chris Young, OF OAK – quadriceps (day to day)
Jose Tabata, OF PIT – hamstring (day to day)
Carlos Quentin, OF SD – knee (day to day)
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a vaiety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on RotobuzzGuy.com and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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