There are just two weeks left to the MLB regular season. Injuries continue to mount but there might be two trains of thought when it comes to teams managing their IL.
Teams that are expected to make the playoffs may be extra cautious when dealing with their injured players. They might not want to rush them back off of the IL because they’ll want to make sure that their players are fully healthy and able to contribute during the postseason.
Teams that aren’t likely to make the playoffs might not be in a rush to bring back their players off of the IL as well. After all what’s the point? They might be better off giving their younger players a chance to play in order to determine if they might be able to make an impact during the 2021 season.
As usual, there are several fantasy relevant players on this week’s injury report. Let’s take a closer look at some of the injuries that we fantasy players will have to work around as we head into the upcoming week and final stretch of the 2020 fantasy baseball season.
Max Fried , Atlanta Braves
The Braves placed Fried on the 10-day IL this past Tuesday due to muscle spasms in his lower back. Fried is 6-0 with a 1.98 ERA on the season and hasn’t allowed a home run in 50 innings pitched. With Fried sidelined, the only other Braves starter who’s been consistently pitching well of late is rookie Ian Anderson . The good news for the Braves is that Fried is expected to come off the IL the first day he’ll be eligible (September 16th). The Braves pitching staff may be getting a slight boost pretty soon, as Cole Hamels is expected to be activated within the week.
Walker Buehler , Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers placed Buehler on the IL this past Thursday due to a recurrence of a blister issue on his right index finger. He’ll work some simulated games to keep his pitching arm in game shape for the Dodgers’ playoff run, but it seems the best that fantasy owners can hope for is for him to possibly get one more regular season start. Mitch White, who has had some modest minor league success, is expected to start in place of Buehler on Friday. Alex Wood , who was recently activated off of the IL and was expected to work out of the bullpen, could also be called upon to make a spot start for the Dodgers if needed.
Dustin May, Los Angeles Dodgers
May took a groundball off his left foot which forced him from his start against the Diamondbacks on Thursday after just one inning of work. He was initially diagnosed with a foot contusion and a CT scan came back clean on Saturday. According to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, there’s a chance he may be able to make his next start on Wednesday. Carefully monitor his progress before putting him in your season long weekly lineup.
Sonny Gray , Cincinnati Reds
Gray was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right mid-back strain, and in a related move Sal Romano was added to the Reds’ big league roster. Gray is 5-3 with a 3.94 ERA in nine starts this season, but has struggled lately allowing 11 runs over his last two starts. There is no clear timetable for his return as this article is being written, and there is a possibility that this ends up being a season ending injury.
Zack Wheeler , Philadelphia Phillies
Wheeler is expected to miss his Monday (today) start after a freak accident in which he caught the fingernail on his middle finger on the zipper of his jeans. Phillies manager Joe Girardi believes that Wheeler will be able to make a start later this week. Wheeler has a 2.47 ERA and 1.098 WHIP on the season.
Chris Paddack , San Diego Padres
Paddack was removed from his Thursday start due to a sprained ankle. X-Rays came back negative and while he may be forced to miss his next start, it looks like Paddack may avoid a trip to the IL. Monitor his progress before setting your season long lineups.
Dallas Keuchel , Chicago White Sox
Keuchel was placed on the IL retroactive to September 7th due to back spasms. He’s enjoying his best season since 2017, posting a 2.19 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. The White Sox are hopeful that Keuchel can return to action on Thursday, the first day he’s eligible to be reinstated from the IL.
Kwang Hyun Kim, St. Louis Cardinals
Kim, who had been placed on the IL due to a kidney ailment which forced him to be hospitalized, could possibly return to action on Monday (today). Kim has pitched to an outstanding 0.83 ERA this season.
Sean Doolittle , Washington Nationals
Doolittle was placed on the 10 day IL due to a right oblique strain. Nationals manager Dave Martinez called it a “good strain” (in this case good meaning bad) and the thought is that this could be season ending injury. Doolittle had missed time earlier in the season due to a knee injury and was never able to get on track. He has a 5.87 ERA on the season.
Matt Strahm , San Diego Padres
Strahm, who has been very effective working out of the Padres bullpen this season, was placed on the due to right knee inflammation. The knee has been bothering Strahm for a while. He’s been able to pitch through the discomfort, but it got to the point where the Padres thought it best to address the injury prior to the start of the playoffs.
Giovanny Gallegos , St. Louis Cardinals
Gallegos was placed on the IL with a right groin strain. Gallegos leads the Cardinals with four saves on the season. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt suggested that lefties Andrew Miller and Génesis Cabrera and righties Alex Reyes and Ryan Hesley, could be used as options to close games while Gallegos is on the IL.
Rowdy Tellez , Blue Jays
Tellez was placed on the IL this past week due to a knee strain. Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins stated that “hopefully Rowdy becomes an option for us if not by the end of the season, hopefully by the playoffs.” Tellez had been having a solid season, batting .283 with eight home runs and 23 RBI. The Blue Jays are also hoping that power hitting outfielder Teoscar Hernández , who is nursing an oblique injury, can return from the IL before the end of the 2020 season.
Eric Hosmer , San Diego Padres
Hosmer was placed on the IL after breaking his left index finger while trying to lay down a bunt against the Rockies this past Monday. He was initially expected to be out for two to six weeks, but he was taking groundballs this past Friday and the Padres are optimistic he might be able to return to action before the end of the regular season. Mitch Moreland has been picking up the slack at first base during Hosmer’s absence. Jake Cronenworth and Austin Nola could also see time at first base if need be. Hosmer is hitting .291 with eight homers and 32 RBI on the season.
Ketel Marte , Arizona Diamondbacks
Marte was placed on the 10 day IL due to left wrist inflammation and with the Diamondbacks unlikely to reach the playoffs, his season is likely done. After enjoying a career year last season Marte’s power numbers took a big drop in 2020. He has a .407 slugging percentage, which is a way lower than last season’s .592 average. Josh Rojas and Josh VanMeter have been splitting time at second base with Marte on the IL.
Matt Chapman , Oakland A’s
Matt Chapman ’s 2020 season is over. Chapman has been suffering from right hip tendinitis and will undergo hip surgery today (Monday). Chad Pinder was expected to split time with Tommy La Stella at the hot corner. Sheldon Neuse, could also be recalled from the A’s alternate site and fill in at third base as needed. Chapman’s loss is a big blow for the A’s. He’s not only a prolific home run hitter, but a two time Gold Glove winner as well. In a corresponding move the A’s recalled Seth Brown.
Gio Urshela , New York Yankees
Urshela (right elbow bone spur) and reliever Jonathan Loaisiga (nondisclosed) are expected to return from the IL on Tuesday.
Willie Calhoun , Texas Rangers
Calhoun is expected to be activated off of the IL on Tuesday. The Rangers don’t believe he’s ready to play the outfield just yet and will use him as their DH for the time being. They want him to get as many ABs as he can for the rest of the season. They feel his bat will be a big part of their future and they want him to get as much big league experience as he can. He does have a good hit tool and who knows, maybe he can be that player that breathes a bit of life into your fantasy lineup for the final couple of weeks of the season.
Aaron Judge , New York Yankees
Yankees manager Aaron Boone was optimistic that Judge (right calf strain) could return to the Yankees lineup before long. Judge has been running the bases, taking batting practice and working on his defense in recent days. He’ll be getting some ABs in simulated games at the Yankees alternate training site over the next couple of days, and barring any setbacks, be back with the big league club within the week.
Giancarlo Stanton , New York Yankees
Stanton (left hamstring strain) seems to be slightly closer to returning off the IL than Judge. He participated in a simulated game at the Yankees alternate site on Sunday and is expected to do so again today (Monday). Without any setbacks it’s possible that he could be back in the Yankees lineup within days.
Shin-Soo Choo , Texas Rangers
The Rangers placed Choo on the 10 day IL due to a right hand sprain. The move was retroactive to September 8th. With the Rangers out of contention, Choo could be done for the season.
Jorge Soler , Kansas City Royals
Soler was placed on the 10 day IL with a right oblique strain. The Royals are hoping that he might be back be back before the end of the season. He has spent much of the season as the Royals’ DH. Soler is coming off of a career year in which he hit 48 home runs and drove in 117 runs but has regressed a bit. His .235 batting average is 30 points lower than last season’s average and while he’s hit eight home runs, this season’s slugging percentage (.456) is over one hundred points lower than last season’s slugging percentage (.569).
Howie Kendrick , Washington Nationals
Howie Kendrick was placed on the 10 day IL, retroactive to September 6th, due to a hamstring injury. With the Nationals unlikely to make the playoffs and the time it takes for a hamstring to heal, this could end up being a season ending injury.