The good news is that there were not any critically catastrophic injuries sustained by impact players since the last injury report, so GMs can breathe a little easier heading into this week. The bad news is that there are still key players dealing with a variety of injuries which will affect your decisions in setting daily and weekly lineups. We are just a couple weeks into the season so get used to that chaos. The key to overcoming injuries is to aggressively accumulate depth and flexibility on your roster. There will not always be that diamond in the rough on the waiver wire or a willing trade partner to negotiate with. GMs must be able to tread water and withstand the loss of players at any time of the season. So without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Mike Clevinger (SP-CLE)
Clevinger was taken out of his last start on Sunday after five innings due to tightness in his upper back. He was blowing through Toronto’s lineup with ten strikeouts at the time and seemed like he could throw a complete game shutout. However, the Indians chose to be cautious with their stud pitcher who indicated that he expects to make his next start this coming weekend. Clevinger has been outstanding thus far going 1-0 with 22 strikeouts and has not allowed a run yet through his first 12 innings pitched. Check back for updates later in the week, but for now GMs do not need to worry about his status for his next start.
Tim Beckham (SS-SEA)
The MVP of the first two weeks could easily be Mariners shortstop Tim Beckham who is batting .400 with four home runs, 11 RBI and 13 runs scored. He has been a huge part of Seattle’s offensive barrage to begin the season. Beckham left Sunday’s game early with some tightness in his right hamstring and was out of the lineup on Monday as well. The good news is that the Mariners do not appear to be in a rush to shut him down and place him on the injured list, but he could still be out for a few days in order to rest and recover. Seattle will want to be cautious with Beckham as hamstring injuries can easily be re-aggravated or exacerbated if not given the proper amount of rest. Clearly, Beckham should be stashed on your bench until he is given the green light to get back in the lineup.
David Dahl (OF-COL)
The Rockies have confirmed that Dahl suffered a minor core injury when he swung the bat on Sunday and he is not expected to be placed on the injured list. This is good news for GMs because Dahl has gotten off to a fast start thus far in his first real opportunity to play every day. It originally seemed as though he was destined for another stint on the injured list, but it now appears he will just need a few days off to rest and recover. Dahl has been a highly-touted prospect for a few years but has not been able to avoid the injury bug. He is batting .343 with two home runs, six RBI and four runs scored thus far. Keep him stashed on your bench until he is ready to return this week.
Jon Lester (SP-CHC)
It appeared as though Lester was going to cruise to an easy victory against the Pirates on Monday when he was taken out of the game in the third inning with tightness in his left hamstring. He was running the bases earlier in the game so it is likely that is where he suffered the injury. The good news is that he was able to walk off the field on his own power so it does not appear to be something serious at this point. Lester is scheduled to undergo an MRI so we should know more once the results are disclosed. He has gotten off to a solid start to the season with a 1-0 record along with a 2.57 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 14 innings.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (SP-LAD)
Ryu was removed from his start on Monday against St. Louis with a left groin strain. This is the same injury he sustained last year which cost him three months, so there is definite concern about him. However, the Dodgers indicated that removing Ryu from the game was a precautionary measure so they do not seem to expect that this will be a lengthy absence. Ryu has gotten off to a great start to the season going 2-0 with a 3.07 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 14 strikeouts through 14 innings. He can be stashed in an IL slot if you have the flexibility, but if we learn that he might miss more than a couple weeks then you can re-evaluate whether to hold onto him or not. Julio Urías will remain in the Dodgers rotation for the time being to replace Ryu as he was originally going to be bumped when Clayton Kershaw comes back this week.
Félix Hernández (SP-SEA)
King Felix was taken out of his last start after just one inning with what the Mariners are calling “virus-like symptoms.” It is not known to what extent this could affect him for his next start, so GMs should continue be cautious with the former fantasy ace. Hernandez was left undrafted in many leagues this year, but he did have an impressive first start before giving up a couple runs prior to his early departure on Monday. Leave him on the waiver wire for now because he needs a larger sample size to prove he is once again worthy of being on fantasy rosters.
Franchy Cordero (OF-SD)
The Padres placed Franchy Cordero on the 10-day injured list with a sprained right elbow. Let us not forget that he did undergo season-ending surgery on his right elbow last June to remove bone spurs, so clearly his elbow is continuing to give him issues. The sprain indicated that there is ligament damage, and we all know what that means in terms of potential outcomes. It is not known whether Tommy John surgery is needed or has even been discussed, but the possibility cannot be discounted. Cordero can be dropped in all redraft leagues as this could be an extended absence regardless of what measure of treatment the Padres go with.
Matt Moore (SP-DET)
It has been quite some time since Matt Moore had any fantasy relevance, but he was starting to rebuild some of it in his first couple starts with the Tigers. Unfortunately, he suffered a sprained right knee while trying to field a bunt over the weekend and has been placed on the 10-day injured list. The injury is serious as surgery is being considered as an option. It could also be a lengthy absence if he chooses to rest and rehab, so either way Moore can be dropped from rosters in any fantasy league format. Daniel Norris will get an opportunity to join Detroit’s rotation in Moore’s absence so he could be a waiver wire option if you are desperate for some depth.
Brian McCann (C-ATL)
The veteran catcher suffered a strained right hamstring when he slid into third base last Friday against Miami. He was placed on the 10-day injured list and is expected to return once he is eligible to be activated. Alex Jackson has been called up from the minors to replace McCann and should see some playing time because Tyler Flowers is also banged up after getting hit by a pitch on his hand. McCann is batting .286 with no home runs and four RBI in a platoon and is only a fantasy consideration in deep two-catcher leagues.
Brock Holt (SS-BOS)
The Red Sox placed Holt on the 10-day injured list with a scratched right cornea. He should be able to return once he is eligible to be activated and will be looking to improve on what has been a horrendous start to the season. Holt has fantasy value thanks to the many positions he is eligible for, but he is batting only .063 with one RBI thus far. He is not worth stashing in an IL slot so scour the waiver wire for another reserve middle infielder.