The Fantasy Alarm MLB Injury Report would like to take a moment to honor Troy Tulowitzki who announced his retirement from Major League Baseball earlier this week.  Tulowitzki was one of the best players in baseball for several seasons during his early years with the Rockies. However, he was besieged by injuries for several seasons and eventually became a punchline for this article.  While I have taken many shots at Tulowitzki for his inability to stay on the field, I would be remiss if I did not at least recognize his temporary greatness. So without further ado, this edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room is dedicated to Troy Tulowitzki who helped build the foundation of this weekly article.

Blake Snell (SP-TB)

Fantasy GMs received some devastating news on Thursday that reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow to remove loose bodies.  The initial diagnosis is that he will miss at least four weeks which puts a potential return right around the beginning of September. This is a huge blow for GMs despite Snell having a subpar season with a 6-7 record along with a 4.28 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 136 strikeouts in 101 innings over 20 starts.  While it is optimistic to think Snell will be back sometime in September, GMs must consider the possibility that he does not come back at all this year. There is still time before league trade deadlines expire, so now would be an opportune time to explore deals to replace Snell going forward.

Kris Bryant (3B-CHC)

Former NL Rookie of the Year and MVP Kris Bryant was taken out of Wednesday’s game against the Giants with soreness in his right knee.  He told the media that he initially suffered the injury on Wednesday when his cleats got stuck in the turf during batting practice. It appears he re-aggravated the injury during Wednesday’s game and the Cubs have now called up Ian Happ .  Happ can play third base and outfield, so he gives the Cubs some added flexibility if Bryant requires additional time off. Bryant is in the midst of another stellar season as he is batting .299 with 21 home runs, 51 RBI, 79 runs scored and two stolen bases.

Carlos Correa (SS-HOU)

Fantasy GMs will receive a big boost on Friday when Carlos Correa returns to the Astros.  He finished his lengthy minor league rehab stint on Thursday and will be activated on Friday, which is the first day he is eligible to come off the 60-day injured list.  Correa was having a solid season batting .295 with 11 home runs, 35 RBI, 26 runs scored and one stolen base before he suffered a fractured rib while getting a massage. His return is akin to a GM making a big trade at the deadline.

Edwin Díaz (RP-NYM)

Nothing has gone right this year for Edwin Díaz in his inaugural season with the Mets.  The beleaguered closer was brought into a 4-0 game on Thursday against San Diego when he was struck on his left big toe by a line drive hit by Manny Machado .  Diaz was able to walk off the field without assistance and x-rays came back negative. The good news is that he appears to have avoided a serious injury but he may require a couple of days off to make sure the pain and swelling have subsided.  Diaz had an incredible 2018 season but is 1-6 with a 4.81 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 61 strikeouts and 22 saves in 43 games this year.

Joey Gallo (OF-TEX)

Rangers slugger Joey Gallo underwent surgery on Thursday to repair a fractured hamate bone in his right wrist.  This injury is a serious blow to fantasy GMs right before many leagues’ trade deadlines as Gallo has shown vast improvement at the plate with his .253 batting average to go along with 22 home runs, 49 RBI, 54 runs scored and four stolen bases.  This injury will cost Gallo at least a month so we are looking at an early September return for him. The Rangers have called up Willie Calhoun to take Gallo’s spot on the roster. Calhoun was once a top prospect but his status has faded a bit over the past year.  He is still worth a flier on the waiver wire because he has shown an ability to hit major league pitching in a limited sample size.

Gary Sánchez (C-NYY)

The Yankees’ injury woes continue as Gary Sánchez heads back to the 10-day injured list with a Grade 1 strain of his left groin.  He suffered the injury while running out a ground ball on Tuesday and is expected to have a lengthy absence. There is no time frame for his eventual return yet, but GMs should expect to be without the power-hitting catcher for several weeks.  Despite his poor .229 batting average, Sanchez was in the midst of a solid rebound season with 24 home runs, 58 RBI and 43 runs scored. The Yankees will go with a combination of Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka behind the plate until Sanchez is able to return.

Dansby Swanson (SS-ATL)

Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson suffered a heel injury on Tuesday and then was given the day off on Wednesday despite originally being in the starting lineup.  The heel was apparently still sore so the Braves opted to be extra cautious with their young infielder who has finally come into his own batting.265 with 17 home runs, 57 RBI, 64 runs scored and seven stolen bases.  Swanson is considered day-to-day right now but he should be back on the field relatively soon since the injury does not appear to be serious.

C.J. Cron (1B-MIN)

The Twins may have brought Cron back from the 10-day injured list too soon as he heads back to the sidelines with inflammation in his right thumb.  He was activated a week ago but finds himself back on the shelf as the injury clearly did not heal. Cron has been a solid corner infield option this year batting .263 with 18 home runs, 55 RBI and 37 runs scored.  He will probably have an extended absence this time around to ensure the thumb is fully healed by the time he comes back.

Ross Stripling (SP-LAD)

The Dodgers are unsure whether Ross Stripling will be able to make his next start as he is dealing with stiffness in his neck.  Stripling told the media that the neck stiffness has been an issue since spring training and he thinks there is a 50/50 chance he will be able to make his next start.  He is scheduled to face the Rockies in Denver early next week, so fantasy GMs may not be too upset if his turn in the rotation is skipped. Stripling is a viable fantasy option despite splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen as he is 4-4 with a 3.64 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 76 strikeouts in 26 total games and 12 starts.

Dee Gordon (2B-SEA)

Gordon has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left quadriceps.  He sustained the injury earlier this week when he dove back into first base on a pickoff attempt.  Gordon was likely going to be shopped before the trade deadline, but this injury and his pedestrian statistics likely mean he will remain in Seattle for the remainder of the year.  Gordon is barely holding on to any fantasy value with his .280 batting average along with three home runs, 27 RBI, 26 runs scored and 16 stolen bases.

Brett Gardner (OF-NYY)

In yet additional Yankees news, they have placed outfielder Brett Gardner on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his left knee.  The Yankees made the move retroactive to July 22 and they recalled relief pitcher Stephen Tarpley to take his place. That transaction lasted all of one day as Tarpley was sent right back to the minor leagues after he was shelled by the Red Sox.  Now the Yankees are expected to make another move including possibly recalling Clint Frazier . If that happens, it will be interesting to see how the playing time gets handled with Mike Tauchman also in the mix to replace Gardner.  

Andrew Heaney (SP-LAA)

The Angels pitching staff has been decimated by injuries, tragedies and poor performance all season.  They have taken another blow as Andrew Heaney heads back to the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his left shoulder.  He did not look good in his last start against Houston earlier this week and now he is being shut down again. Heaney has been limited to nine starts this season and is only 1-3 with a 5.09 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 54 strikeouts in 46 innings.  He has a significant injury history throughout his career so it would not be surprising if he is shut down for a lengthy period of time.