Disaster has struck the fantasy baseball world again as the most elite pitcher of this generation has succumbed to injury once again.  There are a slew of other important injuries and health concerns for players that will make an impact down the stretch.  The MLB trade deadline is less than a week away so you should also be negotiating deals with your fellow league mates.  Now is the time to make that big transaction and set your roster up for a playoff run.  Not all injuries can be overcome, but you can at least try and patch some holes and improve your roster in other areas.  So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.


Day to Day

Stephen Strasburg (SP-WAS) – We have been down this road before with Strasburg suffering injuries, so it should not come as a surprise that he was taken out of his last start.  However, Strasburg had been injury free all season and compiled a 10-3 record with a 3.25 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 141 strikeouts in 121.2 innings.  It was reported that Strasburg could not get loose on Sunday and was taken out as a precaution.  It’s unclear whether he will make his next start this week but the early indication is that it does not appear that he will be placed on the disabled list.

George Springer (OF-HOU) – The Astros have been the most dominant team in baseball for most of the season and have had to withstand injuries to almost their entire starting rotation as well as their star shortstop, Carlos Correa.  It looks like they avoided further disaster after George Springer was taken out of Monday’s game with a left quadriceps injury.  The Astros announced after the game that they believe this was more of a cramp than anything.  This means he should be considered day-to-day and in all likelihood, will avoid a trip to the disabled list.  Springer has put up MVP-type numbers this season batting .310 with 27 home runs, 66 RBI and 82 runs scored.

Rich Hill (SP-LAD) – Hill has turned things around over his past six starts and is finally putting up the numbers that were expected of him.  Walks have been down and strikeouts have been up, and he is pitching later into games and being rewarded with wins bringing his season total up to seven.  He turned in a gem in his last start against the Braves but admitted that he is dealing with a respiratory illness and is not sure whether he will make his next scheduled start this weekend against the Giants.  He will have several days to treat the illness and take medication, so he should be fine to take the mound.  However, be prepared to make alternative plans if additional updates later in the week tell us otherwise.


On the DL

Clayton Kershaw (SP-LAD) – The sky has fallen right on top of fantasy GMs now that Clayton Kershaw has been placed on the disabled list.  He was taken out of Sunday’s game against Atlanta with a strain in his lower back.  Initial reports have Kershaw missing up to a month and a half, but we will not have an idea of a time frame until he is examined further.  The Dodgers do not believe he is suffering from a similar issue as last year which cost him a few months during the season.  All Kershaw has done this year is go 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 168 strikeouts in 141.1 innings.  Needless to say, this is a devastating, catastrophic and demoralizing loss for GMs who may have seen their playoff hopes go up in flames.

Gregory Polanco (OF-PIT) – Polanco has battled injuries and inconsistency most of the season until recently when he got red hot at the beginning of July.  Now he finds himself back on the disabled list with a hamstring injury which could keep him sidelined for several weeks.  The timing of this injury is not ideal as Starling Marte just returned to the Pirates lineup which would have greatly benefited Polanco.  He is batting .269 with nine home runs and 29 RBI and is certainly worth holding on to if you have the roster flexibility. 

Justin Bour (1B-MIA) – Bour sustained a strained oblique on Monday and the Marlins are expected to place him on the disabled list.  It is highly probable that Bour will be out for a significant amount of time because these type of injuries usually require well more than two weeks to return from given the amount of rest needed to heal and then recovery and rehab time.  Bour has established himself as a legitimate starting option at first base or corner infield with a .289 batting average along with 21 home runs and 63 RBI.  Stash him on your disabled list and make long-term arrangements to replace him since we are heading into August and there is not much time left before the fantasy playoffs.

Starlin Castro (2B-NYY) – Castro had been on the disabled list earlier this summer with a right hamstring injury and appears to have returned too soon.  He has struggled mightily since returning and finds himself back on the shelf re-aggravating the same injury.  Castro was in the midst of a solid season batting .307 with 12 home runs and 45 RBI.  Given this is the second time he injured the hamstring, you can expect him to be out for a significant amount of time to ensure the injury heals.  Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade will likely see most of the playing time for Castro unless the Yankees address this situation before the trade deadline.

Tyson Ross (SP-TEX) - It has not been a good couple weeks for the Ross brothers who are now both injured.  Joe Ross just recently underwent Tommy John surgery and now Tyson finds himself back on the disabled list after making seven starts since his season debut.  Tyson is dealing with a blister on his finger which could help explain his atrocious 7.52 ERA and 1.55 WHIP.  A.J. Griffin should be returning soon so he is a likely candidate to take Ross’s place in the Rangers rotation.  Ross is not worth rostering so set him free without any hesitation.

Colin Moran (3B-HOU) – Moran was just called up to the Astros after Carlos Correa went down with a thumb injury and promptly went 3-for-6 with a triple, home run and two RBI.  Unfortunately, he fouled a ball off of his eye over the weekend and sustained a facial fracture and a concussion.  It is possible he may need surgery but what we do know is that he will miss over a month.  This likely means that Alex Bregman will remain at third base and Marwin Gonzalez will play full-time at shortstop while Correa and Moran are both out.  Gonzalez is a more than capable replacement having tremendous statistics and eligibility at several positions.

Alex Meyer (SP-LAA) – Meyer was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder.  This comes as a surprise in that he pitched brilliantly in his last start against the Nationals and did not show any signs of discomfort.  He does have a history with shoulder injuries so it appears something flared up in the past couple days.  It is not known how long he might be out, but Meyer was only a marginal fantasy option anyway.  The Angels rotation has been decimated by injuries to the point where they may need to recruit Tony Danza’s character from “Angels in the Outfield” to come out of retirement and make a spot start.

Zack Wheeler (SP-NYM) – The Mets placed Wheeler on the disabled list again, this time with a stress reaction in his right arm.  This will likely end Wheeler’s season which has not been very successful in his return to the mound after missing the past two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery.  Wheeler pitched respectably well over the first couple months but the wheels came off (See what I did there?) in early June and it has been a disaster ever since.  In 17 starts, Wheeler compiled a 3-7 record with a 5.21 ERA and 1.59 WHIP.  He managed just 86.1 innings in those 17 starts which is not surprising since it seemed like he reached 100 pitches by the fourth or fifth inning of every start.  He should be on the waiver wire and remain there.

Scott Feldman (SP-CIN) – The journeyman starter was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right knee.  The injury came to a head on Monday after he had been dealing with it for a few months.  Feldman was likely a candidate to be traded before the deadline but that is now likely off the table as he could be out for several weeks.  Feldman is not much of a fantasy asset given his pedestrian 7-7 record with a 4.34 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 86 strikeouts in 103.2 innings.


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 michael.stein@fantasyjudgment.com or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).