Welcome back to the next edition of the fantasy baseball injury report where we take a look at players who have suffered injuries in spring training and have red flags all over them heading into the 2017 season. These are impact fantasy players who may see their draft value slip so they can provide great value if you are patient enough to grab them when the time is right in a draft. So without further ado, here is the next installment of the MLB pre-season walking wounded.
David Price (SP-BOS)
Injury – He was shut down early in spring training with an elbow injury and visited Dr. Andrews who confirmed no structural damage at this time.
2016 Season – Price compiled a 17-9 record with a 3.99 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 228 strikeouts in 230 innings over 35 starts.
Reason For Optimism
- Price has begun light throwing and could be cleared to resume a full throwing program in the near future.
- He has never had much of an injury history before this elbow issue flaring up so he is trustworthy from a health perspective.
- Boston’s acquisition of Chris Sale will relieve Price of some of the burden of carrying the Red Sox staff.
- He is still only 31-years old and in the prime of his career.
Reason For Concern
- An elbow injury for any starting pitcher is a huge concern so there will be question marks surrounding Price all season.
- He will likely miss the first few weeks to a month of the season given where he is in his rehab this late in spring training.
- The Red Sox made a huge investment in Price before 2016 and will be overly cautious with him which could limit his statistical output for the season.
2017 OUTLOOK – Price has been one of the most dominant fantasy pitchers since he became a regular starter in 2009. He has only logged less than 200 innings once since 2010 and has been a model of consistency which adds to his value. This elbow injury has fantasy GMs panicking as his draft value has slipped tremendously due to the unknown of whether it could flare up again and become something severe. Price struggled early in 2016 as he adjusted to pitching in Boston but turned things around to produce typical numbers outside of an inflated ERA and WHIP thanks to those early season struggles. Now he is Boston’s number two behind newly-acquired Chris Sale so some of the pressure and burden has been alleviated. However, the Red Sox have other injury concerns in their rotation so their dependence and reliance upon Price has not changed. He will likely miss some time at the beginning of the season but appears on track to return once he gets in enough work in extended spring training. He will be available much later in drafts than normal so he could be one of the biggest steals of the season for fantasy GMs who time their selections properly. However, you are throwing caution to the wind if you draft him because we don’t know whether this elbow injury is a temporary setback or the precursor to a devastating loss.
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 email@example.com or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment),