2017 Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: May 2nd
Michael A. Stein runs through the current list of injuries to significant fantasy baseball contributors around the league.
Thankfully April is in the rearview mirror because as exciting as it was to start the baseball season, fantasy GMs have had enough agita due to injuries to last quite awhile. It was a brutal month in terms of injuries to key players, but unfortunately things are likely going to get worse as the season progresses. Fear not because we have you covered in terms of the walking wounded, but you must be proactive in terms of how to compensate for any holes in your roster. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Day to Day
Ryan Braun (OF-MIL) – The Hebrew Hammer is going to miss a couple days with a trapezius injury but he is expected to avoid the disabled list. Braun missed Monday’s game with soreness in the muscle but should return later in the week. He has gotten off to a solid start thus far batting .287 with seven home runs, 18 RBI, 17 runs scored and four stolen bases. He isn’t quite the elite player he was before the PED suspension, but he has certainly regained his borderline OF1/OF2 status. Expect the Brewers to use Eric Thames in the outfield while Braun recovers.
Evan Longoria (3B-TB) – The heart and soul of the Rays missed Monday’s game with soreness in his left foot. He does have a history of plantar fasciitis but that was in his right foot a few years ago. Longoria isn’t expected to miss much time and should be back in the lineup within a day or two depending on whether the soreness subsides. He could use the rest anyway because he has seen his batting average plummet to .208 and has only four home runs thus far.
Welington Castillo (C-BAL) – Castillo missed Monday’s game with neck spasms which have been plaguing him since spring training. It doesn’t appear that he will need a stint on the disabled list but his ability to play every day could be affected if the spasms persist. Caleb Joseph is his backup and would only be an option in AL-only leagues. Castillo is one of the better offensive catchers in the American league batting .314 but his neck issues could be a reason why he only has one home run thus far.
Francisco Cervelli (C-PIT) – Cervelli is dealing with a foot injury which caused him to miss his second straight game on Monday. It does not appear that he will need a stint on the disabled list but that shouldn’t matter much because he should only be relevant in NL-only leagues due to his paltry .203 batting average with just two home runs. Chris Stewart will see playing time in his absence and is in no way a viable replacement.
On the DL
Noah Syndergaard (SP-NYM) – Disaster. Catastrophe. Apocalypse. End of the world. That is what this feels like today as the Mets announced that Thor has a partially torn right late muscle. Syndergaard has been placed on the disabled list and is expected to miss a couple months at least. I cannot sugarcoat this in any way because it truly is devastating for fantasy GMs (like myself) who banked on Thor being a dominant ace this season. He should be back in July barring any setbacks or additional faux-pas by the Mets medical staff. When and if he does come back, it will provide a huge boost for GMs if they can manage to tread water and survive over the next couple months. Rafael Montero is expected to take his place in the Mets rotation and he is not an appetizing option at all.
Adam Eaton (OF-WAS) – Eaton tore his ACL over the weekend and will miss the rest of the season. This is a huge loss for fantasy GMs because Eaton is one of those players you love to have on your roster as an OF2 or OF3. He was batting .297 with two home runs, 13 RBI, 24 runs scored and three stolen bases when he sustained the injury. Michael Taylor will likely get most of the opportunities to play in his place but he has yet to establish any consistency in his career. Eaton can be dropped in all redraft leagues (which pained me to do because I had him in five of my own leagues).
Aaron Sanchez (SP-TOR) – If you are buying your mom a gift certificate for a manicure for Mother’s Day, pick up an extra one for Sanchez. He has landed back on the disabled list after returning for just one inning over the weekend when he suffered another split nail on his right middle finger. The Blue Jays will need to ensure that he has sufficient time to let his finger heal so the hope is another ten days will do the trick.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (SP-LAD) – Ryu has landed back on the disabled list with a contusion on his left hip that he suffered when sliding into second base. The Dodgers do not believe the injury is serious and he could end up only missing one start due to their schedule over the next week. Ryu has struggled this season with a 1-4 record and a 4.05 ERA, but he is averaging over a strikeout per inning. He is not worth stashing if you need to clear the roster spot and has little upside given his significant health issues over the past couple years.
Sean Manaea (OF-OAK) – The A’s placed Manaea on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder but he is only expected to miss one start. The move was retroactive to April 27 and coincides with their activation of Sonny Gray happening this week as well. Manaea’s ERA is an unsightly 5.18 but he has averaged over a strikeout per inning through five starts. Stash him on your bench if you can because he is set to return later in the week and likely has more upside than most options available on the waiver wire.
Tyler Skaggs (SP-LAA) – The Angels pitching rotation continues to be decimated now that Skaggs has suffered a Grade 2 right oblique strain. He could miss up to three months with this injury but he has been given a plasma injection in the hopes that it could heal the injury quicker. Skaggs has been productive thus far through five starts with a 1-1 record along with a 3.99 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 29 strikeouts in 29.1 innings. Daniel Wright will replace Skaggs for now but do not rush to acquire him off the waiver wire.
On the Mend
Miguel Cabrera (1B-DET) – Despite all the bad news we have been getting recently with key players going down, there is good news to report in that Miguel Cabrera will be activated from the DL on Tuesday and is expected back in the lineup. He has missed the past week and a half with a groin injury. Cabrera is a health risk at this stage of his career, but he remains one of the game’s most elite hitters and will be a welcome addition back in fantasy lineups for Week 5.
Zach Britton (RP-BAL) – The elite closer is also expected to be activated for Tuesday’s game and will immediately assume 9th inning duties for the Orioles. There was an ominous feeling when Britton went down a couple weeks ago so GMs should breathe a sigh of relief that this was only a short absence. However, it would not be surprising if Britton’s effectiveness is not what it used to be because there still could be lingering issues inside his arm. Brad Brach is an option to keep on your roster in the event Britton suffers any re-aggravation.
J.D. Martinez (OF-DET) – Martinez is in extended spring training right now but had to receive some treatment on his sore foot over the weekend. He is expected to resume getting at bats this week as he aims to return to Detroit later this month. Fantasy GM’s likely drafted him at a bargain price so they will be rewarded with their patience once he is able to get enough at bats and prove his foot is healthy enough.
Rajai Davis (OF-OAK) – The A’s are set to activate Davis from the disabled list on Tuesday and he is expected to slot right back into the lineup upon his return. The veteran outfielder is still a solid source of speed but he may be cautious initially in order to prevent any re-aggravation of his hamstring injury. He is coming off a tremendous 2016 season when he stole 43 bases so even at 36-years old he remains one of the most prolific base-stealers in the league.
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).