We are now into Week 6 of the fantasy baseball season and it seems like everyone is getting injured.  Fantasy GMs skills are being put to the test to overcome tremendous adversity very early in the season.  I must admit that I don’t think I can overcome the injury bug on one of my teams where I have already lost Noah Syndergaard, Starling Marte, Josh Donaldson, Zach Britton, Adam Eaton and James Paxton.  It will take some serious negotiating of trades and waiver wire magic to try and tread water dealing with those losses.  But this is what we as fantasy GMs must do because everyone is equally susceptible to the walking wounded.  So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.


Day to Day

Mike Trout (OF-LAA) – This is now a huge deal that Trout remains on the injury report for the second consecutive time and rumors out of Anaheim are that the Angels are considering putting him on the disabled list.  Trout is dealing with a hamstring issue which has cost him several games in a row.  The Angels will surely not take any unnecessary actions with their MVP so if he isn’t ready to come back Tuesday or Wednesday then a stint on the disabled list seems very likely.  There is no replacing Trout in your lineup, but the only saving grace is that he has already missed three games so any DL stint should be retroactive and he could still possibly be back for Week 7.


Michael Brantley (OF-CLE) – There was a lot of concern about seeing Brantley on the injury report this season as he came back from multiple shoulder injuries.  However, his shoulder has held up well but he is here because he sprained his ankle over the weekend and likely won’t be back in the lineup until later this week.  Brantley was a fantasy bargain this year as GMs were scared off by his serious shoulder injury, but he has been productive thus far batting .283 with five home runs and 17 RBI through his first 26 games.  Yandy Diaz filled in for Brantley on Monday and could play the next few days until Brantley is ready to return for the weekend.


Brian Dozier (2B-MIN) – Dozier sat out over the weekend with an ankle injury but is aiming to return Tuesday or shortly thereafter.  X-rays were negative which is good news and he should be back on the field in short order.  It has been a struggle for the powerful and speedy second baseman who is batting only .229 with four home runs and ten RBI thus far.  Eduardo Escobar has filled in for him and will likely continue to do so if Dozier needs any more time to recover.


Marwin Gonzalez (1B/OF-HOU) – The Jack-of-all-Trades is dealing with a foot injury after getting hit by a pitch over the weekend but should be available early this week.  Gonzalez has tremendous value in fantasy leagues thanks to his eligibility at almost every position.  He has gotten a lot of playing time thus far all over the diamond thanks to other injuries and the fact his bat has commanded it.  Gonzalez has batted a solid .271 with nine home runs and 21 RBI which certainly earns him a spot in the lineup and gives fantasy GMs lots of options where to play him.


On the DL

James Paxton (SP-SEA) – Fantasy GMs just cannot catch a break after big names like Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndergaard, David Price and Felix Hernandez have all landed on the disabled list.  James Paxton emerged as a fantasy stud to help ease the blow of losing pitchers like that by going 3-0 with a 1.43 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 45 strikeouts in 37.2 innings through his first six starts. Now he joins that elite company on the disabled list with a Grade 1 strain of his left forearm.  This can set off alarm bells because forearm issues tend to be precursors to UCL issues which lead to the two dreaded words no pitcher wants to hear – Tommy John.  I am not saying that is where this is headed necessarily, but it’s hard to not think worst case scenario with an arm injury to a pitcher.  Stash Paxton on your bench or DL because he has become too valuable to simply let go.


Zach Britton (RP-BAL) – The Orioles sent Britton to Dr. Neal ElAttrache to examine his injured left forearm and the diagnosis was a confirmation of a strain in the muscle.  The good news is that Britton’s UCL appears to be pristine, so any thoughts about Tommy John surgery are out the window for now.  Baltimore will be more cautious with Britton this time around as they rushed him back from his first DL stint before he got hurt again.  He will be shut down for a period of time and then resume a throwing program.  There is no time frame for when he may return, but you can expect it will be several weeks which makes Brad Brach a must-add off the waiver wire as he resumes his ninth inning duties.


Jason Heyward (OF-CHC) – Heyward sprained his finger diving for a ball over the weekend and had hoped it wouldn’t be more than a day or two before he was ready to play again.  However, his finger didn’t heal as fast as he would have liked so the Cubs back-dated a DL stint for him to May 6.  He should be able to return as soon as he is eligible to come off.  Heyward still hasn’t gained back the trust of fantasy GMs after his horrendous 2016, but this injury coupled with a recent 3-for-21 slump aren’t going to do him any favors in the fantasy universe either.  Drop him if you need to clear the roster spot.


Russell Martin (C-TOR) – There are not many things more frustrating than having a player go on the disabled list after lineups lock for the week.  That is what happened here with Martin who was placed on the DL with a lingering shoulder injury.  He will be replaced by Luke Maile who not an intriguing option as a substitute.  Catcher is such a thin position that losing Martin still hurts, even though he is hitting under the Mendoza Line and has struck out an alarming 28 times in just 76 at bats.  


Martin Prado (3B-MIA) – The Marlins put Prado back on the disabled list after he re-aggravated his hamstring injury over the weekend against the Mets.  Prado missed the first couple weeks of the season with the same injury and now lands back on the shelf.  He isn’t as valuable in fantasy leagues as he used to be when he was eligible at three positions, but he is still a serviceable infielder batting .290 with two home runs and six RBI in his first 17 games.  Miguel Rojas will likely fill in for Prado again, but he has dealt with injury issues of his own.  Derek Dietrich is also a candidate to see time at third base in Prado’s absence.

Jameson Taillon (SP-PIT) – This is a tragic injury as the Pirates young hurler just underwent surgery for testicular cancer.  He had some groin discomfort which led to being placed on the disabled list and thankfully whatever was found was hopefully caught in time.  Taillon will be out for an extended amount of time because we don’t know what his treatment plan will entail.  There is no way estimate when he will be back so he is a candidate to throw back into the free agent pool unless you have available bench or DL slots you can afford to stash him.  Trevor Williams will replace Taillon in Pittsburgh’s rotation for now.


Jose Martinez (OF-STL) – Talk about bad timing, Martinez has been placed on the disabled list with a left groin strain shortly after he was set for regular playing time in Stephen Piscotty’s absence.  Martinez was batting .313 through 48 at bats so he could have been a filler in NL-only leagues, but now he also finds himself sidelined.  Tommy Pham should now see more at bats and is only a waiver wire consideration in very deep leagues.


On the Mend

Troy Tulowitzki (SS-TOR) – Toronto’s disabled list is a who’s who of their roster including the formerly elite and oft-injured Troy Tulowitzki.  He is working his way back from a hamstring injury and could return within the next few days.  Tulowitzki is a shell of his former self but still has value as a starter in deep leagues with middle infield slots.  He has a well-documented injury history but still belongs in a fantasy lineup even though he only has one home run through his first 16 games.  


Dexter Fowler (OF-STL) – The Cardinals outfield situation is a disaster but they will get a big boost when Fowler likely returns on Tuesday.  He has missed the past several games with a shoulder injury but did pinch-hit over the weekend.  Fowler sustained the injury diving for a ball but appears on the path to recovery which is good news for fantasy GMs left with a gaping hole in their outfield thanks to all of the injuries in the league right now.


Aaron Nola (SP-PHI) – Nola has been out since the middle of April with back spasms but is on track to make a minor league rehab start this week.  He could be back in time for Week 7 barring any setbacks which is good news for GMs who have lost depth in their starting rotation.  Nola’s first two starts of the year were stellar but he got roughed up right before he hit the shelf with the back injury.  Once activated, Nola can become a fixture in your lineup as a back-end starter.


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).