Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: June 16
Michael A. Stein runs through the current list of injuries to significant fantasy baseball contributors around the league.
We are approaching the end of Week 11 of the fantasy baseball season and the official start of summer is around the corner. All GMs have likely been afflicted with injuries throughout their roster this year, so negotiating trades should be in everyone’s interests. With temperatures rising and the dog days of summer approaching, be wary of players being even more fragile. This is why it is so critical that you try and acquire as much depth on your roster as you can right now. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Day to Day
Matt Kemp (OF-ATL) – The Braves took Kemp out of Wednesday’s game against the Nationals after he came up limping with a hamstring injury sliding into third base. He is considered day-to-day and had the benefit of an off day on Thursday. It is possible he could be back in the lineup on Friday but we won’t know until closer to game time. Kemp has had a solid season thus far batting .327 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI as the focal point of the Braves lineup with Freddie Freeman on the shelf. He is a must start so check back later in the day and see if he is able to go against the Marlins on Friday night.
Ben Zobrist (OF-CHC) – Zobrist has missed the past couple games with a wrist injury that could land him on the disabled list very soon. The Cubs are being patient to see whether he has any improvement in his condition, but a roster move could be made over the weekend if he is not able to get back on the field. It’s been a slow start for Zobrist this season batting just .223 with seven home runs and 21 RBI. His eligibility at both second base and outfield makes him a valuable fantasy commodity, but right now GMs aren’t getting type of consistent production from him.
Jason Kipnis (2B-CLE) – Kipnis has missed the past two games with neck spasms and his status for the weekend is not known yet. He has been bitten by the injury bug quite a bit in his career including beginning this season on the disabled list. Once regarded as one of the top offensive fantasy second basemen in the league, he has had a very pedestrian season at best thus far. His .225 batting average with seven home runs, 22 RBI and only two stolen bases makes him a middle infield option at best right now. He still possesses enough talent and upside to ride this out, but fantasy GMs are growing more and more frustrated with his injuries and inconsistent production.
Michael Fulmer (SP-DET) – Fulmer had some discomfort in his last start last week and underwent an MRI which revealed bursitis in his right shoulder. His start this week against Arizona was pushed back and the Tigers are hoping he will be able to take the mound over the weekend instead. Fulmer has been a very consistent fantasy pitcher since debuting with the Tigers after being acquired in the Yoenis Cespedes trade and has compiled a 6-4 record with a 3.40 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. Check on his status over the weekend and if he is healthy enough to make the start then make sure he is in your lineup.
Matt Shoemaker (SP-LAA) – Shoemaker left his last start early with tightness in his right forearm and his status for his next start is up in the air. Any time a pitcher feels tightness in his forearm one of the first thoughts is Tommy John surgery because that is usually a precursor to a UCL tear. The Angels haven’t made any decisions yet but Shoemaker is questionable at best whether he will take the mound against the Yankees next week. He won’t be a great streaming option if he does pitch at less than 100% against the Yankees powerful lineup.
Billy Hamilton (OF-CIN) – Hamilton is dealing with a thumb injury which causes him pain any time the bat hits the ball. This is very concerning as the Reds may end up putting him on the disabled list if there is no progress in his condition very soon. Hamilton is completely a one-dimensional player with his league-leading 28 stolen bases, but other than his speed he does not offer much value on fantasy rosters. Hold onto him only if you need steals in Roto leagues because his value in points leagues is vastly different.
Zack Cozart (SS-CIN) – Cozart has played himself into a starting fantasy role with a lofty .324 batting average to go along with nine home runs and 33 RBI. However, he has missed the past couple games with tightness in his quadriceps and is considered day-to-day. He was likely a great waiver wire acquisition as he has never been known for his offensive prowess. Jose Peraza will take his place at shortstop and Scooter Gennett will play second base as long as Cozart is out, but check back in over the weekend for further updates on his status.
On the DL
Chris Davis (1B-BAL) – It should come as no surprise that Davis was placed on the disabled list after sustaining an oblique injury earlier in the week. An MRI confirmed the injury and now Davis will likely be on the shelf for several weeks as these injuries take some time to heal. Trey Mancini could see extended playing time at first base which makes him an intriguing option given the power he has shown at times this year. Davis is a batting average killer but his power and run production make it very difficult to drop him. Stash him if you can because if he is able to return in July he will provide a big boost to your home run totals down the stretch.
Matt Harvey (SP-NYM) – The demise of the Dark Knight continues as Matt Harvey has been placed on the disabled list again with a stress injury to the scapula bone in his right shoulder. He clearly had nothing in his last start on Wednesday when he gave up three home runs in four innings against the Cubs. It was evident there was a problem since his velocity was also way down. The Mets were very vague about how long they expect Harvey to be out, but it is expected he will be shut down for at least four to six weeks. It’s hard to believe that I am saying this, but Harvey should be dropped in all redraft leagues. His 5.25 ERA and 1.45 WHIP have rendered him useless in fantasy leagues, and it’s questionable how effective he will be even if he returns.
Neil Walker (2B-NYM) – Walker suffered a partial tear of his left hamstring and has been placed on the disabled list. This is a bigger loss for the Mets than it is for fantasy GMs because Walker is not a given to be started let alone rostered in many standard leagues. He has been the Mets cleanup hitter for most of the season but his .270 batting average with nine home runs and 33 RBI makes him only a marginal fantasy asset. Gavin Cecchini has been recalled to take Walker’s place but he is not worth rostering, nor is T.J. Rivera who should see most of the playing time at second base.
C.C. Sabathia (SP-NYY) – Sabathia was in the midst of a solid bounce-back season before suffering a strained left hamstring in his last start on Tuesday. The Yankees put him on the disabled list and announced that he will likely miss up to four weeks. Sabathia has been a pleasant surprise after likely going undrafted in most standard leagues compiling a 7-2 record with a solid 3.46 ERA and a serviceable 1.25 WHIP. The Yankees haven’t announced who will take Sabathia’s spot in the rotation but it could be Chad Green or a minor league pitcher who will be called up for the start over the weekend. Feel free to drop Sabathia to free up a roster spot.
Kolten Wong (2B-STL) – The Cardinals placed Wong back on the disabled list with a right triceps injury. He had just been activated last weekend and was red hot over the past five games, so the timing of the injury is unfortunate. He will likely miss a significant amount of time as there is no timetable for his return which is understandable since he was having difficulty throwing. The Cardinals have been decimated with injuries all season but none of their internal options to replace Wong such as Greg Garcia or Paul DeJong are worth rostering except for deep NL-only leagues.
On the Mend
Ryan Braun (OF-MIL) – Braun has begun running again and could be in line for a minor league rehab assignment very soon. He has been on the disabled list a couple times already this season and the hope is that this extended absence allowed him to fully heal so he can stay on the field the rest of the way. He is still a must-start when healthy and will provide a big boost for GMs when he returns in the near future.
Justin Bour (1B-MIA) – The Marlins are expected to activate Bour from the disabled list on Friday which is a big relief for GMs. Bour was dealing with an ankle injury that was initially thought to be more serious, but it looks like he should be back now that he is eligible. Bour was tearing it up before the injury raising his batting average all the way to .295 to go along with 16 home runs and 40 RBI making him a must-start at first base or corner infield.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).