Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: August 1
Michael Stein brings you all the latest updates on injuries around MLB and the fantasy impact of players going on and coming off the DL.
We have reached a major benchmark of the season as the calendar turns to August and the MLB non-waiver trade deadline has passed. There was a lot of player movement this week in trades, but there were also a lot of roster moves made due to injuries. Fantasy GMs cannot catch a break as players continue to suffer injury after injury. Many leagues have trade deadlines fast approaching so this could be your last opportunity to try and address any weaknesses on your roster. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Day to Day
Anthony Rizzo (1B-CHC) – Rizzo was suffering some soreness in his back and was held out of the Cubs lineup on Sunday. Chicago was off on Monday so the extra day of rest should be sufficient for Rizzo as he is expected back in the lineup on Tuesday. Rizzo has had an up and down year but has finally stabilized his numbers since being inserted in the leadoff spot. He is currently batting .257 with 24 home runs, 67 RBI, 60 runs scored and six stolen bases. In addition, he has also played nine games at second base so one more and he could qualify at the position in many leagues which would dramatically increase his value for the rest of the season and heading into 2018.
Yoan Moncada (2B-CHW) – The White Sox prized acquisition from this year’s fire sale is considered day-to-day after suffering a bruised knee during a collision with Willy Garcia. Moncada had to be carted off the field after the collision but it appears he avoided a catastrophic injury which is good news. The young second baseman is batting just .105 with one home run and six RBI through 12 games. He will have to make some adjustments but is certainly worth giving a shot to at second base or middle infield. Moncada will likely be out another couple days as he recovers from this collision, but he shouldn’t require a stint on the DL either.
Josh Harrison (2B-PIT) – The versatile Josh Harrison suffered a leg injury on Sunday running the bases and is considered day-to-day. It does not appear that he will need a trip to the disabled list or require a lengthy absence. Harrison is batting .278 with 11 home runs and 33 RBI, 49 runs scored and 11 stolen bases and maintains his fantasy value by qualifying at both second base and third base.
Jose Reyes (SS-NYM) – Reyes’ best days are long gone but the veteran has managed to maintain consistent playing time all season for the banged up Mets. He failed as a leadoff hitter and has spent most of the season hitting at the bottom of the order where he only recently got hot to raise his average well over the Mendoza Line. Currently, Reyes is hitting .226 with nine home runs, 38 RBI, 43 runs scored and 13 stolen bases which are pedestrian numbers, even for a middle infield option. He was hit by a James Paxton pitch on Sunday and said he could not feel his fingers afterwards. X-rays were negative on his forearm so he shouldn’t need a trip to the disabled list. Consider him day-to-day for now as Asdrubal Cabrera can play his natural shortstop in Reyes’ absence.
Kole Calhoun (OF-LAA) – The Angels indicated that they won’t place Calhoun on the disabled list yet as he is dealing with a hamstring injury. An MRI revealed the injury to be somewhere between a spasm and strain so the Angels are going to give it a few days and see whether Calhoun can recover quickly. In all likelihood, Calhoun will end up on the disabled list because seldom do hamstring injuries resolve themselves without requiring a trip to the DL. Calhoun is batting .231 with 13 home runs and 45 RBI so he has regressed a bit after two solid seasons in a row in 2015 and 2016. He is not worth stashing so feel free to let him go to the waiver wire.
On the DL
David Price (SP-BOS) – The roller coaster of a season for David Price continues as he was placed back on the disabled list with an elbow injury. Remember, he missed the first few months of the season with an elbow injury he sustained in spring training. This new injury should raise major red flags for the Red Sox and fantasy GMs even though Price indicated that this is not the same severity of injury he had back in March. Price will be out longer than ten days but does not expect to have a lengthy absence. He has produced mixed results in his 11 starts going 5-3 with a 3.82 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 63 strikeouts in 66.
George Springer (OF-HOU) – The Astros are falling apart with injuries and the next victim is George Springer. The young outfielder has been an MVP candidate all season batting .310 with 27 home runs, 66 RBI, 82 runs scored and four stolen bases. He has been dealing with discomfort in his quadriceps and was finally placed on the DL retroactive to July 25. We don’t know yet whether he will be back once eligible later this week, but it should not be too much further beyond August 4 if he can make enough improvement during the recovery process. Derek Fisher and Jake Marisnick will see a bulk of the playing time in Springer’s absence which is a huge loss for fantasy GMs who have relied on his consistent production all season long.
Ian Desmond (1B-COL) – Fantasy GMs should be used to this by now with Desmond who has seemingly been on the disabled list all season. He missed the first month with a broken hand and now is on the disabled list for the second time in a month with a strained right calf. He is batting .285 with five home runs, 32 RBI, 33 runs scored and ten stolen bases in only 65 games. It is unknown how long he will be out, but look for Gerardo Parra and Mark Reynolds to continue seeing regular playing time in Desmond’s absence. He should be stashed on your bench and hopefully be activated during your final playoff push later in August.
Mark Trumbo (OF-BAL) – It has been a disappointing season for Trumbo who was expected to put up monster numbers at Camden Yards. Thus far he is batting .238 with 17 home runs, 50 RBI and 62 runs scored over 103 games. Any hope of a big second half will now have to be delayed as he was placed on the ten-day disabled list with a strain of his right rib cage. Typically, this injury is painful and requires a decent amount of time for recovery so Trumbo will likely be out longer than ten days. An MRI revealed the injury but we do not have a time table on how long he may be sidelined. Stash Trumbo on your bench or DL because he has the ability to carry a team during a hot streak.
Lance McCullers (SP-HOU) – McCullers has not been the same since returning from the disabled list in June with a back injury. He has not won a game since June 24 and hasn’t last more than 5.1 innings in any of those starts. He now lands back on the disabled list with discomfort in his back and there is no time table for his return. Houston has a commanding lead in the AL West so they should coast to the playoffs despite all of their recent injuries. Overall, McCullers is 7-3 with a 3.92 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 118 strikeouts in 105.2 innings. Stash him on your DL and hope he is able to return with enough time left in the season to contribute towards your playoff push.
Troy Tulowitzki (SS-TOR) – Ahhhh, it feels like home. As I have always said, there are only a few guarantees in life: death, taxes and Troy Tulowitzki being injured. He has back where he belongs on the injury report after suffering a right ankle injury last Friday. An MRI has revealed some ligament damage so it is quite possible that his season could be over after only playing 66 games. Tulowitzki has a long history of injuries so this should come as a surprise to no one. He was only batting .249 with seven home runs and 26 RBI so he was hardly a lock to be a starter in many fantasy leagues. Ryan Goins should see a bulk of the playing time in Tulowitzki’s absence. You should feel comfortable dropping Tulowitzki in any league format as he will miss significant time and could be done for the season depending on what an ankle specialist tell him.
Matt Kemp (OF-ATL) – It’s been a frustrating season for Kemp owners who have seen the former elite outfielder hit the disabled list on a couple occasions. He is back on the DL now after injuring his right hamstring while he was trying to run out a double last Friday. Expect Kemp to be out for more than ten days. He has been limited to 88 games batting .290 with 14 home runs and 48 RBI. These are solid numbers in 88 games so fantasy GMs are understandably frustrated having him in and out of the lineup so frequently this season.
Robbie Ray (SP-ARZ) – It was a terrifying moment when Robbie Ray was struck by a scorching line drive against St. Louis in his last start on Friday. He was taken to the hospital but returned to the ballpark the next day. Ray was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list and should remain there for well beyond the seven days as this was a severe impact he sustained. Ray has emerged as a top fantasy starter this season over his 20 starts compiling a 9-5 record along with a 3.11 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and an incredible 151 strikeouts in 118.2 innings. Stash him on your bench or disabled list because he is one of the top strikeout pitchers in the league.
Josh Tomlin (SP-CLE) – The Indians had been going with a six-man rotation to give their aching starters some extra rest. Now they are back to a five-man rotation after Tomlin was placed on the disabled list due to a strain of his left hamstring. Cleveland does not believe the injury is too serious so they expect Tomlin back in short order. However, hamstring injuries are tricky to diagnose so do not be surprised if this absence lingers beyond the requisite ten days. Tomlin is only a fantasy option in deep standard or AL-only leagues with a 7-9 record along with a 5.38 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 86 strikeouts in 110.1 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).