Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: August 22
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 are rapidly approaching the end of the fantasy baseball regular season for many leagues so injuries that are taking place now will have direct impacts on postseason berths. Rarely do we get a week without significant names making it onto this list, and this edition of the injury report is no different. We have Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year candidates, stolen base specialists, dominant relief pitchers, etc. There is a cornucopia of players to choose from whose absence from the lineup could seal your fate if you don’t have sufficient depth on your rosters. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Day to Day
Cody Bellinger (1B/OF-LAD) – The probable NL Rookie of the Year suffered a sprained right ankle on Saturday and has been out of action ever since. The Dodgers are going to wait until Wednesday to re-evaluate him and see if he needs more time to recuperate. For now they will hold off placing him on the disabled list, but with an insane lead in the NL West they can be as conservative and cautious as they want with him. Bellinger is batting .274 with 34 home runs, 79 RBI, 70 runs scored and nine stolen bases while being eligible at both first base and outfield. This makes him an indispensable fantasy asset who has a real shot at 40 home runs and 100 RBI as a rookie. Even if he requires a stint on the disabled list, he should still have plenty of time in September to reach those milestones.
Carlos Santana (1B-CLE) – The Indians took Carlos Santana out of Monday’s game against Boston after he experiences some tightness in his lower back. The extent and severity of the injury is not known yet, so he should be considered day-to-day for now. Santana is currently batting .252 with 18 home runs and 64 RBI which is on par for his usual stat line. He is fine as a corner infield or utility option in most fantasy leagues due to his power and position in a strong lineup. Check in for further updates on his status but don’t be surprised if he needs a day or two off to rest his back.
Andrew Miller (RP-CLE) – Bad news for Indians fans as their dominant set-up reliever is likely heading right back to the disabled list. Miller was taken out of Monday’s game against the Red Sox in just his second game back from the DL when he aggravated the patellar tendinitis in his right knee which is what sent him to the disabled list in the first place. Cleveland may have rushed him back because it didn’t take long for this to happen. Miller is an elite relief pitcher with a 4-3 record along with two saves, 21 holds, a 1.65 ERA and 79 strikeouts in just 54.2 innings. He is a critical piece of Cleveland’s bullpen so they better shut him down and hope he has enough rest and recovery to be ready for the postseason.
Joey Gallo (3B-TEX) – Gallo is this generation’s Rob Deer with a Mendoze-like batting average of .205 to go along with 35 home runs, 65 RBI and 152 strikeouts in 346 at bats. He truly is an all-or-nothing hitter, but we now know to expect that from him. On Sunday, he collided with his teammate Matt Bush and is experiencing some concussion symptoms which prevented him from traveling to Anaheim with the Rangers. Texas has not placed him on the 7-day DL yet as they are hoping the symptoms go away in the next couple days. For now, he can ride your bench because he will miss the next few games. Gallo is a risky fantasy option in standard Roto leagues because he provides tremendous power but then is an albatross in batting average, essentially negating himself.
Alex Wood (SP-LAD) – The Dodgers have had an historic season with many contributors including Alex Wood. It took some time, but Wood appears to have put it all together at this stage of his career compiling a 14-1 record with a 2.41 ERA. However, he appears to have suffered an injury he had earlier in the season which cost him a couple weeks. Wood has inflammation in his SC joint and was removed from Monday’s game against Pittsburgh. This injury explains why Wood has not been throwing as hard and manager Dave Roberts expressed some concern over the situation. He will in all probability be placed on the disabled list which has been a familiar tune with the Dodgers’ rotation all year. Keep him stashed if you can afford the roster slot.
Marcus Semien (SS-OAK) – Semien has had an injury-ravaged season thus far and has been limited to a .253 batting average with just five home runs and 20 RBI. He was taken out of Monday’s game against Baltimore after have some irritation of scar tissue in his right wrist which he had previously had surgery. The A’s don’t think the issue is serious and he could very well be back in the lineup on Tuesday if the irritation subsides. Either way, he should not have an extended absence and can be a viable middle infield option.
On the DL
Max Scherzer (SP-WAS) – In a season where several of the top elite pitchers landed on the disabled list, that list would not be complete with Scherzer. The former Cy Young Award winner has had another dominant season with a 12-5 record along with a 2.25 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 220 strikeouts in 160.1 innings. Scherzer has landed on the disabled list with inflammation on the left side of his neck. The move was made retroactive to August 15 so he should be back very soon which is good news for fantasy GMs. Matt Grace stepped in and will likely make one more start in Scherzer’s place. The plan is for Scherzer to be back shortly after but continue to monitor the situation to ensure there are no setbacks which could delay the timeframe. GMs need Scherzer back on the mound if they have any hopes of earning a playoff berth or winning their leagues.
Yu Darvish (SP-LAD) – We had previously reported on Darvish’s back condition last week and the Dodgers subsequently placed him on the disabled list as a precautionary move. Los Angeles has built up such a big league in the NL West that they can afford to be cautious and conservative with their players in advance of the postseason. Darvish has pitched extremely well since being traded to the Dodgers and is expected to be activated for his next start this coming weekend. That would be great news for GMs who would have only missed one start if the timing does work out that way.
Miguel Sano (3B-MIN) – Sano has spent quite a bit of time on the injury report over the past month and now has landed on the disabled list with a stress reaction in his left shin. He was taken out of Saturday’s game with the injury and then missed Sunday as well before being placed on the 10-day disabled list. This is a crushing loss for both the Twins and fantasy GMs who have come to depend on his power output of 28 home runs and 77 RBI thus far. We don’t know yet whether he will only require the minimum ten days off, but alternative plans need to be made to make up for the loss of his production at a premium position like third base.
Steven Matz (SP-NYM) – Matz has been nothing short of an epic disaster over the past couple months, and now we may know why. He is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair irritation in his ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow. The surgery is scheduled for this week which means his season is over and he will be shooting for a return by Opening Day in 2018. Matz had missed the first couple months of the season with an injury, but after he returned he looked great in his first few starts. However, over the past two months he has seen his record fall to 2-7 with an abysmal 6.07 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. The good news is that Jacob deGrom had the same surgery last year and he was able to return for spring training this season. Hopefully Matz will have the same kind of statistical success that deGrom has had this year.
Adam Wainwright (SP-STL) – The veteran stalwart of the Cardinals rotation has been placed on the disabled with an elbow injury and is slated to receive a platelet-rich plasma injection. The plan is to shut him down for the next couple weeks and re-evaluate at that point. St. Louis hopes he can return by the end of the season, but that is entirely up in the air right now. He has a 12-5 record which is great, but his peripherals of 5.12 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and only 96 strikeouts in 121.1 innings are terrible. Wainwright can be dropped in redraft leagues because his statistics are more harmful than helpful even if he does return. Luke Weaver’s spot in the rotation appears secure now while Wainwright is out.
Jacob Faria (SP-TB) – Tampa Bay has managed to stay in the AL Wild Card race despite having their starting rotation destroyed with injuries all season. Jacob Faria was one of many options who was called up and succeeded during the Rays’ improbable stretch to remain relevant and competitive. Faria has posted a 5-4 record with a 3.32 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 77 strikeouts in 78.2 innings filling in for guys like Alex Cobb, Matt Andriese and Jake Odorizzi. However, Faria has now been bitten by the injury bug after being placed on the disabled list with a strain of his left abdomen. It was reported that he had been suffering from this injury for a few starts, so now he will be shut down for an extended period of time and we don’t know how late in September he will be back. He is worth holding on to if you have roster flexibility and can afford the DL slot.
Jarrod Dyson (OF-SEA) – Dyson serves one purpose in fantasy leagues, and that is his proclivity for stolen bases. He has provided exactly that in his first season with Seattle as he is batting .255 with five home runs, 30 RBI, 56 runs scored and 28 stolen bases. Unfortunately, Dyson suffered a strained right groin and has landed on the DL retroactive to August 17. It isn’t known yet whether he is going to be ready once eligible to be activated later this week, but this is a concerning injury because Dyson’s value comes purely from his speed and an injured groin is going to hamper his ability to run at 100%. If you are desperate for stolen bases then it is acceptable to hold on to Dyson for a little while and see when he may return.
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).