Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: September 9
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.
There are only a few weeks left in the MLB and fantasy baseball season so the pain and torture of reading about your players’ health woes is almost over. If your league is still going or you are in the middle of your playoffs then you continue to have significant roster and lineup issues due to various ailments of impact players. The teams that survive and thrive are the ones who are lucky, but also the ones who aggressively and creatively crafted their rosters with depth and planned ahead to deal with these issues. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B-ARZ) – There are only a handful of legitimate five-category fantasy baseball players in the league, and Paul Goldschmidt is right near the top of the list. He is having another tremendous season batting .314 with 33 home runs, 109 RBI, 102 runs scored and 17 stolen bases. Fantasy GMs could not ask for more from their stud first baseman who has missed the past five games with soreness in his right elbow. The good news is that Arizona reported that Goldschmidt is on the road to recovery and should be back some time over the weekend against San Diego. He will play a major factor down the stretch so GMs should feel fortunate to have him back on the field at this critical juncture.
Jake Arrieta (SP-CHC) – The Cubs ace suffered a Grade 1 strain of his right hamstring and will likely miss just one start. It is very good news that the diagnosis is only Grade 1 which is the least severe type of strain, so he could be back on the mound after one turn in the rotation. Arrieta has had an inconsistent season compiling a 14-9 record with a 3.48 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 157 strikeouts in 160.1 innings. He is a pending free agent so it behooves to finish the season healthy and strong, and then go on to have a dominant postseason in order to maximize his upcoming contract. Keep him benched until next week when he is likely set to return.
Josh Donaldson (3B-TOR) – Donaldson has had an injury-marred season limiting him to just a .254 batting average along with 25 home runs and 64 RBI. He was scheduled to start on Friday but had to be scratched after coming down with an illness that has spread around Toronto’s clubhouse lately. Donaldson should be back in the lineup over the weekend once he starts feeling better.
Jose Ramirez (2B/3B-CLE) – The production provided by Jose Ramirez this season cannot be overstated. Not only does he qualify at multiple positions, but he has put up elite statistics across the board with a .309 batting average along with 25 home runs, 69 RBI, 93 runs scored and 15 stolen bases. He is a legitimate fantasy MVP candidate so there was some concern due to a wrist injury he is dealing with. Ramirez could be out for a couple days so monitor his status and make sure you have an alternative for the days that he potentially misses.
Jimmy Nelson (SP-MIL) – One of the biggest surprises in fantasy baseball this season has been the emergence of Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson. He was regarded as a solid prospect but never really put it together before this season. In what could be a significant development for the rest of the season, Nelson was taken out of his start on Friday against the Cubs with soreness in his right arm. He did manage to last long enough to pick up his 12th win and lower his ERA to 3.48. Milwaukee has indicated it was a precautionary move but at this point it is unclear how much time Nelson may miss.
Mike Moustakas (3B-KC) – Moustakas is on the precipice of making Royals history as he is poised to dethrone Steve Balboni for the single-season club record for home runs. However, Moustakas has been dealing with a knee injury for several weeks which he aggravated on Wednesday and then was limited to being the DH on Thursday. Expect him to get some additional rest and recovery time with another day or two off. The Royals desperately need him in the lineup as they remain 4.5 games out of the 2nd wild card, so expect him back at some point over the weekend.
Amed Rosario (SS-NYM) – The Mets rookie shortstop has now missed five straight games with an injured right index finger which is hurt while swinging the bat last weekend. He should be considered day-to-day despite showing some improvement in terms of the swelling in his finger. Thus far, the rookie is batting .245 with four home runs, eight RBI, nine runs scored and four stolen bases through his first 110 at bats over the course of 31 games. Jose Reyes has manned shortstop for the most part while Rosario is out.
Wilmer Flores (3B-NYM) – The Mets list of injuries this year has become a punchline because it seems unbelievable that a team could be afflicted to the extent they have. After trading away several expiring contracts, it appeared that Wilmer Flores would get an opportunity to play almost every day down the stretch. He was hitting well with a batting average of .271 with 18 home runs and 52 RBI while qualifying at three infield positions. However, he fouled a ball off of his face and suffered a broken nose last weekend which has ended his season. The Mets will have many questions heading into next year but seem hesitant to use Flores as the answer to any of them.
Adrian Gonzalez (1B-LAD) – It is sad to see what has become of Adrian Gonzalez as injuries and time have caught up with him. He has been dealing with an elbow and back injury all season which has limited him to just 64 games thus far. Gonzalez is batting just .248 with only two home runs and 29 RBI which has rendered him irrelevant in fantasy leagues. At 35-years old, it looks like the end could be near for the veteran whose injury did pave the way for Cody Bellinger to make his debut. He is being shut down for a little while as he deals with the latest bout of back trouble, but he still belongs on the waiver wire even if he is able to play again during the regular season.
Steven Souza (OF-TB) – Souza has been a surprising source of power mixed with enough speed to make him extremely relevant as an OF4 or Utility player in most standard leagues. His .247 batting average and incredible propensity for striking out shows he still needs to work on his plate discipline, but his 29 home runs, 77 RBI and 14 stolen bases shows his versatile value. He had to leave Friday’s game against Boston after he crashed into the outfield wall trying to track down a fly ball. He limped off the field and had trouble putting weight on his left leg so the injury looked to be pretty serious. Check back over the weekend for a further update once we know more about his status.
Carlos Rodon (SP-CHW) – It’s been a disaster of a season for Carlos Rodon who has been placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his left shoulder which will end his season. He missed the first several months of the season as well so his 2017 campaign was limited to only 12 starts. Those 12 starts were not exactly productive as he compiled a 2-5 record with a 4.15 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 76 strikeouts in 69.1 innings. He will likely slip off people’s radar heading into 2018 draft season so keep him in mind when looking for sleepers next winter.
Nick Markakis (OF-ATL) – Fantasy GMs tend to overlook Markakis because he has no power and his statistics are generally just vanilla. However, he does have a .283 batting average along with 69 RBI and 70 runs scored. Those numbers won’t blow anyone away but they are consistent and valuable, especially if your outfield was marred with injuries throughout the season. Now Markakis is dealing with an injury of his own after he rolled his wrist when making a catch earlier in the week. X-rays did come back negative so he avoided fractures which is a big relief. He should be able to return to the lineup in short order and is at least reliable if you are in need of certain production for the final three weeks of the season.
Billy Hamilton (OF-CIN) – If you are in need of speed, then you will be hurting for at least the next few weeks and possibly the remainder of the season. Billy Hamilton has been placed on the disabled list with a left thumb fracture which he sustained when trying to bunt during Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee. It is possible he could return before the end of the season, but the Reds are obviously not playing for anything so they won’t unnecessarily hurry him back for no reason. Hamilton is currently batting .248 with four home runs, 37 RBI, 82 runs scored and 58 stolen bases He is invaluable in Roto leagues where you need stolen bases or runs scored, but that masks his overall pedestrian and mediocre baseball skills.
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).