2018 MLB Injury Report: April 6
Michael A. Stein breaks down the injury situations across Major League Baseball, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
The injuries are starting to pile up as we head towards the end of Week 2. We have several key players in this edition of the injury report so now is the time for fantasy GMs to start being creative with roster management and aggressive on the waiver wire. Some of the biggest keys to fantasy success is roster depth and foresight, and it is never too early to start planning ahead and looking at the big picture. So, without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Christian Yelich (OF-MIL)
Yelich suffered a right oblique injury on Wednesday and was removed from the game. He also sat out Thursday’s game as well and could be facing a stint on the disabled list. As we have mentioned many times over the years in the injury report, oblique injuries are very tough to deal with because they typically require extended absences to allow sufficient time to heal. Losing Yelich for a period of time would be a devastating blow to GMs who count on his five-category production. Expect him to be out a few more days at the least, but the likely scenario is that he winds up on the DL.
Corey Knebel (RP-MIL)
Besides Yelich, the Brewers also lost another key player due to injury this week. Closer Corey Knebel fell to the ground after throwing a pitch on Thursday grabbing his left hamstring. He had to be helped off the field and will be placed on the disabled list. Knebel has struggled in his first three appearances only earning one save and allowing three earned runs over 2.2 innings which amounts to an ERA of 10.12. He will undergo an MRI on Friday and will likely be facing an extended absence which means Josh Hader will likely become Milwaukee’s closer and should be grabbed off the waiver wire as soon as possible.
Wil Myers (1B-SD)
Myers has been placed on the disabled list with nerve irritation in his right triceps and he will be shut down from throwing and swinging for several days. He seems optimistic that he can return immediately once he is eligible on April 13, but that remains to be seen. He had been suffering from this injury for days so it is also possible he could miss more than just the requisite ten days.
Nelson Cruz (DH-SEA)
The Mariners placed Cruz on the disabled list with an ankle injury after he hurt himself slipping on the dugout steps following a home run last weekend. He was probably not going to play much this week with three games in San Francisco, so Seattle opted to be cautious and conservative with their aging slugger and shut him down for ten days. Seattle seems confident that Cruz will be activated immediately once eligible, so he should be back for fantasy GMs in the middle of Week 3.
Miguel Cabrera (1B-DET)
Cabrera had to be taken out of Thursday’s game after he suffered some tightness in his left hip flexor. The injury was sustained when he stumbled after getting a base hit early in Thursday’s game against the White Sox. He is coming off a terrible season in which he was injured and unproductive. Thus far, Cabrera has hit well with a .318 batting average along with one home run, five RBI and four runs scored. He should be considered day-to-day right now so monitor his status and be prepared for a short-term alternative at first base or corner infield.
Adam Eaton (OF-WAS)
Eaton missed most of 2017 with a serious knee injury and has worked hard to be back for this season. He has gotten off to a scorching start batting .455 with two home runs, five RBI, and ten runs scored. Unfortunately, he had to be removed from Thursday’s game against the Mets when he injured his ankle sliding into home plate. X-rays were negative which is a good sign, and he also indicated that he would only miss a couple games at most. For now it appears he will avoid a trip to the disabled list, but plan on him missing the rest of the weekend.
Jake Lamb (3B-ARZ)
Arizona placed Jake Lamb on the 10-day disabled list due to an AC sprain in his left shoulder which he likely sustained earlier this week against the Dodgers. Lamb was going all out on defense and on the bases which is what likely led to his shoulder injury. The Diamondbacks believe he can return once eligible which is a very optimistic outlook. He is batting .278 with five RBI thus far, so he should be stashed on your bench or DL slot given third base is not as deep as it is in most years.
Matt Shoemaker (SP-LAA)
Shoemakers has been placed on the disabled list with a strain in his right forearm. This immediately sets off alarms because that is typically the precursor to a torn UCL diagnosis and eventual Tommy John surgery. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s wait for some test results. Shoemaker won his first start going 5.2 innings and allowing three runs while walking four and striking out four. These were not overly impressive numbers which is indicative of why he is still likely on the waiver wire. The Angels called up Parker Bridwell to take his place in the rotation, but GMs should be a patient and see what he has before claiming him off waivers.
Jedd Gyorko (3B-STL)
Gyorko is a valuable fantasy asset because of how many positions he is eligible at, so normally we are discussing him when someone else gets hurt and he needs to fill in. He has now been placed on the disabled list due to straining his right hamstring. He suffered the injury earlier in the week and the Cardinals preferred to be conservative about resting him without being short a man. St. Louis hopes he just needs the requisite ten days before coming back, but we all know hamstring injuries are tricky and can take much longer than anticipated.
Hunter Pence (OF-SF)
Pence suffered a strain of his right thumb and was taken out of the starting lineup on Wednesday. He likely suffered the injury the night before when he dove attempting to make a catch. There is still a chance he is able to play as early as Friday so the injury is not considered serious. Pence is a shell of his former self in terms of his fantasy production which is why is still available on waivers in most leagues. He is 4-for-19 with no home runs, no RBI, no runs scored and no stolen bases thus far which justifies why he is not being rostered anymore.