2018 MLB Injury Report: May 23
Michael A. Stein breaks down the injury situations across Major League Baseball, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
The last couple weeks have been brutal for fantasy GM all around. Congratulations are in order for anyone who has managed to maintain some semblance of a normal starting lineup. Things will not get any easier as we make our way through the season which is going by at a rapid pace. Memorial Day weekend is just days away marking the unofficial start of summer and officially ending the early part of the season. So, without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Gary Sánchez (C-NYY)
Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez was removed from Tuesday’s game against Texas with cramps in his calf. There was initially some speculation that he had been ejected after he and Aaron Boone challenged balls and strikes being called, but he in fact was taken out of the game for precautionary reasons. Sanchez is an elite fantasy catcher with 12 home runs and 33 RBI in the middle of a deep and potent Yankees lineup. He will probably be given a day off on Wednesday but Sanchez is not expected to miss much time from this injury.
Dee Gordon (2B-SEA)
The Mariners placed Dee Gordon on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured right big toe. You would think this would be a huge deal with an extended absence, but the good news is that the fracture was minor and Seattle seems to think Gordon could be back shortly after he is eligible to be activated. Gordon had been playing center field this season but had just moved back to second base after Robinson Canó was suspended. He is an elite fantasy option in Roto leagues thanks to his .304 batting average along with 25 runs scored and 16 stolen bases thus far.
Khris Davis (OF-OAK)
Davis suffered a strained right groin on Sunday against Toronto and was still held out of Tuesday’s game as well. The A’s have not made a roster move yet so they are likely hopeful that Davis is already improving and could possibly be back within the next few days. He is a solid source for power despite his .235 batting average which is bearable thanks to his 13 home runs and 38 RBI. Keep following for an update on his status and whether Oakland decides to put him on the DL or not.
Nelson Cruz (DH-SEA)
It has been a rough and painful season for Nelson Cruz who has been banged up since spring training. His latest issue was getting hit by a pitch on his elbow last Saturday and he still has yet to play since then. Seattle is likely being cautious with their aging designated hitter who has been limited to a .228 batting average with only seven home runs and 18 RBI. He has basically been day-to-day all year and is not a reliable fantasy option at the moment. Consider benching him until he comes back and proves he can stay on the field and produce numbers we have become accustomed to over the past several seasons.
Paul DeJong (SS-STL)
The Cardinals will be without their starting shortstop for quite a while after Paul DeJong underwent surgery late last week to repair his fractured left hand. DeJong was hit by a pitch last Thursday and had plates and screws inserted into his hand during the operation. We won’t know about a time frame for his return yet, but he will certainly miss a significant amount of time. Jedd Gyorko is expected to see most of the playing time in DeJong’s absence and is worth a flyer in fantasy leagues thanks to his eligibility at several different positions.
Wilson Ramos (C-TB)
Ramos was taken out of Tuesday’s game against Boston with a contusion on his left hand. He suffered the injury when he was hit by a ball early in the game and is considered day-to-day at this point. Ramos has been one of the better offensive catchers in the league batting .283 with six home runs and 22 RBI. He would have made sense for the Mets to acquire before they traded for Devin Mesoraco . Knowing the way Tampa Bay operates, it seems like a foregone conclusion that he will be dealt at some point before the trade deadline as the Rays have rebuilt his value and will likely look to cash in on it.
Joe Mauer (1B-MIN)
Mauer landed on the disabled list over the weekend due to a concussion and could miss a decent amount of time with the Twins understandably wanting to be cautious with their star player. He was having issues with balance and light sensitivity, but he is already receiving treatments which is a good sign. Mauer is no longer a viable fantasy option as he is only batting .283 with one home run and 11 RBI. Expect Logan Morrison to play first base in Mauer’s absence.
Steven Souza Jr. (OF-ARZ)
Souza missed more than a month to start the season with a strained right pectoral muscle before making his debut with the Diamondbacks. He then managed 43 at bats before landing right back on the disabled list with the same injury. Souza only hit .163 with no home runs and one RBI before being shut down again. Arizona’s roster has been depleted with injuries lately but their reinforcements such as Sócrates Brito are not appetizing fantasy options.
Jacob Faria (SP-TB)
Faria was taken out of Tuesday’s start against Boston with a strained left oblique. He has struggled thus far this year pitching to an ERA over 5.00 through his first ten starts. Tampa Bay’s starting rotation has been marred by injuries which has led to some bizarre and interesting strategies employed by Kevin Cash in terms of who his choices have been to start games. With Faria likely heading to the disabled list, it should be interesting to see what Cash does now that he is down another starter.
Howie Kendrick (OF-WAS)
The Nationals are another team that has been decimated by injuries as they can now add Howie Kendrick to the list of players who are out. Kendrick ruptured his right Achilles tendon which requires surgery and he will miss the rest of the season. He was hitting .303 with four home runs, 12 RBI, 17 runs scored and one stolen base while getting more playing time than was probably expected. His injury is what opened the door for Washington to call up 19-year old Juan Soto who looks like he is here to stay in the big leagues.
Juan Lagares (OF-NYM)
It is hard to not feel bad for Juan Lagares who just cannot stay healthy for an entire season. He was getting an opportunity to play more with Yoenis Céspedes on the disabled list and was delivering with a .339 batting average, six RBI, nine runs scored and three stolen bases. He has always played the game hard and his efforts have once again cost him dearly as he will likely miss the remainder of the season after suffering a hyperextended left big toe and a torn plantar plate which will require surgery. His injury prompted the Mets to sign José Bautista just days after he was released by the Braves.
Derek Fisher (OF-HOU)
Fisher has been placed on the disabled list due to a gastrointestinal issue. He has not performed well with Houston this year batting only .176 with four home runs and 11 RBI in 74 at bats. He will likely only need the minimum ten days before he can return, but the Astros may want to consider sending Fisher back to the minor leagues to help him work out the kinks and flaws in his batting approach.