2018 MLB Injury Report: July 24
Michael Stein breaks down the injury situations across Major League Baseball, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
Greetings and salutations to the Fantasy Alarm Nation. It has been a few weeks since we have talked as I was away on my honeymoon, but I am back feeling relaxed and refreshed. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about several key fantasy baseball players who have landed on this edition of the walking wounded. The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is just a week away, so expect a flurry of activity coming up. You should be prepared to make similar moves in your own leagues as we head into the dog days of summer and fantasy trade deadlines approaching as well. So, without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Noah Syndergaard (SP-NYM)
What else can be said about the Mets and their injuries? Just when you think you have seen it all, the Mets announced that Noah Syndergaard was going back on the disabled list after contracting hand, foot and mouth disease. The Mets think he contracted it at a youth camp, but regardless of where he was exposed the reality is that he is now on the shelf again after making just two starts since returning from the disabled list. He is not expected to miss more than the requisite ten days, but it is very hard to be able to trust Thor with any confidence to stay healthy right now.
Yoenis Céspedes (OF-NYM)
Continuing the theme of the Mets and their bizarre injuries, Yoenis Céspedes finds himself back on the injury report where he could remain a fixture for the next 8-10 months. He returned from the disabled list last Friday night and hit a home run, only to disclose after the game that he is dealing with calcification in both of his heels which have been the root cause of his leg injuries the past couple years. He also mentioned that surgery was an option with a recovery time of 8-10 months. With the Mets season flushed down the toilet already, Cespedes is getting examined by doctors who will make recommendations for how to proceed. Either way, Cespedes is already a lost cause for the season after being limited to just 38 games.
James Paxton (SP-SEA)
Fantasy GMs will get a boost this week when James Paxton makes his return against San Francisco. Paxton is 8-4 with a 3.70 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 155 strikeouts in 119.1 innings and is ready to go after dealing with inflammation in his lower back prior to the All Star break. He is a must-start option and has shown he can be included in the discussion of upper-echelon fantasy pitchers.
Carlos Martínez (SP-STL)
The Cardinals placed Martinez on the disabled list with a strained right oblique. Martinez has been very shaky with his performance and health all season but this injury does not appear to be serious. The Cardinals are hopeful that he will be ready to go early next week and not miss much time at all. He is 6-6 with a 3.39 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 89 strikeouts in 17 starts. These statistics are solid but fall short of what was expected of him heading into the season.
Ozzie Albies (2B-ATL)
The Braves are giving Albies some extended rest to help his hamstring heal and are hopeful that he will be ready to go for Thursday when the Dodgers come into town. Albies has been stellar this season at second base batting .283 with 20 home runs, 56 RBI, 75 runs scored and ten stolen bases. This type of production is invaluable in Roto leagues so GMs do not want to be without him for any amount of time at all. Charlie Culberson played second base on Monday for Albies and is expected to do so again until he is able to return.
Jesus Aguilar (1B-MIL)
Aguilar is one of the most valuable fantasy gems discovered this season as he is currently batting a stellar .293 with 25 home runs, 71 RBI and 50 runs scored. Unfortunately for fantasy GMs, he is currently dealing with tightness in both of his hamstrings and has missed the past couple games. It is difficult enough dealing with one hamstring injury, but having two is pretty imposing. Right now there is no indication he will need a stint on the disabled list, but you should be prepared for it if he does not make any progress over the next couple days.
Edwin Encarnación (DH-CLE)
Encarnacion got hit by a pitch on his left hand just before the All Star break and was still experiencing a little bit of soreness. He sat out of Monday’s game but is expected to be back on Tuesday against the Pirates. Encarnacion got off to a very slow start to the season but has raised his numbers to a .233 batting average with 22 home runs, 68 RBI and 52 runs scored.
Justin Turner (3B-LAD)
The Dodgers have been without Turner for most of the season due to injuries, and it looks like that trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Turner hadn’t started a game in over a week due to a groin injury, but when he returned last Sunday he re-aggravated the injury and had to be taken out of the game. Now he is back on the disabled list and will likely be out for a significant amount of time again. Turner has been limited to just 50 games in which he has hit .259 with five home runs, 20 RBI, 21 runs scored and one stolen base. Newly-acquired Manny Machado will slide back over to third base while Turner is out.
Nomar Mazara (OF-TEX)
Mazara suffered a sprained right thumb and was placed on the disabled list. He injured his thumb prior to the All Star break but was not ready to return, so Texas made the roster move retroactive to July 17. Right now there is no time frame for how long he may be out, but the Rangers have recalled top prospect Willie Calhoun to take Mazara’s place making him a solid waiver wire addition for the time being.
Brandon Morrow (RP-CHC)
Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been excellent this season with a 1.47 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 31 strikeouts and 22 saves. He has been on the disabled list with a biceps injury and also underwent an MRI which did not reveal anything too significant. That being said, he will likely require a longer absence than originally expected so look for Pedro Strop to see most of the closing opportunities in Morrow’s absence. The Cubs will also be in the market for relief help before the trade deadline so Morrow’s injury could affect how aggressive Chicago is in making a deal this week.
Michael Fulmer (SP-DET)
Detroit was looking into potential trade opportunities for Fulmer is one of the few assets the Tigers have to move right now. Unfortunately, Fulmer has been placed on the disabled list with an oblique injury that he suffered in a bullpen session before his last scheduled start. This will most likely require an extended absence for Fulmer so his trade value is all but gone right now, especially coupled with his 3-9 record along with a 4.50 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 112 innings. He can be dropped if you need roster flexibility.
D.J. LeMahieu (2B-COL)
LeMahieu has been placed on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. As we all know, these type of injuries typically require extended periods of time on the disabled list in order to heal and recover, so LeMahieu will likely be out several weeks. He was batting .278 with eight home runs, 34 RBI, 52 runs scored and five stolen bases before the injury. Colorado called up Garrett Hampson to replace LeMahieu who is a candidate to be dropped if you desperately need the roster space.
Brent Suter (SP-MIL)
The Brewers got some bad news as Brent Suter has been shut down with a torn UCL in his left elbow which will require Tommy John surgery. The timing is never good for this injury, but at this point in the season it likely means he will miss most if not all of 2019. Suter made 18 starts for the Brewers and went 8-7 with a 4.44 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 84 strikeouts in 101.1 innings