2018 MLB Injury Report: July 27
Chris Bouvier breaks down the injury situations across Major League Baseball, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
It has been a chaotic week in baseball with trades being made and key players getting shut down with injuries. The timing of all this makes for a very interesting dynamic in fantasy leagues because GMs need to make moves to prepare for the stretch run. However, the volatility of players’ health and trade status creates some uncertainty and desperation which both need to be managed. So, without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Aaron Judge (OF-NYY)
The Yankees and fantasy GMs avoided a huge catastrophe after Aaron Judge was hit by a pitch on his right wrist on Thursday. Judge suffered a chip fracture and will miss at least three weeks with the injury. It could have been a lot worse if he had fractured his hamate bone so GMs can breathe a sigh of relief. For now, the Yankees will likely go with Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks in the outfield every day unless Brian Cashman makes another trade. Judge should obviously be stashed on your bench or a DL slot with his .285 batting average along with 26 home runs and 61 RBI.
Kris Bryant (3B-CHC)
The Cubs placed Kris Bryant back on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury that also cost him a few weeks before the All Star break. He will have an MRI on his shoulder which will give us a better understanding of what the injury is that he is dealing with. Either way, Bryant is likely going to miss several weeks as the issue clearly never went away. He has had a disappointing season batting .276 with only 11 home runs, 44 RBI, 46 runs scored and two stolen bases in 76 games. Ian Happ and Tommy LaStella are both options to fill in for Bryant at third base.
José Altuve (2B-HOU)
The Astros took José Altuve out of Wednesday’s game with a knee injury and coupled that with a day off on Thursday to give the reigning MVP some extra time to heal. Altuve has been dealing with some knee issues the past few days so it is a situation to keep an eye on because Houston is not going to take any chances making the issue worse. Altuve’s power and run production numbers are down from last year, but he is still an invaluable elite player batting .329 with nine home runs, 46 RBI, 64 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. Check back later to see if he is in the Astros’ lineup on Friday.
James Paxton (SP-SEA)
Paxton was scheduled to make his return from the disabled list on Tuesday but his back was stiff after his last bullpen session. The Mariners expect Paxton to be able to start early next week so fantasy GMs will have to wait a little bit longer before putting him back into lineups. Paxton is 8-4 with a 3.70 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 155 strikeouts making him one of the better fantasy pitchers this season.
Stephen Strasburg (SP-WAS)
Strasburg is not doing himself any favors with respect to disproving the notion that he is fragile and injury-plagued. He recently missed six weeks due to a shoulder injury and then came back and got lit up last week by the Braves. Now he is back on the disabled list with a pinched nerve in his neck and is expected to miss at least one more start, possible more. Strasburg is 6-7 with a 3.90 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 101 strikeouts in 85.1 innings over just 14 starts and was replaced by journeyman Tommy Milone in the rotation.
Gary Sánchez (C-NYY)
The Yankees placed Gary Sánchez on the disabled list shortly after he had one of the worst games a player could have in terms of costing his team a victory. However, the Yankees publicly seem to attribute Sanchez’s malaise to a groin injury which is expected to keep him out at least a month or more. Sanchez has been a fantasy albatross in terms of batting average (.188) but he does still have 14 home runs and 42 RBI. Keep him stashed on your bench or a DL slot and pick up Austin Romine as his replacement unless the Yankees swing a trade for a better alternative.
Starling Marte (OF-PIT)
Marte was hit by a pitch on his left hand on Wednesday and was diagnosed with a contusion. This was good news for the Pirates and fantasy GMs because it could have been a lot worse. He sat out Thursday’s game against the Mets and is considered day-to-day right now. Marte is a must-start option when healthy as he is batting .292 with 16 home runs, 54 RBI, 57 runs scored and 25 stolen bases. Check back in later to see if he is able to return to the lineup on Friday.
Yoenis Céspedes (OF-NYM)
Cespedes has confirmed that he is going to have surgery on both of his heels meaning he will miss the rest of 2018 and likely a few months of 2019. The recovery process for these surgeries on his heels is expected to be eight to ten months, so this will undoubtedly impact Cespedes’ fantasy value for next year. He can be dropped in all redraft leagues and he will have a giant red flag next to his name heading into 2019.
Corey Dickerson (OF-PIT)
The Pirates recent resurgence was helped significantly by Dickerson’s red hot bat which saw him bump his batting average up to .318 with 11 home runs, 44 RBI, 50 runs scored and six stolen bases for the season. However, he was taken out of Tuesday’s game with a hamstring injury and subsequently missed the next couple games. Monitor his status for the weekend because he is a viable starting option if he plays but it is plausible he could sit out a few more days if he is not fully healed.
Jake Lamb (3B-ARZ)
Lamb has been a huge disappointment this season batting just .222 with six home runs, 31 RBI, 34 runs scored and one stolen base. He has failed to come close to replicating his statistics from 2016 and 2017, so Lamb has little to no fantasy value at this point. He was taken out of Thursday’s game with a contusion in his left shoulder and is being considered day-to-day. Daniel Descalso took over at third base for Lamb and should continue filling in for him as long as Lamb may need to be out.
Brandon Belt (1B-SF)
Belt underwent an MRI on his left knee after he was removed from Wednesday’s game against Seattle. He hyperextended the knee and then the MRI also revealed he is dealing with a bone bruise so he is expected to be shut down for the next several days. The Giants have not made a roster move yet but it would not be surprising if they place Belt on the 10-day disabled list and let Buster Posey see some extra time at first base.
Jesse Winker (OF-CIN)
The Reds have announced that Winker is going to have season-ending surgery on his injured right shoulder. He had been having a productive season batting .299 with seven home runs and 43 RBI making him a viable option in NL-only leagues. He can now be dropped in any league format if he was on your roster.