2018 MLB Injury Report: August 17
Michael A. Stein breaks down the injury situations across Major League Baseball, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
We are heading into the home stretch of the fantasy baseball season as GMs vie for playoff berths and prize money positions. It is more difficult now to replace production you are losing from injured players, so utilizing that depth on your roster is even more important. It is also frustrating when MLB teams prognosticate how long players may be out with injuries only for it to turn out to be a gross underestimation. GMs have to be flexible and be able to overcome any obstacles if they want to find themselves in the hunt for a championship. So, without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Mike Trout (OF-LAA)
The best player in baseball is on the disabled list and is also away from the team dealing with a family tragedy. He has been out with a wrist injury that took a lot longer to heal than expected, and now he will be away from the Angels after his brother-in-law tragically passed away this week. Trout is having another MVP-caliber season batting .309 with 30 home runs, 60 RBI, 82 runs scored and 21 stolen bases, and his production simply cannot be replaced or made up anywhere else. Fantasy GMs need him back as soon as possible so hopefully that will happen at some point next week.
Aaron Judge (OF-NYY)
When Aaron Judge suffered a fractured wrist on July 26, the Yankees believed he would miss three weeks. Three weeks have now come and gone, and Judge still has not swung a bat. It is taking longer than expected for the bone to heal, so Judge will continue to be sidelined for the foreseeable future. He did receive a cortisone injection earlier this week and is doing other baseball activities as well. However, this extended absence is wreaking havoc on fantasy GMs who have a gaping hole in their lineups with Judge on the bench. Keep him stashed and hope that he is able to return soon enough to make an impact on your league’s playoff race.
James Paxton (SP-SEA)
It has been on again/off again of late for James Paxton . He is headed back to the disabled list with a contusion on his left forearm after he was struck by a line drive during his last start on Tuesday. Paxton avoided a serious injury and may only miss one start depending on how he responds. He has an incredible amount of talent and the statistics to back it up with a 10-5 record along with a 3.68 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 176 strikeouts in 24 starts. The problem with Paxton is that he can never stay healthy so this latest stint on the disabled list should not come as a shock to any fantasy GM.
Yu Darvish (SP-CHC)
Good news for Yu Darvish owners as the Cubs big free agent acquisition is set to make a rehab start this weekend. He has been limited to just eight starts this year going 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 49 strikeouts, so needless to say it has been a disastrous inaugural season in Chicago. He will probably require several rehab starts in order to build back his endurance, so it could still be a little while before he actually returns to the Cubs. Fantasy GMs should be cautiously optimistic because we have no reason to trust him at this point.
Trevor Bauer (SP-CLE)
The Indians are fortunate enough to have more than one ace in their starting rotation with Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco . However, they really have a three-headed monster because Trevor Bauer has pitched like an ace all season. He is currently 12-6 with a 2.22 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 214 strikeouts in 166 innings over 25 starts making him one of the most dominant starters in the league thus far. Unfortunately, he has landed on the 10-day disabled list due to a stress fracture in his right fibula. He suffered the injury last weekend when he was hit in the leg by a line drive. There is no time frame for when he might be back but you can expect it will be at least several weeks. Adam Plutko is expected to take Bauer’s spot in the rotation for now.
Edwin Encarnación (DH-CLE)
Encarnacion has landed on the disabled list with a contusion on his right hand. This injury follows one to his left biceps last week so a stint on the DL should do him well. Encarnacion is batting .229 with 25 home runs, 81 RBI, 56 runs scored and two stolen bases so fantasy GMs will need to find another source of power while he is out. Look for Yonder Alonso to assume a bigger role in the Indians’ lineup while Encarnacion is out.
Brandon Nimmo (OF-NYM)
The Mets have had a season to forget for the most part, but one of their bright spots has been the emergence of Brandon Nimmo . He has proven to be a valuable commodity and has the potential to be a fantasy stud if he can develop some more consistent plate discipline. Nimmo is batting .265 with 15 home runs, 39 RBI, 65 runs scored and eight stolen bases thus far and has been on fire lately including a recent five-hit game. However, he was hit by a pitch on his left hand during the first game of a doubleheader on Thursday. Fortunately, x-rays came back negative so Nimmo avoid a serious injury. He is day-to-day for now and should continue seeing opportunities to play every day and build on those statistics.
Ryan Braun (OF-MIL)
It has been a frustrating season for Braun and his fantasy owners as the former PED-user is hitting a pedestrian .253 with 14 home runs, 47 RBI, 44 runs scored and nine stolen bases. He has been battling a variety of injuries all season and is now day-to-day with a rib cage injury. Braun had to be taken out of Wednesday’s game and he could miss this weekend’s key series against the Cardinals. This injury is disappointing because Braun was starting to show signs of life with three consecutive multi-hit games including two home runs in that stretch.
Adrián Béltre (3B-TEX)
The end may be near for Adrián Béltre who could be headed for yet another trip to the disabled list due to a hamstring injury. The veteran third baseman seems to be breaking down more regularly at 39-years old as he has been limited to only 86 games this year batting .278 with seven home runs, 41 RBI and 33 runs scored. He is not much of a fantasy option at this point, so do not hesitate to cut him loose if he is on your roster for some reason.
Ross Stripling (SP-LAD)
The Dodgers have somehow managed to stay afloat in the NL West race despite having their pitching staff ravaged with injuries. Stripling was given a chance earlier this season thanks to injuries to Clayton Kershaw , Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda . Now he finds himself on the disabled list due to inflammation in his lower back just as Ryu came back this week. Stripling has been a godsend for the Dodgers going 8-3 with a 2.62 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 121 strikeouts in 110 innings. He can be activated from the disabled list next Wednesday but chances are he will need longer than that before he is able to return.
Danny Duffy (SP-KC)
The Royals have plummeted into oblivion since their World Series championship in 2015 and now find themselves as one of the two worst teams in the league. Their de facto ace Danny Duffy has had a miserable season going 7-11 with a 4.90 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and 128 strikeouts in 143.1 innings and now finds himself on the disabled list due to an impingement in his left shoulder. Given how awful Duffy has been, it is unlikely that he is rostered in standard 12-team leagues anyway. However, if he is on your roster then do not hesitate to drop him and move on.
Yangervis Solarte (3B-TOR)
Solarte is a versatile utility player whose primary value stems from his eligibility at several positions. He is fine to use as a fill-in when a starter is injured, but he does not produce enough to warrant a starting spot in your lineup outside of AL-only leagues or deeper leagues with more than 12 teams. The Blue Jays placed him on the disabled list with a strained oblique and he is expected to miss a couple weeks. He is batting .233 but has 17 home runs, 53 RBI, 50 runs scored and one stolen base. Let him sit on the waiver wire until he comes back if you need an injury replacement.