This week has been a mixed bag for fantasy GMs with the return of some players from the injured list to the loss of some key players to long-term injuries.  The ebb and flow of the fantasy baseball season is something that all GMs must contend with, so to be successful you must navigate through that volatility with the most depth and flexibility you can accumulate on your roster.  So without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.

J.D. Martinez (DH-BOS)

Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez was taken out of Thursday’s game against Kansas City due to back spasms.  This has been an ongoing issue for Martinez as he has dealt with back problems throughout the season.  It does not appear that he will require a stint on the injured list but we can expect the Red Sox will give him some time off to rest and recover.  Martinez is an elite fantasy hitter and is batting .294 with 12 home runs, 33 RBI, 35 runs scored and one stolen base thus far.

Andrew McCutchen (OF-PHI)

The former National League MVP suffered a torn ACL on Monday and will miss the rest of the season.  This is a terrible blow for McCutchen and the Phillies as he was in the middle of a very productive inaugural season in Philadelphia.  The Phillies recalled Adam Haseley to replace McCutchen and he should see consistent playing time going forward making him a waiver wire target.  McCutchen can be dropped in all redraft leagues as he finishes the season batting .256 with ten home runs, 29 RBI, 45 runs scored and two stolen bases.

Carlos Carrasco (SP-CLE)

The Indians pitching staff was supposed to be one of the best in all of baseball but it has been completely decimated by injuries.  Now Carlos Carrasco will join Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger on the injured list as he has been diagnosed with a blood condition.  Carrasco reportedly had been feeling lethargic for a few weeks and now he will begin the process of finding effective treatments before beginning his recovery.  It is unknown exactly how long Carrasco will be out, but we can expect it will be quite a while before he is back on the mound.  He is currently 4-6 with a 4.98 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 65 innings over 12 starts making him a candidate to drop in redraft leagues if you are short on roster slots.

Didi Gregorius (SS-NYY)

The Yankees are expected to activate shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 60-day injured list before Friday night’s game against Cleveland.  Gregorius has been out all season recovering from Tommy John surgery and his return comes a little sooner than initially expected.  This is great news for the Yankees and fantasy GMs who have sorely missed his power bat in the middle infield.  However, expectations should be tempered at first as it could take him a little while to find his rhythm.  It is also anticipated that he will get some regular rest upon his return in order to build up his stamina and endurance.

Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS-SD)

Speaking of shortstops returning from injury, rookie Fernando Tatis, Jr. was activated from the injured list on Thursday and was in the lineup for the Padres.  He had been out for more than a month with a hamstring strain that he sustained while performing a split at second base.  Tatis did not seem to miss a beat as he had a hit and a couple walks in his first game back raising his batting average to .304 to go along with six home runs, 13 RBI, 15 runs scored and six stolen bases.  He should be placed back into lineups immediately and GMs will hope he can avoid any further injuries during his rookie season.

Matt Carpenter (3B-STL)

Matt Carpenter was taken out of Thursday’s game against Cincinnati after he was limping back to the dugout following a strikeout.  This appears to be the result of an accumulation of foul balls he has hit off himself recently including on his foot, shin and knee.  The veteran third baseman is batting .225 with nine home runs, 22 RBI, 35 runs scored and three stolen bases, and he should be considered day-to-day in order for his body to recover. 

Mitch Haniger (OF-SEA)

Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger was removed from Thursday’s game against Houston as a result of being struck by a foul ball.  He did not come out of the game at first but was eventually pinch hit for as he was diagnosed with a contusion on his lower body.  Haniger has been an enigma from a fantasy perspective as his batting average is a paltry .220 but he does have 15 home runs, 32 RBI, 46 runs scored and four stolen bases.  He should be considered day-to-day until we find out more about the extent of his injury.

Dwight Smith Jr. (OF-BAL)

Dwight Smith, Jr. made an outstanding catch on Thursday against Texas but he paid the price for it when he crashed into the left field wall.  He initially stayed in the game but was removed after his next at bat due to concussion symptoms as well as an injury to his left shoulder as a result of the collision.  Smith has been placed in the concussion protocol so we can expect he will be placed on the 7-day injured list.  He has been a solid waiver wire acquisition batting .249 with 11 home runs, 41 RBI, 31 runs scored and four stolen bases.  However, he is not worth holding onto when he does land on the injured list.

Shin-Soo Choo (OF-TEX)

Choo was hit by a pitch on his left hand on Wednesday but the good news is that x-rays came back negative and did not reveal any fractures.  He sat out on Thursday as he was still dealing with some pain and soreness, but he is not expected to miss much more time than that.  Choo should be back over the weekend and has been a solid fantasy contributor in Roto leagues with his batting average of .295 along with 11 home runs, 28 RBI, 41 runs scored and three stolen bases

Robinson Canó (2B-NYM)

Mets second baseman Robinson Canó re-aggravated the injury to his left quadriceps on Wednesday night and was out of the lineup on Thursday.  He indicated after the game that this injury does not appear to be as significant as the initial one which landed him on the 10-day injured list a couple weeks ago.  He is hopeful he can avoid another stint on the IL but the Mets will likely be overcautious with their overpaid offseason acquisition.  Cano has been a major disappointment this year batting just .238 with only three home runs, 14 RBI and 15 runs scored.  It is hard to justify stashing him at this point.

Buster Posey (C-SF)

Posey has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained right hamstring.  This has been aggravating him since last weekend so the Giants made the roster move retroactive to June 2.  The veteran catcher is not expected to be out too long but the Giants wanted to ensure he had enough time to rest and recover rather than rush him back.  Steven Vogt should see most of the playing time in Posey’s absence.  Posey was once a huge fantasy asset but at this stage of his career he is barely worth starting as he is batting .257 with three home runs, 18 RBI and 18 runs scored.

Matt Strahm (SP_SD)

Strahm got lit up by the lowly Marlins in his last start but that could have been due to him suffering from a strained left rib.  The Padres placed him on the 10-day injured list as a result after he saw his ERA increase almost one full run.  Despite his 2-5 record, Strahm has produced solid peripheral statistics including an ERA of 4.03, a 1.16 WHIP and 56 strikeouts in 60.1 innings over 11 starts.  San Diego promoted Cal Quantrill to take Strahm’s place in the rotation making him a viable waiver wire target.