Time flies by very quickly as we are now at the end of August and getting ready to turn the calendar to September. This means that MLB rosters will see an influx of minor leagues as rosters expand. There is a significant effect on fantasy baseball when this happens because teams can be more conservative with players suffering injuries due to having expanded benches and more flexibility. There are also more pitchers available in the bullpen so managers may have shorter leashes on starters which could impact them getting a win or quality start. GMs need to take all of this into consideration as we head into the final month of the season. So without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room as we take a look at the walking wounded.
Mike Trout (OF-LAA)
Trout is the one player no one ever wants to see on the injury report. He is in the midst of another MVP-type season batting .293 with 43 home runs, 100 RBI, 104 runs scored and 10 stolen bases. Fantasy GMs can never afford any days without Trout in the lineup, so they were understandably nervous on Wednesday when he was held out due to some soreness in his right foot. The Angels were off on Thursday so they gave Trout an opportunity to have some extended rest for his bruise on the bottom of his foot. Trout is considered day-to-day but there is no reason not to think he will be back in the lineup on Friday.
José Ramírez (3B-CLE)
Fantasy GMs suffered a huge blow this past week with the news that José Ramírez sustained a fractured hamate bone and will miss the rest of the regular season. He suffered the injury while swinging and underwent surgery earlier this week. Ramirez could be back for the postseason if the Indians can manage to withstand this loss and earn a playoff berth. Ramirez got off to a horrendous start to the season but really caught fire over the past couple months and raised his batting average to .254 with 20 home runs, 75 RBI, 65 runs scored and 24 stolen bases. Those statistics are impressive considering where he came from just a couple months ago. He can be dropped in redraft leagues as Mike Freeman and Yu Chang will likely share duties at third base.
Ketel Marte (OF-ARZ)
Marte has been one of the biggest diamonds in the rough this year coming out of obscurity and hitting .322 with 28 home runs, 77 RBI, 88 runs scored and nine stolen bases. He is a big reason why fantasy GMs are at or near the top of their league’s standings as his production came out of nowhere. Those same GMs are now dealing with the fact Marte had to leave Tuesday’s game against San Francisco with a cramp in his right hamstring. The good news is that he is considered day-to-day as it appears to be limited to just a cramp and nothing more serious. The Diamondbacks are still hanging around the wild card chase, so they will want to ensure that their centerfielder is healthy enough to play. Marte should be back in the lineup this weekend so follow up for more updates on his status.
Anthony Rizzo (1B-CHC)
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has not played since last weekend due to stiffness in his back and he is not expected back until this coming weekend at the earliest. He suffered the injury last Saturday against the Nationals and has not played since. This has been a big loss for fantasy GMs as Rizzo is in the midst of another terrific season batting .290 with 25 home runs, 82 RBI, 80 runs scored and five stolen bases. Ian Happ has seen a lot of time at first base in Rizzo’s absence. Victor Caratini also got a start at first base on Thursday against Jacob deGrom and the Mets, and he rewarded the Cubs with two home runs. Keep stashing Rizzo who should be back within a matter of days.
Max Muncy (2B-LAD)
Fantasy GMs received a big scare when Max Muncy was removed from Wednesday’s game after getting hit by a pitch on his wrist. He was wearing a brace on his wrist on Thursday and has been undergoing some testing to determine the severity of the injury. It seems inevitable that he will land on the 10-day injured list but the question is how long he may be out. Muncy has become an indispensable fantasy player, especially playing second base as he is batting .253 with 33 home runs, 87 RBI, 89 runs scored and four stolen bases. Losing Muncy would be a huge loss for GMs who will have a difficult time replacing that power over the final month of the season.
Mike Moustakas (3B-MIL)
Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas suffered a bruise on his left wrist and palm when he tried fielding a ball on Monday. He has been out of the lineup ever since but is expected back this weekend. X-rays did not reveal any fractures which is great news, but the injury itself has to be quite painful. Moustakas has been solid this season batting .263 with 31 home runs, 76 RBI, 71 runs scored and three stolen bases. He should be stashed on the bench another day but GMs should be ready to put him back in the lineup sometime this weekend against the Cubs.
Gio Urshela (3B-NYY)
The Yankees keep winning no matter who is in or out of the lineup. Gio Urshela was given an opportunity to play this year due to all of the injuries and he has produced a .331 batting average along with 18 home runs, 67 RBI, 66 runs scored and one stolen base. Now he finds himself injured as he was taken out of Wednesday’s game with some tightness in his left groin. The good news is that Yankees believe it is not a serious issue and they expect Urshela will be able to play on Friday. He has become a valuable fantasy and should not be sitting on any league’s waiver wire anymore.
Andrew Benintendi (OF-BOS)
Benintendi has been one of the biggest fantasy disappointments of the season as he is batting .283 with 12 home runs, 63 RBI, 63 runs scored and nine stolen bases. These are not terrible statistics but they fall well short of what was expected from him and where he was drafted. Now he has been on the shelf since last weekend as he continues dealing with pain in his left side. Right now he is considered day-to-day but the Red Sox expect him to return this weekend. It was also unfortunate for fantasy GMs who missed out on Benintendi getting to play a few games in Coors Field.
German Márquez (SP-COL)
Marquez has been placed on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his right arm. The move was made retroactive to August 23. The Rockies indicated that Marquez has a tired arm and it is up in the air whether he will pitch again this season. It was expected that Marquez would be a big part of the Rockies revamped pitching staff but he did not produce overly impressive peripheral statistics. He is worth considering as a keeper for 2020 but his value in 2019 is all but gone as he is 12-5 with a 4.76 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 175 strikeouts in 174 innings over 28 starts.
Adam Eaton (OF-WAS)
Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton was hit by a pitch on his knee on Wednesday against Baltimore and was forced out of the game. He underwent x-rays which did not reveal any fractures so it appears he has avoided a serious injury. The Nationals were off on Thursday so Eaton was given a chance to rest, but it is possible he could still use another day depending on the pain level and swelling. Eaton has managed to stay healthy this year which was not the case his first two years in Washington. He is batting .288 with 12 home runs, 42 RBI, 90 runs scored and 13 stolen bases and should be back in the lineup over the weekend.
Marwin Gonzalez (2B-MIN)
Gonzalez is arguably the most versatile player in fantasy baseball as he qualifies at almost every position depending on your league’s settings. He was taken out of Tuesday’s game against the White Sox due to pain and discomfort in his oblique and abdominal area. He has missed the past couple games due to the injury and could be headed for the 10-day injured list if he does not show significant improvement very soon. Gonzalez is a valuable fantasy asset due to his positional flexibility despite having pedestrian statistics.
Miguel Cabrera (1B-DET)
Former MVP Miguel Cabrera has missed the past couple games due to some pain in his left biceps. He is clearly not the same player he was in his younger years so he has likely been on the waiver wire most of the season. This injury may not require a stint on the injured list but there is no reason to stash him as there are likely far better free agent options available. Cabrera has had a Hall of Fame career but he is only batting .279 with nine home runs, 50 RBI and 33 runs scored.