MLB Injury Report: February 27
Michael A. Stein gives you the full MLB injury rundown from Spring Training, how long the players should be out, and how it should alter your draft strategies
We are a week into spring training games and already fantasy GMs are dealing with a catastrophic loss. This is why it is best to try and schedule drafts as late as possible in order to have the benefit of knowledge of injuries. Of course, injuries happen at any time during the season. However, it is extremely frustrating to draft a player only to see them get injured in spring training and essentially waste that draft pick. So without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room for the 2020 season.
Luis Severino (SP-NYY)
We reported on Severino last week when he was shut down due to soreness in his right forearm and that it could be the precursor to needing Tommy John surgery. It turns out that was a completely accurate prognosis as Severino does in fact need the operation to repair the torn UCL in his elbow. He will undergo surgery this week and miss the entire 2020 season. This is a devastating loss for the Yankees who were banking on Severino being a solid number two starter behind Gerrit Cole this year. Severino only pitched 12 innings in 2019 along with a few appearances in the playoffs. He is not expected back until early in the 2021 season barring any setbacks. Hopefully this news broke before any GMs drafted him, but chances are he is on several rosters and can now be dropped in all redraft leagues. This means that one of Jordan Montgomery , Jonathan Loaisiga , Luis Cessa or Deivi Cruz has a chance to remain in the rotation for the entire season.
Justin Verlander (SP-BOS)
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner was scratched from his start on Thursday due to some discomfort in his groin. Houston does not believe this is a serious issue as he is scheduled to throw a simulated game instead in order to keep him on pace to take the mound on Opening Day. At the moment, this does not appear to be anything to be concerned about. Fantasy GMs should continue drafting Verlander as one of the top starting pitchers as he comes off a dominant season in which he was 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 300 strikeouts in 223 innings.
Giancarlo Stanton (OF-NYY)
It has been a tumultuous first couple weeks of spring training for the Yankees as they are again dealing with a rash of injuries. They can add Giancarlo Stanton to that list again as he was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his right calf. The Yankees indicated that he sustained the injury working in the outfield earlier this week and they plan to shut him down for a few weeks. This development could put his availability for Opening Day in jeopardy and open up some opportunities for Clint Frazier , Miguel Andújar , Mike Tauchman and Mike Ford to see additional playing time. Stanton has missed significant time since joining the Yankees with a myriad of injuries and must be considered a serious fantasy risk at this point.
James Paxton (SP-NYY)
While most of the news out of Yankees camp has been negative, there does appear to be a positive development in terms of James Paxton ’s pending return. He indicated that he might be able to resume throwing during the first week of March. While he will certainly begin the season on the injured list, the hope is that he can make his debut around the beginning of May. Paxton will be a huge part of the Yankees staff this year given that Luis Severino will be out for the year. He will be a bargain on draft day as GMs pass on him until the later rounds.
Max Kepler (OF-MIN)
Twins outfielder Max Kepler will miss time this week due to an upper back injury. Minnesota does not consider this to be serious as he is expected back on the field within a short amount of time. Kepler exploded in 2019 batting .252 with 36 home runs, 90 RBI, 98 runs scored and one stolen base.He is in the middle of a tremendous lineup and should continue providing solid power numbers in 2020.
Brandon Nimmo (OF-NYM)
Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo was scratched from the lineup on Wednesday in order to undergo cardiac screening tests as a precautionary measure. This came at the recommendation of the team’s cardiologist, so the Mets took it seriously. The results did not reveal anything alarming so he is expected back on the field in short order. The Mets have high hopes for Nimmo who they refused to include in a trade for Starling Marte this winter. He is looking to bounce back from an injury-marred unproductive 2019 season in which he hit just .221 with eight home runs, 29 RBI, 34 runs scored and three stolen bases in only 69 games.
Julio Teheran (SP-LAA)
The Angels attempted to renovate their starting rotation this offseason including the addition of long-time Brave Julio Teheran . He was supposed to make his spring training debut on Wednesday but was scratched due to some tightness in his left hamstring that he suffered while running. He underwent an MRI that came back negative and is due to make his spring debut later this weekend or early next week, barring any setbacks. Teheran has never developed into a top-of-the-rotation starter but he is a serviceable fantasy option to fill out the back end of a pitching staff.