Welcome to the Week 5 Injury Report. I am back after a long overdue vacation to provide injury updates on the most Fantasy relevant players.
Let’s take a look at some player injury updates from my last report, Week 2 Injury Report: Rough Start.
Fantasy owners were thrilled to see the triumphant returns of Salvador Perez, Christian Yelich, Nelson Cruz, and Jeff Samardzija. Not surprising, Wil Myers is injured again. Dinelson Lamet underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss the rest of the 2018 season, and possibly a portion of the 2019 season. Mark Melancon looks to be still another month away.
Which players got injured? How long are they out? What should Fantasy owners do? The answers to those questions and more can be found here in the Week 5 Injury Report.
Week 5 Injury Report
Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers
Injury News: For the first time in 10 seasons, Elvis Andrus is heading to the disabled list. The Rangers placed their No.3 hitter Elvis Andrus on the DL on April 12 with an olecranon fracture in his right elbow. Andrus will be out six to eight weeks but will not require surgery.
Fantasy Implications: Andrus had a career season in 2017, hitting .297/.337/.471 with 20 home runs, and he picked up where he left off this season. The veteran shortstop was hitting .347/.429/.531 in the team’s first 13 games. Former highly touted prospect Jurickson Profar will handle shortstop while Andrus is out. He is hitting .227/.346/.333 in 22 games so far this season. He is not worth a look for your fantasy team.
Tim Beckham, 3B, Orioles
Injury News: The Orioles placed 3B Tim Beckham on the DL last week originally for a left groin strain. The Orioles also found out that Beckham needs to undergo core muscle surgery. He is expected to miss the next six weeks.
Fantasy Implications: Tim Beckham was off to a rough start this season.Through 23 games, Beckham was batting .179/.247/.262 with only one homer and 4 RBI. The Orioles acquired Beckham last season and he came over and smashed the ball in the 50 games in Baltimore, hitting .306 with 10 homers and 26 RBI. Look for Jace Peterson to take over the hot corner spot in Baltimore. He is not more than a CI option in deeper formats.
Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers
Injury News: Injuries have devastated the Rangers this season, costing them four regulars for various lengths of time. The latest victim is veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre. He was placed on the DL last week due to a Grade 1 strained left hamstring. Beltre got hurt when he pulled up limping on his way to first base then proceeded to walk off the field. He might miss only two to three weeks. The future Hall of Famer missed nearly the first two months of last season with a strained right calf and missed time in September because of a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring.
Fantasy Implications: It will be great to see Adrian Beltre playing again this season, especially if you are a Beltre owner. Hopefully, you have DL spots in your league, so you can stash him there. He needs to be owned in all formats.
Greg Bird, 1B, Yankees
Injury News: Greg Bird was placed on the 10-day disabled list before the season started with a right ankle injury. He underwent surgery immediately to remove a bone spur and a calcium deposit from his right ankle. The original prognosis is that he is expected to miss the first 6-8 weeks of the regular season. Bird participated in hitting drills this past weekend but it remains unclear when he will be able to return. A more conclusive date should be apparent as his level of activity increases.
Fantasy Implications: Greg Bird was a popular breakout pick during the draft season and if he is somehow available in your league, please pick him up immediately. While the Yankees had numerous players filling in for Bird, the left-handed Bird will resume his first base duties upon his return.
Brandon Drury, 2B/3B, Yankees
Injury News: Brandon Drury was placed on the DL due to severe migraines and blurred vision. After a battery of tests, the doctors diagnosed that these symptoms were the result of a tendon problem in the back of his neck. He is feeling better now and has started a rehab assignment at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Drury is now 6-for-13 in four rehab games and continues to make progress.
Fantasy Implications: The issue for Drury is where is he going to play? The Yankees rookie duo of Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres have staked their claim at the third base and second base, respectively. Brandon Drury will come back to play off the bench who can support and play multiple positions. Drury is not someone that fantasy owners need to hold onto their rosters at this time.
Josh Harrison, Utility, Pirates
Injury News: Josh Harrison was hit by a 96 mph pitch from the Miami Marlins’ Jose Urena and the examination determined that he fractured his fifth metacarpal in his left hand. He could miss up to six weeks while recovering from the broken bone in his left hand. Ironically, the injury is to the same hand and in the same bone and spot that was broken last season which ended Harrison’s season.
Fantasy Implications: Harrison was hitting leadoff for the surprising Pirates and was leading the team with 12 runs scored. He was hitting .263 with one home run and five RBI. The Pirates will experiment with different leadoff hitters while Harrison recovers, including Adam Frazier who will take over at second base. Frazier might be worth a flyer as a MI in deeper leagues, but even that is pushing it.
Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Rays
Injury News: Kevin Kiermaier was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right thumb. This injury will require surgery and could force him to miss two to three months. Originally, he placed on the 10-day disabled list, he has just been transferred to the 60-day DL. This will be the third straight season that Kiermaier will miss significant time because of injury.
Fantasy Implications: Kevin Kiermaier was projected to be the Rays’ best hitter in a horrible offense after the Rays gutted their roster in the midst of a rebuild. He was only hitting .163/.250/.233 with one RBI so far this season, so he was part of the problem with the Rays’ offense, not a solution. Fantasy owners were hoping that he would produce enough to be a fourth or fifth outfielder and provide double-digit home runs and stolen bases. This injury and his lack of production provides ample evidence that he is definitely safe to drop in all formats.
Yasiel Puig, OF, Dodgers
Injury News: Puig was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a hip pointer and bruised left foot on Sunday. He crashed into a wall making a catch, then he fouled a ball off his foot. An x-ray of his foot came back negative. It looks like he will likely miss the minimum of 10 days.
Fantasy Implications: Another Dodger injury, what’s going on in LA? With outfielder Matt Kemp experiencing some tightness in his quadriceps, the Dodgers called up top outfield prospect Alex Verdugo. Verdugo collected two hits in his 2018 debut. Baseball America rated Verdugo the game’s No. 37 prospect before the season began. While Puig should only be on the shelf for the minimum stay but keep an eye on Alex Verdugo, he looks like he will an impact this season and beyond.
Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers
Injury News: The Dodgers just announced that two-time All-Star shortstop Corey Seager will miss the rest of the season and will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm. Obviously, this is a significant blow to the struggling Dodgers who are four games below .500 with a team full of injuries.
Fantasy Implications: Seager had two home runs, 13 RBI and hitting .267/.348/.396 in 26 games this season. This comes after he hit .295/..375/.479 with 22 homers and a 125 OPS+ last season, which was good for third-best among the team’s regular hitters. The Dodgers will try to fill this gaping hole with centerfielder Chris Taylor, a converted infielder, and move Kike Hernandez to take Taylor’s spot in the outfield. The duo will not close to the lost production. The Dodgers are in trouble, paging Manny Machado! Manny Machado! You are needed in Los Angeles!
Eric Thames, 1B, Brewers
Injury News: Eric Thames underwent surgery this past Friday to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and will be sidelined six to eight weeks. He may not be a fantasy contributor until the All-Star Break.
Fantasy Implications: Hopefully, you have DL spots in your league. Thames is worth a stash. He has high upside due to his power and OPS numbers. He has already contributed seven home runs and 13 RBI in the first month of the season. The Brewers will likely utilize Ryan Braun to take over first base which will also lead to more playing time for Domingo Santana. Braun is worth a look in deeper leagues while Santana has yet to take advantage of the increased playing time and can sit on your waiver wire.
Rich Hill, SP, Dodgers
Injury News: The Dodgers were planning to start Rich Hill in their series opener on Monday in Arizona. However, his injured finger became infected, delaying his long-awaited return.
Fantasy Implications: The Dodgers were hoping that Hill’s return would maybe provide a boost as they are struggling to the tune of four games under. 500. Unfortunately, the southpaw might miss one or two more starts. Hill was a valuable piece of the 2017 NL Championship as he finished with a 12-8 record and a 3.32 ERA with 166 strikeouts in 135.2 innings. However, he has started this season with a 1-1 record with a 6.00 ERA, before landing on the disabled list.
Andrew Miller, RP, Indians
Injury News: The Indians placed All-Star reliever Andrew Miller on the 10-day disabled list Thursday with a strained left hamstring. Miller exited Wednesday night’s game after throwing just two pitches in the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs. Miller underwent an MRI on Thursday, which revealed a low-grade strain, according to Indians manager Terry Francona. That was just about the best-case scenario for the Indians aft having to watch one of the league’s best relievers walk off the mound with a trainer.
Fantasy Implications: Andrew Miller has been dominant as usual so far this season. He has allowed zero runs in 10 innings through 11 appearances this season while striking out 17 and walking four. It looks like Andrew Miller and the Indians avoided a serious injury and took a cautious route with their dominant lefty. Fantasy owners should expect Andrew Miller immediately after the DL stint. He should be back to team up with Cody Allen to continue to shorten games for the Indians and helping your fantasy teams with strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP.
Shohei Ohtani, SP, Angels
Injury News: Ohtani injured his left ankle landing awkwardly on first base on Friday, just before smashing his fourth home run of the season. Despite the injury, Ohtani is expected to be back in the lineup as the DH against Baltimore this week as he continues to rehab his ankle. However, his next start was pushed until this upcoming weekend in a three-game series at Seattle.
Fantasy Implications: Ohtani, 23, is 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA thus far this season. The Japanese star is also hitting .341 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 12 games. The bottom line is that Ohtani will have his start pushed back until this weekend and will DH beforehand. At the plate, the max exit velocity on his bat so far is 112.8 mph. He boats the 13th-best average exit velocity in baseball and the 97.3 mph he averages on his fastball is ninth-best of any player. Fantasy owners will just need to keep a close eye on the daily lineup to assure that Ohtani is at DH and that the ankle did not act up on him.
Robbie Ray, SP, Diamondbacks
Injury News: Southpaw Robbie Ray exited his Sunday start after one pitch into the second inning. Ray had an MRI on Monday that revealed a Grade 2 strain of the right oblique, which generally refers to a moderate tear of the muscle. Ray will definitely miss some starts, but the question is how long will Ray be out? It’s difficult to predict a time frame, so keep close tabs on the news on Ray.
Fantasy Implications: Ray was 2-0 with a 4.88 ERA, a .238 opponent average and 45 strikeouts in 27.2 innings so far this season. Unfortunately, he is not pitching as well as the D-backs and fantasy owners desire by virtue of giving up too many walks and home runs. Comparatively, Ray was dominant last season as witnessed by going 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 218 strikeouts in just 162 innings pitched. With Taijuan Walker already out for the season, Arizona can ill-afford to lose another starter. Arizona will send out Triple-A pitchers until one of them steps up and proves themselves to warrant future starts.
Adam Wainwright, SP, Cardinals
Injury News: The Cardinals announced last week that Wainwright will be placed on the DL, retroactive to April 20, due to right elbow inflammation. He is eligible to return on May 1. This is the second time that he has landed on the disabled list this month, although the first time due to issues with his pitching arm. The Cardinals didn’t want to take any chances with a potential elbow injury, especially as Wainwright is just six months removed from arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Sunday that Wainwright (elbow) is progressing as expected and is now throwing in the bullpen. His return timetable is to be determined.
Fantasy Implications: Wainwright is 1-2 with a 3.45 ERA in three starts this season. He hasn’t looked good so far this season, with eight walks and two home runs in his 15.2 innings so far this season. He was shaky last season and continues to look like his productive days are definitely behind him. Time for the Cardinals and fantasy owners to move on from Wainwright.
Taijuan Walker, SP, Diamondbacks
Injury News: Taijuan Walker suffered a torn UCL and is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery. He will miss the rest of this season and at likely to miss the start of the 2019 season.
Fantasy Implications: Walker recorded a 3.46 ERA after three starts. For his career, he owns an ERA just under 4.00 and was basically a streaming pitcher in fantasy.
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