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Let’s get the ball rolling on this week’s injury report!

We are down to under two weeks to opening day and we’ve got some developments to share as we move closer to most fantasy baseball league’s draft day.

It’s time to start moving guys up or down your draft board depending on where there sit with injuries. It’s looking like V-Mart’s hammy might be more than just a day to day thing. What’s up with Kevin Gausman’s shoulder? With some uncertainty there both should probably move down a little bit.

For the gamblers out there these sorts of players might actually represent a bargain, as long as they come back healthy…

Take a look at our updated injury report below for a quick synopsis on each relevant player, and then we’ll go a little deeper afterwards on the impact some of the injuries could have.

Spring Training Injury Report: March 22

Fantasy Baseball Injuries

Player
Position
Team
Notes
Evan Gattis  DH Houston Astros  February hernia surgery; Questionable for opening day
Victor Martinez  DH Detroit Tigers Strained hamstring; questionable for opening day
Stephen Vogt C Oakland Athletics January elbow surgery;  Probable for opening day
Matt Wieters C Baltimore Orioles Soreness in elbow; resumed throwing March 20
Yadier Molina C St. Louis Cardinals December thumb surgery; Probable for opening day
Greg Bird 1B New York Yankees Surgery for torn labrum, Out for 2016 season
Albert Pujols 1B Los Angeles Angels November foot surgery; Probable for opening day
Edwin Encarnacion 1B Toronto Blue Jays Oblique strain; possible for opening day
Devon Travis  2B Toronto Blue Jays  November shoulder surgery; Expected to return in May/June
Corey Seager SS Los Angeles Dodgers left knee sprain, MRI showed no structural damage; Questionable for opening day
Asdrubal Cabrera SS New York Mets Tendon strain in knee; shut down until late March
Jhonny Peralta SS St. Louis Cardinals Ligament tear in thumb; out 2-3 months
Jung Ho Kang 3B Pittsburgh Pirates September knee surgery; Return in April/May
Michael Brantley OF Cleveland Indians November shoulder surgery; Return likely in April
Ryan Braun  OF Milwaukee Brewers  October back surgery; Probable for opening day
Rymer Liriano  OF Milwaukee Brewers Hit in face by pitch March 20, multiple facial fractures, no timetable
Andre Ethier OF LA Dodgers Fouled ball off shin, x-rays negative, possible for opening day
Jarrod Dyson OF Kansas City Royals Grade 2 oblique strain; return possible in late April
Aaron Altherr OF Philadelphia Phillies Underwent wrist surgery 3/9; out until at least July
Cameron Maybin OF Detroit Tigers Broken wrist; return possible in mid-April
Josh Hamilton OF Texas Rangers October knee surgery; Will begin season on DL, possible return in May
Jacoby Ellsbury OF New York Yankees Took pitch off wrist; testing negative; questionable for opening day
Lance McCullers SP Houston Astros Shoulder soreness, MRI negative; questionable for opening day
Hyun-Jin Ryu SP Los Angeles Dodgers Shoulder surgery in May 2015; Possible return in May
Brett Anderson SP Los Angeles Dodgers Underwent back surgery in March; return possible mid-season
C.J. Wilson SP Los Angeles Angels Shoulder tendinitis; Questionable for opening day
Jered Weaver SP Los Angeles Angels Degenerative changes in cervical spine; made minor league start March 20
Zack Wheeler SP New York Mets Tommy John surgery in March 2015; Return likely in July
Henderson Alvarez SP Oakland Athletics Shoulder surgery in July 2015; expected return in May/June
Kevin Gausman SP Baltimore Orioles Received cortisone injection for shoulder tendinitis March 20; will miss next start
Yu Darvish SP Texas Rangers March 2015 Tommy John surgery; Return likely in May
Alex Cobb SP Tampa Bay Rays Tommy John surgery in May 2015; return likely in August
Eduardo Rodriguez SP Boston Red Sox Swelling in knee; could return in early to mid April
Homer Bailey SP Cincinnati Reds Tommy John surgery in May 2015; return possible in June
John Lamb SP Cincinnati Reds Underwent back surgery in December; return possible in mid-April
Michael Lorenzen SP Cincinnati Reds Shut down after MRI showed mild sprain of UCL; will be re-examined in 2-3 weeks
Masahiro Tanaka SP New York Yankees Elbow surgery in October 2015; Possible for opening day
Sean Doolittle RP Oakland Athletics Left triceps strain; probable for opening day
Carter Capps RP Miami Marlins Diagnosed with torn UCL, underwent Tommy John surgery 3/8; out for season
Brad Boxberger RP Tampa Bay Rays Underwent surgery March 17; expected to miss 8 weeks
Carson Smith RP Boston Red Sox Experienced forearm tightness March 21; testing Tuesday March 22

Injury Report: Offensive Players

Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays

An oblique injury has put Encarnacion on the shelf for the last week. He’s scheduled to return to baseball activities this week so we’ll want to make sure he’s progressing as planned. Oblique injuries can be tricky for hitters so a setback could mean a stint on the DL to start the season. There isn’t enough here yet to warrant dropping him on your list, but news regarding this injury should be on your radar.

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, NY Yankees

If you draft Ellsbury you need to plan for about 130 games knowing that some time on the trainer’s table is inevitable. The optimist would say he’s just getting that out of the way early this year. A more pessimistic view would see this as a potential harbinger for the year. The Yank’s center fielder was hit on the wrist by a pitch last week but both an x-ray and CT scan revealed no damage. For now he’s questionable for opening day and will be re-evaluated this week. If he does miss time Aaron Hicks should fill in at center field and has fantasy value as long as he plays.

Injury Report: Pitchers

Michael Lorenzen, SP, Cincinnati Reds

While Lorenzen isn’t discussed as an ace in fantasy baseball he has some potential as a back end starter in deep leagues. The dreaded phrase “elbow discomfort” came up last week and an MRI has now shown a minor sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. The Reds have shut Lorenzen down for the foreseeable future while he works with team doctors to develop a plan going forward. At this time the hope is that some rest will allow for time to heal and let Lorenzen avoid Tommy John surgery. While Lorenzen becomes nearly undraftable in all but the very deepest of leagues the Reds rotation may still hold some late flier intrigue.

Anthony DeSclafani and Raisel Iglesias both have rotation spots nailed down and should be targets on draft day. The third spot looks like Brandon Finnegan’s to lose now. He’s a former first round pick the team has been stretching out after some dominating relief appearances with his former team, the Royals. Finnegan is worth a flier in the last round or two if you need a high upside pitcher, albeit with some significant risk. If the Reds commit to the future they may give the fourth and fifth spots to rookies as well in Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson, at least until some of their other more seasoned pitchers return. Either of these would be worth keeping an eye on as well.

Brad Boxberger, RP, Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays incumbent closer had his ups and downs last year. There was already some concern that his job could be in jeopardy before he went in for surgery last week to repair a core muscle. This will set Boxberger back eight weeks and open up the door at the end of the Ray’s rotation. Alex Colome probably has the best upside but Danny Farquhar brings the ever valuable “closer experience” to the table. Kevin Cash could very well start this out as a committee diminishing both reliever’s value. If one appears to step forward before the season starts though he would be worth a late grab for cheap saves.

Singles

  • Michael Brantley continues to impress in his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery. He’s now made his debut in spring training even belting a home run in his first game back. Brantley is still lobbying to play for the Indians on opening day and making a good argument for it.
  • Rymer Liriano was competing for a spot in the Brewers outfield until he was hit by a pitch in the face Sunday. This looked like an ugly injury as he was carted off and taken to the hospital. He’s been diagnosed with multiple facial fractures and could miss a significant amount of time.
  • Victor Martinez hasn’t been able to return to the field yet after sustaining a hamstring injury a week ago. This was initially considered minor, but bears watching as we approach opening day.
  • The Oriole’s best young pitcher, Kevin Gausman, received a cortisone injection on Sunday after a week of shoulder inflammation. He’ll miss his next start, but if all goes well should be ready for opening day. This should be watched though for developments. You don’t want to see shoulder issues in pitchers and he’s spent time on the DL in the past for similar problems.
  • Carson Smith looks like one of the most promising up and coming relief pitchers in the game and went to the Red Sox during the offseason via trade. His value may have been minimal outside of dynasty and holds leagues but it is still too bad to hear that he experienced tightness and cramping in his forearm after facing just one batter Monday. For now we can hope this is a non-issue but the forthcoming MRI should tell us more.

Check back next week for the latest with our weekly injury report! In the meantime we’ve got plenty of other help for your draft prep including draft tools, position battles, and NFBC average draft position.

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