Welcome Back Fantasy friends and foes to the SCFE’s Weekly Injury Report.
Are you one of the Fantasy owners who have been besieged with injuries to your Fantasy roster this season? I know I have taken a huge hit in a few of my leagues that left me scrambling the waiver wire for replacements.
As we head into unlucky Week 13 (supposedly), we continue to get hit with injuries to key Fantasy players. Fantasy owners lost a few closers, a stud catcher and two aces in their lineups. Who are these players? How long will they be out? Which players were lucky enough to come back this week? Find out the answers to those questions and whole lot more in the Week 13 Injury Report.
Week 13 Injury Report
Impact Players that have made it back from injury
Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers
Injury News: Elvis Andrus is back in the Rangers lineup this past Monday after his first trip to the disabled list in his career. The two-time All-Star missed 59 games after a pitch broke his right elbow. While the injury didn’t require surgery, he required a lengthy period of rest and rehab.
Fantasy Implications: Andrus was hitting .327 with two homers and five RBI in the 14 games before the injury. The timing of the injury was not beneficial for the impending free agent. He will have just over three months to show what he can do for potentially interested teams. Since his 2016 season, Andrus is hitting .301/.352/.459 with 30 homers, 78 doubles, 11 triples and 49 steals. However, he has just two hits over 21 at-bats since his return. Look for Andrus to get his bat going in the second half and is a potential buy-low candidate for Fantasy owners.
Kole Calhoun, OF, Angels
Injury News: Kole Calhoun missed about a month with an oblique injury. He was hitting only .145 prior to his DL stint and was a major Fantasy disappointment so far this season.
Fantasy Implications: The Angels are hoping his health and new stance gives Calhoun a boost. Since he returned from the DL on Monday, he has gone 7-for-20 with two walks, two homers (he had only one before going on DL), and a steal in five games. The 2016 version of Calhoun that hit .271 with a .348 on-base percentage will make him worth consideration in deep leagues, especially in a good Angels lineup.
It looks like Kole Calhoun has made a batting stance adjustment. pic.twitter.com/SJVuR6ACCa
— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) June 19, 2018
Avisail Garcia, OF, White Sox
Injury News: Garcia was placed on the DL after suffering a right hamstring strain on April 23. It was later revealed that it was a Grade 2 strain and would take several weeks to recover.
Fantasy Implications: The right-fielder was activated on June 22 and was promptly placed right back in the starting lineup. He was off to a slow start with a .233 average and four RBI in 18 games after enjoying a breakout season last year, hitting .330/.380/.506 with 18 homers and 80 RBI. If he is somehow available in your league, he is worth a speculative add based upon his numbers last season, but hard to imagine him matching his career-year last season.
Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Rays
Injury News: Kiermaier was activated off the disabled list on June 19 after missing 57 games with a torn ligament in his right thumb. He was initially expected to miss 12 weeks but he was reinstated three weeks before that.
Fantasy Implications: Kiermaier looks to improve on his early ugly slash line of .135/211/.192 across his first 57 plate appearances of this season. After going 0-for-13 in his first four games since his return, he has gone 2-for-8 with two runs scored over the last two games. The two-time Gold Glove winner hit 15 homers and stole 16 bases last season. He definitely has the potential to put double-digit homers and steals the rest of this season. If he is available in your deep league, Kiermaier is worth the pickup.
Wil Myers, 1B/OF, Padres
Injury News: Yes, Wil Myers is still on an MLB roster. His last appearance in an MLB game was April 28. He suffered a strained left oblique and has been on the disabled list since April 29. Myers has played in only 10 games this season. Additionally, he went to the disabled list on April 4, after suffering a right arm nerve irritation. He was placed on the 10-day DL the following day.
Fantasy Implications: Myers has averaged 29 homers and 24 stolen bases over the past two seasons with the Padres. His stolen base output has increased his Fantasy value as he plays both first base and outfield. Unfortunately, his health is always an issue. Ride him while he is healthy but never be surprised with another visit(s) to the disabled list again this season.
Wil Myers is back
Will be back with team in San Francisco. Franmil Reyes optioned to make room.
Myers went 6-for-20 in his 5 games in El Paso #Padres
— James E. Clark (@EVT_JClark) June 21, 2018
Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers
Injury News: The three-time Cy Young Award winner has made just one start since May 1 due to bicep and back issues. Kershaw has picked up the injury-prone tag over the past few seasons. He came off the disabled list to start Saturday night, instead of going to the minors for a rehab start.
Fantasy Implications: He only threw 55 pitches over three innings and Clayton Kershaw looked rusty in his return outing off the disabled list. He allowed two runs in three innings, then threw a fourth inning in the indoor batting cage. The Dodgers are surging in the NL West even though they have been besieged with injuries, especially to their starting rotation. Look for Kershaw to be eased back into extending his outings as the Dodgers try to get themselves ready for a playoff run. Kershaw is safe to be placed back in your Fantasy rotation, for now!
Joey Lucchesi, SP, Padres
Injury News: The 25-year-old left-hander made his return from the disabled list prior to Wednesday’s game and made his first start in more than a month. The rookie had been out for five weeks because of a strained hip.
Fantasy Implications: He did not have a good comeback from the disabled list. He went only 1.2 innings and allowed four earned runs on three hits, but two of those hits were homers. Lucchesi (3-3, 3.86 ERA) will make his next start against Texas this week. He will likely be limited to around five innings in his next start. Hard to recommend the young lefty. If he regains his early-season form, Fantasy owners should jump on obtaining him. Otherwise, just keep tabs on the rookie.
Ouch! That Hurts!
Players that sustained injuries this past week.
Matt Adams, 1B/OF, Nationals
Injury News: The Nationals placed first baseman Matt Adams on the 10-day disabled this past week with a fractured left index finger. Adams was hit on the hand while attempting to bunt. It took a few days for the Nationals to discover the small fracture. It is unclear how long he will be sidelined.
Fantasy Implications: The left-handed-hitting first baseman boasts a .275/.351/.575 batting line with 13 home runs and 36 RBI in 57 games this season with Washington. Adams has been particularly valuable against right-handed pitchers, against whom he has hit 12 of his home runs. He has contributed at first base and in the outfield, while Adam Eaton was on the DL.
Currently, Daniel Murphy (knee), who just returned from his DL stint, is playing first base while still recovering and trying to find his swing. With Mark Reynolds fading after a hot start and Ryan Zimmerman (oblique) still recovering, it looks like Murphy will hold first base until Adams returns.
Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees
Injury News: The Yankees suffered a significant blow when they lost catcher Gary Sanchez for likely three to four weeks with a Grade 1 right groin strain. Sanchez was placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday.
Fantasy Implications: After hitting 33 homers last season, Sanchez was a key cog in an intimidating Yankees lineup. However, he has failed to live up to expectations for much of this season. In his last 20 games, he was just 8-for-77 with two doubles, two homers, eight walks, and 23 strikeouts. For the season, Sanchez has a .190/.291/.433 slash while hitting 14 homers and 41 RBI. Austin Romine will handle the majority of the catching duties while Sanchez is out. No reason to add Romine.
Carlos Carrasco, SP, Indians
Injury News: The Indians placed Carlos Carrasco on the disabled list on June 16 after suffering a right elbow contusion due to getting hit by a comeback line on the arm. Carrasco went through a bullpen session on Monday and he said he was feeling good and it feels back to normal. All signs point to the right-hander to be activated after the 10-day stint.
Fantasy Implications: The expectations for Cookie were high after Carrasco won a career-high 18 games last season. So far this season, he is 8-5 on the season with a 4.24 ERA while striking out 96 batters in 91.1 innings. When he does return, the Indians have to make a decision between Shane Bieber (2-0, 2.45 ERA in three starts) and Adam Plutko (4-1, 4.66 ERA in five starts) for the last spot in the rotation. Nice problem to have.
Mike Soroka, SP, Braves
Injury News: Mike Soroka, who was the No. 3 prospect in the Braves organization according to MLB Pipeline, made his MLB debut in early May against the Mets. He allowed one run and six hits while striking out five batters in six innings on the mound. Soroka, the youngest pitcher in the majors at 20-years-old, was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to shoulder inflammation. He lasted just two starts after his previous DL stint for the same injury. An MRI exam of Soroka’s shoulder Thursday showed the same thing as an MRI last month – no tears, no structural damage, just inflammation.
Fantasy Implications: The Braves are obviously being very cautious with the talented youngster. He will probably have an extended stay to assure that his shoulder is completely healthy. Soroka is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.442 WHIP in five starts. Veteran Brandon McCarthy will take over Soroka’s starts in the interim. Fantasy owners should not concern themselves with McCarthy.
Hunter Strickland, RP, Giants
Injury News: The Giants placed closer Hunter Strickland on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured right hand. He broke his right hand when he punched a door following a blown save. He will undergo surgery and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
Hunter Strickland punched a door after coming out of game last night. He fractured his pitching hand and is having surgery. Out at least six to eight weeks.
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) June 19, 2018
Fantasy Implications: Strickland had closed 13 of 17 save chances this season with a 2.84 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 29 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. In his absence, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said left-hander Tony Watson and right-hander Sam Dyson would be considered for the closing role. Mark Melancon is still working through an elbow problem and Bochy didn’t consider him “resilient” enough physically to be the full-time closer. Watson and Dyson are both worth considering to add and see how this situation shakes out.
Arodys Vizcaino, RP, Braves
Injury News: The Braves placed their closer Arodys Vizcaino on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Vizcaino had a cortisone shot on Thursday on the shoulder, and we learned that the shoulder has been bothering him all year. Yikes!
Fantasy Implications: Vizcaino is 2-2 with a 1.82 ERA and 3.17 FIP in 30 appearances this season. He has recorded 15 saves in 17 opportunities and 33 strikeouts in 29.1 innings. Look for southpaw A.J. Minter and right-hander Dan Winkler to form a bullpen committee and get the majority of save opportunities while Vizcaino is on the shelf. Hard to say which one will get the majority of the saves, but both are worth owning in Fantasy leagues.
Michael Wacha, SP, Cardinals
Injury News: Cardinals ace Michael Wacha came out of his start Wednesday with a strained oblique muscle. He will get an injection into the injured area and it looks like he will be out until at least the All-Star break, maybe longer.
Fantasy Implications: After dealing with significant injuries the past three seasons, Wacha was on the verge of having his best season since 2015 when he went 17-7 with a 3.38 ERA. This season, the right-hander was 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA, 1.23 WHIP in 84.1`innings. It looks like young right-hander John Gant will probably take the place of Wacha for a while. Gant just a pitched a gem on Monday night against the Indians, allowing just one hit in seven scoreless innings to up his record to 2-2 with a 3.48 ERA. Gant is worth a speculative add in deeper leagues.