Welcome back Fantasy friends and foes to the SCFE’s weekly Injury Report.
We are less than 10 days away from the All-Star Break, and I am putting the final touches on this article. Suddenly, there is a blurb on the TV, and a notification on my phone, breaking news…..the 2018 MLB All-Star Game rosters have been announced. And honestly, I could care less.
I believe ALL All-Star Games are a joke! A lot of players don’t want to play in them. They are “injured” and would rather take the time off to rest. For over 30 years, the NFL Pro Bowl was played in Hawaii! Really?!? Yeah sure, when I think of the best players in the NFL going against each other, I think of them playing on a Hawaiian Island! There are so many all-pro players that do NOT play, because of potential injury and the uselessness of the game, that it has become a total travesty.
The NBA All-Star Game is another meaningless exhibition game filled with highlight plays that you could see the next time the Harlem Globetrotters come to town.
In the MLB, they HAD a grand idea of making the All-Star Game relevant by allowing the winning league to host the World Series. How stupid is that? There is too much on the line in October to leave home field advantage up to a bunch of players who might have had a good first half on a non-playoff team. Do you want your title hopes dependent upon if Mitch Haniger of the Seattle Mariners gets a hit off of Padres closer Brad Hand?
Mercifully, the All-Star Game no longer determines home field advantage in the World Series. MLB finally understood that most All-Star players don’t care whether they win or lose. Most fans understand that All-Star Games only serve one function: to make money, tons of money!
Each MLB team must have at least one player in the All-Star Game. Of course, now we have a glamorized Little League game in which everyone got to play and games were decided by one player or another who were having the best half seasons on a last-place team. Are fans in Pittsburgh really going to watch the entire game in case their All-Star Representative Felipe Vazquez goes in to face a batter or two? The fans in Texas are really going to stay up and watch the game to see if Shin-Soo Choo pinch hits in the eighth? The only thing that those fans are cheering for is that their players do not suffer an injury.
Being injured can mean a lot of things when it comes to All-Star Games. It mostly means that the players just don’t want to play the game. Here are some players that do want to play and are actually injured or coming back from injuries in games that count. I give you the Week 15 Injury Report.
Week 15 Injury Report
Impact Players that have made it back from injury
Ronald Acuna, OF, Braves
Welcome back, Ronald Acuña!
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 30, 2018
Acuna was sidelined with an ACL sprain that kept him on the shelf for a month. But since he was inserted back into the lineup last Friday night, the Braves have seen an immediate impact. The Braves have scored 27 runs in their four-game win streak, which was definitely sparked by the return of their top prospect Ronald Acuna.
The 20-year-old is hitting .258 with two homers and 6 RBI in eight games since he come back from the disabled list. Overall, he owns a .264/.321/.466 with seven homers, 19 RBI with an .787 OPS.
The rookie phenom has shown flashes of what he capable of . As long as he remains healthy, we should expect a big breakout in the second half.
Matt Adams, 1B/OF, Nationals
Matt Adams was activated off the disabled list after spending approximately a month on the DL . He suffered a broken finger after getting hit by a pitch on his left hand.
The 29-year-old slugger had a shiny .926 OPS through 171 plate appearances with Washington when he landed on the disabled list because of a fractured left index finger.
Adams is now slashing .290/.361/.580 in 162 at-bats with 13 homers and 36 RBI. Additionally, Adams has eligibility at first base and outfield. If he somehow available in your league, he is a no-brainer addition to your fantasy roster.
Matt Chapman, 3B, A’s
Matt Chapman last played on June 14 before going on the disabled list with a right hand injury. He has been having issues with his hand since spring training, but the issues resurfaced. He received his second cortisone shot in his thumb, but found the issue to be a bone growth and now the issue has been resolved hopefully.
Chapman is the A’s best player offensively and defensively. His 3.8 bWAR is tied for 10th in all of MLB, and his 2.9 fWAR is tied for 17th. He was hitting .250/.346/.557 with 1o homers through his first 244 at-bats. Fantasy owners must get Chapman back in their lineups immediately.
Paul DeJong, SS, Cardinals
After missing 45 games with a broken left hand, Paul DeJong is returning to the St. Louis Cardinals’ lineup. In his return, DeJong went 1-for-3 with two runs in the Cardinals’ 3-2 loss to the Giants on Friday.
In 41 games this season, DeJong has a .260/.351/.473 line with eight home runs and 19 RBI. His bat deepens the erratic lineup and his glove steadies the infield defense. When DeJong went on the disabled list, the Cardinals were five games over .500. In the 45 games since, they’ve been one game under .500. His return will give the Cardinals and Fantasy lineups a huge lift for the rest of the season.
Shohei Ohtani, DH, Angels
Shohei Ohtani is off of the DL and returning to the Angels lineup tonight. pic.twitter.com/tamAasvA8Y
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 3, 2018
The Angels have announced the activation of Ohtani from the 10-day disabled list. He was out of action for just under a month after being diagnosed with a grade two UCL strain. However, he will only return as a hitter and should be able to swing freely without concern of further injuring his elbow.
Ohtani carried a .289/.372/.535 slash line with six homers in 129 plate appearances before the injury. He is now slated to be in the No. 6 spot in the lineup, especially against right-handers. He will likely not see much action against southpaws.
Ohtani still carries Fantasy value with his hitting ability being something owners can depend upon as we head into the second-half. Another aspect of his game that will probably be showcased more this season is his speed and ability on the basepaths. Manager Mike Scioscia said Ohtani is the Angels’ second-fastest player behing Mike Trout.
A.J. Pollock, OF, Diamondbacks
Diamondbacks activated outfielder A.J. Pollock from the 10-day disabled list on July 2. Pollock had been out since mid-May with a fractured left thumb.
Pollock is hitting only 2-for-13 (.154) since his return on July 2. In his first forty games, Pollock posted an excellent .293/.349/.620 batting line with 11 homers and 33 RBI. With Pollock slated to hit in front of Paul Goldschmidt, look for Pollock to explode in the second half.
Carlos Carrasco, SP, Indians
Carlos Carrasco, 94mph Fastball & 84mph Slider, Overlay.
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 7, 2018
The Indians activated Carlos Carrasco from the 10-day disabled list after missing three weeks of action with a bruised pitching elbow. He was struck in his right arm by a line drive in his June 16 start. Luckily, it was diagnosed only as a right elbow contusion. He made his return start on
Carrasco made his return on Friday against the A’s. He went 5.1 innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits while striking out seven in getting the win to raised his record to 9-5 on the season. He has pitched to a 4.28 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with 103 strikeouts in 96.2 innings.
The Indians and Fantasy owners were lucky that Carrasco did not suffer a more significant injury. He is now safe to return to your lineup.
Johnny Cueto, SP, Giants
Johnny Cueto had a rocky start in his first game back from the DL for the @SFGiants but finished with three scoreless innings against the @Cardinals.
Check back later for the game story at https://t.co/LhCeNojd9I#SFGiants #MLB pic.twitter.com/31YZxKDA5s
— Sporting Green (@SportingGreenSF) July 6, 2018
Veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto (strained right elbow) was activated from the 60-day disabled list on Thursday. His first start did not go so well. He went five innings, gave up five earned runs on 10 hits.
Despite numerous injuries to their rotation, the Giants are sitting at 46-45 and just 4.5 games behind the division-leading Diamondbacks and 3.5 games behind the second-place Dodgers. The return of Cueto will be a spark to their rotation. Cueto was off to an outstanding start to the 2018 season, pitching to a .084 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 45 percent ground-ball rate in 32 innings before landing on the disabled list.
Giants have a crowded rotation and if Cueto cannot return to form, the Giants have many options to replace him. A situation to monitor if Cueto is forcing to pitch before he is physically ready to do so.
Robbie Ray, SP, Diamondbacks
Diamondbacks activated LHP Robbie Ray (strained oblique) from the 10-day disabled list on June 27. Ray had a 4.01 ERA before landing on the DL.
Ray looked good in his first start after returning from the DL. He went six shutout innings while giving up only two hits and two walks and striking out six batters against the Marlins.
In his last two starts, Ray has struggled to the tune of giving up 10 earned runs and walking five batters in 9.1 innings. However, he has been able to strike out 14 batters in those outings. His ERA has increased to 5.23 ERA. I wonder if that oblique injury is still bothering him? Something to monitor and someone to leave on your bench if you have better options.
Garrett Richards, SP, Angels
Garrett Richards (hamstring) returned from the disabled list on Wednesday. He went 5.1 innings, giving up two earned runs while striking out eight batters. It looks the hamstring injury is now a non-issue.
Richards has now pitched 73.2 innings while posting a 3.42 ERA and a 1.266 WHIP. He is averaging 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings which is a career-high. However, he also leads the team with 15 wild pitches and already has 33 walks on the season.
Richards has always had trouble staying healthy. He has already exceeded his season totals for innings pitched in 2016 and 2017 combined, 62.1. He is looking pitch over 100 innings for the first time since 2015. It is difficult to trust Richards than a back of a rotation starter and streaming option.
Arodys Vizcaino, RP, Braves
Atlanta Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino (shoulder) was activated off of the 10-day disabled list on July 3. Vizcaino was 2-2 with a 1.82 ERA and 15 saves in 17 opportunities this season.
During Vizcaino’s absence, the Braves utilized left-hander A.J. Minter and righty Dan Winkler in save situations. Manager Brian Snitker mentioned that match-ups would dictate who is he going to use. For now, it looks like the Braves are just easing Vizcaino back so not to aggravate any shoulder issues. This is a situation to monitor to see how the bullpen develops.
Ouch! That Hurts!
Players that sustained injuries this past week.
Kris Bryant, 3B. Cubs
Odds to win the National League MVP (@BovadaLV):
Freddie Freeman +145
Nolan Arenado +155
Max Scherzer +450
Paul Goldschmidt +800
Kris Bryant +1100
Bryce Harper +1200
Anthony Rizzo +2500
Matt Kemp +2500
Anthony Rendon +3000
Joey Votto +4000
Nick Markakis +5000
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) July 6, 2018
Bryant, who hasn’t played since June 22, went on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation. According to manager Joe Maddon, Bryant could return despite feeling less than 100 percent.
He made it through multiple rehab sessions and will now head out on a minor league assignment. Looks for Bryant to play in a few minor league games early next week, and if all goes well, Bryant will be activated late next week.
The former MVP is having a subpar season comparable to his last two seasons, hitting .280/.383/.481 with nine homers and 36 RBI. In 2016, Bryant hit .263 with runners in scoring position. That number has plunged to .247 over the past two seasons. Last season the number of at-bats per home-run every 18.9. That season, that number is currently sitting at 29.3 at-bats per home run.
Bryant is still a top-5 third baseman but not at the MVP-type level that you drafted him in your drafts.
Carlos Correa, SS, Astros
Astros shortstop has been out since June 26 because of lower back soreness and was placed on the disabled list on June 29. He has yet to resume baseball activities and has no timetable for when he will be allowed to do so. Correa said he would like to return to the roster before the All-Star break.
Even without starters McCann and Correa in their lineup, the Astros haven’t struggled. Their 59-31 record is second-best in baseball, and they lead the Seattle Mariners by 2.5 games in the AL West. In the meanwhile, the Astros have promoted super prospect outfielder Kyle Tucker to keep the offense rolling.
Correa has a .268/.352/.580 slash line with 13 homers and 49 RBI in 73 games this season. The Astros have used multiple players in the place of Correa, none of which are new to fantasy or could create any fantasy buzz. Let’s hope we see Correa before the All-Star break or directly afterward.
Gleyber Torres, 2B, Yankees
BREAKING: Gleyber Torres to the DL. pic.twitter.com/TB9ET28Ge0
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) July 4, 2018
The Yankees were dealt a huge blow as the team placed rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres on the 10-day DL with a hip strain. The Yankees are hopeful that Torres is able to be back in the lineup after the All-Star Break.
The leading candidate for AL Rookie of the Year, Torres is hitting .294/.350/.555 with 15 homers, 10 doubles, and 42 RBI in 63 games this season. Fantasy owners who were wise enough to grab him early were all smiles as Torres was ripping it up in the Bronx. Now, what are the Yankees going to do?
Manager Aaron Boone told reporters (including The Athletic’s Marc Carig) that Neil Walker is the likeliest candidate to play second base while Torres is out, plus the Yankees also have Brandon Drury on the bench and Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade at Triple-A. However, Walker is hitting a dismal .185/.268/.254 with a .522 OPS, which would be worse than all but two regular players if he qualified. Brandon Drury looks like he is finally healthy after hitting the cover off the ball in the minors, while Torreyes and Wade are really nothing for fantasy owners to be excited about. Please come back quickly, Gleyber Torres.
Shane Greene, RP, Tigers
Greene was placed on the 10-day disabled list on July 2 with right shoulder inflammation. Manager Ron Gardenhire termed it as “dead arm syndrome”, which is not uncommon to happen for pitchers. This is good news for the Tigers, Greene was drawing tons of trade interest before the injury.
This is good news for the Tigers, who had previously received more trade interest on Greene than any other player
He has struck out 42 and walked 11 in 38 innings. Interested teams are looking for Greene to provide back of the bullpen help. Greene no longer has much fantasy value and can be dropped.
Joe Jimenez is serving as the closer in Greene’s absence. He is the closer now and for the future. He is 4-1 with 3 saves, 13 holds while yielding a 2.85 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. All Fantasy owners are looking for saves, so Jimenez should be grabbed up immediately.
Joe Musgrove, SP, Pirates
Joe Musgrove, who didn’t make his first start this season until May 25 due to shoulder soreness, was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday (retroactive to Saturday) with a right index finger infection.
Overall, I think Musgrove has the potential to be an above-average middle of the rotation arm for the Pirates. Again, not someone you build your team of the future around, but someone who can play a contributing role.
Musgrove is the Pirates’ best starting pitcher. He has a 3-3 record with a 3.79 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and a 36/11 K/BB ratio. His ERA and 3.33 FIP lead the Pirates’ staff. He might be the Pirates best starter but he is marginal at best for Fantasy purposes.
Brent Suter, SP, Brewers
LHP Brent Suter has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with left forearm tightness, retroactive to July 3. RHP Aaron Wilkerson has been recalled from Triple-A @skysox and will start tomorrow against Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/fj4FHKbfff
— #WeBelieveInJesús (@Brewers) July 6, 2018
The Milwaukee Brewers placed left-hander Brent Suter on the 10-day disabled list Friday, retroactive to Tuesday, with forearm tightness. Suter mentioned Friday afternoon that he felt his forearm tighten in the first inning of that game but continued to pitch. The pain worsened afterward, so it was decided to rest the young southpaw. This situation should be monitored as forearm tightness is a precursor to elbow problems.
Brent Suter has mostly pitched well for the Brewers this season, he is 8-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 18 appearances, including two in relief. Suter earned a spot in the rotation out of spring training, and he is currently leading the team in victories (8). Opponents are batting .248 against Suter this season.
Suter is an SP3/SP4 who is best served as a streaming option with the Brewers having a great season and heading into a playoff run.
Before you leave our site, please check our latest Hitting Planner and Pitching Planner. Also, take a look at what rookies and prospects are making or going to make a fantasy impact in our latest Rookie Report. Starting your Fantasy Football research? Take a look at which rookies you should draft in our 2018 Rookie RB Rankings For Fantasy Football and 2018 Rookie WR Rankings For Fantasy Football.