Hello Fantasy Baseball fans and Welcome back to the SCFE’s Injury Report.
First and foremost, I want to wish all mothers out there, a very beautiful Mother’s Day. You are loved and appreciated more than you know.
Mothers and Fantasy owners know that they welcome updates on Fantasy significant players.
THE GOOD: Rangers’ Adrian Beltre (hamstring) returned and collected three hits in his return. Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig (leg, foot) returned with a bang, going 3-for-4 in his return although he is still only hitting .202 this season. Cardinals’ Adam Wainright (elbow) is expected to make his return on Mother’s Day. Yankees’ Greg Bird will begin a rehab assignment this week. He is anticipated to return to the Yankees by end of May.
THE BAD: Yankees’ Brandon Drury (migraines) has been on the disabled list for over a month with migraines and blurry vision. He continues to experience migraine complications. Additionally, the Yankees’ rookie duo Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres are playing so well, Drury might have to become the Yankees’ utility infielder.
THE UGLY: Indians’ Andrew Miller (hamstring) returned off the disabled list but gave up a go-ahead two-run homer in his return. Dodgers’ Rich Hill (finger) finally made his return after suffering a few setbacks with his finger. Unfortunately, Hill got bombed in his return to the tune of five earned runs in four innings against the Diamondbacks.
Now, let’s take a look at the players making injury news and how it will affect your Fantasy teams in the Week 6 Injury Report.
Week 6 Injury Report
Johnny Cueto, SP, Giants
Injury News: Johnny Cueto was originally placed on the 10-day disabled list on May 1 with elbow inflammation. He was then set to see Dr. Andrews for further diagnosis and examination. Dr. Andrews diagnosed Cueto with a sprained right elbow and did not recommend season-ending surgery. However, he has had a history of elbow issues and you never know how he will respond to rehab. He was subsequently placed on the 60-day disabled list on May 10. The veteran right-hander will be sidelined until at least early July.
Fantasy Implications: Cueto was dominant in his first five starts of the 2018 season, compiling a 3-0 record with a 0.84 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP. A huge loss for the decimated Giants’ pitching staff and of course, Fantasy owners. There is no one of Fantasy significance to take over his spot on the Giants roster.
Yu Darvish, SP, Cubs
Injury News: Yu Darvish was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier this week due to a parainfluenza virus (cold), retroactive to May 4. Darvish said he became ill during the May 4-6 series against the Cardinals and felt no improvement when he came out for practice on Monday. He is still scheduled to face the Braves on Tuesday night.
Fantasy Implications: Flu Darvish has really struggled to start this season, recording a 0-3 record with a 6.00 ERA and 1.57 WHIP despite striking out 37 across 30 innings in six starts. He has lasted longer than five innings in only two of those starts. His fifth-inning ERA is a whopping 31.50. Darvish has always had the reputation as being soft and as a diva, this will definitely not help. He will look for his first win of the season this Tuesday against the Braves. The Cubs and Fantasy owners hope that Darvish can quickly turn it around. He still has to be considered a top-tier Fantasy option.
Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers
Injury News: Clayton Kershaw was placed on the 10-day disabled list last Sunday with left biceps tendinitis. The good news is that the injury looks like it will respond well to conventional treatment. He underwent an MRI which revealed no structural damage. There is no official timeline for the return of the Dodgers’ ace, but the Dodgers have to be encouraged with Kershaw being able to play catch for three consecutive days.
The southpaw has spent time on the DL in each of the past three seasons, and four of the last five. This is the first stint involving an arm injury. A biceps injury can be a predecessor to something more severe with the elbow or shoulder. Additionally, Kershaw has dealt with less severe bouts of this condition in the past.
Fantasy Implications: Hopefully, Fantasy owners took our advice and didn’t draft Kershaw in the first round! However, he has pitched well in his first seven starts, recording a 2.86 ERA and 4.80 strikeout-to-walk ratios.
The Dodgers and Fantasy owners have to be somewhat concerned with his velocity being greatly reduced this season. His fastball is being clocked at 91.9 mph. Last season, his fastball averaged 92.3 mph. His fastball has always averaged between 93 and 95 mph, per Brooks Baseball, so it’s conceivable that the tendonitis is impacting his ability to throw as fast as normal. He has not pitched beyond the seventh inning and has allowed seven home runs.
Kershaw becomes the third member of the Dodgers rotation on the disabled list. As the injuries pile up, so do the losses. The Dodgers are currently six games under .500 and trailing three other teams in their own division. If you are a Kershaw owner, it might be wise to start shopping Kershaw to see what you can get.
Carlos Martinez, SP, Cardinals
Injury News: The Cardinals placed their No.1 starter Carlos Martinez on the 10-day disabled list with a right lat strain on May 1, retroactive to May 9. The scan revealed a minor strain, and the schedule made the decision for the Cardinals as they could remove him from the rotation without costing him more than one start. He will miss at least the next 10 days to recover from the minor muscle strain near his shoulder.
Fantasy Implications: Since giving up four earned runs to the Mets on Opening Day, Martinez has not had more than two earned runs in seven starts. Martinez, who is currently leading the National League with his 1.62 ERA, has posted a 3-2 mark in his eight starts and leads the Cardinals staff with his 50.0 IP and 47 strikeouts.
The Cardinals and Fantasy owners received a huge scare with Martinez going on the shelf. It looks like that Martinez avoided a major injury. He is vital to any chance that the Cardinals have in the highly competitive National League Central. He is also a pitcher that Fantasy owners can’t afford to lose for any significant period of time. Knock on wood, if you are a Martinez owner.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Dodgers
Injury News: Ryu is out until the second half of the season with what is described as a severe strain of his left groin. He tore the muscle off the bone. He has now been on the disabled list eight times through his six-year major-league career.
Fantasy Implications: Ryu was the Dodgers most effective pitcher so far this season. He was 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA and 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings. Another injury suffered by the Dodgers that has hampered this underperforming roster. On the bright side, the loss of Ryu opened the door for prized rookie Walker Buehler to take his spot in the rotation. Buehler is 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA in four starts since being called up April 23 and has struck out 27 in 22 innings. Due to the estimated long recovery period and the uncertainty of his return, Ryu is now droppable in all Fantasy formats.
Byron Buxton, OF, Twins
Injury News: Byron Buxton went on the disabled list in mid-April due to migraines. During a rehab assignment, he fouled a ball off his foot and suffered a hairline fracture on one of his left toes. Buxton just returned to MLB action after missing 21 games this past Thursday and went 0-for-2 with a walk.
Fantasy Implications: Buxton was a sleeper coming into this season. He batted .309/.349/.584 with 11 homers and 10 stolen bases over his final 47 games last season. Fantasy owners were hoping that he would carry over the potential he showed at the end of last season, but so far he has been a disappointment. Buxton is only hitting .195/.233/.244 with two doubles, two RBI and four stolen bases in 43 plate appearances. The former top prospect is worth adding if he’s available with the hope he stays healthy and finally reaches his potential.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers
Injury News: Miguel Cabrera just returned from missing three games with biceps spasms and then suffered a hamstring injury that forced the Tigers to place Cabrera on the 10-day disabled list. The two-time AL MVP has played fewer than 140 games in two of the last three years. A hamstring strain can vary quite a bit in seriousness. It is not yet known if he will need more than the required 10 days on the disabled list.
Fantasy Implications: Cabrera entered the season with a mission to have a big season after being hampered by a back injury last season. In his 108 plate appearances this season, he’s slashing .323/.407/.516 with three home runs and 21 RBI in 26 games this season. He is also carrying a healthy mix of 17 strikeouts against 14 walks. Health is the key. He has endured multiple nicks and bruises the past few seasons. While he is not the MVP hitter that he once was, he is still an effective Fantasy contributor. Stay tuned for the reports on his status, hopefully, we haven’t seen the last of the 35-year-old Miguel Cabrera.
Adam Eaton, OF, Nationals
Injury News: Adam Eaton has been on the disabled list since April 11, and has just been transferred to the 60-day disabled list. It was thought that Eaton was dealing with a bone bruise in his ankle since early April. As the injury did not progress as hoped, Eaton saw a specialist who determined that Eaton required having arthroscopic surgery to repair a cartilage tear in his ankle. The prognosis is that he will much of the rest of the season. No definite timetable has been established as he continues to recover from surgery.
Fantasy Implications: Eaton started the season on fire. He was hitting .345/.424/.655 with three doubles, two homers, five RBI and 10 runs through eight games. With no definitive news to report, please check back here for updates on his status. Fantasy owners who stash Eaton on the DL should already have him there. If he is available in your league, and you can still stash him, it might be worth a speculative add.
Jason Heyward, OF, Cubs
Injury News: The Cubs placed outfielder Jason Heyward on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Tuesday. He banged his head against the right-field wall trying to rob Dexter Fowler of a game-ending homer on Sunday. It’s unclear how long Heyward will be sidelined at this point.
Fantasy Implications: Heyward is hitting only .227 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 29 games this season. Fantasy owners should not be concerned about his playing status except for how it may affect the manner in which the Cubs shuffle personnel in right field until Heyward returns.
Justin Turner, 3B, Dodgers
Injury News: Justin Turner has yet to play this season after a pitch hit his wrist in spring training, causing a small non-displaced fracture. He began his rehab assignment at High-A Ranch Cucamonga Saturday. He is expected to make his Dodgers’ season debut next weekend in Washington, eight weeks after his left wrist was broken.
Fantasy Implications: There has been a huge hole in the Dodgers lineup that Turner will fill whenever he comes back. The Dodgers entered last weekend ranked 27th in the majors with 33 homers in their 38 games, and their .386 slugging percentage ranks 25th in baseball. Finally, some good news for the Dodgers. Please make sure he is not available somehow in your league. If so, he is an obvious immediate add.