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The hits just keep comin’ for major league baseball players and their fantasy owners.

We’re just a month into the season, and it’s unlikely there are many owners out there who have not been dealt a significant injury to at least one of their players.  Oh, you’re raising your hand?  Here are two recommendations: 1) stop playing in 8-team leagues, 2) there are healthier forms of self-indulgence than a four-leaf clover enema.

In 2014, we’ve seen more pains, pricks, breaks, strains, pulls and tears in baseball than the amount of times Drake has changed his NCAA/NBA team allegiances.

Being in the know when it comes to a player’s health will always keep you one step ahead of your competition.  Here are some ailing hitters (and their possible replacements) to pay attention to in the coming weeks:

Jason Kipnis, Indians: Kipnis is dealing with an oblique injury, and those are never quick to heal.  He’s saying a Memorial Day (May 26) return could be in the cards, but that’s not something I’d be going “all-in” on.  It’s not easy to replace last year’s No. 2 fantasy second baseman, but you’re gonna have to try.  Mike Aviles is the Tribe’s in-house option with the most upside.  During his six-year MLB career, Aviles has shown the ability to hit for power (13 HR in ’12) and steal bases (14 SB each year from ’10-12).  His 3B/SS and soon-to-be 2B eligibility makes him appealing for Kipnis owners and for those in deeper leagues.

Wilson Ramos, Nationals: Ramos has become a mainstay in this column, but it’s almost time to bid him adieu.  The Nats’ backstop played all of one game before undergoing surgery to remove the hamate bone in his left hand.  He was given a 4-to-5 week timetable and if he returns this week (as he is expected to), it will put him right on schedule.  He has been participating in some extended spring training games, and playing well, hitting two homers in Friday’s affair.  He seems healthy enough to be activated and play vs. the Dodgers on Monday, but it’s more likely that he’ll return for the Nats’ three-game set in Oakland this Friday, which would give Matt Williams the option to DH him.  Ramos is owned in just 37.2 percent of ESPN leagues and has 20-homer potential if given everyday at bats.  Once Ramos is activated, Jose Lobaton is droppable in everything but two-catcher and NL-only leagues.

Adam Eaton, White Sox: The speedy young outfielder — not to be confused with the former pitcher who was the centerpiece of the Padres/Rangers Adrian Gonzalez swap – was placed on the DL after straining his right hamstring in Friday’s game vs. the Indians.  Eaton’s lower half is clearly an issue these days, as the 25-year-old missed five games last week after gimpifying (sic) his left hamstring.  Eaton is literally “hamstrung”.  He should be out at least two weeks, if not more, and owners would be wise to grab Alejandro De Aza (36.2 percent owned) from their league’s waiver wire.  After hitting two home runs on Opening Day, De Aza has cooled off in a major way (.194/.257/.350 with just 2 HR since), but his nice blend of pop and speed makes him almost an automatic add in leagues where he’s still available, although I wouldn’t be dropping anyone substantial for him.  Jordan Danks — of the long bloodline of Chicago Danks — and the newly-signed Moises Sierra will also share time, but are AL-only material, if that.

Adam Lind, Blue Jays: Lower back tightness has sidelined Lind for the past two-and-a-half weeks, but the Blue Jays’ DH is nearing a return to the field (or batter’s box) in the next couple of days.  The former Silver Slugger Award winner has drilled at least 23 home runs in four of the last five seasons and was off to a nice start (1 HR, 6 RBI, .965 OPS) in 2014 before getting hurt.  Rarely do you see this kind of power sitting on waiver wires, yet he is still available in 43 percent of ESPN leagues.  Grab him if you need help at the CI spot.  Juan Francisco has been playing very well in his place, but he will either return to a spot starting role or possibly get sent back down to the minors once Lind returns.  Could we see Brett Lawrie play more second base so they can squeeze Francisco’s bat into the lineup a couple times a week?  It’s an interesting situation to monitor.

Ryan Braun, Brewers: Whether Braun is getting himself hurt or he’s inflicting pain upon someone else, the Brewers’ right fielder seems to be in the news for all the wrong reasons lately — something he’s grown quite accustomed to.  Like Kipnis, he too has an oblique injury and could be out a few weeks.  The Crew backdated his injury to April 27, which would make him eligible to return this weekend, but there’d have to be some significant healing to make that happen.  Don’t forget, Braun has also dealt with a nerve issue in his hand, so the first-place Brewers would be smart to hold him out as long as possible in order to let him recuperate from both injuries.  In the meantime, Logan Schafer and Caleb Gindl will split time in the outfield, but neither is much of an option outside of NL-only leagues.  If you’re deciding between one of those two, Schafer is the better bet.

David Freese, Angels: Sometimes an injury explains why a player has been performing so poorly, but not in Freese’s case.  The Angels’ third baseman has gotten off to a disastrous start, hitting .202/.266/.286 with just 3 XBH in 84 AB, and he’ll now have some downtime to mull over his mechanics.  Freese will be out at least two weeks after suffering a non-displaced fracture of his middle finger, which came at the hands of a Colby Lewis floating fastball.  In a corresponding move, the Halos have called up one of their biggest minor league bats — 24-year-old C.J. Cron.  The 6-foot-4, 240 pound behemoth smacked 60 dongs in 1,300 at bats down on the farm (most notably 27 HR in 2012) and could be a sneaky source of power in deeper leagues.  While Freese is a must-drop player, Cron isn’t exactly a must-add either.  Not to be cliche, but there will be more Angels in the outfield come June (in the form of Josh Hamilton and Kole Calhounnot Danny Glover and Joseph Gordon-Levitt), which would limit Cron’s upside.  He’s definitely worth a flier, but don’t put down your pink slip for him.

Other Injury Notes:

Kevin Kouzmanoff, Rangers: One of April’s feel-good stories has been put to bed.  Kouzmanoff underwent back surgery to repair a herniated disc and is expected to be out 8-to-12 weeks.  He was excellent at the plate in the early going, batting .362 with 2 HR and 10 RBI, but there may not be a place for him on the team when he returns.  He’s not even worth stashing.

Devin Mesoraco, Reds: I was all set for Mesoraco to be my date to prom, when he cheated on me!  Well, he injured his hamstring — but he may as well have cheated on me!!!  The 25-year-old catcher had posted an absurd 1.297 OPS and hit safely in 12 of 13 games, so he’s definitely worth keeping stashed if you can afford to.  If you have another reliable catcher or need the bench space, it may be a tough pill to swallow, but Mesoraco is probably cut bait.  Catcher is the one position you can’t afford to let dictate your roster flexibility.  At any rate, expect the Reds’ backstop to return somewhere between May 11 (his first day eligible) and the beginning of June.  Brayan Pena (3 HR in his last five games) has been playing well enough for the Reds to make sure Mesoraco is 100 percent healthy before letting him return.

Carlos Quentin, Padres: Carlos Quentin is being featured in an injury article?!?  Does water cover 71 percent of the Earth?  Color me shocked.  The Padres’ slugger has yet to appear in a game this season, but has upped his rehabilitation process, playing with High-A Lake Elsinore this past weekend.  Depending on how many games the club feels he needs, we could see the former Stanford standout in Southern California by mid-week.  His power potential makes him an intriguing add, but only do so if you have an empty DL spot, as he is likely to get hurt again just the same.

 

Follow SethDaSportsMan on Twitter at, you guessed it, @SethDaSportsMan, for quality fantasy sports advice and the deepest veneration of all things Nicolas Cage 

  1. RicoSuave says:
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    Thanks for the updates/info!
    Would you trade my D. Fister for his Francisco Rodriguez? I’m in need of a closer (H2H points league)
    Thanks again

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @RicoSuave: Works for me

    • Rocky says:
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      @RicoSuave: Go for it

  2. my sisters friend boyfriend says:
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    Do you think since Trout and Pujols are finally on the same page and both raking at the same time since Trouts call up, Howie Kendrick is gonna have continued success?

    • Rocky says:
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      @my sisters friend boyfriend: Look at what he has done for the past few years, expect an injury at some point and similar numbers end of season

      • my sisters friend boyfriend says:
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        @Rocky: well what i was getting at …..since Trouts call up pujols has been a bum but now both him and Trout are both doing good and i was thinking since they are, Howie Kendrick can keep this up and not fall off like he usually does

        • SethDaSportsMan

          SethDaSportsMan says:
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          @my sisters friend boyfriend: I think the offense is really clicking right now and that’s WITHOUT HamBone and Kole. Expect big things from the Angels bats this year. Pujols looks relatively healthy.

  3. Men-in-Cleats says:
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    Have Bruce, R. Zimmerman, Sale, Janssen, and Cobb on my Razzball league, none of whom are droppable and have basically led me to have zero bench spots. Throw in injuries to other less impactful players like Avasail Garcia and it has been a bumpy start to the season.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Men-in-Cleats: Yep, I have one team with at least 5 guys DLed, not to mention Matt Cain and his faulty knife skills and Ervin Santana being a baby

  4. Wacha Wacha says:
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    Offered 2 trades today in 5×5 cats league

    I give Tehrehan and M Perez I get Napoli and M Cain
    or I give Tehrehan and Perez and I get Adams and M Cain

    Not sure if I can take another first basemen because I already have Abreu and Pujols and is it a big downgrade to injured Cain?

    My team
    C Santana 1B Pujols 2B Altuve 3B Miggy SS E Cabrera OF Stanton, Bautista, Marte Util Abreu, Longoria Bn W Myers, G Polanco

    Darvish, Bailey, Tehrehan, Wacha, Ventura, Salazar, Liriano, Perez, Cishek, Romo

    • my sisters friend boyfriend says:
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      @Wacha Wacha: why would you do tbis? You already have 2 superior first basemans and the trade would downgrade your pitching staff..no brainer

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Wacha Wacha: I’d stay put. You’ve got a nice squad

  5. Dubbs says:
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    Am I crazy for wanting to drop Gattis for Ramos?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Dubbs: Yes

  6. Clint says:
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    Am I the only one that feels this is the first year teams seem to be doing some shenanigans with the Disgraceful List? Rosario goes on it with the flu. Cingrani goes on it when he doesn’t think he needs to and the team doesn’t need him in the rotation. And the reporting seems to have HUGE range. Hambone strains a quad & is out months, Chris Davis is out 15 days with apparently similar injuries? Surprised the union hasn’t looked into this stuff because it seems shady to me and I don’t remember seeing this much of it until this year.

    On that note, would you retain an empty catcher spot until you have a DL slot for Rosario to go into or drop him for Ramos once Wilson returns in an 8 team h2h pts league where we keep 10? I’m smoking other teams on streaming alone so I could get by with a dead spot but I also know Razzball likes Ramos quite a bit despite Rosario topping the rankings.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Clint: I do like Ramos a lot, but not if it means dropping Wilin. I’m actually going with an empty C slot till Ramos comes back this weekend in one league. Did so in one league for 3 weeks last year.

      Regarding your first comments, I agree, def some shady shizz going on. Pelfrey gets blasted pretty much every start and then has a “groin pull”. BS. Also, Hamilton had a torn UCL in his thumb, not a quad pull, but I get what you’re saying

  7. MVPuigs says:
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    Would you trade Tulo for I. Desmond and one of these Wainwright/Tanaka/Cueto? My staff Lee,Eovaldi,Sale Latos, Wheeler, Peralta,St Roman. 12 team head to head.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @MVPuigs: That’s a tempting offer, but I don’t like what I’m seeing in the trends from Desmond so far. Tulo is an MVP candidate. It’s tough, but I’d have to say no. Maybe if Desmond were upgraded

  8. Rags says:
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    Any thoughts on Eduardo Escobar in a points league that favors hits and dings you for Ks?

    Deep league and my only other SS right now is Brad Miller. You like Aviles better? Brandon Hicks is also on the wire.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Rags: Would rather have Aviles. Hicks either hits a HR or is o-fer. Plus, he’ll get Greinke and Kersh this weekend. I think Escobar is best left on wires

  9. Big hurt says:
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    I need power; (10 tm h2h points scoring/ weekly roster lock FYI) would you drop Andrelton Simmons for either jimmy Rollins, Jonathan villar or Jhonny peralta ?

    Also, drop Victorino for Desmond Jennings?
    We start 4 OF’ers here are the rest; Matt Holliday, Hunter pence, Victorino and michael brantley- Harper on DL.

    Thanks!

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Big hurt: Yes (go with Peralta) and Yes.

  10. Todd says:
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    Trade pujos for Teheran straight up? Pujos is my utility as I have freeman at 1b

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Todd: I prefer Pujols

  11. Brian Recca says:
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    I have Braun, Harper, Kipnis, Bruce, Rosario, Zimmerman, and Cobb on the DL. Better luck next year I guess.

    • jordan73 says:
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      @Brian Recca: Braun, Harper, Zimmerman, Kipnis, Eaton, Kershaw, and Cobb here. It’s a 20 category HtH league, so I’m hoping I can just limp by for a couple weeks and not fall too far out.

      • SethDaSportsMan

        SethDaSportsMan says:
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        @jordan73: Kersh back tomorrow and Cobb back by end of month hopefully. Great thing about baseball is its a loooooong season. PLENTY of time to recoup

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Brian Recca: thats rough… hope you have some other team that are finding more success in the health dept

  12. Simon says:
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    I’m in need of saves and I’m being offered Rosenthal for Josh Hamilton straight up. Other OF are Holliday, B Hamilton, Morse.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Simon: In a vacuum I’d rather have Hamilton, but if you’re desperate for the saves, I’d pull the trigger

  13. Karl_Von_Matterhorn says:
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    When are we gonna see some production from Jonathon Lucroy? Not getting the stellar RBI and dinger contribution from 2013 is one reason why I sit last in my league. Patiently wait for his bat to come around seems like the obvious answer here, but Chips Lucroy can only contribute so much in the average department. Would it be idiotic to drop him for the likes of Miguel Montero or Kurt Suzuki, or scoop an injured Wilson Ramos/Mesoraco and roll with AJ Pierzinski/Jason Castro/Yan Gomes in the interim?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Karl_Von_Matterhorn: the BA shows Lucroy should come around, so I’d sit tight if you can. Always worth exploring a trade first, although if all those Cs are on waivers, I’d imagine people aren’t hurting for a catcher. If you gotta add one of those guys, I like Ramos (now that he’s off DL) or Montero

  14. J-FOH says:
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    what up Seth H. Parker, good read as always You should of been in the comments section of Grey’s article. It was vent all your injuries day.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @J-FOH: thanks, J… I’m surprised you’re not venting about your boy, J.B.

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