Seems like even the injury bug is down in Miami enjoying the All-Star game so we’ve got a light load of injuries this week. However, I fully expect him to come back twice as strong once everyone starts exerting themselves again after enjoying Mama’s home cooking and catching up on Orange is the New Black on the couch for the week.
As always, if you’ve got league specific injury questions please leave them below in the comments and I’ll get back to you!
Tim Beckham, SS, Sprained Ankle
Every Tim Beckham blurb has to begin with the phrase “former #1 overall draft pick Tim Beckham” so there you go. You then also have to add “he’s never lived up to that #1 overall draft pick status” so there’s that. That being said Beckham is having a respectable 11 HR/.274 AVG AL-only season so far. Stash or Trash: With the acquisition of Adeiny Hechavarria and the DL return of Brad Miller Beckham’s playing time might take a hit so you can trash him in shallower leagues. Fill In: You AL-only folks should grab Alcides Escobar (5.2%.) The former All-Star and ALCS MVP’s season hit a .172 AVG low point at the end of May. However from May 29th on he has hit .291 with 20 runs and should still be available in your league. He’s stolen 30 bases in a season twice in the past so hopefully now that he’s getting on base again he can raise that 2017 total of 2.
Jharel Cotton, SP, Blister
Blister, blister — never knew how much I missed ya. Marcus Stroman came out this past week with his own blister issue and claimed that the something wicked is happening with the baseball construction this year. For context, in November 2016, Columbus Blue Jacket Matty Calvert got hit in the face with a puck, received 36 stitches and returned to score the gaming win goal in a game against the New York Rangers. But you know, blisters. Stash or Trash: Cotton keeps doing more and more to prove that last year was a fluke. He’s up to a 5.17 ERA and unless you’re in a deep or AL-only league you can trash him. Fill In: If you’re looking for a one start AL-only spot-starter give Blake Snell (4.8%) a chance. DON’T LOOK AT HIS SEASON STATS! Don’t. Okay? Just don’t. Just look at the fact that he’s lined up to face Cotton’s Oakland Athletics on July 17th. The A’s are 28th in batting average against left-handed starters so Snell could surprise with a quality start here.
Junior Guerra, SP, Shin Bruise
Guerra was hit by a comebacker in his last start but thanks to the All-Star Break he shouldn’t miss a start. Stash or Trash: Stash I guess if you’re desperate. Keep an eye on where he starts as he really seems to hate traveling. His home/away ERA splits are pretty stark: 4.25/5.59. Fill In: You’re really going to have me try and recommend another guy who is owned in single-digit percentage of leagues? Fine! Collin McHugh (6.6%) is on his way back with only one rehab start away from making his 2017 debut. Over the last three years McHugh has made 90 starts and has a presentable 3.71 ERA. Sure, that ERA has gone up each of the last three seasons as well — but we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here.
Jason Kipnis, 2B, Hamstring Strain
This is a new injury this year for what is starting to look like a snake-bitten season for Kipnis. He got a late start on April 21st due to inflammation in his throwing shoulder. Unfortunately for his owners it wasn’t like he was playing like the old Dirtbag we all know and love before this latest injury. He was only slashing .232/.292/.402. Stash or Trash: Kipnis is set to miss 3-4 weeks with this latest injury, but is still a stash for me. He’s a top 5 second basemen when healthy and hitting near the top of the Indians line-up. Fill In: Paul DeJong (22.9%.) The 23-year-old has been filling in nicely for the disappointing Aledmys Diaz and the Ambulance Chaser exile Kolten Wong. DeJong’s 3% walk rate is 7th worst among batters with at least 130 at-bats, but he’s hit 45 combined HRs in the minors and majors since the start of 2016 and that three position eligibility makes him a nice bench fill-in option even after Kipnis returns.
John Lackey, SP, Plantar Fasciitis
Reports are saying that Lackey has been pitching through this injury all year. Notice how the reports say just “pitching” and not “pitching well.” Hopefully this break will allow his foot to rest and bring that 5.20 ERA down. Stash or Trash: Despite that ERA you should stash Lackey. From 2013 to 2016 Lackey had a 1.178 WHIP and 3.35 ERA. He’s 38, but this old dog should still be able to provide a few new tricks. Fill In: A 6 inning, 4 ER performance on June 10th lead Ian Kennedy’s (23.7%) season ERA to balloon up to 5.40. Since that point he has brought that number down almost an entire run with 30.1 IP and only 9 ER. Hopefully this is the Kennedy we continue to see for the second-half.
Michael Taylor, OF, Oblique Strain
Another oblique strain! Another Ambulance Chasers curse! The Nationals faithful are hoping that the extended All-Star Break will minimize his games missed. Stash or Trash: Stash. Taylor is cashing in on that power/speed threat while that old billy goat’s gruff Jayson Werth has himself been on the DL. The 31% K/rate is still as ugly as sin, but a .367 BABIP has been keeping his average at a nice .278. Fill In: Hey yo fam, go grab Tommy Pham (27.4%.) Since his 2017 debut on May 5th, Pham’s average hasn’t phallen under .274. Pair that with 11 HRs and 11 SBs and you’ve got a phine cheap piece for your outphield.
Edinson Volquez, SP, Knee Tendinitis
Marlins manager Don Mattingly originally said Volquez’s knee was just “balky” to which I say, “Don’t be ridiculous.” Stash or Trash: Stash. Volquez has had a few ups, but mostly downs since his no-hitter on June 3rd, but he’s still worth owning. And if he can bring his current BB/9 (5.17) down to last year’s number (3.61) he’ll be doing himself (and you) a great favor. Due to the timing of his DL placement Volquez should be back on July 16th. Fill In: He’ll only miss 2 games. Do the dance of joy! In Mypos he would’ve been taken behind the barn and put down.