I feel like I could list every Boston Red Sox player in my post this week. A bunch of their players came down with the flu, even the untouchable Andrew Benintendi, who apparently threw-up in the dugout during a game this week. He might’ve ralphed due to hearing about his .174 AVG so far though. Relax everyone, he’s 14-years-old and we’re only in Week 2. Don’t overreact! However, if you happen to visit Fenway this week for their games — make sure to wash your hands well, seal up your plastic bubble boy suit and keep away from patient zero (probably Dustin Pedroia — he seems like the superstitious type to not wash during the season for luck).
Greg Bird, NYY, Illness and Bruised Ankle
Bird fouled a ball of his ankle at the end of Spring Training, but decided to wing it in the Yankees first 4 games (going 1-for-16.) Then, he acquired the same flu that everyone on the Red Sox seems to have. (Is every flu he contracts considered the Bird flu?) Don’t fly the coop just yet — with a few more days of nesting, Bird should be back in the Yankees lineup. Stash or Trash: Stash.
Jackie Bradley Jr., BOS, Right Knee Sprain, Probably Flu
In Boston’s April 8th game @ Detroit, JBJ injured his right knee running the bases. He’s the rare under-6-foot, skinny outfielder who is actually not very adept at stealing bases. A bum knee isn’t going to help that case, but also doesn’t hinder his value. Bradley shouldn’t be out for longer than the required 10-days. Stash or Trash; Stash. Fill In: In deeper leagues if you’re looking for a brief fill in you could consider Avisail Garcia (8.1% owned in ESPN) who is still somehow only 25 after playing what seems like 12 years in the league and has gotten off to a hot start with a .474 AVG.
Clay Buchholz, PHI, Right Forearm Strain
Breaking news as I’m writing this on the night of April 11th, but you shouldn’t have owned Buchholz anyway so this one’s on you. Stash or Trash: Trash — like four years ago.
Josh Donaldson, TOR, Right Calf Tightness
This is entering concerning territory, eh? Donaldson missed most of Spring Training with this same tightness. Donaldson just can’t seem to shake that thing loose. Has he even tried the hokey pokey? Donaldson has been hitting well in week 1 — getting hits in five of the Jays’ first six games. I could see Donaldson eventually needing a DL-stint like his hot corner brother from another mother, Adrian Beltre, who is going through a similar injury. If you are worried about this injury you would have to sell low on this first round pick in smart leagues. Maybe an overreacting Alex Bregman owner would be willing to swap? Stash or Trash: Stash. But add a potential back-up. Maybe Eugenio Suarez who has started the season well.
Matt Harvey, NYM, Leg Injury
This just happened as I was about to hit “submit” so there isn’t much to report yet unfortunately. He ran to cover first and was bending and shaking out his leg after the play. He was removed which might be more of a precaution since it is early in the season and the Mets were up 10-2. Better safe than 2016. Stash or Trash: Stash. Too early to tell.
Jeremy Hellickson, PHI, Throwing Arm Cramp
J-Hell owners are hoping it isn’t more than just a cramp. Little Gatorade and orange slices and he should be ready to make his next start. But if he lets up 5 ERs in a third of an inning though run your fingers over to your waiver wire ASA-quick or make sure you’re not watching Francisco Liriano’s next start. Stash or Trash: Stash.
Rich Hill, LAD, Throwing Hand Blister
*Insert joke about Hill’s DL-dependency here.* Just a blister this time though folks. Guess he didn’t get the memo I gave to Noah Syndergaard last week about peeing on his hands to make them tougher. Hill should be fine-ish. This is his first DL-stint in a 4 part series this year. He’s 37 and has thrown over 120 innings just once in his career and that was when a Bush was still in office. Stash or Trash: Stash. Hopefully it clears up with some ointment or urine. Fill in: Dylan Bundy (60.9%) Bundy’s ownership has jumped 33% after his 7 inning, 8 K, 0 ER first start of 2017. Dylan Bundy is the next Rich Hill anyway (great stuff, high K-rate, injury prone as hell) so you’ll barely miss Hill!
Matt Kemp, ATL, Strained Right Hamstring
Kemp injured his hamstring diving for a ball in the outfield against the Pirates. Kemp is an old 32 playing in his 12th season in the big leagues. After a pair of semi-disappointing seasons in San Diego, Kemp has had a career renaissance in Atlanta hitting behind Freddie Freeman. Kemp started 2017 extremely hot hitting .500 in his first 4 games (small sample size alert) so this injury came at an awful time. Originally he wasn’t expected to hit the DL so you have to hope that this won’t be a long stay. Stash or Trash: Stash. Shouldn’t be out long. Fill In: Besides the aforementioned Avisail Garcia, people haven’t seemed to catch on to Mitch Haniger (25.8%) just yet. He’s got three HRs already this season and was even one bold Razzball writer’s prediction for AL Rookie of the Year.
Collin McHugh, HOU, Throwing Elbow Impingement.
I feel like this is the tenth time I’ve written about McHugh and this is only my ninth Razzball article. He’s been shut down for six weeks and at this point I think he’s a safe drop. Stash or Trash: Trash. Fill-In: Amir Garrett (12.8%.) Garrett had a 2.44 ERA in 26 minor league starts in 2015 and a 2.55 ERA in 23 minor league starts in 2016. In his first major league start in 2017 against the Cardinals he pitched 6 shutout innings allowing only 2 hits and 2 walks while ringing up 4 K’s. Look, someone’s got to pitch in Cincinnati and you could do a lot worse than Garrett in deep leagues.
Stephen Piscotty, StL, Sore Knee and Bad Luck
If you believe luck plays any role in baseball then you need to trade Stephen Piscotty post-haste. By now you’ve probably seen this hilarious video of Piscotty getting hit by a baseball three separate times in one inning. If that isn’t bad luck — I don’t know what is. Piscotty was back in the lineup on April 11th when a raven landed on the tip of his bat and it started raining. Stash or Trash: Stash. I don’t know though. Piscotty might be struck by lightning in his next at-bat.
Buster Posey, SF, Concussion
Boom! Headshot! All jokes aside, Posey did seem okay after taking a Taijuan Walker fastball off his dome on April 10th, but as a precaution the Giants put him on the 7-day concussion DL. Hopefully he’s fine as you probably wasted an early pick on him in your draft, but I just always think back to Justin Morneau’s career changing after his concussion. Stash or Trash: Stash. Fill In: James McCann (7.8%.) My 2016 25th-round pick decides to start a mini-breakout this season instead hitting three HR already for the Tigers. Still only has a .214 average so there.
Garrett Richards, LAA, Throwing Bicep Strain
Well that wasn’t the injury I was expecting. After healing his partially torn UCL with an ancient Chinese secret, huh? I thought for sure it was going to completely tear after his first fastball. There seems to be some be some nerve irritation going on too so who knows what the real story is here. Right now, the Angels are saying he’ll only miss one start. Stash or Trash: Stash for now. Be ready for the other shoe to drop or in this case, the other half of his UCL to pop. Fill In: I’m going to run out of pitchers you can add by the end of this article. Let’s go with, I don’t know, Kendall Graveman (48.6%) this time. He’s made two great starts so far (6 IP/2 ER, 7 IP/1ER) but Graveman has done this in the past. A few good starts in a row and you start to trust him and then BOOM he gets lit-up like L.A. Gears in a 1990’s elementary school gym class. For now, ride the Waveman.
Gary Sanchez, NYY, Right Biceps Strain
Man, I’m a Yankee fan and even I didn’t buy into the Sanchez hype. Yea, the injury can’t dampen the hype, but 20 HR in 201 at-bats in 2016? Come on y’all, he’s good but he ain’t that good. Right now he’s set-up to miss a month meaning we won’t seem him until early-to-mid-May, but behind the dish he’s always at risk for injury.
Stash or Trash: Stash. You drafted him this high — he’s your cross to bear now. Fill In: Francisco Cervelli (13.6%.) The difference between Cervelli and Yadier Molina? About 70% ownership. They both won’t give you speed or power, but will provide adequate runs/RBI and ratios.
Jean Segura, SEA, Strained Right Hamstring
Segura owners don’t get scared, but the first name that comes to mind for me with Segura is Chone Figgins. A speedy middle-infielder with a few up and down seasons, has an MVP-caliber season one year, gets signed by the Mariners and historically flops. I don’t know if that will happen with Segura, but this injury isn’t a good start. Segura is not a 20-HR hitter like we saw last year. He might not even be a 15 HR hitter. But speed is his game and with a leg injury already you’ve got to be worried. Stash or Trash: Stash. Seems like this might be a mild strain. But then again, CHONE FIGGINS! Scare ya? Fill In: Chris Owings (39.9%.) You drafted Segura for the SBs and Owings is already tied for the lead amongst shortstops with four. Owings did have 21 sneaky steals and a .277 AVG last year so this is legit.
Trea Turner, WAS, Right Hamstring Strain
I took a little flack on the Razzball podcast for listing Turner as my bust for 2017 which I feel like I need to justify a bit. My concern isn’t with Turner stealing 30-plus bases. That’s happening. Here was what I wrote to Jay when he was compiling that article: “Turner has skills—no doubt. But he has less than 1,000 at bats since he entered professional baseball in 2014. He is going to be this year’s Carlos Correa—drafted in Round 1 or 2 and not earning back that cost.” Oh his injury? He should be fine. Blah, blah, blah, speed guy, blah, blah, leg injury worries. He’s 23, his hamstrings are still basically rubber bands. Stash or Trash: Stash. Fill In: Marcus Semien (48.4%.) Semien doesn’t get enough love from fantasy owners. He had 27 HRs and 10 SB last year albeit with a .238 AVG. That’s the same average as Addison Russell (92.4%) with more HR and SB.