It wouldn’t truly be baseball without a plethora of injuries to grace your fantasy teams’ rosters, now would it?
As I predicted last week, Prince Fielder is set to undergo surgery, but he isn’t the only player lost for an extended period of time. Here are some of the fallen from Week 8 and perhaps some players who could actually be returning (yes, believe it or not, they still practice modern medicine in MLB clubhouses!)
Nolan Arenado, Rockies: Bah! Arenado’s injury came at a bad time for the Rockies and his fantasy owners. The 23-year-old was in the midst of a fantastic season, hitting .305 with six homers and 28 ribbies. He suffered a mallet finger injury while attempting a head-first slide on Friday and will be out at least a month. The timetable to return depends on whether the team feels he needs surgery. If he does in fact require it, his stay on the DL could last up to two months. It’s definitely an injury that debilitates a hitter’s power stroke. I mean, this is what a mallet finger looks like. You’re not hitting 420-foot (*Colorado weed reference alert*) homers with that grotesque deformation, unless you’re this guy. To put the possible ramifications of his injury in perspective, the Giants’ Marco Scutaro had the same injury last year — and played through it. Scutaro is hardly the hitter Arenado is, and is definitely not a power hitter, but after he malleted (?) his finger, he batted just .266 with eight extra-base hits in 256 at-bats the rest of the way. Prior to the injury, he hit .332 with 2 HR, 2 triples and 16 doubles. In the meantime, perennial disappointment Josh Rutledge should garner a fair share of playing time, but he’s not really a great add in anything but NL-only leagues.
Shane Victorino, Red Sox: The Flyin Hawaiian’? More like a bunch of Spam on your fantasy rosters. Piece of info, whether it’s spam or Spam, they both suck (that Nigerian prince still hasn’t paid me back yet!). So does owning Victorino. He aggravated the same hamstring injury that kept him out for the beginning of the season, and at 33 years old, his career as an everyday player seems to be fading. He just can’t stay on the field. He was put on the DL and should require longer than the minimum. When he was playing, he wasn’t doing much either, slashing an abysmal .242/.276/.352 with just one homer and 10 runs scored. There are too many hot hitters still sitting on waiver wires to waste your time with this guy. He’s cuttable in most formats. Aloha!
Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays: Another hammy injury to sideline a hitter. Rasmus was on fire prior to hitting the DL and was supposed to do the minimum stay, but with doctors saying he’s not yet fully healed, owners may have to wait a little bit longer for his return. Tread with caution here, as not only is Rasmus a streaky player who can make or break a week for you, but he also missed 39 of the Jays’ final 46 games last year with the same injury. In the meantime, he and his wife can keep wearing highly descriptive hats detailing their sex life.
Ben Zobrist, Rays: Zobrist (dislocated finger) hopes to return from the DL in the minimum time, which would allow him to be activated for next weekend’s series vs. the Red Sox. Even with his slow start (.260, 3 HR, 9 RBI), he’ll help the Rays a lot — they are 23rd in runs scored in May.
Matt Wieters, Orioles: Will he have surgery or won’t he? We will get a definitive answer on July 1, which is the team’s self-imposed deadline. Someone give the Orioles’ team secretary a raise! Meanwhile, he’ll see if some platelet rich plasma injections can help heal his gimpy elbow. Who cares anyway, they traded for Nick Hundley! Wieters is worth stashing on your DL if you can afford it, especially knowing you’ll only have to use the spot up for five weeks at the max.
Josh Hamilton, Angels: This is what happens when you try to rush recoveries. HamBone re-injured his surgically-repaired finger and was forced to sit out two rehab starts this weekend. Bad news. He had initially been aiming for activation on Monday, but that’s not gonna happen. Hopefully he’s just dealing with some swelling, but this is something that could restart the whole process. Keep stashing him and pray to the Disney gods that he doesn’t get Hook’d.
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