Howdy, folks!

Thanks for tuning in for my next weekly project: tracking all them ding dang injuries. I’m transitioning from transactions to trauma. From moves to maladies. From signings to sickness. From business to band-aids. From…that’s all I got.

Don’t we all love injuries? What would fantasy sports be without all those cute lil’ red “DTD”s and “IL”s and “O”s and “Q”s sprinkled all over our lineup pages?

I jest, of course. F*** injuries. Nothing sours your fantasy GM mojo like freakin’ injuries. Last year was banonkers (bananas + bonkers = banonkers) with COVID, and we’re already getting some of that fun as Spring Training kicks off. I keep seeing stuff about this wild California strain, and if there’s any proof in that pudding, then we could very well be in for a lot more COVID fun in 2021. I mean, we will be anyway, but this could compound it further. Joy.


COVID

Let’s go ahead and get this one outta the way. Here are the folks currently dealing with COVID-19 fallout, in some sort or fashion:

Jose Abreu — no real timetable on him at the moment, but despite a positive Covid test, it sounds like he could join the team in just a matter of days. Teammate Yoan Moncada felt the effects of the virus all season long, and it clearly showed. Dude is gonna bounce back in a big way in that lineup. I swear, he’s gonna be what all you folks hope for when you’re drafting Alex Bregman in the top 50. Gimme Moncada every time.

J.A. Happ — the new member of the Twins also tested positive. Luckily, he is asymptomatic and could be ready to go by Opening Day. I don’t hate Happ, somehow. He just manages to get it done the older he gets. Twins are good. Take a shot!

Franchy Cordero — another new face in town, Cordero could be activated as soon as Monday. We’re pretty high on the dude around here, so hopefully he’s ready to rock!

Shane Bieber and Frankie Montas were recently on COVID lists, but they’re good to go now. Yippee! Bieber gonna Bieber probably, even with a worse lineup behind him, but I’m expecting a decent little bounce-back from Montas this year. He still generated a lot of whiffs, but walks and homers got a little out of hand. I’m not terribly worried; short season and all that.


The DTDers

All these folk below are various degrees of DTD:

Mike Soroka was having a fine 2020 until Lord Achilles struck him down. Good news, however; he’s on track to pitch normally in ST and should be ready to rock n roll for Opening Day. Can’t not love any Braves SP right now, amirite?

Trey Mancini should be ready for Opening Day after missing last year due to complications with colon cancer. All reports are positive! It’s hard to expect the old Trey, at least early on, but he says he feels fantastic, so hopefully he can pick up where he left off.

Eduardo Rodriguez battled a different disease last year: myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle. Pretty scary stuff, as severe cases can lead to sudden death. But like with Mancini, all reports are positive for E-Rod, and he should be back at the top of the rotation for Boston in 2021.

Strained oblique for Rowan Wick, but sounds like he’ll be on track for Opening Day. The Cubs aren’t gonna be good, but he could be solid option in SV/HD leagues. And who isn’t expecting Craig Kimbrel to just outright lose his job at this point? Gotta think it’s Wick’s if (read: when) that happens.

Nick Madrigal — who’s recovering from shoulder surgery, and that’s always a bigger red flag in my book — looks to be playing again early next month. I picked Madrigal to win AL ROY last year…big swing and a miss, but honestly a healthy Madrigal with a full-time gig should give you sparkly BA/OBP and good-to-great SB.

Lucas Sims had an MRI on his elbow, and apparently it wasn’t too bad. I’m still very wary about any and all elbow question marks, but a healthy Sims should be a stud in SV/HD leagues, and he could even just straight up jack the closing job from Sean Doolittle and/or Amir Garrett, the former of whom will probably just live up to his name and do little.

Franmil Reyes tweaked his ankle while practicing outfield reads a few weeks ago. It’s not anything serious, but it’s worth mentioning that he said live ABs cause it to hurt more than batting practice does.

Ian Desmond is opting out of the 2021 season. “For now.” As far as I’m concerned, Desmond himself is not fantasy relevant, but his not being around means other players will get opportunities that they should have in the first place. I just want Garrett Hampson and Sam Hilliard to be the fantasy badasses I know the can be, okay??

Them ol’ Tigers got a few ailing athletes right now. Spencer Torkelson doesn’t mean much to me in terms of redraft leagues, but I know he’s a sexy dynasty piece. He hurt his finger using a can opener. An injury straight outta Out of the Park Baseball games. Won’t keep him out long. Victor Reyes is DTD for now but it ain’t no thang. Visa nonsense. Really wish he’d get to start in CF and lead off, but the signings of Robbie Grossman and Nomar Mazara crowded that outfield right on up. Speaking of Mazara, he’s also dealing with visa nonsense. And so is Jonathan Schoop! Madness. So the only real injury here is Torks, who needed, like, a single stitch for his cut. He’ll be right as rain before long.

If you haven’t figured out by now, I’m going in order of team, alphabetically (if said team has anyone worth bringing up). We’re at the Houston Astros now. I’ll get to JV below in the long-term injuries portion, but you’re really here for updates on Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman, no? Alvarez has bad knees, and he missed all of 2020 cuz of ’em. Bad knees scare me, but at least he’s a DH, so the impact is as minimal as possible. I’m scared to draft him where he’s going (79.27 since the start of Feb.), but you do you. Bregman has hammy issues. Those are also very scary, cuz they linger and nag and pop up randomly. Bregs just feels overrated to me, but I know his plate discipline is sexy even if trash cans helped him. Both are probable for Opening Day, at any rate. I’m good on Bregs, tho — hammy issue plus the barrel rate and sprint speed are trending in the wrong direction.

Cody Bellinger is still dealing with the aftermath of that shoulder injury he sustained while celebrating. Reports say he won’t appear in ST games until the middle of March, but expects to be in the Opening Day lineup. Belli’s stock has dropped to 2nd round ADP, but can’t not love the guy in that lineup, especially with his 1B/OF eligibility. He’s not nearly as bad as 2020 was, but I don’t know if 2019’s .300+ BA is happening again. Wouldn’t be terribly surprised, but either way, you can lock in the R/HR/RBI.

If you see “DTD” next to Andrelton Simmons‘s name, it’s just more visa BS. I don’t know how much fantasy impact he’ll have, but he’s worth a late stab just being a part of that Twins lineup. Might get a good average and double-digit SB out of him. Might.

Seth Lugo is currently on the shelf with dreaded elbow issues. For now, he’s dodged a bullet by having a bone spur removed, and it could only keep him out just a little bit into the season. I’m not optimistic with elbow injury news, so I’ll be avoiding him altogether. SV/HD league value is nice, but there are plenty of those types to go around, so I’ll take someone who isn’t coming off elbow surgery.

There are a few Yankees battling some various issues. Gio Urshela has an elbow problem but is likely to be fine by Opening Day. HR Daddy Luke Voit doesn’t just hit balls hard, he also walks hard, so his foot hurts. He’s running bases now though, so he’ll be ready to keep hitting balls hard. That’s what she said. Oh, and there’s that little suspension for Aroldis Chapman; he’s out until April 3, so he’ll just miss the first game of the year.

My baby boy Sean Murphy, whom I’ve decided to stan like hell this year, is recovering from an operation after one of his lungs collapsed. He hasn’t started hitting yet, but it’s sounding like he’ll be okay in time to start the season. Still pretty questionable, though. Keep an eye on it.

J.T. Realmuto, Mr. Jank Taco himself, shouldn’t be on your team, because you shouldn’t draft a f*****g catcher in the 3rd f******g round. So this injury shouldn’t affect you, but here it is anyway: a small thumb fracture. He’s still been able to hit/catch while wearing a cast, so it’s not that much of a biggie. But you shouldn’t care, remember? Shouldn’t matter to you. Right?

Technically this is where I’d mention some Pirates players. Here’s what I have to say about that:

Tommy Pham has a wrist injury but should be ready to rock when the games matter, if not sooner. The guy we all care about here is Dinelson Lamet. I am so, so scared of his situation, but he says he’s “100%.” But who’s not gonna say that? I’m a big fan of his, but I don’t think I’ve got the stones to risk drafting him, even if you can get a potential ace in the 9th round (NFBC ADP since start of Feb.). If your metaphorical stones are bigger than mine, then go for it. Slam Diego gonna Slam Diego.

Mr. Random Veteran Breakout Brandon Belt has a heel injury and is not certain at all to be ready for the start of the season. Last year’s Statcast profile looks worthy of a 1st round pick. Metrics support it for the most part, largely due to a more-than-doubled barrel rate from 2019 to 2020. Also, don’t forget Buster Posey is back after opting out of 2020.

Brent Honeywell and Brendan McKay have been hot names in the Rays system for a few years. Both are injured, but Honeywell is progressing very well and is likely to be ready by the start of the season. McKay is probably gonna miss quite a bit of time. He’s a two-way player, a la Shohei Ohtani, but it seems his future is more on the pitching side of things. Honeywell hasn’t played since 2017 cuz injuries *eyes emoji*, but sounds like he’s finally ready. McKay missed all of 2020 and wasn’t very impressive in the majors in 2019. Still tons of upside for both, and MLB time is pretty much a lock at some point for 2021.

David Dahl is kicking off his time with Texas the same way he spent a lot of it in Colorado: not healthy. He’s healthy enough to play, but reports are saying he’ll be DHing exclusively for the first couple weeks of ST. I wrote a David Dahl 2021 outlook about why I’m down on him. More like David “Nahl thanks, I’m good,” amirite? Yes, I used that joke again.

Kirby Yates is the new closer in Toronto if he can stay healthy and…you know, pitch well. Neither are a guarantee, but I’ll take my chances on a good Yates if it’s a healthy Yates. That blasted elbow is still a concern, but he should be closing games come Opening Day. The bigger concern is how long that elbow holds up. Classic high risk high reward.

The two best Nationals pitchers we all know and love are both banged up. Max Scherzer is dealing with an ankle issue but is throwing bullpen sessions. Stephen Strasburg has been throwing off a mound after recovering from carpal tunnel surgery. Both seem to be progressing very well and figure to be dominating once the games start to count. I’m very, very, very concerned about their durability, however. Scherzer because of age and the pure raw angry energy he pitches with, and Strasburg because he’s always hurt. I’d rather own Strasburg of the two, though, if that tells you how confident I am in Scherzer. I’m sorry, but when I hear that a man needs help getting dressed like he did back in the 2019 World Series, I’m just out on him moving forward. I don’t doubt he’ll be good, assuming health, but I do doubt he’ll return the value you want at that ADP. Even if I’m wrong, I’ll happily be wrong and let someone else risk it while I still take that biscuit.


The ILers

Lastly but not leastly, here are the fantasy relevant guys on or destined to be on the IL:

Chris Sale: out until mid-June.

Justin Verlander: out all year (Tommy John).

Josh James: out until May 1 at least.

Tommy Kahnle: probably out all year, but could be back in September.

Noah Syndergaard: out until early June at least.

Luis Severino: out until mid-July.

Mike Clevinger: out all year (Tommy John).

John Brebbia: out until mid-July.

Ken Giles: out all year (Tommy John).

Dakota Hudson: almost certainly out for the entire year.

Yonny Chirinos: out all year (Tommy John).


Find me on Twitter: @jkj0787. You’ll get quality tweets about what music I’m listening to, and I like to do dumb polls. DMs are always open!

 
  1. bsquash says:
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    Great article, thanks for the info!

    • JKJ

      JKJ says:
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      Thank you kindly! Thanks for poppin’ in.

  2. Jolt In Flow says:
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    Good touch of humor; it’s not too millenial, not too old school, but just right. Plus the info is spot on.

    And couldn’t agree with you more; personally, I’m terrified of Scherzer. I can’t believe he’s going in the 3rd round, let alone 2nd round, in some drafts.

    Thanks again,

    Jolt

    • JKJ

      JKJ says:
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      Thanks, Jolt!

      Yeah man. I saw a popular-ish Twitter thread last night asking who was the #4 SP after Cole/de Grom/Biebs, and a lotttt of folks were dead set on Scherzer. I’m just risking it that early. Look what happened to Verlander drafters last year.

      • JKJ

        JKJ says:
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        Ugh, coffee hasn’t kick in yet. NOT risking it that early*

        • JKJ

          JKJ says:
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          OMG. KICKED**************

          • Jolt In Flow says:
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            Hahaha, that Sanka’ll get you every time. Step up to the good stuff, step up to Maxwell House. l

            Thanks again JKJ,

            Jolt

  3. JKJ

    JKJ says:
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    Ope! Typo in Yates section. Classic high risk high reward*

  4. 406mtechdigger says:
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    Thanks for the great information!

    In a Keeper league with 6 IL spots and planning to use a few draft dollars late to stash pitchers for the next year or two. How would you rank Sale, Clev, Thor and Verlander if considering the next 2-3 years in totality? Appreciate any thoughts!

    • JKJ

      JKJ says:
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      Thanks for reading!

      I would order ’em like this: Thor, Clev, Sale, JV.

      JV would be higher if younger, but you just can’t really know how he’s gonna recover from TJS at his age. Sale is just big fat question mark with lots of red flags around it, and he ain’t getting any younger. Clev at least has age on his side. Thor is close-ish to coming back and I just got a feeling he’ll be hungry to pwn mofos.

      • 406mtechdigger says:
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        Love it! Much appreciated!

        • Clay says:
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          Thanks for the great info as well! Where would you put Severino in your Thor-Clev-Sale-JV order?

          • JKJ

            JKJ says:
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            Before Clev probably. Will be back sooner and is just as good fantasy-wise imo.

            • Clay says:
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              Thanks again for your insights– this will really help with my draft! I was surprised to learn that Clev is only 1 year younger than Sale (21 months, if we’re being more specific) but you raise valid concerns with Sale anyways

  5. DJ says:
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    Great post! Sort of in line with the article, my hitting is butter, but lots of Qs surrounding my SP.

    In a points league, which two would you keep? This is a 10 player keeper league (keep 10 forever as needed): Burnes, Plesac, Strasurg or Glasnow.

    FYI – will likely be able to draft someone like Lance Lynn, Hyun Jin Ryu or Sonny Grey with my first pick.

    • JKJ

      JKJ says:
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      Hmmmm, dead set on only keeping two? I wanna tell you to keep Glasnow, Plesac, and Burnes. If it’s just two, then I suppose Glasnow and Burnes. Plesac looks great, but Burnes has the higher upside if 2020 carries over. And I just can’t trust Strasburg’s health.

  6. Smitty says:
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    Lots of risk all around these days and know I’m in the minority, but I’m one of those that think Sherz goes out and has a great season. Actually believe he’s a bit of a bargain.
    Love the updates, thanks JKJ!

    • JKJ

      JKJ says:
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      Mad Max very well could be a top 5 guy. Just not a risk I’m willing to take at this point in his career.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Jolt In Flow says:
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      Smitty, why are you saying this? I honestly want to know as I have one share of Scherzer I’m 99.9% sure I’m dumping this year.

      Stats, emotion, you burned your Max voodoo doll from 2020 or a bit of all three? Would love to hear your thoughts, for selfish reasons.

      Jolt

      • Smitty says:
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        Ha! Sure I’ll try my best, but not trying to convince anybody. Everyone has their own opinions and reasoning. For the record, Max did not miss a start last “season”, you know the 60 gamer that everyone is throwing out. In ’19 the back issue that was due to skewed mechanics, but still made 27 starts, 172IP/243K 2.92/1.02. 18W in ’18 with 220/300 2.53/0.91 and he’s made 30 or more starts going back 10 years with elite numbers. Long story short, I believe last year he demonstrated he’s healthy and like any other potential Hall of Famer, wants to be the Lion. People saying he’s done fuel the fire.
        Besides, how many SPs are gonna be on “innings limits” or have injury histories themselves. Maeda has had back issues, Strasburg, Buehler’s blisters, Snell, Lamet, etc. Will Max be on a innings limit? Haha then there are the Bellingers, Yordan Alvarezs, Judges, and Stantons to mention a few that carry some degree of risk.
        The Nationals will compete in ’21 with Scherz dude still has game. Good luck to you Jolt!

    • JKJ

      JKJ says:
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      Yeah, that sounds more dire than what I was looking at. Nice catch.

  7. Rick Brown says:
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    Great info,great read!
    Thanks,RICK

    • JKJ

      JKJ says:
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      ‘preciate ya!

  8. Put the devil back in ray says:
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    Some of these covid inflicted players are experiencing long term weakness. I put them on my don’t draft list unless they are asymptomatic. I just read a blurb about Julio Teheran that explained his poor season in’20. His numbers before last year looked more than passable for a deeper league. I’m surprised to see his ADP at 736. Do you like him late in a 20 team? Thanks JKJ

  9. Put the devil back in ray says:
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    I’m breaking an unwritten rule by asking a second question. Rude of me and you can just ignore. In a cbs daily league where ohtani is allowed to play both ways, where would you draft him? NFBC is 230. I’m thinking 130. Thanks again.

    • JKJ

      JKJ says:
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      Late in a 20-team I like just about everyone lol. Teheran is worth a stab as much as anyone else at that point.

      Ohtani is tough. You’re getting a partial bat and partial starter. But then again, you’re getting both at once. It’s weird! I honestly have no idea where to take him — I’ve never played CBS, so I can’t really gauge his value as a true two-way player. I will say 130 seems too high. Just a gut feeling.

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