Howdy-do, Razzgals n guys. Thanks for dropping in another depressing issue of Ambulance Chasers, where ambulance drivers are going bananas and your fantasy lineups are paying for it. Let’s just jump right in this week, since injuries are piling up faster than $DOGE-ers are piling into the bandwagon.
Note: Every player’s profile page on Razzball has any injury updates from RotoWire, so if there’s an injured player you don’t see below, slap their name into the ol’ search bar and give it a look-see. I’m just here to give you the latest injury buzz for the week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be mentioning everyone you care about each time.
Christian Yelich: I don’t have a lot of shares because I was scared of the exact thing that is happening: Yelich’s back flaring up. The knee has been a problem, but the back is scarier to me. There have been a couple lower back strains that have landed him on the IL in his career, and while it hasn’t landed him there yet this year, he’s missed like the whole week. His numbers so far this year aren’t bad, but there’s not an ounce of power to them. Sprint speed is still elite and he has a couple steals, so I’m feeling good about that. Lot of blue in the batting categories on Statcast, though, and that’s concerning for a guy like Old Yellerch. Lol I just came up with that, and it’s stupid, but I’m keeping it. I kind of forgot that his 44/30 output in 2019 was in only 130 games. That’s nuts. Anyway, stay tuned for any updates, but the fact that we haven’t had any for a while isn’t a good thing right now.
Cody Bellinger: What at first sounded like a “Dang, that sounds like a bummer of an owie! But surely he won’t miss but a game or two” type injury has turned into what we now know is a hairline fracture that has Belli on the IL. Might be a good two months or so before we see him again. *Jake Peralta from Brooklyn 99 voice* coolcoolcoolcoolcool. You thought Zach McKinstry looked good? Well now he looks really good, cuz he’s the guy benefiting the most here. McKinstry has double-digit RBI already this year. Raise your hand if you predicted that. *Scans the room* I don’t see any hands.
Adalberto Mondesi: Not much of an update, but there’s at least enough of one to point toward positive progress. He’s got “more movement.” That’s it. That’s the update. But at least it’s not a negative one.
Teoscar Hernandez: Tested positive for COVID-19. That means he’s out at least until the 23rd. Doesn’t sound like he has symptoms, thankfully. Randal Grichuk to the rescue!! And Josh Palacios!!! I hardly even know who Palacios is, honestly, but lest you’ve forgotten, George Springer is still injured as well. Palacios has zilch power, but he’s slashing .316/.417/.316 in six game thus far. I guess if you need an average boost, maybe he’ll keep it up.
Anthony Rendon: Rendon was placed on the 10-day IL with a groin injury. More like Anthony Strained Tendon, amirite? Ba-dun chhhhhh. Jose Rojas has mostly been the fill-in at third. His 2019 AAA numbers look great (.293/.362/.577 slash), but his MLB career has gotten off to a turd of a start (1 hit in 19 PAs). Hard to muster any kind of faith for a guy making his MLB debut at age 28. Happy for him and all, but L-O-L if anyone is even considering this guy for fantasy.
Byron Buxton: *San Andreas meme: “Ah sh*t, here we go again.”* I was holding out hope since the Twins were only calling it hamstring “tightness,” but that’s since been upgraded (downgraded?) to a strain. Might just see our boy in that most familiar of places soon: the injured list. I don’t need to point out the numbers, right? Buxton is looking like the 30/30 guy truthers have always known was in there.
Carlos Carrasco: Cookie is apparently progressing like a boss, which comes as no surprise from someone who conquered cancer LIKE A BOSS. Sounds like a return will be much sooner rather than later: somewhere in the late-April realm. Might not matter though cuz the Mets apparently only play half as many games as the rest of the league this season. Not the best year to invest heavily in Jeff McNeil…
Dinelson Lamet: Another fantasy ace who’s nearing a return. Lame-T (I’m seriously on a roll with these nicknames) tossed around 70 pitches in a sim game Thursday. No negative news came after the fact, so we can probably expect to see Mr. T sometime this coming week. I’m, like, cautiously pessimistic about his situation in the same way I’m cautiously pessimistic about the guy I’ll talk about next.
Fernando Tatis Jr.: FTJ returned to the lineup last night. Against all logic, he homered to dead center. I know every single one of you has probably repeatedly seen replays of The Swing that took him out, and I’d bet a lifetime supply of the beer I’m currently drinking (New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA) none of you thought he’d be back already, much less homering already. I sure as sh*t didn’t. I was ready to drop the fool, but I had IL space so I tucked him away just in case. The “in case” actually happened, and here we are. I still don’t feel good about it. Cautious pessimism indeed: I expect things to go south, but they haven’t yet, so I gotta roll him out there. Cautiously. Pessimistically.
Lorenzo Cain: Ol’ Lorenzo “Needs A” Cain, well, needs a cane. Dude’s nursing that quad injury that’s been bugging him for a while now. Dude’s 35. Dude’s been on the IL countless times. I think I’m all the way done with him. More like Lorenz-no Thainks, amirite?
Khris Davis: Speaking of quad injuries, Khrush has one of his own, but he’s on the mend at least. He’s about a week and a half-ish away at this point. In a fully healthy season, you can count on Khrush to hit .247 and hit anywhere from 42 to 48 HR. Sadly, we’re not getting that, and he hit .220 in 2019 and .200 last year. I’m somewhat interested in DFS with good matchups; I’m not interested anywhere else.
Archie Bradley: AB has found himself on the IL with an oblique injury. Hector Neris took the L back on Tuesday. You should probably handcuff Jose Alvarado if you’ve got the space — Neris has a knack for, well, sucking it up.
Christian Walker: I don’t have any shares this year, but that doesn’t mean Walker wasn’t on my radar. Very, very cheap 1B with solid upside. He hit 29 HR back in 2019. The HR pace dropped to just under 20 last season, but he was still a decent bounce-back candidate. Well, anyway, Walker is on the 10-day IL with an oblique strain. Probably shoulda started with that.
Kyle Lewis: The reigning AL ROY should be back in action early next week. There was even talk he would be back by the time you’re reading this. Even with that not being the case, his return is imminent. Then right around the corner should be Jarred Kelenic‘s debut. That’s probably still a few weeks away still, but Taylor Trammell owners should start planning ahead.
Julian Merryweather/Jordan Romano: Merryweather hit the IL earlier in the week and was followed just days later by Romano. That means the de facto closer is Rafael Dolis. I made sure to add him where I could.
Max Fried: Fried is on the IL with a hamstring strain. Maybe it’s been bothering him longer than we knew about given his atrocious start to the season. Like, 11.45 ERA and 2.55 WHIP levels of atrocious.
Houston Astros: The Astros placed several players on the COVID-19 IL. Only three are guys I care about for fantasy: Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Yordan Alvarez. Dusty Baker said all of them will probably miss at least the next five games. The Astros may be many things *coughcheaterscough* but being deep is not one of them. The guys filling in those vacated spots aren’t anyone I’d even deign to throw a turd at.
Johnny Cueto: Wouldn’t normally take the time to mention a Cueto injury, but the dude has actually been really, really good this season. He has a lat strain and should miss his next two starts. Cueto has turned back the clock, striking out 18 in 20 innings and posting a 1.80 ERA and 0.85 WHIP.
Nate Pearson: Pearson is throwing at 100% and is ding dang near ready to join the big club. He’ll need to get whipped into game shape, but he’s not far away.
Drew Smyly: I can hear all of you leaning back and crossing your arms, saying, “Well, there it is! Smyly in the IL once again!” That’s a justifiable response. I may have even quietly joined you before finishing this blurb. But Smyly owners — if you haven’t already dropped him — can at least be consoled by the fact that reports indicate he may only miss a single start. Manager Brian Snitker even said Smyly could have pitched through this if it were so early in the season. The ERA isn’t shiny, but he’s posted a 0.91 WHIP thus far.
Ke’Bryan Hayes: Hayes could be close to a return, but it’s a little iffy at the moment. He finally faced live pitching yesterday. No further updates, but at least there’s no more bad news. He’s being treated as day-to-day.
Andrelton Simmons: Simmons tested positive for COVID-19. He would be a fantasy monolith if defense mattered, but his bat isn’t totally useless either. And discounting a short 2020, he’s coming off four straight seasons of double-digit steals. Plus, playing for the Twins now boosts him even more. I don’t even kind of sort of maybe expect the .926 OPS to hold up, but he provides a pretty solid BA floor and not-terrible speed.
James Paxton: It’s as bad as many feared: he’ll get Tommy John and is done for the year.
Max Stassi: Stassi is on the IL with a thumb injury. He started hot last year and he’s doing it again this year, hitting .375 with a homer and 3 runs in 7 games. Not bad for a catcher. And don’t forget he slashed .278/.352/.533 last year while pacing for almost 37 HR. Whoa. Kurt Suzuki is the main man while he’s out.
Luke Voit: Voit has been cleared for light baseball activities. Still about a month away from action at the earliest.
Find me on Twitter: @jkj0787. DMs are always open for questions, comments, concerns, complaints, etc. Odds are good I’m drinking black coffee, dark beer, or some form of bourbon at any given time.