There have been a few unexpected side effects from me writing a weekly injury article for Razzball. First, due to Spring Training I’ve had to pay attention and care about every irrelevant player’s bump, bruise and sniffle (why did you all let me include Tyler Collins in my article last week?!) Going forward I’m going to try to focus on the injuries that may actually have a fantasy impact. No one cares that Joe Mauer missed one hour of practice because he had what the Twins medical staff is referring to as a “minor boo-boo.”
Another unexpected side effect is the schadenfreude I feel whenever I read about a major player getting injured. “Oh YES! David Price might miss the whole year?! More content!” What type of monster have I become?
Anyway, here’s whose pain I have gotten enjoyment out of this week:
Michael Brantley, CLE, Shoulder Surgery.
Believeland has their fingers crossed that Brantley taking some swings against his teammates is a sign that he might be ready to go for Opening Day. They’re also hoping he lasts longer than the 58 seconds that Andrew Bogut gave the Cavaliers on Monday night.
Matt Carpenter, STL, Lower Back Stiffness.
Carpenter just wanted to get out of playing in the World Baseball Classic without being labeled ‘Un-American’ by Trump supporters. Carpenter has been taking swings off a tee so if they let him do that in game he should be fine. On March 7th it was reported that he was a week away from rejoining games–he’s a gamer so he should be fine and you can draft him as your starting 1B/2B/3B/RB/SG.
David Dahl, COL, Stress Reaction, Sixth Rib.
That is a very specific stress reaction. Dahl, or as I like to call him “Baby Blackmon” seems likely to miss Opening Day. On March 6th he was told he will be reevaluated in 2 weeks. Dahl is only going to turn 23 on April 1st so the youngling will probably still spring back and have a productive season. I could see him realistically going 20/20/.280 with power upside due to hitting in Colorado. Draft him as your OF3-4 and you (and he) will be fine.
Anthony DeSclafani, CIN, Throwing Elbow Tenderness.
DeSclafani was scratched from his February 28th with tenderness in his throwing elbow. This could be the second year in a row that the Italian Stallion from New Jersey starts his season on the DL. Last season, after his return from a strained oblique in early June, DeSclafani made 20 starts and had a 3.28 ERA. There is obviously more concern with this injury since it involves his throwing arm, but if this just turns out to just be normal spring rust he could be drafted at a slight discount and provide some solid value to his drafters.
Josh Donaldson, TOR, Strained Calf.
Donaldson has been swinging, jumping and hopping so apparently he’s having a school-girl good time in camp. However, he has yet to run during capture the flag or around the bases so we’re still in a holding pattern. I think by the middle of next week Donaldson will be good to play in games so I’m not going to write about him again. Draft with confidence at the end of round 1.
Matt Duffy, TB, Achilles Heel Surgery.
As of February 13 we were hearing reports that Duffy was good to go for Spring Training. Now it’s looking like Duffy is going to be a no-go for Opening Day. Duffy was shaping up to be part of the Rays starting infield after the departure of Logan Forsythe. For fantasy purposes Duffy was going to be your late-round value middle infielder who could push for 15 HR/15 SB with a solid average, but now he’s best left undrafted in standard leagues.
David Price, BOS, Maybe Tommy John Surgery, Maybe Nothing.
David Price was supposed to be the crown jewel of my article this week. For 24 hours on March 2nd all of Boston was wearing black in remembrance of David Price’s left elbow. Then, on the morning of March 3rd Price’s prognosis went from “see you in 1.5 years…” to “see you in a week!” Price’s price in expert auction drafts has been falling due to the updates but you should let someone else pay for him. How does someone go from done for the year to needing only a week of rest? It is hard to trust any type of throwing arm injuries with pitchers so I wouldn’t draft him, but if you’re feeling froggy then leap.
Corey Seager, LAD, Upper Back Strain.
Every Dodger fan’s favorite pre-pubescent shortstop has been dealing with injuries since fouling a ball off his shin at the end of February. Upon his return he tweaked his back swinging in a game on March 3rd. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been holding Seager out of games since, but he should be back in the lineup this weekend. The precocious slugger has become just another part of the next great shirtless young shortstop invasion and can be safely drafted in the 2nd to 3rd round.
Justin Turner, LAD, Sore Knee.
The Red Rocket got some lube injected into him on March 8th, his sloppy second knee injection of the spring. The fact that his situation required an injection of lubrication to function means that you should use caution in drafting him at his position for your lineup construction. My conclusion is his projection will need some correction, but that’s just my assumption. Conclusion.
David Wright, NYM, Bunch of Stuff: Neck, Shoulder et al.
Good game, good career David. Time to go the route of Alex Rodriguez and become an overpaid special hitting assistant to the regional manager. Wright has played a total of 75 games over the past 2 seasons and this is just another in a long list of injuries for the face that runs the Mets’ place.