It is the time of year where we see daily grind injuries. Sore backs, back stiffness, back discomfort etc. A lot of injuries that just accumulate from playing six games a week in the summer heat. If you thought we’ve had a lot of injuries so far — I have a sneaking suspicion there are going to be more of these type of injuries. Not season ending — just break down injuries. If you have an opportunity to acquire a multi-position player like Brandon Drury, Danny Valencia, Chris Taylor or Taylor Motter you might make it through these injuries better than your opponents.
If you have any league specific injury fill in questions please comment away!
Matt Andriese, SP, Stress Reaction in Hip
Andriese pitched only 1 inning in his return start from his previous DL stint for a strained groin. This boy’s swimsuit area is getting a real workout! Reports are that Andriese could be out until August. Stash or Trash: Trash unfortunately. Andriese was having a pretty good season so far, but 2 months for a pitcher without huge name value (or ownership: 18.4%) will just clog up your DL slot. Fill In: Scott Feldman (15.6%) is just weird. He’s made 6 Cy Young caliber starts (0.86 ERA) and 7 slow pitch softball starts (8.85 ERA.) He’s got a 3.45 ERA in home starts and a 5.26 ERA in away starts. He also has a 2.75 ERA in day games and a 5.40 ERA in night games. So if he has a daytime, home start — run with him! If he has a night time, away start — stay away. Feldman is starting later tonight as I’m writing this on Tuesday @ 10:10 p.m. EST in San Diego — let’s see what happens. His next start? A night game in Tampa Bay. He should be getting blown up in both games. But maybe after that!
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, Left Thumb Sprain
This is the same injury that lead to Cabrera’s disabled list trip last month. Stash or Trash: Trash. Cabrera hasn’t really been worth owning in anything but the deepest of deep leagues. Fill In: Tim Anderson (12.9%.) Since the calendar flipped to May, Anderson has hit safely in 26 of 33 games. In those 33 games he has 15 runs, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 3 SB and a .291 average. He’s also starting to find himself penciled in at the top of the White Sox lineup in recent games.
Chris Davis, 1B, Strained Oblique Muscle
The ink isn’t dry on this disabled list prescription as of Tuesday evening, but it’s seeming increasingly likely. Stash or Trash: Stash unless reports come out that it is a severe strain. Davis is the easiest bet for 40 HR every season with or without injury. Fill In: Mitch Moreland (26.4%.) Moreland’s had a pretty blah season so far, but over his last 7 games he’s hitting over .400 with a pair of HR and 7 runs and RBI a piece. He’s extremely streaky and looks like he’s about to go into one of his manic phases.
Koda Glover, RP, Lower Back Stiffness
The Nationals will be trading for a closer really soon. This is their 13th closer this season. You’re not even going to look it up — it just sounds right. Stash or Trash: Trash. No one wants this job. Fill In: Matt Albers was the favorite to run with this job and he just blew a save on June 12th allowing 3 ER in .2 IP so I’m not even going to bother recommending a Dusty Baker reliever. However, Pat Neshek (12.7%) might be a guy to grab for saves in Philadelphia. This is supposed to be Hector Neris’s job, but he has let up 3 ER in 3 June innings so far. Jeanmar Gomez started the season as closer, but his ERA is over 8. Even good old reliable Joaquin, Joaquin, Joaquin Benoit has a 4.56 ERA on the season. Pat has the least sexy name of the foursome, but has the most sexy statistics with a .75 ERA and .79 WHIP in 24 innings. SAGNOF!
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Lower Back Discomfort
I’d say a herniated disk should be listed as more than just “lower back discomfort.” This has been an extremely lost season for Adrian and this might be the straw that broke the — well, you know. Stash or Trash: Trash him. Gonzalez is signed through 2018 so he’ll at least play one more season, but unless he can get these back issues sorted out he might be out of baseball by the end of his contract. Fill In: Tommy Joseph (12.9%.) ToJo had a ROUGH April (.179/.222/.254) But has responded better since then. June has been a lot kinder to him (.289/.289/.476) and I have a sneaking suspicion that he’s due for a power outbreak as the summer heats up.
Kyle Hendricks, SP, Hand Tendinitis
Hendricks originally went on the DL on June 5th with hopes of making a return to the mound this weekend. However, on June 13th he felt continued discomfort with his hand and will be held out a little longer. Stash or Trash: Stash. Even though we all knew Hendricks wouldn’t repeat last year’s numbers, he still isn’t having a terrible season. Fill In: If Jordan Montgomery (26.7%) is still available in your league, swipe him now. Outside of two bad starts in mid-May Montgomery has pitched pretty well. He’s averaging almost a strikeout per inning and has already logged 2 quality starts in June. Be ready to trade him however, as he’s never pitched over 140 innings and will probably be shut down or moved to the pen at some point.
Cesar Hernandez, 2B, Oblique Strain
Early reports have Hernandez missing at least six weeks with this injury. Hernandez probably went undrafted in your league, but is second in runs (40) among second basemen to Starlin Castro (wait, what?) who has 46. Stash or Trash: Six weeks is a long time to to stash a guy for just scoring runs so I’d say trash for now unless you’re in deep or NL only leagues. Fill In: I’m not recommending Scooter Gennett. I just can’t bring myself to do it. Seeing his ownership rise 13.2% makes me angry at NL-only leaguers. He had only 8 extra-base hits (0 HR) in his previous 92 ABs and has only 1 extra base hit since his 4 HR day last week. Sometimes, against all odds, dudes named Scooter can get lucky. Kolten Wong, (5.3%) himself an Ambulance Chasers All-Star is back from his latest foray on the DL world and has hits in each of his four games played. Wong has a .294 average on the season and might finally live up to our three-year-old expectations of him.
Dallas Keuchel, SP, Neck Discomfort
Keuchel has a nerve issue in his neck, but the Astros’ top brass are hoping he’ll only miss one or two starts. The Astros rotation is hurting so far this year with all five of their starting rotation missing time with injuries this season (Charlie Morton, Joe Musgrove, Lance McCullers, Collin McHugh and Keuchel.) Despite being the best team in baseball I think we’ll see the ‘Stros being the most active starting pitcher buyers at the trade deadline. AJ Reed might find himself with a starting DH gig for another AL team. Stash or Trash: Stash. Keuchel looked well on his way to a second Cy Young with a 1.67 ERA and a 9-0 record so far. Fill In: Tyler Chatwood? (21.4%) What did he eat?! Har har. I hate myself. Chatwood had himself a nice 3.87 ERA last season in 27 starts and is on his way to bringing current 4.37 ERA down to that level. Three of his last four starts have been gems (7 IP, 0 ER/ 8 IP, 1 ER/ 6 IP, 1 ER.) What was the fourth? Don’t worry about it — it doesn’t fit into my narrative.
Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Fractured Right Hip
In my real life job, I supervise athletic teams at a college, one of those teams being a women’s rugby team. One of the worst sports injuries I have ever witnessed was a women’s rugby player dislocating her hip during a game. I have never seen anyone writhing in so much pain in my life. Kiermaier’s timeline is six to eight weeks, but a fractured hip just sounds like it could take the whole season to completely recover from. Stash or Trash: Despite his solid production and because of the amount of injury blurbs I’ve written so far he’s probably not worth the stash. Trash. Fill In: Mallex Smith (18.3%.) I know he’s probably gone in your league already, but Kiermaier’s best trait was his speed and Smith actually has him beat in that category. In the four games since Smith has replaced Kiermaier he’s already stolen 4 bases and gone 8 for 14 at the plate. SAGNOF!
Lance Mccullers Jr., SP, Lower Back Discomfort
McCullers is only expected to miss a start or two which is good news for you and the Astros, but more importantly you. Who cares about real baseball? Stash or Trash: Easy Stash. McCullers is another early Cy Young candidate with a 6-1 record, 1.06 WHIP and 10.45 K/9. Fill In: Jacob Faria (7.1%) shoulda, coulda, woulda been a fill in option for the guy he’s replacing in real life, Matt Andriese, but I feel like he’s a better fill in for McCullers based on the strikeout potential. Faria has K’s for days with a 12.9 K/9 in AAA this season. With Andriese out for a while, Faria has his chance to get a decent chunk of starts. Like Montgomery though, Faria might be on an innings limit as we get closer to the fantasy baseball playoffs.
Andrew Triggs, SP, Hip Strain
A recent MRI revealed that there is structural damage in that hip so don’t expect to see Triggs for a while. Stash or Trash: Before letting up 15 ER over his previous two starts, Triggs actually had a nice 2.64 ERA. His ownership has dropped 27.9% since he was placed on the DL and you should follow suit before 5 more of your league-mate’s pitchers end up getting placed on the DL and they grab your fill in options. Trash. Fill In: Seth Lugo (18.1%.) The other, other, other, OTHER Mets hot young starting pitcher. Lugo hadn’t pitched a major league inning all season due to a UCL tear in his throwing elbow, but came back to allow only 1 ER over 7 IP against the Freeman-less Braves. With Jack Kevorkian Jr. at the helm of the Mets medical staff this year, Lugo should get more starts as more of their starting pitcher options go down.
Jonathan Villar, 2B/SS/3B, Lower Back Strain
I don’t have to tell his owners this, but Villar has brought nothing but shame so far. SHAME! SHAME! Sure, his 14 SB have him ranked in the top 10 amongst qualified hitters, but is 13th worst with a .213 batting average. Villar’s .285 average in 2016 was propped up by a .373 BABIP while this season’s average is partially caused by a .294 BABIP. If he can use his legs to help him get additional singles his average should climb once healthy. Stash or Trash: Stash. Hopefully Villar takes this DL time to rediscover his five-category production at any of his three positions. Fill In: Nope. I’m still not recommending Scooter Gennett. I’ll recommend someone who was my “infatuation player” going into 2017: Brandon Drury (41%.) His .284 is on par with his .282 he put up last year and over the last 5 games he has 3 HRs so maybe the power is starting to come around.