The Colorado Rockies have not had an easy go of it this season. After beginning the year in tremendous fashion, injuries have contributed to a pretty steady drop in the standings. Once 22-14, the Rockies have fallen one game below .500, to 34-35. Pitching is always to blame when it comes to the blemishes of the Blake Street Bombers, and this year has been no exception, with the team placing last in the majors with a 4.61 ERA. However, mounting injuries have put an even bigger dent into the psyche of the good spirited people of Denver. First, Nolan Arenado hit the DL. Then it was Michael Cuddyer (twice) and Carlos Gonzalez. Pitcher Jordan Lyles, who had been their best starter to date, broke his non-pitching hand on a freak play. Wilin Rosario even had a stint on the sidelines with a stomach bug. Presumably, he’s been using that as his excuse for his poor hitting all season long. The only player who hasn’t been hurt is human house-of-straw, Justin Morneau. Go figure.
Good news for the Rockies, and for fantasy owners, is that Arenado (finger) could be back by the All-Star break, or perhaps even sooner if he can progress quickly through rehab games. While any possible cancer scare is nothing to dismiss, the fact that CarGo’s injury was “only” a benign foreign mass — and not a torn ligament — was the best possible news his owners could hear. His original five-week timetable would have him back around the All-Star break.
Here are some other injury notes that caught my eye this week…
Brandon Belt, Giants: Taking dry swings (sounds like a sexual problem bedouins would have — amiright?) and could be back by early July. The Giants have gone 21-13 since Belt broke his thumb. If Hunter Pence can find a better lock for his scooter, the Giants will be impervious to losing for the rest of 2014.
Bryce Harper, Nationals: His July 1 timetable for return remains intact, but that’s probably still gonna be on the early-ish side. Mid-July seems like a more realistic date for Washington’s second son to be back in the Nats’ lineup. Harper will ramp up his activities this week, using a combination of light swings and PlayStation 4 to strengthen his surgically repaired thumb. Kids these days!
Dillon Gee, Mets: There’s absolutely no reason why Gee should be owned in just 15 percent of ESPN leagues. He’s been out a little over a month, but is progressing in his recovery and shooting for a return around late-June, early-July. He was sporting a 3-1 record and a solid 2.73 ERA before injuring himself on May 10.
Mark Trumbo, Diamondbacks: AZ officials admitted Trumbo isn’t gonna be ready until at least mid-July. I warned about him before — a broken foot isn’t going to heal that quick. He had a foot injury in 2011 that took almost six months of recovery time to heal. If you need power and are willing to sacrifice nearly everything else, there’s still a great buy-low opportunity with Trumbo.
Emilio Bonifacio, Cubs: Bonifacio was going like gangbusters in the first month of the season, batting .337/.385/.406 with 15 runs and 10 SB. Looting and riots commenced in the streets of Chicago, as Cubs fans were ready to dub him the next Ichiro Suzuki. But alas, he turned out to be nothing more than a mere “Emilio Bonifacio” (diss!), hitting .214/.257/.300 with just 3 SB in the 37 games since. My kid brother went to his senior prom with a freshman and couldn’t even get to first base! What an Emilio Bonifacio that loser is, sullying the SportsMan family name. My father, on the other hand, is the proud “Joey Votto” of our family, which explains why I have 17 brothers and sisters. Any hoo, Bonifacio is on the DL with an oblique injury. If you haven’t already dropped him, I’ll wait while you do so now.
Trevor Plouffe, Twins: .887 OPS in March/April, .637 OPS in May, and .552 OPS in June. And now he has an oblique injury. The greatest trick Trevor Plouffe ever pulled was convincing fantasy baseball owners he was good. Take your mouse and click on the “drop” button next to his name (SPOILER ALERT). But seriously, if you haven’t seen this movie just pour hot liquid magma all over your face right now.
Francisco Liriano, Pirates: To the DL with an oblique strain. This is probably just a blessing in disguise for fantasy owners. I’ll admit I was one of those people who couldn’t cut bait with him up until now, but this makes things easier. Supposedly, he’ll begin playing catch this week, but oblique injuries are notorious for taking longer to heal than projected and are easily aggravated if rushed back. If you have an open DL spot, stash him, but otherwise, let someone else deal with his 4.60 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. Who need Liriano anyway when you’ve got Vance Worley and Jeff Locke holdin’ em down.
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