Julio Urias is this week’s gut-punch injury of the week. The 20-year-old uber-prospect is about to miss a year and a half (at least) after undergoing anterior capsule surgery in his throwing shoulder. Urias has had some bad luck throughout his life. As a kid in Mexico, Urias underwent three surgeries on his eye to remove a non-cancerous mass. In 2015 he had cosmetic surgery to repair the drooping eyelid caused by this mass. Hopefully Urias will come back strong from this current surgery, but there is cause for concern any time there is a major surgery on a pitcher’s throwing shoulder. I’d recommend dropping him even in dynasty leagues as his successful return is not a given. As for his replacement you can trade one J-U for another: Jose Urena (17.7%.) Over his last 4 starts Urena has 3 quality starts and 16 K’s in 23 IP. He’s allowed 23 base runners which isn’t phenomenal, but Urena’s throwing shoulder is in one piece so he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.
Starlin Castro, 2B, Right Hamstring Strain
No worries Yankee Nation it is only a grade 1 strain and if everything goes well he should only miss the minimum of 10 days which would mean a July 6th return. Stash or Trash: Starlin is so far on track for the best season of his career. He’s second only to all-world Altuve in AL All-Star voting at second, but is deserving of making the team in his own right. Among all second basemen he’s: 3rd in hits, 1st in runs, tied for 5th in HRs, 4th in RBI and 3rd in batting average. All this plus his low 182.4 ADP means he was a value pick to you which makes him a stash for me. Fill In: Try as I might to ignore him and insult him last week Scooter Gennett (27.8%) you’re getting the nod. Scooter set his career high in HR last season with 14. With 11 HR in only 173 at bats so far this season he is well on his way to surpassing that career high. Scooter has never been a power hitter. Never. Never ever. Full stop. Period. He hasn’t stolen over 10 bases since 2013 in AAA. He is, however, a career .298 hitter in the minors and .282 hitter in the majors. Maybe he hung out with Daniel Murphy this off-season?
Dexter Fowler, OF, Heel Spur
Fowler had some quad issues and in his first game back: boom. Heel spurs look painful and gross. Bing it at your own risk. The Cardinals are claiming this is a chronic issue but they aren’t worried about it. Sounds contradictory, but what do I know? Stash or Trash: Like Scooter, Fowler is on pace to crush his career high in HR (17) with the 13 he has now. However, this power is coming with a career low in batting average (.245.) Stash him, but keep an eye on reports of his return. Fill In: Maybe all Michael Taylor (15.9%) needed was an extended opportunity for him to figure it all out. In 22 June games Taylor has 22 runs, 7 HR, 15 RBI, 4 SB, and a .294 AVG. He also has 27 K’s to 2 BB, but you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have Michael Taylor.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Right Shoulder Strain.
Good idea Rockies. CarGo2 has been the most disappointing fantasy player so far this year. The weird thing is — that is probably the least surprising statement so far this year. I hope this “injury” helps him straighten out his season. Stash or Trash: If you’re in a shallow league this injury was probably the final straw for you. Deeper leaguers should still stash him though. Fill In: Randal Grichuk (17.4%) is doing his annual Grichuk act: suck, go down, come up, smash. Sounds like a fun Friday night. He’s gone 4 for 10 with 2 HR in his first 2 games back. He’s got the potential to be good, but is extremely streaky.
Jason Heyward, OF, Hand Laceration
Heyward is eligible to return on June 29th, but his hand is feeling tender, well-seasoned and baked at 350 degrees so he might miss a few additional games. Stash or Trash: Call me Agent Mulder, but I want to believe. Instead I’m more like Agent Scully, skeptical and kinda sexy. I think you can probably safely trash Heyward at this point. Fill In: Is Lonnie Chisenhall (12.7%) finally cashing in that post-post-post-hype-kinda-top-prospect title? In his last 84 at bats he’s hit .357 with 8 HR and 26 RBI.
Aaron Hicks, OF, Right Oblique Injury
Nooooo not the dreaded big O! Oblique injuries never go away. They just fester like an open wound on the knee of Matt Chapman. Infections are an avoidable injury Matt! Jacoby Ellsbury breathes a sigh of relief as he was about to become the Ricky Ledee of these Yankees. Stash or Trash: Even with the month (or more) that Hicks is going to miss he has really (finally) been thriving. He’s a legit 15/15 threat with a .290 average and an 80+ runs/RBI pace. Stash. Fill In: Ricky Ledee (0.0%) is the deep sleeper you need to grab right now. Real Fill In: Bradley Zimmer (13.5%) gets no respect, no respect at all from neither the fantasy baseball community or Terry Francona. Zimmer has a .298 average with 4 HR and 7 SB in 104 at bats, but still hits 8th or 9th in the Indians lineup (if he’s in the lineup at all!) If Zimmer keeps hitting he’s going to force Francona’s hand.
Brandon McCarthy, SP, Oh who knows? Could be anything at this point.
In reality it’s actually the same knee tendinitis he’s been struggling with all season. He’ll be back on the 4th of July only to find himself on the 10-day DL again and lather, rinse, repeat. Stash or Trash: The worst part of all this is that McCarthy has been really good this year. His 1.111 WHIP and 3.25 ERA are all close to career bests. But your opinion on his stash/trash status depends on your patience and number of DL spots. Fill In: Everyone was hoping Mike Montgomery (23.8%) was going to win the Cubs 5th starter spot, but instead found himself thriving in long relief. Now, he’s in the lineup and he’s going to stay there. In his 4 starts he’s allowed only 4 ER in 21 IP with 19 K’s.
Bud Norris, RP, Knee Inflammation
Apparently this has been an issue that has been plaguing this Bud for a while now. He’s only going to miss the minimum amount of time which will make it even sooner for the Scioscio-path to frustrate Norris & Bedrosian owners with his favorite phrase: “closer by committee.” Stash or Trash: Unless you’re in a solds league you can probably trash Norris. Bedrosian is the closer to own regardless of what their manager does. Fill In: If all the other closers are taken in your league you could take a shot on Keone Kela (4.8%) in Texas. Matt Bush blew back-to-back saves against the Yankees and Blue Jays, but did get 2 saves in his next 2 appearances. However, if he’s becoming hittable, Bush won’t have a stranglehold on the Rangers closer role any more. Kela on the other hand has 8 scoreless innings with 14 K’s in his last 8 appearances.
Eduardo Nunez, 3B/SS/OF, Hamstring Strain
This DL-stint was back-logged to June 20th so he could return Friday, June 30th. Stash or Trash: Stash. 2 days ain’t nothing but a G(iants) thing baby. He’s got 17 SB, a .299 and helpful positional flexibility. Hopefully this injury won’t hinder his biggest asset: dat speed. Fill In: Hernan Perez (21.5%.) Hernan checks two of the boxes that Nunez was helping you with: positional flexibility (3B/OF) and speed. While he only has 7 on the year, he has 3 in his last 15 games and stole 34 bases last year. Or you can just wait like a normal person.
Martin Perez, SP, Non-Throwing Hand Thumb Fracture
Perez fought his hotel door and the hotel door won. Despite the fracture, reports are in that Perez could make his July 3rd start. In honor of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter, Rangers doctors have apparently mastered the Brackium Emendo spell. Stash or Trash: Judging by his 2.7% ownership I can only imagine him being owned in the deepest AL-only leagues. I’m really only writing this blurb so I can work in a Harry Potter bit. Trash. Fill In: If you’ve found yourself in a deep AL-only league this season and lost Perez you should grab Daniel Gossett (1.5%.) He had a rough first start that I’m not going to write about, but in his last 2 starts he’s gone 12.2 IP and only allowed 12 base runners (1 BB) with 11 K’s. He’s facing the hurting Braves next which should be a solid start for him.
Yangervis Solarte, 3B/2B, Left Oblique Strain
Noooo another oblique strain! See you in September! Like Hicks, Solarte could be out for longer than any estimations. Stash or Trash: Solarte in his 25 games before his injury hit for a .337 average with 7 HR and 19 RBI. In OBP leagues he was even better with 14 additional walks for a .427 OBP. Despite all this, he’s still a trash for me. He’s going to be out at least a month. Fill In: Matt Davidson (27.7%) might have the quietest 17 HR in the entire major leagues. He hit over 20 HR four times in his minor league career, but also hit .199 and .203 in two of those seasons. He’s hitting .255 so far this season so ride him while you can, but expect that average to come down.
Zack Wheeler, SP, Biceps Tendinitis
One too many trips to the gun show Zack! Show me a Mets starting pitcher who hasn’t been injured in the past two seasons and I’ll eat my hat. Stash or Trash: Trash. He’s got an ERA over 5 and has been a disaster his past few starts. Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along. Fill In: Remember Blake Snell (6.6%)? The kid with a million dollar arm and ten cent head was sent down to the AAA Durham Bulls to rediscover his talent. He’ll be pitching against the Pirates on Wednesday, June 28th and since his ownership has fallen so low you can probably grab him before someone else in your league. Just make sure he’s wearing his garter belt under his uniform.