Hopefully everyone else had an excellent Fourth of July! Depending on your local weather, perhaps you spent it lounging in a hammock, lounging in a pool or lounging on the couch. The important part is I hoped you all had a lazy holiday.
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: After spending the day indulging on steaks and burgers, clearly the cows decided to strike back, putting a curse on Cabrera’s calf. The slugger suffered a left calf strain — grade 3 to be precise — and the Tigers have already placed him on the 15-day disabled list. Count on him missing approximately six weeks, and for now the team appears ready to roll with Alex Avila as their primary first baseman. Expect to see Avila gaining 1B eligibility soon, but his lack of power makes him a pretty “meh” option at the corner. For fellow Cabrera owners scrambling for a replacement with some pop, I already snapped up Jon Singleton in one of my leagues, though the recently activated Michael Morse could work too.
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals: The injury fairy just can’t stop bashing poor Strasburg. He left his start yesterday after just 56 pitches and 3 2/3 innings due to tightness in his left side. My amateur eye picked out what seems like a lat injury, though that is a guess. If there is any good to be had from this it’s that before being lifted, Strasburg’s four-seamer was averaging more than 96 mph according to Brooks Baseball. Without a loss in velocity, I’m cautiously optimistic he’ll avoid another stint on the DL.
George Springer, Astros: For the second season in a row Springer is set to miss an extended amount of time. A pitch that drifted a bit too far inside from Edison Volquez struck Springer in the right wrist, causing a fracture that will cost the slugging outfielder at least six weeks. If you happen to own Cabrera, Stras and Springer, post a screenshot of it so we can give you your due sympathy.
Jorge Soler, Cubs: Both Soler and the Cubs are anxiously awaiting his return from a sprained left ankle. Odds are Soler will be reinstated from the 15-day DL today, and he should be inserted into weekly leagues. He hit just .154 without any extra-base hits in 16 plate appearances in Triple-A during his rehab stint, but the 23-year-old offers enough upside at the plate to start him right away.
Khris Davis, Brewers: Another player, another NL Central outfielder. Davis started his minor league rehab assignment last Wednesday after missing a month of action with a torn meniscus in his right knee. The original plan was for him to spend around five days in the minors getting back into the swing of things, putting Davis on track to be activated some time this week.
Andrew Miller, Yankees: Great rates, and stat filling! Prior to being placed on the 15-day DL due to straining his pitching forearm, Miller was doing his typical dominant thing. Owner of a K/9 north of 14.00 since 2013, Miller is in elite company, and as a craft beer snob, that is a weird thing to say. The left-hander threw a 30-pitch bullpen session yesterday and appears primed to begin a rehab assignment. He was a perfect 17-for-17 in save chances before going on DL, however given how well Dellin Betances has been — going 6-for-6 in his chances since being named temporary closer — there could be a bullpen by committee or a platoon matchup situation happening.
Matt Holliday, Cardinals: In the spirit of the holiday, the Cardinals are having Holliday travel with them this week. It would seem likely for the team to activate him at some point during the trip. A right quad strain has kept the 35-year-old on the shelf for what will likely be a month, however I’d count on him to return at some point soon. I’d still keep him on the bench in weekly leagues, but would start him next week or even make a trade offer.
David Wright, Mets: Out since mid-April dealing with spinal stenosis, Wright stopped by to talk with his teammates while the Mets were on the road against the Dodgers. Wright has been rehabbing in Los Angeles since late May, though the team was quick to clarify he hasn’t even started baseball related activities.
Anthony Rendon, Nationals: Continuing the NL East third baseman routine, the Nats claim Rendon has resumed baseball activities. It’s a good sign for Rendon, out with a left quad strain since June 25, but there still isn’t an official timetable for his return. Thus far 2015 has been all but a lost season for him as he has made just 80 plate appearances thus far, and it would be fair to call this a very poor Rendontion of his talent.
Jake Marisnick, Astros: For a change of pace, here is some good news! The first place Astros (yet another weird sentence) activated Marisnick after he missed about three weeks because of a left hamstring string. He swatted five home runs and nabbed 11 bags on 15 attempts before the injury, and could match those numbers in the second half of the season.
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners: As noted in last week’s Ambulance Report, Iwakuma was pretty close to returning. The M’s are now set to have him start tomorrow’s game against the Tigers, though I’d probably sit him against a solid offense, even without Cabrera. Iwakuma’s lat strain has hampered his comeback a bit, however I still like him for the rest of the season to be an above average pitcher.
Ender Inciarte, Diamondbacks: Count on Inciarte being activated shortly after the All-Star Break. He’s been out of since June 15 as victim of a strained right hamstring, but he’ll miss barely more than the minimum amount of time. Despite the missed time Inciarte managed to steal nine bags, and has the speed to end with 20+ for the season. In the minors he stole at least 26 bags in every season since 2011 and last year he nabbed 19 bags in the majors in just 447 plate appearances. For a cheap steals guy, I like Inciarte. That he settled into the leadoff spot just before getting injured, and may reclaim that spot, is just a bonus.
Blake Swihart, Red Sox: Given that he hasn’t appeared in a game this month, it was no big surprise to see the Red Sox retroactively place him on the 15-day DL. Swihart had been out of action since June 30 due to a sprained left foot, however he had made a handful of starts since injuring it over two weeks ago. Given that he’s hit .241/.279/.323 since being called up, it could be a good thing for him to take some time off.