The Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson once said — among other things — “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Clearly Tennyson never played fantasy baseball. Other than the fact Tennyson died in 1892, he clearly never played fantasy baseball with that sort of attitude. While the return of players like Miguel Cabrera, Justin Turner, and even Desmond Jennings will no doubt help fantasy rosters, this past week saw lose more roto players than we gained back.
Koji Uehara, Red Sox: Wellp, that’s a wrap for Koji’s season. A broken right wrist has ended the closer’s season after he posted 25 saves in 27 chances while whiffing batter sat a 10.49 K/9 clip. As Smokey noted last week in the Bullpen Report, Junichi Tazawa and Jean Machi are the front runners to get saves, though Ryan Cook could be in the mix as well. Unless you’re desperate for saves, I think I’d look somewhere else.
Howie Kendrick, Dodgers: If there is any good news to Kendrick’s left hamstring strain, it’s that Enrique Hernandez should now get regularly playing time. The Dodgers initially gave a pair of starts to Jose Peraza, but he was sent down to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday. Hernandez’s bat offers a bit of power and he is eligible at second, outfield and the all important shortstop position in ESPN, CBS and Yahoo! leagues as well as being SS/OF in DraftKings. His .305/.359/.511 line (entering Saturday’s game) is being buoyed by a .362 BABIP. It isn’t fair to judge Hernandez — or anyone else for that matter — strictly on BABIP as his 33.6 percent Hard% ranks tied at 80th out of 332 hitters with at least 150 plate appearances this year. Similarly, Hernandez’s 12.7 percent Soft% is the 32nd lowest mark. He isn’t just hitting gorks, ground balls with eyes or dying quails.
Steven Wright, Red Sox: A stray batting practice fly ball struck Wright in the back of the neck on Friday. He showed concussion like symptoms and was thus placed on the 7-day DL. The knuckleballer was just finding his groove in recent starts as he hadn’t given up more than two runs in four consecutive outings, spanning 24.1 innings.
Christian Yelich, Marlins: Given that Yelich hasn’t played in a game since last Sunday due to a right knee contusion, it made sense for the club to retroactively place him on the DL. Taking his spot on the roster is the long lost Marcell Ozuna, someone who I think can still contribute solid numbers this season.
Sonny Gray, Athletics: The right-hander was scratched from a showdown with the powerful Blue Jays offense, then was bumped from his rescheduled start against the Orioles. Gray tossed a 25-pitch bullpen session on Saturday, though no word on when exactly he’ll make his next start. In weekly leagues, you may luck out and get two starts out of him this week if everything goes well.
Hanley Ramirez, Red Sox: He sat out Saturday, making it six games in a row where the shortstop/outfielder didn’t make a start. Hanley is suffering from a sore left foot and he seems likely to be placed on the disabled list soon. If the Sawx do in fact place him on the DL, they can do so retroactively to August 8.
Pablo Sandoval, Red Sox: Okay, at this point if the Red Sox didn’t have bad luck, they’d have no luck at all. The Panda left Saturday’s game after being struck by a pitch on the right elbow in the bottom of the third inning For now the team is calling it a bone bruise, but an 89 mph pitch can do some damage, especially when it looks like it the bone. Sandoval managed to take his base, but was lifted from the game before taking the field on defense.
Jose Fernandez, Marlins: This one was coming, but that doesn’t take the sting off of it. Fernandez’s right biceps strain along with right shoulder stiffness officially landed him on the 15-day disabled list this week, retroactive to August 8. If I were a betting man — and I am — I wouldn’t expect another start from him this season. The Fish have no reason to push his recovery as they’re 20.5 games back of the second wild card entering Saturday’s contests.
Angel Pagan, Giants: I had high hopes this would be the year Pagan reaches the 500 PA mark for the first time since 2012, however patella tendinitis in his right knee may force him short of the plateau once again. He received platelet-rich plasma injection in the knee and is now set to miss at least 15 days retroactive to August 10. Given his modest .258 average, Pagan’s lowest mark since his 2007 rookie season, he is droppable in all but the deepest of leagues.
Nori Aoki, Giants: Yet another San Francisco outfielder on the shelf, Aoki was placed on the 7-day concussion related disabled list on Thursday. An errant pitch during last Sunday’s game sailed up and in on Aoki, striking him in the helmet. He was removed from the game and held out of one game before suiting up on Wednesday, however he felt lightheaded during the game and thus the roster move was made. Aoki passed concussion tests given from Sunday to Wednesday, but failed one on Thursday. Concussions are hard to estimate timetable, but Aoki has been more than effective enough to hang on to in most league settings.
Lucas Duda, Mets: While not on the disabled list, Duda has missed five consecutive games due to back pain. The slugger. He’s still considered day-to-day, but like Hanley, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Duda get placed on the 15-day DL if he doesn’t come back soon.
Freddie Freeman, Braves: Some good news! Freeman started his minor league rehab assignment on Thursday, and is on track to return to the big league team when first eligible, August 19. Assuming he does make it back on Wednesday, I’d feel fine inserting him back into weekly leagues.
Josh Harrison, Pirates: The second baseman/third baseman/outfielder began rehabbing at Triple-A Indianapolis last Tuesday. Harrison may require a few more days of getting back into the groove of things as the thumb injury and subsequent surgery may have thrown off his swing. I don’t think I could pull the trigger on him in weekly leagues just yet, but he should be back late this week.
Drew Smyly, Rays: Welcome back! The left-hander is slated to make the start today against the Rangers. Out since May fifth due to a torn labrum, he and the club opted to go the rehab route rather than undergo season ending surgery and for now it appears to have worked out. I’m hesitant to throw him back into my lineup as shoulder injuries on pitchers terrify me. Smyly will be on the pine for me today, but the Rangers haven’t exactly torched lefties this season — hitting a modest .303 wOBA — I couldn’t blame you if you were hurting for wins and started Smyly.
Mike Leake, Giants: Almost welcome back! Leake is set to rejoin the Giants rotation on Tuesday in a matchup at the Cardinals. A left hamstring strain put Leake on the 15-day DL, not a shoulder or elbow issue, so I’ll probably insert him into my lineup. The Cardinals are about league average against right-handers, so I can see Leake posting a quality start and maybe nabbing the win.
Steven Matz, Mets: The southpaw began his minor league rehab assignment with High-A St. Lucie on Saturday. He’ll be limited to 25 pitches per outing as the team wants to take care due to his partial lat tear causing him to be out of the rotation since July 5. I wouldn’t count on seeing back with the Mets until the end of the month, but he is worth rostering in any 12-team standard mixed league when he does come back.