I must say, I don’t believe in curses, hexes, jinxes or whatever you may call it, but this season is rapidly descending into a Euripides level of despair for me. As I look at my various rosters being struck with injuries and my place in the standings perpetually falling, I’m already looking ahead to next season. With another round of injuries comes another round of drinks. Misery loves company, right?
Jeremy Hellickson, D-Backs: A strained left hamstring forced the club to shelve Hellickson for a time, as the right-hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to August 19. The 28-year-old has had an up an down season, and I’ve been bamboozled by his strong 10.6 percent swinging strike rate not translating to a better strikeout rate. His SwStr% is tied for 25th out of 88 qualified starters, however his 7.47 K/9 ranks 38th and 19.1 percent K% comes in at 50th. I’ve been holding out hope Hellboy could get his K-rate to match his whiffs, but for now we’ll have to wait at least until the first week of September to see him back in action.
Mark Teixeira, Yankees: The first baseman sat out Saturdays game, making it five games in a row where his right shin injury has kept him out of the lineup. With Greg Bird hanging around, it’s possible the Yanks will retroactively place Tex on the DL. If that happens, Bird immediately becomes mixed league relevant for a couple of weeks as his power will play nicely in that home park.
Aaron Hicks, Twins: My second favorite person with the last name of Hicks, after Dwayne Hicks of course, was placed on the 15-day DL due a strained left hamstring. The Twins immediately called up Byron Buxton who was demolishing Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .400/.451/.545 line in 59 plate appearances. Since being recalled, Buxton has hit leadoff in all three games for the Twins and should be picked up in all leagues based on his upside alone. I’m still waiting for his plus-plus speed to shine in the big leagues, and if he continues to hit atop the Twins lineup, he may get the green light.
Josh Hamilton, Rangers: The 34-year-old Hamilton is once again on the disabled list, this time with left knee inflammation. He placed on the DL on August 20, retroactive to August 16. That the club acquired Will Venable from the Padres between those dates, specifically on the 18th, seems to be an indication they think Hamilton will miss a decent chunk of time. Near the bottom of the linked article it suggests the slugger may need a third operation on his knee. If you’re still rostering Hamilton at this point, it’s probably best to throw him to the waiver-wire in all but the deepest of leagues.
Anibal Sanchez, Tigers: Shoulder injuries to pitchers scare me more than wrist injuries to power hitters. Basically, both they scare the proverbial pants off of me, yet shoulder injuries to hurlers scare the the pants off of me, into the washer, then the dryer, then I forget about them for five hours and need to iron them for 10 minutes. Sanchez was shelved by the Tigers due to a right rotator cuff strain. No timetable is available for his return date just yet, however given his uptick in home runs allowed combined with a dip in fastball velocity over his last start, the red flags have been raised. Calling someone droppable seems harsh, so like Jack Ryan in The Hunt For Red October, lets call Sanchez “expendable.” If you’re keeping score at home, that’s two film references and one ancient Greek playwright. We here at Razzball enjoy our old action movies and even older internationalists!
Randal Grichuk, Cardinals: Grichuk, one of my favorite mid-season pickups, is dealing with a right elbow strain and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. According to general manager John Mozeliak (via Alex Ferrario of KMOX), Gricuk is likely to miss 15 to 20 games, putting the outfield on schedule to return around the first weekend of September, plus or minus a few games. Grichuk has benefited from a .376 BABIP, however his 37.8 percent Hard% and 14.5 percent Soft% contact rates are both excellent, as his average hit velocity. I’ll be hanging on to him even in my redraft leagues.
Steven Matz, Mets: The comeback from a partial lat tear is nearly complete for Matz. The young southpaw is lined up to make his third rehab start at Double-A Binghamtom on Wednesday, possibly his last start before rejoining the Mets. When he does rejoin the big league club, the Mets may be forced to go to a six man rotation. Even with the extra time off, Matz is worth picking up if available.
Sean Doolittle, Athletics: The left-handed reliever was activated on Saturday reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, and if you’re looking for saves, see if he is available in your league. Doolittle sat 90-92 mph — and hit 93 — during his most recent rehab outings at Triple-A Nashville, but that is still a far cry from the 94-95 mph average he posted in 2012-14. Given the dumpster fire that is the A’s bullpen right now, Doolittle, even at reduced velocity is likely the first in line for saves now.
Lucas Duda, Mets: A back issue that has apparently been giving Duda trouble since early August finally landed him on the shelf on Saturday. No word on just how long he’ll be out of action, though it is the same injury that kept him out the lineup for six games earlier this month and he’ll miss at least the minimum 15 days.
Maikel Franco, Phillies: Placed on the 15-day DL, and with rumors his season may be over, due to a non-displaced fracture of the left wrist, it seems he could return at some point this year. As mentioned above in the Sancehz blurb, wrist injuries scare me something fierce when it comes to power hitters, so I’m still being pessimistic about what Franco could do if he does salvages some of the season. I’m not sending him to the waiver wire in my redraft league just yet, though if I get struck with another injury and need the DL spot, Franco becomes expendable.
Hunter Pence, Giants: The other team in the Bay Area (yeah, I’m letting my A’s fandom shine here) were forced to move Pence to the disabled list with a bad case of crazy eyes. That, or an oblique strain. Believe what you will. The club was able to activate Nori Aoki from the 7-day concussion DL, and combined with the trade for Marlon Byrd, they should be able to navigate the loss of Pence until his return. I should thank the Giants for making my segue to the good news portion of the Ambulance Report nice and easy.
Joe Panik, Giants: A nice surprise from the keystone this season, Panik and his .309/.374/.443 line should return to the Giants lineup in early September. He’s improved on his mini-breakout in 287 plate appearances last year with more power and better BB% and K% numbers and I’m ready for him to reclaim his spot as the No. 2 hitter in lineup. Keep an eye on Panik if the club activates him earlier than anticipated as his comeback from lower back inflammation is yet to hit any setbacks.
Mike Leake, Giants: The right-hander started Saturday’s game, spinning six innings of one-run ball. Leake allowed just one hit, a solo shot off of Jung-ho Kang’s bat, one walk and six strikeouts. It’s safe to reinsert him back into your lineups as he showed now ill effects returning from a hamstring strain.