Knock on wood, there really hasn’t been a season ending Tommy John surgery this year outside of Jharel Cotton. The scariest thing about that fact is the wait. Hopefully it never happens — but you know it’s going to. I’m sure all of you are now staring at your pitchers in tears “not my babies!”
As always, if you’ve got league specific questions — I’ve got league specific answers. Leave ‘em in the comments!
Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Broken Thumb
Suarez was plunked by a pitch on April 8th and Reds fans didn’t know how to react. On one hand Suarez has been one of their best hitters over the last few years — on the other hand, Nick Senzel. While there hasn’t been a timetable established, most broken thumbs take about 2 months to recover from. Stash or Trash: Stash. I still like Suarez a lot and even if Senzel gets the call I think they’ll keep Suarez at 3B when he returns and move Senzel around the infield (or put him back in the minors.) Fill in: Nick Senzel will be playing 3B in the minors for the next few games and his service clock ends on Friday, April 13th so he could be a likely call up option. But that’s too obvious for this article! Maikel Franco (41.2%) is waking up at the plate a bit. His past two years have been largely disappointments after his stellar rookie campaign, but in his last 4 games he is 7 for 15 with 2 HR and 11 RBI. The skillset below the neck has always been there, but something has always been off with Franco above the neck. Maybe he’s finally putting it all back together in 2018.
Xander Bogaerts, SS, Ankle Fracture
Good news: Apparently no surgery is needed. Bad news: it’s still a fracture in the part of your body holding up all your weight. Worst news: Bogaerts was finally living up to everything we wanted him to be. He had 5 multi-hit games already this season and reached base safely in all but 1 game. Stash or Trash: The current time table out there is a return to play in 10-14 days, but I’m thinking that quickly turns into 14-20+ days. Stash. Fill In: Dansby Swanson (37.9%) still unowned in your league? Change that! His ownership is going up, up, up so act fast. Don’t forget that Dansby was the #1 overall pick in the 2015 draft and he might’ve just taken a bit more time to adjust to major league pitching. I think his absolute peak will be 15 HR/15 SB, but with solid ratios and runs.
Brandon Drury, 2B/3B, Severe Migraines
This is a scary one. Bones and ligaments heal, but migraines can linger. It’s especially scary when you hear Drury talking about how his vision was blurred from this. No timeline yet for his return — but I’m sure the Yankee medical staff has the money and resources to help with this issue. Stash or Trash: Drury is owned in less than 12% of leagues so if you want you can trash him until we figure out more what’s going on. Replacement: The only second baseman owned less than Drury who is worth owning is Dixon Machado (5.2%.) The other Machado has been starting at second and has a few multi-hit games under his belt already. Machado’s minor league numbers might not seem like much, but he had close to an 11% walk rate in 789 minor league games and a few 20+ stolen base seasons. At age 26 he’s finally getting starting ABs which is more than you can say than a lot of guys owned less than Drury on ESPN right now.
Ryon Healy, 1B/3B, Ankle Sprain
Healy was first announced as being injured in a “weight room accident” which sounds purposely vague enough to me to mean that he tried putting his “little Healy” on a treadmill. No timetable has been announced for Healy as of yet. Stash or Trash: .091 average so far this year and probably wasn’t part of your team’s success plan. Trash him. Replacement: Daniel Vogelbach (2.1%.) Don’t look too far for Healy’s replacement — Daniel Vogelbach is going to get some ABs for Seattle in Healy’s absence. Vogelbach was a walking machine in his 669 minor league games. He walked 412 times to 491 K’s. This might be explained by how high he seemingly looks in every picture. Maybe he’s just too zooted to swing the bat. However, he has slugged exactly 100 HRs in that time so he’s no slouch in the power department.
Corey Knebel, RP, Hamstring Strain
Never trust closers! Knebel is expected to miss at least 6 weeks according to reports. That’s about around May 17th as an estimate. That means June 1st to me. Stash or Trash: Stash. He was being drafted like a top-5 closer going into the year — don’t know if that was warranted or not, but you can’t just cut him free and expect him to be able grabbed close to his return. Yes he had 39 saves last year, but his 2.53 FIP compared to his 1.78 ERA and career 4.03 ERA makes me believe that his 2017 was a bit flukish. Fill In: Keynan Middleton (15.5%.) Yes, I know he’s managed by the Sciosciapath, but Keynan is working his way into being the most reliable bullpen arm in the Angels pen. Blake Parker and Cam Bedrosian have each allowed 4 ER in 6 appearances while Keynan has allowed 0 in 5 appearances. You’re going to need to make up for Knebel’s saves somehow and if all other closers are taken right now — take a chance on Middleton.
Wil Myers, 1B/OF, Throwing Arm Nerve Irritation
For a player with Myers lengthy injury history, this is concerning. What makes it even more concerning is that he was originally going to be able to return when eligible on April 13th. The latest update is that it is going to be a bit longer. Nerve damage in the arm after back trouble in the spring is not the development you want to hear. If not the 13th — maybe he’ll meet the team on April 20th in Arizona for the start of their 6 game road trip. Stash or Trash: Stash. Myers is the working class man’s version of Paul Goldschmidt when it comes to power & speed at first base. Fill In: Colin Moran (16.8%.) My 2018 infatuation pick might be the default first base injury fill in option for the year if people don’t start adding him. Moran has reached based in every game he’s started in this season — except for 1. He’s got a .345 batting average on the season and will be gaining 3B eligibility in two games.
Rougned Odor, 2B, Hamstring Strain
Early reports: out three weeks. When will we stop trying to make Odor a thing? He has 0 HR, 0 SB and a .206 average so far this season. I’m not saying it’s time to stick a fork in him — but I am saying you should take the fork out of the drawer. Stash or trash: Stash. His ADP is about 96 on ESPN so you probably invested a high pick on him, but I’ve just never really been an odor lover. Fill In: Jed Lowrie (18.9%.) Jed has reached base safely in 9 of the Athletics first 11 games. I think Lowrie is vastly underrated because everyone knows he’s going to hurt, but when he’s healthy he is a pretty great at getting on base as seen by his career 82% contact rate and 10% walk rate. He’s often hitting 3rd in the Athletics line-up so he’s in a great run production spot.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Lower Back Injury
Rizzo has been out of the Cubs line-up since April 6th so we all saw this one coming. He’s eligible to return Monday so he’ll be ready to help you in your week 3 match-up. Stash or Trash: Stash. Fill In: See: Wil Myers above. Everyone should grab Colin Moran!
CC Sabathia, SP, Hip Strain
CC’s MRI was NBD so he’ll BRB ASAP. Stash or Trash: Stash. Fill In: Sean Newcomb (12.3%.) Who does this Newcomb kid think he is going into Coors Field and pitching 6 shut-out innings with 0 BB, 5 hits and 9 K’s?! He’s heading to Wrigley to face the Cubs in his next start and if he pitches that well at Coors then the Cubs & Wrigley should be no problem!
Scott Schebler, OF, Right Ulnar Nerve Contusion
Schebler hadn’t seen game action since April Fools Day so this injury is obviously no joke. He took a fastball of his funny bone in that game and has been in hysterics ever since. Stash or Trash: This is no laughing matter — stash Schebler until he composes himself. Fill In: Jesse Winker (6.9%.) Nice. In Schebler’s absence Winker is getting some major league ABs. Tuesday night he was tasked with leading off for the Reds due to his amazing on-base abilities he showed in the minors. At the least, Winker will be getting on base and scoring runs for you. At the most, he takes another step in his development and earns ABs over Schebler & Duvall and increases his fantasy value.
Christian Yelich, OF, Oblique Strain
ANYTHING but an oblique strain! This one is allegedly minor, but who knows with these darned obliques! April 15th is his anticipated return date, but with a surplus of outfielders and it being so early in the season the Brewers may be cautious with their star off-season acquisition. Stash or Trash: Stash! Fill In: Michael Brantley (30.9%.) Brantley is obviously no picture of health himself, but he’s back for now. He is a former all-star, silver slugger and MVP candidate and could return close to that level if he’s healthy. So far he’s hit clean-up twice and 5th once this season behind Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez so he’s in a solid RBI position.