This one’s a real kick in the Seagers. Right after I brought up the debate of which SS you’d rather own in my Top 100 Hitters article, Corey Seager or Didi Gregorius, the debate was settled for me. This elbow injury was apparently something that Seager battled in the 2017 playoffs and I guess his ulnar finally tapped out. He’ll be out for this season and parts of next season as well. Seager was struggling to the tune of an .267 AVG/.744 OPS with only 2 HR and 0 SB. Stash or Trash: In keeper/dynasty leagues you can stash him. He is only 24 and was a top 30 player going into this season. In redraft he’s an obvious trash. Replacement: Eduardo Escobar (26.6%.) Surprisingly, in 2017 Escobar actually had only 1 fewer HR and 4 fewer RBI than Seager. So far this year, Escobar has been the superior player in almost all fantasy categories. Escobar has reached base safely in all but 3 games this season and has an over 1.000 OPS in his last 11 games. This hot spell has lead Paul Molitor to bat Escobar in the clean-up spot for the Twiiiiiins. (That commercial would NEVER fly today by the way.).
Adrian Beltre, 3B, Strained Left Hamstring
The Rangers are calling this a grade 1 strain and he’s expected to miss 2-3 weeks. Stash or Trash: Stash. Beltre may be long in the tooth, but he’s still got great bat on ball skills hitting .310 on the year. Fill In: Ryon Healy (14.8%.) Healy is back from his own DL stint and is swinging dat big stick already booyyeeeee. In his first 16 ABs back he’s rapped out 6 hits — 3 of them being HR. Healy hit 25 out last year and you can believe that! Lord of mercy!
DJ LeMahieu, 2B, Strained Right Hamstring
No word yet on the extent of the strain so we don’t know when LeMahieu will return, but he’s eligible to return May 8th. Stash or Trash: Stash. He’s in the middle of a nice season with a .290 AVG with 5 HR and 3 SB. LeMahieu has a 20 SB season not too long ago, but his career high in HRs is only 11. But, like most big leaguers, LeMahieu seemed to be subscribe to Launch Angle Quarterly this off-season because he’s hitting the highest percentage of fly balls of his career. If he continues to get loft a 15/15 season is feasible. Fill In: Howie Kendrick. Just read this.
Andrew Miller, RP, Left Hamstring Strain
Miller is having a catch with his old man so a return when first eligible on May 6th looks likely. (By the way — do you all say “play catch” or “have a catch?” I’m a have a catch-er and I’m wondering if that is a regional thing.) Stash or Trash: Stash. Fill In: An elite ratio, high-K reliever who isn’t getting saves, but is a king in holds leagues? Meet Carl Edwards Jr. (16.0%.) Like Miller, Edwards has an ERA under 1.00, a WHIP that won’t exceed 1.00 and a K/9 over 15. Simple. Edwards owned in your holds league? Another good option is Jose Alvarado (3.9%.) He’s got 9 holds+saves so far, a 10.29 K/9 and a WHIP of 1.00 right now. The best news about Alvarado is it seems he’s the heir apparent to the closer role after Alex Colome. Alvarado was called on to close out Monday’s game after Colome pitched in too many games recently. Poor baby. I’m going to take tomorrow off because I worked Monday and Tuesday.
Wil Myers, OF/1B, Strained Left Oblique
Not again man. Old Wil Myers is rearing his injured head! This is already his second DL stint and we’re still in month one! This one is expected to last two weeks, but oblique injuries are notoriously finicky for baseball players. I wouldn’t be surprised if it stretched to 20+. Stash or Trash: You’re still stashing — but you’re not happy about it. Fill In: Ryon Healy is a good option here too since he has 1B eligibility (scroll up to Adrian Beltre’s blurb to read up on Healy) but I’m going to throw C.J. Cron (33.5%) at you for this one. We’ve all wanted Cron to break out like we thought he could, but his first 11 games of this season were showing us that this was the same old Cronie that we remembered (.175 AVG/.558 OPS.) However, Cron has been en fuego in the 15 days since. He’s got 12 runs, 6 HR and 16 RBI. He also has a 13:1 strikeout to walk ratio — but you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have: C.J. Cron as your starting first basemen.
Joe Panik, 2B, Sprained Left Thumb
Joe “Don’t” was 30% of the way towards his career high in HRs with 3 when this injury struck. He’s going to miss six weeks. Stash or Trash: Trash. No one else is going to grab this guy unless you’re in the deepest/NL-only league. Replacement: If you’re in the deepest/NL-only league you should take a chance on Enrique Hernandez (6.6%) for the ABs alone. With Seager done, Hernandez will be stepping up to the plate a lot more often. His 12.7% BB/rate is pretty nice — the 25.3% K/rate, however, is not. He’s never consistently accumulated over 300 ABs in a season so it’ll be great to see what he can accomplish with his new found playing time. He’s also a nice addition due to his triple eligibility (2B/SS/OF.)
Yasiel Puig, OF, Left Hip Pointer
Darn you Scuba Puig! Puig did what Puigs do and ran into the outfield wall and is going to be out for an undisclosed amount of time. Stash or Trash: Stash. Hope this helps him clear his head to get that .193 AVG back on track! Fill In: Jesse Winker (5.3%.) It’s hard to recommend any Reds OF either due to their general craptitude for hitting (Billy Hamilton) or the timeshare (the rest.) However, Winky (can I call him that?) has put together a nice 12 game stretch for himself recently. He’s batting .364 with a .931 OPS over that stretch. With 0 HR/0 SB, but 6 runs and 5 RBI isn’t really bad in deeper/NL-only leagues. Most importantly, he’s been mostly hitting lead-off for the Reds during that time.
Robbie Ray, SP, Strained Right Oblique
Grade 2 oblique strain which means it has aced cursive. Apparently kids don’t learn cursive anymore — I say good riddance to forcing us to write in 18th century fonts! No timetable just yet, but a grade 2 oblique strain doesn’t sound too good, eh? I’d expect to be without him for at least month. Stash or Trash: I had Ray as my NL Cy Young prediction so I’d obviously stash him. Fill In: Tyler Mahle (11.1%.) I’m just as nervous as you are about those two 5 ER starts, but let’s be positive here Debbie Downer! His ERA for his four other games is a spiffy 2.31. Pair that with a K/9 north of 10 and you’ve got yourself a pretty solid starting pitcher. But Kerry! Is this for real? It’s looking like it very well could be. In 96 minor league starts Mahle has a 2.85 ERA with an 8.3 K/9. His BB/9 in the minors is actually a 1.9 so the 3.0 he has this season could even go down as well. Should you start Mahle in every start? Of course not — he’s still only a 23 year old pitcher who could be prone to blow-ups. But against teams like the Miami Marlins who he faces this week? Roll on Mahle!
Eric Thames, 1B/OF, Torn ligament in thumb
Oh no! Thames injury in his favorite month! He’ll be out 6 to 8 weeks after undergoing thumb surgery. Stash or Trash: Eh. I could see trashing him in 10 to 12 team leagues. Two months is a long time and the Brewers crowded lineup could be sorted out by then. Replacement: This one is a COMPLETE shot in the dark and even I’m not convinced it’s a good decision — but grab Jose Bautista (5.5%) in NL-only leagues. Sure he’s only hitting .207 with the Braves AAA affiliate, but maybe he just needs some time to get up to speed. He has hits in 6 of his last 7 games and has drawn 7 walks to 8 strikeouts in his 10 minor league games so far. He has OF eligibility now and will be up soon and playing 3B for the Braves suddenly stellar lineup.