A scant three weeks remaining in the regular season, an injury or stint on the disabled list now tends to stick the proverbial fork in someone’s season. In addition to the normal injury reports, a slew of pitchers and hitters returned to active rosters today. Just call me Professor Farnsworth because “Good news, everyone!” we have a lot of players to discuss.
Mark Teixeira, Yankees: Tex will not play again this year, even if the Yankees make the playoffs, after an MRI and CT scan showed a fracture in what was originally called a bone bruise in his right shin. The expected recovery time is at least three months, and general manager Brian Cashman was quick to say he believes Tex will be ready for 2016. Make sure to grab Greg Bird as he figures to get he majority of the time at first base.
Troy Tulowitzki, Blue Jays: A small fracture in Tulo’s left shoulder blade is likely to sideline the shortstop for a spell, though no official word has been handed down from the Jays. The injury seemingly occurred during a collision with Kevin Pillar in shallow left-center field during a popup in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. It’s a brutal loss at an important time of the year for Toronto and for Tulo owners, and it seems likely that the Jays will place him on the DL if not very soon, then at least retroactive to today as he gets reevaluated throughout the week.
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers: After missing a handful of games with concussion like symptoms, the Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal learned Lucroy does in fact have a concussion. A foul tip caught him in the left side of the mask on Tuesday and the catcher hasn’t appeared in a game since. I’d expect to see him placed on the 7-day disabled list after he described feeling “foggy” after undergoing tests on Wednesday. He’s droppable in singe catcher leagues, but I’m holding on to him in my two-catch formats.
Billy Burns, Athletics: Lingering tightness in his right hamstring forced the speedy outfielder to be scratched from Friday’s game, and he last played in a game on Wednesday, though the A’s did have a day off since then. Given how important Burns’ speed is to his overall game — his 28 infield hits are third most in baseball — it makes sense for the team to play it safe. I’m not sure I’d start him in weekly leagues as most of his value is tied to his legs.
Nick Hundley, Rockies: A cervical neck strain landed the catcher on the 60-day disabled list on Friday. Wilin Rosario got his first start of the year at catcher on Thursday, however Tommy Murphy was called up and started Saturday’s game. Best case scenario would be for Rosario to get enough starts behind the dish to maintain his catcher eligibility, yet that seems like a long shot. Murphy does have some pop in his bat, cracking 20 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A, but his power comes attached with a pretty steep strikeout rate.
Drew Storen, Nationals: As first reported by Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, Storen broke his right thumb after he slammed his locker following Wednesday’s loss. Nats skipper Matt Williams believes the right-hander is done for the season. After posting back-to-back 20+ hold years in 2013 and 2014, Storen tallied 29 saves before the club acquired Jonathan Papelbon, though it’s time to drop Storen and look elsewhere for bullpen help.
Jose Fernandez, Marlins: He’s baaaaack! After suffering a biceps strains that shelved him for over a month, Fernandez started on Saturday against the Nationals. He tossed five scoreless innings, striking out seven and allowing two his and one walk along the way. No surprise to see a bit of a short outing from him — just 69 pitches — in just his eighth big league start since coming back from Tommy John surgery, but it was great to see Fernandez pitch well. I wouldn’t count on him throwing any complete game shutouts, however he should be a solid play the remainder of the season.
Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays: Speaking of big time pitchers coming back, Stroman made his first start of the season after knee surgery back in spring training looked like it would cost him the entire year. He lasted five innings before a rain delay derailed the game, however it probably was time for Stroman to be lifted. The Yankees touched him up for three runs, with all of the damage coming off of a Brett Gardner three-run homer. Stroman’s workload consisted of 78 pitches and he allowed four hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts. It wasn’t a lights out performance, yet I’m still encouraged enough to keep starting him.
Steven Souza, Rays: My hopes of a 20-20 season are intact, but on the rocks. The Rays activated the outfielder on Friday and he currently sits at 15 homers and 11 steals. Maybe on the rocks is being optimistic…Regardless, I’m a huge fan of Souza’s game in DFS, even with the huge strikeout rate. Power, speed and plate appearances are the keys to DFS and he has the first two, and before breaking his hand, had PAs wrapped up as Tampa Bay’s No. 2 hitter. Souza has hit sixth and seventh in the two games he’s played since returning,
A.J. Burnett, Pirates: The right-hander missed nearly a month a half due to inflammation in his right elbow, however he returned to action on Thursday. He lasted five innings, allowing three runs on as many hits and two walks. Burnett did strike out a trio of batters, but it was a subpar performance. I’m counting on better things from him in the coming days as his velocity was in line with what we could hope for. I saw enough of him to believe he’ll be a worthy contributor in these finals weeks.