Gerrit Cole, one of the better young pitchers in the game, landed on the DL Sunday with “right shoulder fatigue”.  What does this mean for the Pirates?  Well, they have been playing much, much better of late, and this is gonna put a wrench in their chances of making a run at first place in the division.  Yes, they are still eight games back, but with Gregory Polanco likely getting called up this week, if they had a push in them, now was the time they were going to have to make it.  Instead, 2013 All-Star Jeff Locke, who was so bad post-break that he finished the year in the minors, will fill the void left by Cole and his 6-3 record.

Fantasy baseball owners are also going to be affected by this.  The Pirates hope Cole will only miss one start, but this sounds like it could develop into a multi-week recovery.  Concern arose when Cole, who normally throws in the 95-98 MPH range, was showing decreased velocity in the mid- to-late innings of games.  Assuming the Bucs fall further out of contention, the team will be in no rush to bring back their 23-year-old stud.  For what it’s worth, the Reds’ Tony Cingrani landed on the DL in May for the same reason (left shoulder fatigue) and missed just the minimum time, but he hasn’t been good at all in the weeks since.  For now, fantasy owners will just have to stash Cole on their DL and hope for a speedy recovery.

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Hate on me all you want, but I’ve been a full-fledged, die-hard New York Yankees fan since birth. [Jay’s Note: Could be worse… you could have been a Red Sox fan…] I may have been born and raised in the land of palm trees, bikinis and coked-out debutantes (Los Angeles), but my father, a Brooklynite, instilled in me his love for the men in pinstripes.

Being a Yankees fan has many ups, but when it has its downs, it makes you wanna bury your head in the sand.  Most of these “downs” are related to the front office spending a gazillion bricks of gold bullion on aging vets (that is the form of currency Hiroki Kuroda used during his formidable years in the 1920s).  No matter how many supplements and PEDs and anti-aging hormones these players use, they’ll eventually wither away and get hurt in the process. If only the Yankees had a pill that gave their players Benjamin Button disease.  I can picture CC Sabathia as a fat three-year-old baby, probably licking the fluid coming out of his knees.  How adorable, he got it all over his face!  How many jars of Gerber’s mashed zucchini can you buy for $142 million?

Mark Teixeira had to leave Saturday’s game with renewed wrist “inflammation”.  This is not something to be taken lightly.  He had offseason surgery on the same wrist and had to miss three games earlier this week before returning Friday.  The fact that could only make it through one-and-a-half games before getting hurt again says this problem is not going away.  Wrist injuries can completely sap your power (see, Encarnacion, Edwin in April).  He’s scheduled to see a specialist on Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury. Don’t hold your breath.

After a promising start to the season in which he compiled a 2-2 record with a 1.83 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, Michael Pineda has been nothing but a pain in the backside for fantasy owners — literally.  He’s been dealing with back issues, similar to the one Clayton Kershaw had in spring training, and he had been on track to return within the next few weeks.  But that is no more.  After a setback in his rehab this weekend, Pineda will be shutdown indefinitely.  It’s time for fantasy owners to cut bait, as it’s possible we won’t see him in the Bronx till August.

There may be some good news on the injury front in New York, however.  Carlos Beltran‘s attempt to avoid surgery to his elbow seems to be going well.  He’s been slowly swinging a bat — progressing from dry swings, to swinging from both sides of the plate, and he took batting practice on the field before Friday’s game.  According to Beltran himself, he walked away from that session happier than a big city business man taking his lunch break at a Korean massage parlor.  Evidently that was enough proof of good health for the Yankees to send him out on an extended spring training stint in Tampa.  He is shooting for a June 10 return when the Yanks visit Seattle to take on the Mariners.

Now on to the rest of the league…

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It wouldn’t truly be baseball without a plethora of injuries to grace your fantasy teams’ rosters, now would it?

As I predicted last week, Prince Fielder is set to undergo surgery, but he isn’t the only player lost for an extended period of time.  Here are some of the fallen from Week 8 and perhaps some players who could actually be returning (yes, believe it or not, they still practice modern medicine in MLB clubhouses!)

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This is starting to get a little ridiculous now.  It seems as if I can’t even make it through my lunch break without hearing of some catastrophic injury news.  No matter how well teams manage their young hurlers’ inning limits (Jose Fernandez), or how many times we yell to ourselves, “Stop sliding head-first on the base paths!” (Ben Zobrist), the injuries just seem to keep piling up.

Maybe fantasy baseball owners should probably employ a handcuff system similar to the one used in fantasy football.  In fact, come August, there may not even be enough players to fill out major league rosters.  If Will Middlebrooks lands on the DL one more time, Julio Franco may be called upon to play the hot corner for the Red Sox.

Here are this week’s injuries and other health-related situations to monitor…

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As I do every week, I’ll be covering all the bumps and bruises in the would of fantasy baseball.  It’d be nice if some of these guys could get their acts together, but hey, then I’d be out of a job.

There were a few notable injuries in the baseball world over the past week, mostly on the hitting side of the spectrum, and I’ll be focusing on those, as well as some other players who just can’t stay away from the trainer’s room in my latest edition of Ambulance Chasers.

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The hits just keep comin’ for major league baseball players and their fantasy owners.

We’re just a month into the season, and it’s unlikely there are many owners out there who have not been dealt a significant injury to at least one of their players.  Oh, you’re raising your hand?  Here are two recommendations: 1) stop playing in 8-team leagues, 2) there are healthier forms of self-indulgence than a four-leaf clover enema.

In 2014, we’ve seen more pains, pricks, breaks, strains, pulls and tears in baseball than the amount of times Drake has changed his NCAA/NBA team allegiances.

Being in the know when it comes to a player’s health will always keep you one step ahead of your competition.  Here are some ailing hitters (and their possible replacements) to pay attention to in the coming weeks:

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Dealing in the misfortunes of athletes is something you do without a heavy heart.  Players, like us, feel pain.  If you punch them in the face, do they not receive a cut under their eye?  If you stick them with a hypodermic needle, do they not bleed?  As fantasy baseball owners, we have less of a conscience.  If a player’s hurt, we basically employ a “screw you, get off my team” attitude — but not before we trade him to someone else in our league, of course.

I featured this column with suggestions last week of which injured or injury-prone hitters were worth buying low and selling high on.  Today, I’ll be delving into the pitchers that fall under those designations.

It’s not something Sister Mary Margaret would approve of, but taking advantage of injuries by either trading hurt players or speculating when one will become hurt, can be very beneficial to your fantasy team in the long run — so pay attention!

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People get hurt.  It’s one of the downsides of life – like a Katherine Heigl movie or the script for Season 4 of The Walking Dead.  Like all of God’s creatures, baseball players will also get hurt (they’re people, too, right?).  So unless you can put in a Cal Ripken “max health” cheat code into your fantasy baseball players’ bodies, dealing with injuries is something you’ll have to stomach for the next five months.

In each of the past two weeks I’ve covered some of the top players to stash on your team’s DL.  That route can be pretty cut and dry.  All fantasy owners should continue that process, but there are other ways to maximize injury potential.  It may sound a little grim, but targeting injured or injury-prone players in trades, or players that you may want to give up in a trade, is a savvy strategy that could net you a nice return.

To succeed in fantasy baseball you can’t be complacent.  Opposing owners often get frustrated with players who are constantly on the trainer’s table, and that’s always a good time to buy low.  It’s also a smart move to trade away a player who may be healthy now, but who’s been known to have worse luck than a cast member in one of the Final Destination flicks.

It’s a dirty business, but gambling on a player’s health can be profitable…

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Unless you followed the career of boxer Brandon Burke, or are a connoisseur of German speed porn, you’re probably not used to seeing this many guys go down so soon.

Injuries to baseball players have become a national epidemic, especially among frontline pitchers.  In just a few short months, we’ve seen players like Kris Medlen, Patrick Corbin, Bobby Parnell, Jarrod Parker and (most likely) Matt Moore require Tommy John surgery.

While those pitchers are done for the season (and maybe even parts of 2015), there are in fact some players returning from various ailments who are waiting patiently to be scooped up off your fantasy baseball league’s waiver wire.

The “DL stash” is a time-honored tradition that all fantasy baseball champions employ.  Last week, I went over the hitters who are/were residing on the disabled list, and this week I’ll be covering the guys throwing the balls to them.  If you have an open DL spot, or spots, in your league, it’s imperative that you use them.

You won’t see me suggesting guys like Cole Hamels or Mike Minor, because something tells me that you have more cojones than to play in a league so lacking in competition that they would still be available.  Rather, I will highlight some pitchers more suited for deeper leagues, as well as NL- and AL-only leagues.

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I’m the new guy here at Razzball, but there’s no need to be stuffing me in lockers or treating me to a lunch time swirly in the men’s room — I’ve been around the block for a while.  Shoot, I was playing fantasy sports before this great thing called the interweb existed.  When I first started I had to fax in my lineups for weekly leagues!  I’m not old, I prefer the term “seasoned”. [Ed. Note — That seasoning comes with an AARP discount, no?] Don’t think of me as the Kathy Bates of the Razzball team, rather I prefer to be thought of as the Helen Mirren of the bunch — you know, “the hot older temptress that if you were slightly buzzed and on vacation you wouldn’t mind…” kinda type.  Nah’msayin???

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