From a real life perspective, the Ian Desmond contract had trouble written all over it. Not from a 2017 or 2018 standpoint, but after that, the Rockies were just inviting risk. However, as Fantasy players, the contract had opportunity written all over it for Desmond and Fantasy owners alike.
While it was weird that he was slated to be their everyday first baseman, we care about the numbers at the end of the day. Desmond had a rebound season in 2016, and with his move to Colorado for the 2017 season, there was no reason to doubt that he would, at the very least, replicate his 2016 numbers this year.
Until Sunday happened.
This weekend was filled with injuries, but none were bigger than Desmond getting hit on his left hand by a pitch, causing a fracture. While the timetable isn’t known quite yet, early estimations have Desmond out six to eight weeks, meaning a return in May.
When there is a range of time given (he IS having surgery), it’s safe to bet on the latter end instead of the optimistic viewpoint. Prior to the injury, Desmond was going 51st overall as the 16th outfielder off the board according to FantasyPros.com ADP. He’s still worth drafting and stashing, but he needs to fall to around the 11th round or so now for you to consider taking him.
In the meantime, RotoExperts Managing Editor Tim McCullough is looking smarter by the day (what, brown nosing isn’t allowed here?) as his Gerardo Parra recommendation late in drafts is looking better and better. Depending on the health of David Dahl, Parra could play a couple of positions for the Rockies. If Dahl is good to go early on, Parra could see time at first base. However, if the rib injury forces an extended absence from Dahl, too, Parra is the likely benefactor in the outfield, while Mark Reynolds (yes, that Mark Reynolds) should see the early-season at-bats at first base.
Despite his disappointing season last year in Colorado, Parra is now a solid late-round draft pick in leagues in which you need five outfielders.
Listen Up, Sonny
Sonny Gray was a nice mid-round target hoping for a bounce-back season with Oakland this year. Along with the likes of Dallas Keuchel and Jordan Zimmermann, Gray was getting overlooked for a bad 2016. Sure, he was reliant on BABIP and the A’s defense is horrid, but going at pick 180 was too extreme.
But like Desmond, Gray will miss the start of the season, as he isn’t expected to throw for three weeks due to a lat strain. The A’s are hoping to get Gray back by the end of April.
His absence all but guarantees that sleeper Andrew Triggs will make the A’s rotation, increasing his draft value to the point that he’s a late-round option now.
Down Goes Perez
Drew Butera really wanted some more playing time this year, didn’t he? That must explain the reason he bulldozed his Royals teammate Sal Perez during the World Baseball Classic this weekend. The injury looked worse for Perez than it actually was, as there was no structural damage.
The Royals backstop says he’ll be ready for Opening Day, but it might be enough – along with breaking down every year from catching almost every day – to fade him in drafts.
‘We’ve Only Just Begun’
As of this writing, Matt Carpenter isn’t swinging the bat due to a back injury that has plagued him. After an oblique injury set him back last year and impacted his production, perhaps Carpenter is just being extra cautious. He did, after all, appear in a game and bunted last week, so would the Cardinals put him in there if he was that hurt?
He’s been a steal on draft day so far, so if you can get him as the No. 70 overall player off the board, take him. A couple of weeks ago, he was worth reaching for to take him much earlier, but until you see him do something meaningful in a game, don’t reach.
The Indian in the Cupboard
Jason Kipnis also joined the likes of Gray and Desmond, as we were told he would miss the beginning of the season after being shut down for two weeks with shoulder soreness. Shoulders are the worst injury in baseball, just ask Jurickson Profar. It’s worth moving Kipnis down a notch or two right now and monitoring his status heading into your drafts.
The silver lining here is that Jose Ramirez could wind up getting second base eligibility if Kipnis misses substantial time.
For the second straight year, Anthony DeSclafani will begin the season on the disabled list, as the Reds are shutting him down for at least a month. This year, DeSclafani has been scratched twice due to elbow soreness. The results of his MRI aren’t known as of the time of this post, but he went from a potential Top 40 pitcher to almost un-draftable with what we know right now.
If you’re looking for the best Reds pitcher to own now, it’s Brandon Finnegan, who you can get very late in drafts. Just look what he did over the final month of the season.
Oh look, another injury in the WBC. This is a great idea! Just kidding, the injury could have occurred just as easily in Spring Training. Anyway, Brandon Nimmo injured his hamstring over the weekend, and if we know anything about hamstring injuries, it’s that they linger.
“OK, but Nimmo isn’t Fantasy relevant, so what’s the big deal?”
You’re right, you there with the fingers behind the computer screen. Nimmo isn’t Fantasy relevant, but if the Mets decided that they don’t want to #FreeMichaelConforto, then Nimmo was the likely guy to make the Mets final 25-man roster.
With his injury, and the ongoing issues with Lucas Duda’s back, the chances of Michael Conforto making the Mets roster just keep improving with each passing day. Draft Conforto if he makes the roster, folks. He’s in for a big, big year.