Just under 10 games into the season and already some big names are landing on the DL. It’s never a good feeling when the team we build is disrupted by a big injury, but that is part of Fantasy. Rolling with the punches and being able to find a good replacement is what separates the great owners from the casual player.
Perhaps the most significant performer to suffer an injury this week was Brewers OF Carlos Gomez. Gomez came up lame while running to first base on Wednesday night, and was instantly ruled out for Thursday’s day game. He landed on the 15-day DL on Thursday, after receiving a cortisone shot. He will be reevaluated next week and the team will determine then if he needs more than the minimum 15-days. Gerardo Parra will see the playing time in his absence and can be a cheap source of runs and the occasional stolen base.
Jose Reyes is expected to land on the 15-day DL due to a small fracture in his left rib cage. He was removed from Thursday’s game in the first inning, and an MRI revealed the fracture on Friday. The team hasn’t officially ruled out Reyes playing through the injury, but reports indicate that a DL stint is likely. While out, Ryan Goins, is expected to man shortstop for the Blue Jays.
Another notable guy to go down this week was Mets third baseman David Wright. Wright was placed on the 15-day DL with a mild right hamstring strain. He received a cortisone shot on Wednesday and said he will rest for two days before resuming baseball activities. A realistic expectation is for him to be out for three weeks, but it is worth noting the last time he injured his hamstring he missed two months. Eric Campbell was called up and will see the majority of the playing time in his absence. Looking elsewhere, Jake Lamb, Mike Moustakas or Yasmany Tomas (depending on league eligibility) are solid replacement options.
Alex Rios, however, was not as lucky. He was plunked on the hand and ended up fracturing the fifth metacarpal in his left hand. He is out 4-6 weeks. Jarrod Dyson started the first game in his place and is a great source of speed as one of his prime replacements while he is out.
To continue with the plunkings, Brett Gardner, took one off the wrist on Monday and has not played since. Chris Young has taken his place in the lineup, which excites no one. Luckily, Gardner is expected to return this weekend.
The scariest moment of the week happened Tuesday night when Carlos Carrasco took a line drive that ricocheted off his hand and hit him in the face. He was removed from the start but luckily is okay, escaping with only a bruised jaw. The injury has forced his start back one day to Monday, meaning those owners hoping to get two starts out of him are disappointed. The silver lining? He will avoid the DL and make two starts next week.
Another big scare was Felix Hernandez leaving his start early on Sunday due to tightness in his right quad. The exit seemed cautionary, as Hernandez is on track to start Saturday against the Rangers and is a must-start option.
All offseason I told anyone that would listen that Garrett Richards was an ABSOLUTE steal at his 10th/11th round ADP. I even went as far as debating Tony Cincotta on The Fantasy Funhouse (RotoExperts in the Morning 9 to 11 am ET on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio) after I stated that I would rather have Richards than Jeff Samardzija. Well, those who drafted him at his ADP (like myself) … REJOICE! He will rejoin the Angels and start this Sunday. In his rehab start on Tuesday, he went five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out five. That’s not pretty, and it may take Richards a start or two to shake off some rust, as well as nerves, but those who took the chance will get an ace at an extreme discount after missing only two starts.
Ian Kennedy, who was placed on the DL last Friday due to a left hamstring strain, pitched a bullpen session on Wednesday. He will throw another on Friday, and then can pitch in a minor league game on Monday. It sounds like he will be back once eligible, in late April. Odrisamer Despaigne went seven innings and allowed two hits, one run, two walks and three strikeouts while picking up the win against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. He will continue to start in his place and is worth a flier in NL-only and 14-team or deeper leagues.
Drew Smyly threw three shutout innings in his second rehab start and is set to throw 75 pitches in his next outing. He could rejoin the Rays after that start but more than likely will have one more rehab outing and rejoin the rotation on April 29 against the Yankees. He is obviously worth stashing in all formats.
More good news for the Rays, as Jake McGee was cleared to pitch in rehab games starting Thursday in an extended spring training game. He is expected to rejoin the Rays by the end of the month and is a great stash. The expectation is that he will close again for the Rays this season, but with Brad Boxberger currently performing at a high level, he could keep the job for the time being.
Speaking of closers nearing returns, Bobby Parnell is scheduled to start a rehab assignment this Tuesday with High-A St. Lucie. He is likely to rejoin the Mets at the end of the month and will be in the hunt for his old closer gig after the suspension of Jenrry Mejia. Jeurys Familia is serving as the Mets closer now, but Parnell is worth stashing.
Hunter Pence is set to undergo another X-ray on his forearm to see how he is progressing. It is possible that he can begin swinging after the X-ray, but he would still have to work his way into game action. He is not expected back this month, but is still a must-stash in all formats.
Michael Brantley has played only once in the past eight days due to a back injury, but is finally returning Friday. Get him back in your lineups immediately.
Henderson Alvarez found himself on the 15-day DL this past week due to a shoulder injury. The Marlins have yet to officially state what showed up on an MRI, but one report states that the injury is not as serious as originally expected. However, Alvarez is still expected to miss up to a month and could be cut by owners who do not have the roster spot to stash him. David Phelps has taken his spot in the rotation and should be scouted in deeper formats.
Breakout pick of many (including me) Christian Yelich was scratched on Tuesday due to back tightness and continued to sit out on Wednesday. He returned to the Marlins lineup on Thursday, going 1-for-4 with a run.
Denard Span continues to prove doctors wrong and could be activated as soon as this weekend. The Nationals want Span to play a full nine innings first, but the expectation is to have him activated in the next couple of days. He will likely take back his spot as the leadoff hitter and is worth adding in any format, especially points leagues. However, this is bad news for Michael Taylor who has been crushing the ball and will likely be relegated to limited at bats.
Homer Bailey is working his way back from a tough surgery he underwent last September on his flexor mass tendon in his elbow. Bailey is certainly worth adding in all formats, but owners would be smart to leave him on their bench in his first outing or two, to monitor his status coming back from this severe injury.
Jorge De La Rosa is set to return to the Rockies rotation on Monday, meaning he will have two-starts next week, both at home against the Padres and Giants. De La Rosa, surprisingly, was much better at home than on the road last year, pitching to a 3.08 ERA in Coors Field, compared to 5.09 on the road. However, it may be best to leave him out of your lineups this week, as a pitcher coming off injury in Coors Field is a recipe for disaster.