Injury Updates And Tips: Hold Brewers’ Eric Thames, Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez
The team at insideinjuries.com has key updates and recommendations on players on the DL
Every few weeks, Inside Injuries will provide an update on players that have landed on the DL with analysis on who to hold and who to drop. It’s been a tough few weeks to start the season, but we will be here along the way to provide analysis on everyone in the league who hits the DL.
STARS ON THE MEND
Josh Donaldson 3B, Blue Jays: shoulder inflammation
Donaldson was one of the players on our preseason High Risk, High Reward Outfielders list, and it didn't take long for him to land on the DL. Sure, he's someone who needs to be owned in every league, but on any given day he is at a High Risk of injury. This time it was shoulder inflammation that landed him on the DL. Donaldson's shoulder started bothering him during Spring Training and never really got better. He finally landed on the DL on April 11. There's nothing structurally wrong, but injuries like this need rest to improve. Now Donaldson is close to a return, but the Injury Risk still remains. If he's on your roster, make sure you have someone who you can slide into his spot in the lineup. He's bound to have another injury at some point this year. It could be his shoulder acting up again, it could be a recurrence of his calf problems, or it could be an entirely new injury.
Elvis Andrus SS, Rangers: right elbow fracture
Andrus was hit by a pitch two weeks ago, resulting in a right elbow fracture. He did not need surgery and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. That's a long time to hold onto someone, but Andrus will be worth it. Of course he is a High Injury Risk right now because he is only two weeks into his Optimal Recovery Time, but we are showing that he will improve significantly by the end of May. Andrus has also never been on the DL in his 10-year career and has played in at least 145 games each season. That's going to change this year, but it does indicate his durability. He will again be a Top 10 Fantasy shortstop when he returns.
Eric Thames 1B, Brewers: torn UCL in left thumb
The worst news of the week was the left thumb injury to Thames. While fielding a ground ball, Thames jammed his left hand into the ground, leading to a UCL tear in his thumb. He is expected to undergo surgery and will need anywhere from 6-8 weeks to recover. This is the same injury that Mike Trout and Bryce Harper previously suffered. Recovery time depends on quite a few factors from the severity of the tear to the exact procedure used to repair the ligament damage.
So what should his Fantasy owners do? Thames is a guy that you need to hold onto unless you're incredibly desperate. He may not be a contributor until the All-Star break. But a guy like Thames needs to be rostered. He has high upside as a power hitter and already compiled seven home runs and 13 RBI in the first month of the season. It is important to be patient with Thames when he is cleared as it could take 2-4 weeks for him to get his power back.
Jake Lamb 3B, Diamondbacks: right elbow tendinitis & left shoulder AC sprain
Jake Lamb was making his way back from an AC sprain in his non-throwing shoulder when his right elbow started to act up. An MRI showed inflammation and tendinitis, causing him to put a pause on his rehab assignment. Our algorithm is now showing an additional two weeks to recover. His injuries are certainly testing the patience of his Fantasy owners, but it's worth waiting a bit longer if you can get away with it. Injuries like this are fairly common as players try to overcompensate. He may have put too much pressure on his throwing arm trying to protect his left shoulder, leading to the new injury. Lamb remains an Elevated Injury Risk, but things are looking up.
Adrian Beltre 3B, Rangers: left hamstring strain
Here we go again. Beltre is back on the DL with a left hamstring strain, the same injury he suffered last year. We wish we could say it's time to drop Beltre, but his upside is just too high when he is in the lineup. There is a lot of risk here, though, and there always will be. Hold onto him if you can, but keep in mind that he will likely have another injury at some point even when he recovers from this hamstring strain. He also had calf injuries last season, and the lower body muscular strains are piling up. Those are major red flags for an aging player like Beltre.
Andrew Miller RP, Indians: hamstring strain
An MRI on Miller's left hamstring showed a strain, forcing him to the DL. Miller was off to a strong start in April, and our analytics show that he should be able to pick back up where he left off within the next two weeks. Miller has a 0.00 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 10 innings this year with one save. It's tough to lose a relief pitcher to an injury, especially one that isn't racking up the saves, but this injury isn't a serious concern. Hold onto Miller if you can.
Carlos Gonzalez OF, Rockies: hamstring strain
Gonzalez left over a week ago with tightness in his hamstring and ultimately landed on the DL. He has already progressed to hitting in the batting cage and working on strength activities. There still isn't a clear timetable for his return, but our analytics show that he could be ready for a rehab assignment by the start of next week. If you've held onto him for this long, it's worth it for another week. Just keep in mind that his Injury Risk is still High and could be for much of the season. He battled quite a few injuries last year (shoulder, ankle, calf, hand) in 136 games.
DROP (unless you have an open DL spot)
Kevin Kiermaier CF, Rays: right thumb ligament tear
Kiermaier underwent thumb surgery last week and is expected to miss two to three months. It's a long absence for a guy who already wasn't a great outfield option. Don't bother holding onto him. With this injury, power can also be affected for months after returning. This is the third straight season that Kiermaier is going to miss a big chunk of time (right hip fracture- 2017, left hand fracture- 2016).
Avisail Garcia OF, White Sox: hamstring strain
A "mild to moderate" hamstring strain landed Garcia on the DL, and now it's time to drop him unless you have an open DL spot. His pre-injury slash line was .233/.250/.315, nothing impressive, and now when he returns he will be at a higher risk of injury.
Adam Wainwright SP, Cardinals: elbow inflammation
It's never a good thing when we hear a pitcher battling arm problems. This is a problem that could sideline him for just 10 days or it could turn into a lengthy absence. Don't forget, Wainwright had surgery in the offseason to shave cartilage down in his elbow, so elbow problems aren't a new thing for the veteran.
Carlos Gonzalez Featured Image: (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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