Max Scherzer, SP WAS – Cautious Start
Max Scherzer left the Nationals’ most recent game against the Marlins in the second inning after complaining of neck tightness. He is said to be planning to pitch on Monday, and all signs are that he will. But there are some potential concerns. Although Scherzer has said he expects no residual effects from the injury, Inside Injuries’ Health Performance Factor tells us that there may be some creeping problems. Neck tightness has the potential to cause pitchers to hang breaking balls, as it is harder to get on top of the ball. Additionally, his fastball velocity could be down as much as 4 mph. If this is the case, then it is a recipe for home runs, especially when facing the current home run leader, Giancarlo Stanton, who has hit 15 home runs in his last 25 games and has had 5 multi-home run games in that span.
Yasmani Grandal, C LAD – Risky Start
The Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal left Saturday’s contest with back spasms. His hitting effects are one thing (back
injuries have a severe impact on power, presumably because of lost bat-speed). But the other more important thing is the uncertainty in the situation. The Dodgers have an off day on Monday, and so it may not be until Tuesday morning when we know if he will play. Additionally, Inside Injuries’ Overall Injury Risk puts him at 27.3%, meaning there is a pretty significant chance that he re-injures his back. Especially when you consider the grueling effect that a catching has on the back to begin with, it is probably best to give Grandal a week off.
Miguel Sano, 3B MIN – Risky Start
X-Rays came back negative on Sano’s hand after he got plunked by a fastball, but that doesn’t mean that there will be no ill effects. The bone bruise has reportedly swollen up, preventing Sano from being able to close his hand. This is one of those situations where he quite literally can’t play right now because he can’t hold a bat. It is unlikely he will be able to “tough it out.” So owners can play him and hope it heals in a short time, but the safest option is to put him on your fantasy bench for next week.
Travis Shaw, 3B MIL – Risky Start
Travis Shaw was hit by a throw when attempting to steal second. He was out of Sunday’s lineup, but he did come off the bench. Injuries like this have less precedent than things like strained hamstrings, so it is hard to project them. Also, if he was hit in the trap versus the spine or the base of the skull, those could all be very different injuries. The daring owner may choose to play him and hope for the best, but more risk-averse owners should certainly take him out of the lineup, as the unknowns far outweigh the potential benefits.
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