Welcome to the Last Word On Sports 2015 Weekly Injury Report. This will be a series of reports updated every week to give you the insight and advantage you need to make any necessary changes to your lineup. It can be tough trying to decipher whether a particular injury is serious enough to keep a player off the field for an extended amount of time and we here at LWOS want to provide you with the best up to date information available. We will also provide analysis and, at times, bench and minor league player recommendations that will gain more playing time because of an injury. Be smart and don’t let the injury bug ruin your team and your chance for a Fantasy Baseball Championship.
Without further ado, here is the injury report for the week of Feb. 22 2015:
Homer Bailey, SP, Cincinnati Reds
The Injury: Bailey is currently recovering from forearm surgery and should be back by Opening Day.
What It Means: As it stands, Bailey looks to be a decent late-round pick for starting pitching depth as is current ADP is 181.3.
Willie Bloomquist, SS, Seattle Mariners
The Injury: Bloomquist is currently recovering from knee surgery that he had in August and is on track to be ready for opening day.
What It Means: In terms of Fantasy, not very much. Bloomquist does not get regular playing time (only season over 400 PA was 2009) and has put up underwhelming numbers when he has played.
Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
The Injury: Braun is currently recovering from right thumb surgery that he had in October and is likely to be ready by Opening Day.
What It Means: Braun’s thumb has been a recurring issue over the last couple seasons. It is possible that this recurring issue played a major factor in the decline in numbers he has seen the last couple seasons. While his ADP is pretty high (32) based on past success, we would recommend keeping up to date and the recovery of his thumb before drafting him onto your team.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers
The Injury: Cabrera is currently recovering from foot surgery and is likely to be back by Opening Day.
What It Means: While Cabrera should be back by opening day, this injury does leave a cloud of uncertainty. Even though this will likely have an impact on his stock, he is still likely to be drafted in the first round.
Matt Cain, SP, San Francisco Giants
The Injury: Cain is currently recovering from elbow surgery that he had in August and should be ready for Opening Day.
What It Means: Cain had his worst season as a pro last year, with a 4.18 ERA & 4.58 FIP. It is possible that these numbers from last year may have been a product of trying to pitch through this injury. Even with a full recovery, it may be too much to ask for a repeat of 2011-2012 when he had sub-3 ERA’s. Currently, his ADP is at 229.8 and is at least worth a late round draft pick.
Patrick Corbin, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
The Injury: Corbin is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery that he had in March and he may be back as early as June. For draft status, best case scenario would be a late round pick for deeper and NL-only leagues. While he had solid 2013 numbers, 3.41 ERA/7.69 K/9 in most cases Corbin isn’t worth drafting due to the expectation of missed time.
What It Means: While a partial season of the above numbers may not be worth drafting, Corbin may be a reasonable waiver wire pick up when he returns and if he shows the potential to repeat the numbers that he had in 2013.
Sean Doolittle, RP, Oakland Athletics
The Injury: Doolittle is currently recovering from a left rotator cuff tear and is questionable to be back in time for opening day.
What It Means: Doolittle got his first chance to close last year and got 22 SV, 2.73 ERA & 12.78 K/9. With Doolittle missing the early part of the season that temporarily opens up the closer position for the Athletics. Doolittle’s progress in recovering from this injury is something that will need to be monitored closely in Spring Training. In the event that he’s not ready for opening day, this could open the door for either Tyler Clippard or Eric O’Flaherty to pick up some saves.
Jose Fernandez, SP, Miami Marlins
The Injury: Fernandez is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery and is scheduled to be back by June.
What It Means: For the back end of the draft, it leaves us with an
interesting dilemma. Since Fernandez was very dominant over his first 36 starts (2.25 ERA, 10.31 K/9), do you stash him on your roster until he returns from injury or pass in favor of a less talented pitcher with a cleaner bill of health. Despite the expectation of significant missed time, his ADP is at 177.0 based on his pre-injury dominance.
Matt Harvey, SP, New York Mets
The Injury: Harvey is currently recovering from October 2013 Tommy John surgery and appears on track to be ready by Opening Day.
What It Means: Harvey was out the entire 2014 season due to surgery but appears on track to have a strong season. While there are concerns about how long it will take for him to be back into form and his innings being limited, his talent and performance in 2012-2013 is too strong to ignore and he currently has an ADP of 67.0
Josh Hamilton, OF, Los Angeles Angels
The Injury: Hamilton is currently recovering from shoulder surgery and could possibly be back by opening day.
What It Means: Over the last few seasons, Hamilton’s value has trended downwards due to a continual stream of injuries and decreased production since signing with the Angels. This is reflected in his draft stock as his ADP is currently at 224.0. While he appears on track to be back in time for the season to start, based on his recent health history this would be anything but guaranteed, draft him at your own risk.
Kenley Jansen, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers
The Injury: Jansen is out 8-12 weeks after having Foot Surgery. Jansen is likely to miss at least the first month of the season.
What It Means: The Dodgers closer situation just got a lot less stable and a lot less interesting. Coming into today, Jansen had an ADP of 62.3 which was the third highest amongst closers. Now, we get to see pitchers such as Joel Peralta and Brandon League battle to get the closer job on an interim basis before Jansen returns.
Jonathan Lucroy, C, Milwaukee Brewers
The Injury: Right hamstring sprain and is likely to be ready for Opening Day.
What It Means: While Lucroy is likely to miss much if not all of Spring Training, he appears unlikely to miss regular season playing time at this point. While this could put him at risk to get off to a slow start, this shouldn’t have too much impact on his draft stock. Is current ADP is at 62.8.
Victor Martinez, 1B, Detroit Tigers
The Injury: Martinez is currently recovering from left knee surgery and is likely to be ready by Opening Day.
What It Means: Drafting Martinez was already somewhat of a risky proposition due to his age and it being unlikely that his power outburst from last year was repeatable. Being injured this close to the start of the season merely adds to the risk.
The Injury: Moore is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery and could be back by June.
Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, Cleveland Indians
The Injury: Moss is currently recovering from Hip Surgery from October and is slated to return by Opening Day.
What It Means: In the long-term, this does not appear to impact his Fantasy Value. His current ADP is at 178.8 and he still looks on track to be a source of 25+ HR power with mediocre batting average.
Jake McGee, RP, Tampa Bay Rays
The Injury: McGee is currently recovering from Left Elbow Surgery and is expected to be back in May.
What It Means: McGee excelled in the closer role last year saving 19 games. He also had a 1.89 ERA & 11.13 K/9. With McGee expected to miss time, this makes the Rays closer situation one to watch closely as draft day approaches. The main candidates to get save opportunities at least for the first month of the season are Grant Balfour, Brad Boxberger and Ernesto Frieri.
Angel Pagan, OF, San Francisco Giants
The Injury: Recovering from back surgery he received in September of 2014. He is a possible for Opening Day.
What It Means: Pagan adds value in average and SB but with 129 games missed the last 2 seasons due to injuries, he has been pushed to late round pick status (Fantasy Pros ADP 348). The OF depth of players is pretty deep as well making Pagan a deeper league option only.
Bobby Parnell, P, New York Mets
The Injury: Recovering from Tommy John Surgery he received in April of 2014. A CBS sports report states he will more than likely miss the first 2-3 weeks of the season.
What It Means: Parnell may miss the first few weeks of the season but he is eyeing the closer role upon his return. He did have 22 saves in 50 IP in 2013. If he is not drafted in your league (Fantasy Pros ADP is 385 so it’s highly likely) he could be an excellent waiver wire addition if he does regain his former position.
Garret Richards, P, Los Angeles Angels
The Injury: Recovering from knee surgery he received in August of 2014. He is possible for Opening Day.
What It Means: A sporting news report stated that Garrett Richards had a 20-pitch (all fastballs) bullpen session on February 16th and he reported feeling good. After a breakout year in 2014 (73 FIP-) he will be a solid pick for 2015. If he doesn’t make opening day, he will more than likely be ready a couple of weeks after.
Nick Swisher, 1B, Cleveland Indians
The Injury: Recovering from left and right knee surgery he received in August of 2015. He is possible for Opening Day
What It Means: Swisher has not been the same since his departure from New York. His power and average have been on the decline since 2012. Now with knee surgeries under Swisher’s belt, fantasy owners are a lot more cautious in selecting him (Fantasy Pro ADP 445) and we suggest you to do the same.
Jayson Werth, OF, Washington Nationals
The injury: Recovering from shoulder surgery he received in January of 2015. He is possible for Opening Day
Jayson Werth is hoping to make Opening Day, as his surgery was considered “minimally-invasive.” He is a solid mid round option (ADP 125) that contributes in multiple categories. However you will want a backup to fill in for him if he does miss the first week or so of the season.
Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore Orioles
The Injury: Recovering from Tommy John Surgery he received in June of 2014. He is possible for Opening Day
What It Means: Matt Wieters will be participating in Spring Training per Bleacher Report. If all goes well, Wieters should be in the line-up come Opening Day. He will be a solid mid round pick (averaged over 20 HR and 68 RBI from 2011-2013) if you miss out on the early round catchers.
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