LWOS 2015 Baseball Injury Report Week Of April 5

**These reports are prepared by Ryan Dumouchel and Jose Maldonado.

Welcome to the Last Word On Sports 2015 Weekly Baseball 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 fantasy 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.

LWOS 2015 BASEBALL INJURY REPORT WEEK OF APRIL 5

HOMER BAILEY, SP, CINCINNATI REDS, FANTASY PROS ADP 183.7  

The Injury: Bailey is currently recovering from forearm surgery and could be back by mid-April.

What It Means: Bailey continues to make progress in his recovery as he recently pitched three innings in a minor league game. Even with this progress, if you draft him it is likely that he will miss at least a few starts.

DOMINIC BROWN, OF, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES, FANTASY PROS ADP 352.3

The Injury: Brown is currently recovering from left Achilles tendinitis and could possibly be ready to return in early-April.

What It Means: The possibility of Brown missing time became a reality last week as it was announced that he will begin this season on the DL. While he is expected to miss at least a week there is no clear timetable for his return. Players that could get additional playing time in his absence include Grady Sizemore, Jeff Francoeur, Jordan Danks and Darin Ruf.

MIGUEL CABRERA, 1B, DETROIT TIGERS, FANTASY PROS ADP 5.3

The Injury: Cabrera is currently recovering from foot surgery and could possibly be ready to play on Opening Day.

What It Means: The recovery progress appears to be going strongly for Cabrera. He has been playing in Spring Training games and has been hitting very well since returning to action.

RUSNEY CASTILLO, OF, BOSTON RED SOX, Fantasy Pros, ADP 153.2

The Injury: Castillo has a left oblique strain but could possibly be back by Opening Day.

What It Means: With Castillo, the recovery process from his injury does not seem to be the top barrier to his fantasy value. The Red Sox outfield situation is crowded and there is the possibility of him either splitting playing time with Shane Victorino or even starting the season in the minors.

ALEX COBB, SP, TAMPA BAY RAYS, FANTASY PROS 94.5

The Injury: Cobb is currently recovering from right forearm tendinitis and could be back by mid-April.

What It Means: In the best-case scenario, this slightly decreases Cobb’s draft value. While it sounds like the amount of missed time appears limited to a few starts, this situation will need to be watched closely before you decide to draft Cobb. He continued his progress in recovering from this injury as he’s now playing catch from a 60-75 foot distance.

COCO CRISP, OF, OAKLAND ATHLETICS, FANTASY PROS ADP 286.2

The Injury: Crisp is currently recovering from Right elbow Soreness and it was just announced that he will need surgery.

What It Means: Crisp is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Since Crisp was already a borderline fantasy option to begin with, we would not recommend drafting him. However, he will likely be a solid waiver wire pick up when he gets back on the field.

JORGE DE LA ROSA, SP, COLORADO ROCKIES, FANTASY PROS ADP 377.3

The Injury: De La Rosa is recovering from left groin tightness and could be back sometime in April.

What It Means: This is an issue that he is still dealing with and there does not appear to be much progress being made. It is very likely that De La Rosa will start the season on the DL.

SEAN DOOLITTLE, RP, OAKLAND ATHLETICS,FANTASY PROS ADP 204.2

The Injury: Doolittle is currently recovering from a left rotator cuff tear. There doesn’t appear to be an explicit timetable on when he is expected to be back in action.

What It Means: Doolittle is starting to play catch since being shut down. While he is making progress, he is still expected to be out to start the season. If you are looking for a temporary source of saves in the meantime, Tyler Clippard has been named the A’s temporary closer.

YU DARVISH, SP, TEXAS RANGERS, FANTASY PROS ADP 69.4

The Injury: Darvish has a partial tear of the UCL in his right elbow and he has already had Tommy John surgery.

What It Means: Obviously, this is not good news. If you have already done your draft and used an early round pick to draft Darvish, this is definitely not what you don’t want to hear. If you haven’t done your draft and were thinking about drafting Darvish, it is now official that he will be out for 2015 and now is the time to think about other options.

JOSE FERNANDEZ, SP, MIAMI MARLINS, FANTASY PROS ADP 178.0

The Injury: Fernandez is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery and could possibly 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?

While he is making progress in his recovery, he also is about a month away from facing live hitters. With this timetable, he is still on track to miss a significant portion of the 2015 season.

JOSH HAMILTON, OF, LOS ANGELES ANGELS, FANTASY PROS ADP 286.2

The Injury: Hamilton is currently recovering from shoulder surgery. Currently, there is no established timetable for his return.

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. On Friday, it was announced that Hamilton would not be suspended; as it was determined he did not violate the leagues substance abuse policy. While that clears one obstacle between Hamilton and getting himself on the field, there is still the fact that his recovery from his surgery has been going at a slow pace and he is still weeks away from being healthy.

J.J. HARDY, SS, BALTIMORE ORIOLES, FANTASY PROS ADP 273.7

The Injury: Hardy has a left shoulder strain and could possibly be ready in early April.

What It Means: Hardy is starting the season on the DL and is going to miss some time. Even with this setback, the good news is that this injury does not appear to require surgery and that there is optimism that he would be back well before the month of May.

KENLEY JANSEN, RP, LOS ANGELES DODGERS, FANTASY PROS ADP 106.7

The Injury: Jansen is out until at least late-April after having left foot surgery.

What It Means: Jansen’s goal at this point is to return to action within five weeks. This would indicate that his return time might be closer to May. In regards to the question of who will be the temporary closer, that situation is still up in the air. At this point, you will need to watch news on this quickly and be ready to act quickly if you are looking to get a few extra saves.

CASEY JANSSEN, RP, WASHINGTON NATIONALS, FANTASY PROS ADP 311.5

The Injury: Janssen is recovering from right shoulder tendinitis and could possibly be ready for Opening day.

What It Means: Janssen underwent an MRL which helped detect this injury. While this appears to be a short-term injury there are also a lot of unknowns such as whether surgery is required or how long he would need to rest.

JOE KELLY, SP, BOSTON RED SOX, FANTASY PROS ADP 410.3

The Injury: Kelly is recovering from right biceps tightness and could possibly be ready by Opening Day.

What It Means: Last week, Kelly pitched in a minor league game. Even though the recovery process seems to be going well, it still looks very possible that he could start the season on the DL.

CLIFF LEE, SP, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES, FANTASY PROS ADP 172.8

The Injury: Lee exited his Spring Training start on March 8th after experiencing discomfort.

What It Means: The prognosis on his injury is extremely bleak. Lee has been officially placed on the 60-day DL and it is unlikely that he will be healthy enough to pitch this season.

NICK MARKAKIS, OF, ATLANTA BRAVES, FANTASY PROS ADP 288.2

The Injury: Markakis is currently recovering from neck surgery that he had in December. There is still the possibility that he will be ready to go by Opening Day.

What It Means: If you are planning on adding him as a late round draft pick, you will need to closely watch his recovery progress. The news from the last week has been encouraging as Markakis went 2-for-3 in his Spring Training debut.

VICTOR MARTINEZ, 1B, DETROIT TIGERS, FANTASY PROS ADP 57.7

The Injury: Martinez is currently recovering from left knee surgery and is likely to be ready by Opening Day.

What It Means: While Martinez still does not appear to be 100%, the outlook on whether he will be ready to play on Opening Day looks optimistic at this point.

JAKE MCGEE, RP, TAMPA BAY RAYS, FANTASY PROS ADP 222.2

The Injury: McGee is currently recovering from left elbow surgery and could possibly be back by 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, the competition for the Rays closer job in Spring Training is something that needs to be watched closely.

McGee appears to be making progress in this area, as he could be back in the majors by late-April/early May. There has been some conflicting information on how this role will be filled temporarily. While the Rays have indicated that they are going with a closer by committee, it is also indicated that Brad Boxberger is expected to be one of the people that could be given multiple opportunities to close.

MIKE MINOR, SP, ATLANTA BRAVES, FANTASY PROS ADP 295.2

The Injury: Minor is recovering from left shoulder inflammation and could be back by May.

What It Means: While Minor is making progress in his recovery, there is no official timetable for his return and this situation needs to be watched closely in case anything changes.

DANIEL MURPHY, 2B, NEW YORK METS, FANTASY PROS ADP 152.8

The Injury: Murphy is currently recovering from a right hamstring sprain and could possibly be ready for Opening Day.

What It Means: In reality, it is looking murky at best as to whether Murphy can avoid missing time. While he has been playing in Minor League games, he has been jogging down the base paths instead of running indicating that he’s not quite ready to return.

ANGEL PAGAN, OF, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS, FANTASY PROS ADP 329.8    

The Injury: Recovering from back surgery he received in September of 2014. He is possible for Opening Day.

What It Means: Pagan blasted his first homer of the spring on Thursday. This sounds like he may be ready to go for Opening Day but no official word is out yet. Pagan adds value in AVG and SB but with 139 games missed the last two seasons due to injuries, he has been pushed to later round picks status. The OF depth of players is pretty deep as well making Pagan a deep league or NL only option.

BOBBY PARNELL, P, NEW YORK METS, FANTASY PROS ADP 352

The Injury: Recovering from Tommy John surgery he received in April of 2014. He will miss the first 2-3 weeks of the regular season.

What It Means: Parnell pitched in a Minor League game on Wednesday, allowing one HR in one inning of work. His fastball touched the low-mid 90’s (before TJ he was sitting upper 90’s easily). He will miss the first couple 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 (it’s highly likely in 10-12 team leagues) he could be an excellent waiver wire addition if he does regain his former position. Jenrry Mejia will handle the closer duties.

HUNTER PENCE, OF, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS, FANTASY PROS ADP 102

The Injury: Pence suffered a broken left forearm from a HBP during a spring training game. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

What It Means: A threat for 20+ HR and 10+ SB with a solid AVG, Pence has certainly been a hot commodity in drafts so far. A tweet from Alex Pavlovic states that Pence was doing some throwing and sprinting on Thursday and his cast could come off as soon as Friday, April 3rd. Hold tight if you’ve already drafted him, as the injury is not season threatening. I see no problem in drafting Pence, as long as you have a backup to fill in until he returns.

JOSH REDDICK, OF, OAKLAND ATHLETICS, FANTASY PROS ADP 293.3

The Injury: Suffering from a right oblique strain. He will not be ready for Opening Day.

What It Means: A report from outsidepitchmlb.com reveals that Reddick will indeed miss the first week of the season and will not be available to play until at least April 11th, possibly longer. Reddick has had injury issues in the past (42 games missed in 2014 and 41 games in 2013) so plan on having a backup if you do draft him. Eric Sogard will man 2nd while Ben Zobrist takes over RF until Reddick returns.

ANTHONY RENDON, 3B, WASHINGTON NATIONALS, FANTASY PROS ADP 25.5

The Injury: Suffered a MCL sprain in his left knee. He will start the season on the disabled list.

What It Means: A third opinion on the knee confirmed the first two and Rendon will be on the DL while he rests and rehabs. GM Mike Rizzo declared that there was nothing seriously wrong and Rendon should possibly be back on the field in 3-4 weeks. He has had a history with leg injuries, missing 112 games in the minors from a left ankle sprain. This has gone from “don’t worry” to “maybe we should worry a little.” With his breakout season last year (.287/.351/.473 with 21 HR and 17 SB), Rendon has become a hot commodity on draft day.

GARRETT RICHARDS, P, LOS ANGELES ANGELS, FANTASY PROS ADP 120.5

The Injury: Recovering from knee surgery he received in August of 2014.He is expected to miss the first 2-3 weeks of the season and start the season on the disabled list.

What It Means: A report from angels.mlb.com states that Richards had another great outing in a AAA start on Thursday, throwing 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Skipper Mike Scioscia wants Richards to throw in two more rehab starts before joining the rotation, which would make April19th the earliest he could return. After a breakout year in 2014 (13-4 with a 2.61 ERA and a 164:51 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 IP) he should be a solid pick for 2015.

HYUN-JIN RYU, P, LOS ANGELES DODGERS, FANTASY PROS ADP 162.8

The Injury: Suffering from left shoulder tightness, he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the season on the disabled list.

What It Means: Ryu was sent to L.A. for an M.R.I. and will be shut down for a couple weeks to rest and rehab. It’s concerning that the same shoulder discomfort he experienced from last year is carrying over to this year. Ryu would be a solid mid-round option (career 3.17 ERA and 293 K in 344 IP), so hope that surgery is not in his near future. Options to replace him in the rotation are Carlos Frias, Zach Lee, Mike Bolsinger, and Joe Wieland. No timetable is set for his return but Eric Stephen tweets out that he will not be ready before April 14th.

CHRIS SALE, P, CHICAGO WHITE SOX, FANTASY PROS ADP 21.5

The Injury: Sale suffered an avulsion fracture on the lateral side of his left foot. He is expected to miss Opening Day.

What It Means: A chicagotribune.com report states that Sale was dominant in a minor league game on Wednesday, striking out 13 over six innings. Sale told reporters that the foot and ankle feel good and he is expected to pitch one more Minor League game before joining the rotation. As of now the team is hopeful that Sale will be ready to go by April 12th, the sixth game of the season. Since his introduction as a starter in 2012, Sale has been a dominant force on the hill. His 626 strikeouts rank 7th among qualified starting pitchers and his 2.79 ERA ranks 5th during that time span.

ERVIN SANTANA, P, MINNESTOA TWINS, FANTASY PROS ADP 244.7

The Injury: Suspended 80 games for violating the leagues PED policy.

What It Means: Santana was busted for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug called stanozolol. Fantasy owners who drafted Santana will probably want to head to the waiver wire to replace him or possibly look to trade, as his value was limited even before this suspension. Mike Pelfrey will take the vacant rotation spot.

MICHAEL SAUNDERS, OF, TORONTO BLUE JAYS, FANTASY PROS ADP 343.4

The Injury: Saunders has a torn meniscus in his left knee that he suffered in Spring Training. He will start the season on the disabled list.

What It Means: Toronto Star sports reporter Brendan Kennedy tweets out that Saunders ran for the first time on a treadmill on Wednesday. After initial reports began ringing the alarm bell, a return in April or even May would be huge for owners who drafted Saunders, who is a potential 20/20 player. This isn’t his first time dealing with an injury either, missing 68 games in 2014 and 39 games between 2012-2013. This was considered a freak accident (he tripped on a sprinkler divot in the outfield) but Saunders can definitely be categorized as injury prone. Beware of the injury flag.

DREW SMYLY, P, TAMPA BAY RAYS, FANTASY PROS ADP 203.8

The Injury: Suffering from shoulder tendinitis. He will miss his first start of the season.

What It Means: MLive.com reporter Chris Lott tweets out that Smyly threw two innings in a simulated game on Saturday.

Hopefully Smyly can work past this, as he was looking to build off his late season momentum last year. After his trade to the Tampa Bay Rays, Smyly posted a dazzling 1.70 ERA with a 44:11 K/BB ratio in 47 1/3 IP. If you’ve already drafted Smyly hold your breath and hope it’s nothing serious. Alex Colome and Nate Kerns would look to benefit from Smyly’s absence.

DENARD SPAN, OF, WASHINGTON NATIONALS, FANTASY PROS ADP 223.2

The Injury: Received surgery for a torn rectus abdominis muscle on March 9th. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks and start the season on the disabled list.

What It Means: A washingtontimes.com reports reveals that Span is scheduled to play in a Minor League game on Saturday, his first real game action since surgery. Expect Span back in mid-late April, barring any setbacks. In the mean time, Michael Taylor will look to get the majority of reps at CF. His fantasy value is practically non-existent as Taylor is known more for his glove than his bat. Span was getting a good look by fantasy owners so if you already drafted him then sit tight; there is no need to panic and drop him.

MARCUS STROMAN, P, TORONTO BLUE JAYS, FANTASY PROS ADP 204.8

The Injury: Suffered a torn left ACL while running to cover 3B during a Spring Training game. He will miss the entire 2015 season.

What It Means: This is awful news for Stroman, as he was looking to play a big part in the Jays quest for their first playoff berth since 1993. After a solid campaign in 2014 (11-6, 3.65 ERA, 111 K), fantasy owners deemed Stroman good enough to be a mid-round draft pick this year. The good news, especially for those who own him in dyanasty or keeper leagues, is that this is not an arm injury so he should pick up right where he left off next spring. Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris will fill out the two vacant spots in the rotation.

KOJI UEHARA, P, BOSTON RED SOX, FANTASY PROS ADP 135.8

The Injury: Suffered a pulled left hamstring. He will start the season on the disabled list.

What It Means: Uehara shouldn’t miss much time, as he is eyeing his return back to the bullpen during Boston’s first home series. It’s hard to believe that Uehara is going on 40 years old, so be cautious in selecting him, as Father Time is not forgiving. If he does miss Opening Day, look for Edward Mujica to handle the closer duties but skipper John Farell may also go by committee if favorable match-ups present themselves.

MELVIN UPTON JR., OF, ATLANTA BRAVES, FANTASY PROS ADP 356

The Injury: A MRI showed inflammation in his left foot. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks and will start the season on the disabled list.

What It Means: A report from ajc.com states that the earliest Upton will be back would be May and that’s not a guarantee. Upton was looking to bounce back this year as his time in Atlanta has not been pretty (.198/.279/.314 with only 15 HR in 267 games). Fantasy owners have been disappointed when drafting Upton and it is definitely showing this year (Fantasy Pros ADP 368). At this point you can find better options, as the outfield depth for fantasy baseball is deep.

JUSTIN VERLANDER, P, DETROIT TIGERS FANTASY PROS ADP 152.2

The Injury: Suffering from sore triceps. He will start the season on the disabled list.

What It Means: Though Verlander will be on the DL for the first time in his career, the injury is still not considered serious. Skipper Brad Ausmus stated that Verlander will pitch the sixth game of the season on March 12th when he returns, barring any setbacks. This is good news for owners who drafted Verlander and are hoping that he can shake off a rough 2014.

ADAM WAINWRIGHT, P, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, FANTASY PROS ADP 47.7

The Injury: Suffered from abdominal pain. He has been named the starter for Opening Day.

What It Means: Its official, skipper Mike Matheny has stated that Wainwright will take the hill on Sunday night for the MLB season opener against the Cubs. He should be safe to draft (career 3.01 ERA, at least 198 IP in the last 5 seasons). However, he is going on 34 and one wonders how long Wainwright can keep up his dominance.

JAYSON WERTH, OF, WASHINGTON NATIONALS, FANTASY PROS ADP 159.7

The Injury: Recovering from shoulder surgery he received in January of 2015. He will start the season on the disabled list.

What It Means: A washingtontimes.com report states that Werth will miss the first week or so of the season as he continues to work on his rehab. He is doing everything he can to be ready (he can run, throw, and field just fine) but skipper Matt Williams wants to see him get more at bats before officially joining the team. Werth should be a solid mid round pick that contributes in multiple categories, however you will want a backup to fill in for him until he returns.

ZACH WHEELER, P, NEW YORK METS, FANTASY PROS ADP 206.6

The Injury: Suffered a torn UCL in his pitching elbow and will opt for Tommy John surgery. He will miss the entire 2015 season.

What It Means: After a solid debut in 2013 and a fantastic 2014 (185 K and a 3.54 ERA in 185 IP), fantasy owners had Wheeler on their radar for a mid-round selection. Unless something changes, it looks like Dillon Gee will slot into the 5th spot in the rotation. However, Noah Syndergaard is right around the corner and shouldn’t spend much time in AAA this year. At this point in time, Wheeler is due to miss 14 months, meaning he will not be ready for Opening Day next year.

MATT WIETERS, C, BALTIMORE ORIOLES, FANTASY PROS ADP 175.3

The Injury: Recovering from Tommy John Surgery he received in June of 2014. He is doubtful for Opening Day.

What It Means: Its not official yet, but it looks like Wieters will miss Opening Day due to his elbow injury. If, and more likely when, Wieters is placed on the 15-day-DL he will not be available to return until April 11th. Wieters has averaged over 20 HR and 68 RBI from 2011-2013 so if he can get back into form, he could be a steal towards the later part of the draft if he falls that far. If Wieters doesn’t make Opening Day, Caleb Joseph will be tapped to start behind the dish.

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