**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 19
HENDERSON ALVAREZ, SP, MIAMI MARLINS
The Injury: Alvarez was placed on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation.
What It Means: This is not good news for a Marlins staff that had already started the season short-handed. At this point, it has not been established how much time he is expected to miss or who his replacement will be in the starting rotation. However, David Phelps did make his first start of the season on Friday.
HOMER BAILEY, SP, CINCINNATI REDS
The Injury: Bailey is currently recovering from forearm surgery.
What It Means: Bailey is getting very close to returning to action. He threw 5 2/3 innings in a rehab start and could be in place to be activated for the Reds series against the Cardinals.
MICHAEL BRANTLEY, OF, CLEVELAND INDIANS
The Injury: Brantley is day-to-day with lower back stiffness.
What It Means: While he has not been placed on the 15-day DL, it is still discouraging that he has not been healthy enough to play for much of the first two weeks of this season.
MATT CAIN, SP, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
The Injury: Cain is currently on the 15-day DL with a right flexor tendon strain and could possibly be back in April.
What It Means: Progress hasn’t exactly been quick in recovery. Even though Cain has been feeling better, he has yet to start throwing. This situation will need to be monitored closely to ensure that the amount of time missed doesn’t extend beyond a few weeks.
KOLE CALHOUN, OF, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
The Injury: Calhoun is currently day-to-day with right calf muscle tightness.
What It Means: Calhoun has been out of the lineup for the last few days. There are some indications that this injury is short-term and would not require a DL stint as he has at least been able to pinch-hit.
CARLOS CARRASCO, SP, CLEVELAND INDIANS
The Injury: Carrasco has a jaw contusion after being hit by a line drive.
What It Means: First of all we should be fortunate, as this injury could have been much worse. At this point it looks like he will likely avoid going on the DL and his next scheduled start was pushed back by a day.
ALEX COBB, SP, TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Injury: Cobb is currently recovering from right forearm tendinitis.
What It Means: Even though he is making progress with his recovery, one thing that is worrisome is that there is no explicit timetable for his return even though the previous best case scenario had him coming back by mid-April.
COCO CRISP, OF, OAKLAND ATHLETICS
The Injury: Crisp is recovering from right elbow surgery and could possibly be back by late-May.
What It Means: While his surgery appears to have gone well, there is no explicit timetable for when Crisp will be ready to return. He is set to be reexamined soon at which point there will be more clarification on when he will be expected to be back in action.
SEAN DOOLITTLE, RP, OAKLAND ATHLETICS
The Injury: Doolittle is currently recovering from a left rotator cuff tear. He is currently on the 15-day DL and he could possibly be back by May.
What It Means: Doolittle looks on track to continue his progress this week as he is getting close to throwing off the mound. However, it is possible that he may not be back until the latter part of May.
JOSE FERNANDEZ, SP, MIAMI MARLINS
The Injury: Fernandez is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery and could possibly be back by June.
What It Means: As expected, Fernandez is starting the season on the 15-day DL. He should start facing hitters in late-April as he works towards completing the recovery process.
BRETT GARDNER, OF, NEW YORK YANKEES
The Injury: Gardner is day-to-day with a right wrist injury and is scheduled to return to action soon.
What It Means: Gardner got some good news regarding his injury. His MRI indicated that he should be soon cleared to return and be back in the line-up on a daily basis.
YAN GOMES, C, CLEVELAND INDIANS
The Injury: Gomes was placed on the 15-day DL with a right MCL sprain and could possibly be back in June.
What It Means: This is definitely a blow for anyone who drafted him looking for high-level production from the catcher position, as the prognosis is an absence of six to eight weeks. For the time being, Roberto Perez is expected to see an increase in playing time at this position for the Indians.
CARLOS GOMEZ, OF, MILWAUKEE BREWERS
The Injury: Gomez was recently placed on the 15-day DL with a right hamstring injury.
What It Means: Currently, there is no timetable for his return. At the very least, he will be out for the rest of April. In his absence Gerardo Parra will get an increase in playing time. Next week, further tests will be done to determine if he will be out beyond 15 days.
FELIX HERNANDEZ, SP, SEATTLE MARINERS
The Injury: Hernandez is day-to-day with right quad tightness after exiting his start against Oakland early on Sunday.
What It Means: So far, this has been a minor bump in the road as Hernandez made his scheduled start on Saturday.
KENLEY JANSEN, RP, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
The Injury: Jansen is recovering from left foot surgery and could be back by mid-May.
What It Means: The bad news is that the timetable for return has been pushed back a little bit. While he is throwing on a daily basis, he is still two weeks away from even throwing from a mound.
IAN KENNEDY, SP, SAN DIEGO PADRES
The Injury: Kennedy is on the 15-day DL with a left hamstring sprain and could be back by late-April.
What It Means: Even though Kennedy has been doing better, there are still some barriers separating him from returning, such as throwing bullpen sessions and a likely rehab assignment.
EVAN LONGORIA, 3B, TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Injury: Longoria is day-to-day with a left hip injury after being hit by a pitch.
What It Means: While it is ambiguous on whether the HBP was intentional or not, the good news is that Longoria appears to be OK and is not expected to miss much time.
JAKE MCGEE, RP, TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Injury: McGee is currently recovering from left elbow surgery and could possibly be back by May.
What It Means: McGee is making progress in his recovery. He has progressed to throwing live batting practice and has pitched in an extended Spring Training game.
JENRRY MEJIA, RP, NEW YORK METS
The Injury: Mejia is on the 15-day DL with right elbow stiffness.
What It Means: Right now, injuries are the least of Mejia’s concerns. He is currently serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for PED’s. Also, there is no guarantee that there will be a roster spot on the Mets waiting for him (let alone the closer job) once his suspension is over.
DEVIN MESORACO, C, CINCINNATI REDS
The Injury: Mesoraco is currently day-to-day with left hip discomfort.
What It Means: At this point, this appears to be a temporary issue as Mesoraco is expected to be back in the lineup within a week. Due to this injury, Brayan Pena will likely get a temporary increase in playing time.
HUNTER PENCE, OF, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
The Injury: Pence suffered a broken left forearm from a HBP during a Spring Training game. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Reports vary about the progress of Pence with some reports saying he will start a rehab assignment soon and some saying he hasn’t even attempted to swing a bat yet. Hopefully you have a DL spot or a deep bench to stash Pence, as there is no confirmed timetable for his return. In the meantime Gregor Blanco has taken over RF and has started off cold this season slashing .222/.333/.389. Blanco will net you some steals but has limited power. Standard 10-12 team leagues can more than likely find better replacements on the waiver wire.
YASIEL PUIG, OF, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
The Injury: Suffering from a tight hamstring. He is currently day-to-day.
What It Means: The injury occurred sometime during the game on Monday against the Seattle Mariners. He finished the game but was not in the lineup on Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday. Skipper Don Mattingly stated that he could have used Puig as a pinch hitter/runner on Friday so it seems the injury is not too serious but there is some concern. If Puig does go on the DL look for Scott Van Slyke or Andre Either to get extra playing time.
ANTHONY RENDON, 3B, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
The Injury: Suffered a MCL sprain in his left knee. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Skipper Matt Williams again stressed that theses types of injuries can take some time but Rendon has been doing light workouts, taking grounders, and hitting. No timetable on his return but the good news is that there is no further aggravation of the knee. So don’t panic yet people, hopefully he can make a rehab start soon. Yunel Escobar has been manning 3B in Rendon’s absence but hopefully you drafted a backup along with Rendon or there is somebody on waivers, as Escobar’s fantasy value is limited.
JOSE REYES, SS, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The Injury: Suffering from a small fracture in his rib and a muscle strain. He is currently day-to-day.
What It Means: Reyes just can’t catch a break, as he is down again early in the season. He has been ruled out for the entire weekend series against Braves and will be re-evaluated on Tuesday after some rest. In my opinion, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Reyes hit the DL, as they need him healthy if they plan on contending. Ryan Goines has replaced Reyes in the lineup but he does not have much fantasy value. 10-12 team leagues may be able to find better value on the waiver wire but deeper leagues may have to be stuck with Goines unless you the hindsight to draft a backup.
GARRETT RICHARDS, P, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
The Injury: Recovering from knee surgery he received in August of 2014.
What It Means: It is official and Angel fans are rejoicing! Richards has been activated from the DL and will make his 2015 debut on Sunday against the Houston Astros. Those in daily leagues will want to get him activated, as he is a must start.
ALEX RIOS, OF, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
The Injury: Suffered a fractured fifth metacarpal in his left hand. He has been placed on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: There is no timetable for his return but MLB Daily Dish stated that A-Rod missed six weeks in 2012 with the same injury. Jarrod Dyson will likely take over in the OF for Rios. Dyson brings plenty of SB opportunities and a league average batting average but not much else as far as fantasy value goes. There may also be a push to get rookie Paulo Orlando some more playing time as well. Orlando became the first person in MLB history to hit three triples in his first three at-bats.
HYUN-JIN RYU, P, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
The Injury: Suffering from left shoulder tightness. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Ryu continues his return from left shoulder tightness by extending the distance between throws to 90 feet tweets Ken Gurnick. This is the third consecutive day Ryu has thrown which means he is more than likely not feeling any more discomfort. No timetable has been set for his return. Joe Wieland will more than likely slot into the #5 spot but the Dodgers are rolling with a four man rotation for now because of all of their off days.
DREW SMYLY, P, TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Injury: Suffering from shoulder tendinitis. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Smyly has pitched two rehab games so far and he stated that he is feeling good. Tampa Bay figures he probably needs one, possibly two, more rehab starts before rejoining the Rays rotation. The latest he looks to get back would be April 29th, but he could possibly be back five days earlier. Until then, Erasmo Ramirez and Nate Kerns would look to benefit from Smyly’s absence. However, we would not suggest that you place Ramirez on your roster in any league.
DENARD SPAN, OF, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
The Injury: Received surgery for a torn rectus abdominis muscle on March 9th. He is currently on the disabled list.
What It Means: Span has officially joined the team in Washington but has yet to be activated from the DL. Skipper Matt Williams stated that it is possible Span gets taken off the DL on Sunday. Those in weekly leagues will want to get him activated as it looks like he will be playing sometime next week. Michael Taylor has looked good holding down CF for Span but will be relegated back to bench duty or even optioned to AAA once Span returns.
YORDANO VENTURA, P, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
The Injury: Suffered a cramp in his right thumb. He is currently day-to-day.
What It Means: Ventura exited his first start with the cramp but the injury was not considered serious at all, as Ventura started on Saturday against the Oakland A’s. Ventura was not sharp ending the night with a line of: 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, and 2 K taking the loss.
JUSTIN VERLANDER, P, DETROIT TIGERS
The Injury: Suffering from sore triceps. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Verlander’s road to recovery hit a bit of a pothole when he experienced soreness in his triceps after a bullpen session and simulated game on Wednesday. Skipper Brad Ausmus states that they expected the soreness but his schedule has been pushed back a day to rest his arm. No timetable has been set for his return. Kyle Lobstein was called up to make a spot start and will continue to start until Verlander returns.
MATT WIETERS, C, BALTIMORE ORIOLES
The Injury: Recovering from Tommy John Surgery he received in June of 2014. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Wieters played in an extended Spring Training game on Tuesday. He had five at-bats and threw from 150 feet. Skipper Buck Showalter expressed that Wieters could start a rehab assignment sooner rather than later, but no timetable has been set. In the mean time, Caleb Joseph is starting behind the dish and is off to a great start slashing .370/.452/.630 through eight games.
DAVID WRIGHT, 3B, NEW YORK METS
The Injury: Suffered a pulled hamstring. He has been placed on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Wright, like Jose Reyes, just can’t seem to stay healthy in recent years. General manager Sandy Alderson stated that they expect Wright back within three weeks. When he does come back, Wright could be a good sell high candidate if he continues to hit. In the meantime, Eric Campbell will be called up to replace Wright at 3B. Campbell did hit .263 last season in 211 PA last season but that was with a .348 BABIP. He also hasn’t displayed much power in the Majors either.