**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 BASEBALL INJURY REPORT WEEK OF MAY 17TH
OSWALDO ARCIA, OF, MINNESOTA TWINS
The Injury: Arcia is on the 15-day DL with a Right Hip Flexor Strain.
What It Means: At a minimum, Arcia will miss the next couple weeks. One concerning thing so far is that no official timetable has been established for when he will be able to return to action. And that he is still not back to swinging a bat yet.
ARCHIE BRADLEY, P, ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
The Injury: Bradley is on the 15-day DL from a right sinus fracture that occurred after being hit by a line drive.
What It Means: Bradley is getting very close to returning. Barring any additional setbacks, he is scheduled to start on Sunday.
MATT CAIN, P, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
The Injury: Cain is currently on the 15-day DL with a right flexor tendon strain and could be back by late-May.
What It Means: Cain has been working towards rehabbing from this injury. Currently, he is throwing from 90 feet from a flat surface and is working towards the next step which is throwing in a bullpen session.
ALEX COBB, P, TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Injury: Cobb is out with a right elbow partial ligament tear and is likely to miss the rest of this season.
What It Means: It has been confirmed that Cobb will need Tommy John surgery. If you had drafted him this year hoping to get a boost to your rotation upon his return, now would be the time to find a replacement on your roster for him if you have not already done so.
CARL CRAWFORD, OF, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
The Injury: Crawford is on the disabled list with a right oblique strain and he could possibly be back by the end of May.
What It Means: Crawford has been very injury prone over the last few seasons and this injury is continuing this trend. On average these injuries do take about a month to heal. However, this can vary based on how serious the strain is.
TRAVIS D’ARNAUD, C, NEW YORK METS
The Injury: Travis d’Arnaud is currently out with a right hand fracture and could be back by the end of May.
What It Means: There was some recent good news as d’Arnaud is cleared to resume baseball activities. However, he is still at least a week or two away from starting his rehab assignment.
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 late-May.
What It Means: Doolittle is continuing to make progress as he is getting close to starting his rehab assignment. The strategy appears to be to not rush things to reduce a risk of a setback.
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: Fernandez continues to make progress in his recovery. He recently got past another barrier as he faced live hitting for the first time since having surgery.
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 late-May.
What It Means: The good news with Gomes is that he is ahead of schedule in his recovery and could be back on the field earlier than expected.
JOSH HAMILTON, OF, TEXAS RANGERS
The Injury: Hamilton is recovering from shoulder surgery and could possibly be back by early-June.
What It Means: Hamilton finally got back on the field (albeit in the minor leagues on a rehab assignment). However, it appears it could still be some time before he’s on the Rangers roster.
HISASHI IWAKUMA, P, SEATTLE MARINERS
The Injury: Iwakuma is out with a right lat strain and could be back by early-June.
What It Means: Iwakuma has made some recent progress. Recently, he has resumed throwing from flat ground but still has at least a couple of weeks before starting his rehab assignment.
AUSTIN JACKSON, OF, SEATTLE MARINERS
The Injury: Jackson is on the 15-day DL with a right ankle sprain and could possibly be back by late-May.
What It Means: Jackson has been making progress with his recovery as his ankle has been getting better and could be very close to starting his rehab assignment.
KENLEY JANSEN, RP, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
The Injury: Jansen is recovering from left foot surgery and is very close to being activated.
What It Means: Jansen is on the verge of returning and bringing stability back to the Dodgers closer role. Barring any further setbacks, he will be back on the active roster on May 16.
Update: Jansen was deployed in the 7th inning in Saturday night’s game and was superb recording a rare 4 strikeout inning. Jansen could be siting back in the closer role sooner rather than later, as the Dodger’s shut down position has been shaky at best in his absence.
KELLY JOHNSON, 3B, ATLANTA BRAVES
The Injury: Johnson is on the 15-day DL with a right oblique strain.
What It Means: The momentum from his surprisingly strong start to this season is slowed for the time being. Currently, it is unknown how much time Johnson is expected to miss from this injury.
JONATHAN LUCROY, C, MILWAUKEE BREWERS
The Injury: Lucroy was placed on the DL with a broken left toe and could possibly be back in late-May.
What It Means: Lucroy is starting to make some progress towards returning. He has started to take batting practice and at this point is about 2-3 weeks away from returning to action.
LEONYS MARTIN, OF, TEXAS RANGERS
The Injury: Martin is day-to-day with a left wrist sprain.
What It Means: Martin has been out with this injury for the last 3 games and 7 out of the last 10. He did receive a cortisone shot to ease the pain but there is still the possibility that this could keep him out of action for a couple of weeks.
JAKE MCGEE, RP, TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Injury: McGee is currently recovering from left elbow surgery and could possibly be back this month.
What It Means: Barring any additional setbacks, McGee is slated to return to action. This weekend could also mark his 2015 debut.
DEVIN MESORACO, C, CINCINNATI REDS
The Injury: Mesoraco is currently day-to-day with left hip impingement.
What It Means: Even though Mesoraco still has this injury issue to deal with, he has at least been playing lately (and hitting) instead of taking up valuable roster space. However, the road to regular playing time is less than clear. Mesoraco has been considering getting surgery and a decision on whether or not to have surgery could come soon.
WIL MYERS, OF, SAN DIEGO PADRES
The Injury: Myers is day-to-day with a sore left wrist.
What It Means: Myers has been officially diagnosed with left wrist tendonitis. While he has missed the last few days of action, there is still some hope that he can avoid the disabled list.
HUNTER PENCE, OF, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
The Injury: Pence suffered a broken left forearm from a HBP during a spring training game. He will be activated from the DL on Saturday 05/16.
What It Means: Owners of Pence who did not give up on him can now rejoice as he joined his teammates on Saturday in Cincinnati. He should immediately be placed in your starting line-up, as his rehab went better than expected. Pence had 5 hits in 17 at-bats with two of those hits leaving the yard showing no ill effects from the broken forearm. It’s likely that one of the two backup catchers will be optioned to make from for Pence, as skipper Bruce Bochy would like to have five OF on his roster.
DAVID PRICE, P, DETROIT TIGERS
The Injury: Suffering from a mild right hamstring strain.
What It Means: Price threw long toss on Wednesday and has not reported any discomfort from his hamstring. He was able to start Saturday and had a quality start tossing 6.2 innings, allowing 3 ER on 7 H with 2 BB and 9 K. Price looks good to go.
YASIEL PUIG, OF, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
The Injury: Suffering from a tight hamstring. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: A recent MRI confirmed that the setback Puig had in his rehab stint is a bit more serious then originally thought and he has been shut down until further notice. The Dodgers are not going to rush his recovery process, as its no secret that the roster is deep so they can afford to take it slow. Scott Van Slyke and Andre Either will continue to man RF and both have been swinging hot bats. They are good platoon options if you have a need on your roster.
ANTHONY RENDON, 3B, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
The Injury: Suffered a MCL sprain in his left knee and an oblique strain. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Rendon has been cleared to resume baseball activities and has been sent back down to Florida to continue his rehab for the second time this season. The Nationals have stated that they are going to take this very slow, as they don’t want him to experience another injury like he did with his oblique. It seems patience is starting to run out for owners of Rendon but it’s not time to cut bait yet. Yunel Escobar has been manning 3B in Rendon’s absence and even though his value is limited, he is slashing .323/.369/.392 so a look is warranted for deep leagues.
JOSE REYES, SS, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The Injury: Suffering from a cracked rib. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Reyes participated in a full batting practice with the team on Friday and GM Alex Anthopoulos stated that he may be able to start a rehab assignment this week. If everything goes to plan we could see him back in uniform by this weekend. Ryan Goins and Jonathan Diaz have been splitting duties at 2B with Goins getting the majority of the playing time. Both options have limited fantasy upside but if you are in a deep league with no options, Goins may have to be your guy until Reyes returns.
ALEX RIOS, OF, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
The Injury: Suffered a fractured fifth metacarpal in his left hand. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Rios is still a few weeks from returning to the Royals line-up but has been swinging a fungo bat and playing catch. He is reporting some mild discomfort in his hand but he states that it’s expected and he will deal with it during the season. He should be able to start a rehab assignment in the next week, barring any setbacks. Jarrod Dyson has 62 PA compared to the 83 PA for Paulo Orlando. Orlando started off blazing hot but has since cooled down not recording any multi-hit games since April 24th and Dyson has started the majority of games this past week.
HYUN-JIN RYU, P, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
The Injury: Suffering from left shoulder tightness. He is currently on the 60-day DL.
What It Means: Ryu has not started a throwing program since he was shut down a couple weeks ago nor are there any plans to start one soon. In fact, Brandon Beachy (who is recovering from his 2nd TJ surgery) is ahead of Ryu in terms of how ready they are to return. Carlos Frias and Mike Bolsinger are filing in the rest of the rotation for the Dodgers and could add value for deep leagues.
JEAN SEGURA, SS, MILWAUKEE BREWERS
The Injury: Suffered a broken left pinkie. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: According to skipper Craig Counsel, Segura told the team he wanted to play through the injury but he was ultimately shut down to avoid aggravating the pinkie. Of course the Brewers are attempting a fire sale right now so they want Segura as healthy as possible when trade season starts heating up, not playing hurt through an injury. Luis Sardinas was called up to replace Segura’s spot on the 25-man roster. Sardinas is a no power all speed kind of player so he may net you some steals but that’s about it.
DREW SMYLY, P, TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Injury: Suffering from a torn labrum in his shoulder. He is currently on the 60-day DL.
What It Means: Tough news for Smyly and the Rays, as his season is now very much in jeopardy. He will seek a second opinion on if he should opt for surgery or try to rest and rehab but it’s looking like we won’t be seeing Smyly on the hill this season again. There’s going to be more opportunities for Nate Karns and Alex Colome to impress the Rays’ front office. Matt Moore is getting closer to a return from the 60-day DL as well.
MASAHIRO TANAKA, P, NEW YORK YANKEES
The Injury: Suffering from a forearm strain. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Tanaka is passing all of his tests and is right on schedule to return form his forearm injury in a couple of weeks. He threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Friday and did not report any discomfort. We still think that arm is a ticking time bomb with surgery not too far in the future but the Yankees and their medical staff know better than us. Chase Whitley was starting in Tanaka’s place but suffered an elbow strain that will likely see him under the knife. Chris Capuano will be activated from the DL today and will start until further notice.
TROY TULOWITZKI, SS, COLORADO ROCKIES
The Injury: Suffering from a tight left quad. He is currently day-to-day.
What It Means: Oh boy, Tulowitzki is dealing with an injury in his left quad and his history with leg injuries suggests this could be a problem. Tulowitzki stated that he doesn’t think the injury is serious and that he was pulled from Friday’s game for precautionary reasons. He was also held out of Saturday’s contest as well. Yahoo! seems to think a DL stint is on the way but nothing has been confirmed. Owners who drafted him knew the risks so this shouldn’t came as such a suprise. Hopefully you drafted a backup SS, just in case something like this happened.
JUSTIN VERLANDER, P, DETROIT TIGERS
The Injury: Suffering from sore triceps. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Verlander had a bullpen session on Friday and skipper Brad Ausmus described it as “free and easy.” He threw 35 pitches mixing his fastball, slider and changeup. He reported no discomfort but there is no timetable on when he will begin a rehab stint. Kyle Lobstein was called up to make a spot start and will continue to start until Verlander returns. Lobstein is a sinker/changeup pitcher who gets a ton of groundballs but also a lot of walks but not many strikeouts.
MATT WIETERS, C, BALTIMORE ORIOLES
The Injury: Recovering from Tommy John Surgery he received in June of 2014. He is currently on the 60-day DL.
What It Means: Wieters was moved to the 60-day DL and skipper Buck Showalter stated that the goal is for him to be MLB ready by the day he is eligible to come off the DL, which would be June 4th. He hasn’t caught back to back games yet in extended ST games and he has to do that before attempting a rehab stint. We’ll see if he can pull it off. In the meantime, Caleb Joseph is starting behind the dish and is starting to come back down to earth after his great start but is still putting up a very respectable .273/.363/.443 with 3 HR in 102 PA.
DAVID WRIGHT, 3B, NEW YORK METS
The Injury: Suffered a pulled hamstring. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Wright was hurting and then he was not and now it seems he’s hurting again. Jon Morosi tweets out that David Wright “isn’t close” to getting back in a Mets uniform and will need a little more time before resuming baseball activities. Dilson Herrera fractured his finger and will head to the DL so Eric Campbell was recalled from AAA on Saturday and will slot in at 3B while David Murphy heads back to 2B. Campbell has flashed some good power in AA and AAA but it has yet to really blossom in the big leagues. He displayed great plate discipline number in his 62 PA this season though (14.5 B% and 9.7%) which bodes well for a possible turnaround if it isn’t just small sample noise. Put him on your watch list and keep a close eye.
BEN ZOBRIST, OF, OAKLAND ATHLETICS
The Injury: Suffered a left medial meniscus tear. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Zobrist looks to head out on a rehab assignment on Tuesday and hopefully will join the Athletics the following Monday. The Oakland Athletics called up Max Muncy to take Zobrist’s spot on the 25-man roster and will more than likely be the odd man out once Zobrist returns. Billy Burns will look to get more reps in the OF while Eric Sogard and Muncy will share 2B.