**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 24
OSWALDO ARCIA, OF, MINNESOTA TWINS
The Injury: Arcia is on the 15-day DL with a right hip flexor strain and could be back by late-May.
What It Means: Arcia appears to be making progress towards his return as he is getting close to starting his rehab assignment.
MATT CAIN, P, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
The Injury: Cain is currently on the 15-day DL with a right flexor tendon strain.
What It Means: Initially, it looked like Cain could be back by the end of May. However, that timetable has been pushed back. He has not even faced live hitting yet and there is a high chance that he may be out until after the All-Star break.
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 have not already done so (and are not in a keeper league), now would be the time to drop him from your roster and find a replacement.
PATRICK CORBIN, P, ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
The Injury: Corbin is recovering from Tommy John surgery and could be back by early June.
What It Means: Corbin still has some hurdles to clear before getting back on the field. One positive thing to note is that there is a potential time table for a return assuming there are no setbacks. Currently, they are targeting June 4 for his return.
TRAVIS D’ARNAUD, C, NEW YORK METS
The Injury: Travis d’Arnaud is currently out with a right little finger fracture and could possibly be back by late-May.
What It Means: The good news with d’Arnaud was that he was cleared to swing a bat. The bad news is that there is no explicit time table for when he is expected to return.
COREY DICKERSON, OF, COLORADO ROCKIES
The Injury: Dickerson is on the 15-day DL with plantar fasciitis in his left foot and could be back by early-June.
What It Means: Dickerson has been bothered by this issue for most of the season even if it had not been negatively impacting his on field production. While this should only cost him a couple weeks, this is a situation that will need to be closely monitored for any status changes.
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: The good news is that Doolittle has started his rehab assignment and in a recent appearance 12 of his 18 pitches went for strikes. The bad news is that he hasn’t been particularly effective in getting minor league batters out. Previously, it had been indicated that they are planning to take it slow on Doolittle’s rehab assignment.
JACOBY ELLSBURY, OF, NEW YORK YANKEES
The Injury: Ellsbury is on the 15-Day DL with a right knee sprain and could possibly be back in June.
What It Means: At a minimum, Ellsbury would likely miss a couple of weeks although there is a possibility of it being longer if this knee injury lingers.
JOSE FERNANDEZ, SP, MIAMI MARLINS
The Injury: Fernandez is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery and could possibly be back by mid-June.
What It Means: The Marlins season has been rough to say the least but there is at least some good news on the horizon. Barring any setback, the Marlins are expecting Fernandez to be back by the end of June.
DOUG FISTER, P, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
The Injury: Fister is on the 15-Day DL with a right flexor strain and could possibly be back by early-June.
What It Means: The good news with Fister was that his MRI results were good and that he can resume throwing in a few days. Currently, it is uncertain whether he will be ready to come back after his 15-day stint on the DL is over or whether he will miss additional time.
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 very soon.
What It Means: Barring any last-minute setbacks, Gomes is on track to come off the disabled list and be activated for Sunday’s game.
YASMANI GRANDAL, C, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
The Injury: Suffered a concussion, he is currently on the 7-day DL.
What It Means: Concussion are always taken seriously, as was this one, but skipper Don Mattingly stated that they expect Grandal to be ready to go in just a few days. Grandal took a back swing to the jaw and a foul ball off his mask on Friday, but it seems it was the former that was the main culprit. Expect Grandal to be activated as soon as he is eligible.
JOSH HAMILTON, OF, TEXAS RANGERS
The Injury: Hamilton is recovering from shoulder surgery and could possibly be back soon.
What It Means: Hamilton has been cleared from his rehab assignment and will join Texas on Sunday for the series opener on Monday against the Indians in Cleveland. It has been a difficult last few months for Hamilton but he will now hope to put all that to rest and do what he does best, hit the ball far.
HISASHI IWAKUMA, P, SEATTLE MARINERS
The Injury: Iwakuma is out with a right lat strain and could be back by late-June.
What It Means: The recent news involving Iwakuma was not good at all. The initial timetable of being back by June has been shelved as he experienced a setback in his recovery and is going to be shut down for the next couple of weeks.
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: The news is promising for Jackson. He is currently in the midst of his rehab assignment and could be back in action for the Mariners very soon.
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 has made some progress in his recovery. While he has not yet been able to run yet, he has been cleared to catch during bullpen sessions.
VICTOR MARTINEZ, 1B, DETROIT TIGERS
The Injury: Martinez is on the 15-day DL with left knee inflammation and could be back by early-June.
What It Means: While he could be back by early-June, an explicit timetable for Martinez to return is still up in the air. This injury has been bothering him most of the season as he has gotten off to a slow start.
DEVIN MESORACO, C, CINCINNATI REDS
The Injury: Mesoraco is currently day-to-day with left hip impingement.
What It Means: For an injury that has been labeled “day-to-day”, Mesoraco has missed plenty of time. One piece of good news is that Mesoraco did make some progress in returning to catching. He squatted for the first time since getting injured and made some simulated throws to second. For now, Mesoraco is still confined to pinch hitting and DH duties.
JUSTIN MORNEAU, 1B, COLORADO ROCKIES
The Injury: Morneau is on the 7-day DL with concussion like symptoms.
What It Means: Even though Morneau is eligible to be activated from the 7-day DL, he is unlikely to be activated soon as he is still dealing with these same symptoms.
BRANDON MORROW, P, SAN DIEGO PADRES
The Injury: Morrow is on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation and could be back by late-May.
What It Means: One concern with Morrow is that there is not an explicit timetable for his return. Given his injury history, it would be wise to follow his progress to see that this is updated soon.
WIL MYERS, OF, SAN DIEGO PADRES
The Injury: Myers is on the 15-day DL with left wrist tendinitis.
What It Means: This isn’t good news as this initially was a day-to-day injury for Myers. Since this move is retroactive to May 11, Myers would be eligible to return by the end of May.
YASIEL PUIG, OF, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
The Injury: Suffering from a tight hamstring. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Jon Heyman tweeted out that Puig was feeling better on Friday morning only to have Bill Shaikin crush that news with his own stating that Puig was still feeling tightness in his hamstring. The Dodgers are not going to rush his recovery process, as it’s 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 playing well. They are good platoon options if you have a need on your roster or a replacement for Puig.
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 seen taking grounders and swinging in the cages and looks to see some live pitching soon. Chris Johnson tweets that Rendon should be heading out for simulated games next week so we could possibly see him back by mid-June. 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. Yunel Escobar has been manning 3B in Rendon’s absence and even though his value is limited, he is slashing .324/.380/.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 was cleared for his rehab assignment and was sent out on
Wednesday with the plan being for him to play 3 games before rejoining Toronto. Ryan Goins has taken over SS for now and is slashing .250/.291/.323 with no HR. To say he has limited fantasy upside is an understatement, 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 has been swinging the bat and his hand is progressively getting stronger. Barring any setbacks, Rios should start a rehab assignment this week. In the meantime, RF is being split by Jarrod Dyson who has 65 PA compared to the 99 PA for Paulo Orlando. Orlando started off blazing hot but has since cooled down a bit. Orlando is an interesting add in deep leagues as his speed should net you a healthy amount of runs and steals, at least until Rios returns.
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: It’s official, Ryu received surgery for the torn labrum in his left shoulder and will miss the rest of the 2015 season. If you had hung on to him for this long, it is now time to drop him. The most interesting news is that Ryu and the Dodgers claim to have known about this injury for two whole years. That’s pretty astonishing considering the fact that Ryu has pitched very well these past two seasons. Carlos Frias and Mike Bolsinger are filing in the rest of the rotation for the Dodgers and could add value for deep leagues.
PABLO SANDOVAL, 3B, BOSTON RED SOX
The Injury: Suffering from a bruised left knee, he is currently day-to-day.
What It Means: Sandoval was hit by a pitch in the knee on Tuesday and was held out of Wednesday game, but pinch-hit in Thursday’s game, and then sat out on Friday and Saturday. It looks like he is going to be OK, as he did pinch-hit but it seems the knee is still sore. With the depth the Red Sox have Sandoval can afford to take a couple days off to heal, but we wouldn’t be shocked if he was back in the lineup by Sunday. Brock Holt has been starting in place of Sandoval and is a solid add while he gets everyday reps.
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 runs and steals but that’s about it. He is sporting a .308 average in his debut but it’s supported by a .400 BABIP. Even with his speed regression is sure to come.
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: It was looking bleak for Smyly at first but after more testing and consultation, Smyly will not undergo shoulder surgery. It’s going to take him at least 6-8 weeks to rest and rehab the shoulder before attempting to return, putting his timeframe around late-July or early August. Until then, 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 threw 3 innings in a rehab start for AAA Pawtucket and will have another rehab start next Wednesday. If all goes well Tanaka could join the Yankees that weekend with a potential start against Seattle the following week. 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 we do. Chris Capuano will start in Tanaka’s place until further notice.
DEVON TRAVIS, 2B, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The Injury: Suffering from left shoulder inflammation, he is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Travis was sitting out the last few days with the injury and the Blue Jays opted to shut him down instead of trying to play through it. Travis has been sensational as a rookie slashing .271/.336/.504 with 7 HR through 146 PA. Munenori Kawasaki was recalled from AAA Buffalo to take the empty 25-man roster spot but he will more than likely be up for only a few days as Jose Reyes is expected back soon. Also Kawasaki is fantasy irrelevant but I hear he’s a great teammate to have.
JUSTIN VERLANDER, P, DETROIT TIGERS
The Injury: Suffering from sore triceps. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Verlander is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Tuesday and if all goes well skipper Brad Ausmus stated that he could start a rehab assignment shortly after. 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 and not many strikeouts.
JAYSON WERTH, OF, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
The Injury: Suffering from a left wrist contusion, he is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Werth is back on the DL for the second time this season as he deals with the pain in his wrist from a HBP on May 15th. The wrist is still swollen badly enough to prevent him from trying to use his glove or swing a bat. He is eligible to come off the DL on the 31st, one week from today, so it remains to be seen if he will be ready to go by then. Michael Taylor and Clint Robinson will share duties in LF until Werth returns. Taylor is worth a look in deep leagues, as he has decent power and above average speed.
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 is set to head out on his rehab assignment with the Orioles AA affiliate on Tuesday if he reports no discomfort and if everything checks out with bench coach John Russell and skipper Buck Showalter. It looks like Wieters could possibly make his June 4th return date, barring any setbacks. 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 .279/.361/.433 with 3 HR in 119 PA. Wieters may find himself in a backup role upon his return.
ALEX WOOD, P, ATLANTA BRAVES
The Injury: Suffering from a stomach virus, he is currently day-to-day.
What It Means: Wood was pulled from his start on Friday but this seems to be not serious at all for him, as he is just dealing with a stomach bug. Kevin McAlpin tweets out that Wood is feeling much better and looks to make his next schedule start on Wednesday.
DAVID WRIGHT, 3B, NEW YORK METS
The Injury: Suffered a pulled hamstring and lower back tightness. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Wright has been shutdown indefinitely after lower back pain resurfaced for the second time since he hit the DL. Wright was participating in baseball activities this past week but will now be shut down with no timetable in sight. Dilson Herrera fractured his finger and will head to the DL so Eric Campbell was recalled from AAA 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 93 PA this season though (14.0 BB% and 15.1 K%) 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 is ahead of schedule and is on track to be activated from the DL tomorrow. Those in weekly leagues will want to get him back on the active roster. I asked Susan Slusser who she thought would get the axe once Zobrist is back and she stated that her best guess would be Craig Gentry.