**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 JUNE 7TH
MATT ADAMS, 1B, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
The Injury: Adams is out with a strained right quad and could possibly be back by late September.
What It Means: Adams officially had surgery for his quad and there is a chance that he may not be back until next season. For the time being, the Cardinals will be giving Mark Reynolds playing time at 1B. While Reynolds still has plenty of power in his bat, there is also the downside of plenty of strikeouts and terrible batting averages that he’s dealt with historically.
ADRIAN BELTRE, 3B, TEXAS RANGERS
The Injury: Beltre is on the 15-day DL with a left thumb laceration and could be back by mid-June.
What It Means: Even though no fracture was discovered in his thumb, Beltre will be out for a couple of weeks. The impact of this goes beyond Beltre, as the Rangers called up Joey Gallo to take Beltre’s spot on the Rangers roster. Gallo’s power has never been an issue. However, he had issues with high K% and low AVG in various stops in the minors. In the minors this season, Gallo has improved as he was hitting .314 with 9 HR and a 192 wRC+ in AA. However, he also had a 33.6 K% and has never played above AA. It will be interesting to see whether his power can carry over to the majors or if it will be overshadowed by his propensity for strikeouts.
MARLON BYRD, OF, CINCINNATI REDS
The Injury: Byrd is currently on the 15-day DL with a right wrist fracture.
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: Recently, Cain has started to pitch in extended Spring Training in Arizona. This is seen as the next step towards returning and the purpose of this is to prepare him for his eventual rehab assignment.
MATT CARPENTER, 3B, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
The Injury: Suffering from a right triceps contusion , he is currently day-to-day.
What It Means: Carpenter was hit by a pitch in last night’s contest against the Dodgers. He could possibly sit out today, but he doesn’t think the injury is serious at all. Pete Kozma will more than likley get the start at third if Carpenter sits out.
PATRICK CORBIN, SP, ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
The Injury: Corbin is recovering from Tommy John surgery and could be back in June.
What It Means: The timetable for Corbin’s next rehab start has been pushed back slightly. This appears to be more of a precautionary move and at this point Corbin still appears to be making good progress in his recovery.
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 in the first half of June.
What It Means: While d’Arnaud appears to be nearing his return, the anticipation for this needs to be tempered by the fact that he has already had a setback on his initial rehab assignment.
COREY DICKERSON, OF, COLORADO ROCKIES
The Injury: Dickerson is on the 15-day DL with plantar fascitis in his left foot and could be back in the first half of June.
What It Means: Dickerson appears to be making progress in his return from injury. However, there is currently no specific timetable for his return.
SEAN DOLITTLE, RP, OAKLAND ATHLETICS
The Injury: Doolittle was placed on the 15-day DL with a left shoulder strain.
What It Means: This is Doolittle’s second stint on the DL this season. This injury involves a different shoulder muscle than his previous injury. However, it appears that it will be at least two weeks until he is able to start throwing again. For the time being, it appears that the closer job will be going back to Tyler Clippard for the time being. While Clippard has a 2.42 ERA, he could be in for some struggles at some point as he also has a 4.39 FIP and has a BB/9 of 5.24.
EDWIN ENCARNACION, 1B, TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The Injury: Suffering from left shoulder soreness, he is currently day-to-day.
What It Means: Encarnacion exited last night’s game in the 8th inning with discomfort in the shoulder and received a cortisone shot. He is expected to miss today’s game as well. Encarnacion has been bothered by this for the last two weeks and it shows. A trip to the DL wouldn’t shock me so head to the waiver wire for Justin Smoak if no better option for 1B is available, as he is the backup and will get the nod for the start.
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 by late June.
What It Means: The latest indication regarding Ellsbury is that when all is said and done, this injury is likely to cost him 5-6 weeks. Currently he is in a knee brace. He will be evaluated after a few weeks and then possibly be cleared to start preparing for his return. The often injured Ellsbury was a decent sell high candidate but that window has most certainly closed. Those who like risks can opt to buy low but you can find similar talent elsewhere.
YUNEL ESCOBAR, 3B, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
The Injury: Suffering from a sore wrist, he is currently day-to-day.
What It Means: At the beginning of the season Escobar had close to zero fantasy relevance in most formats, but he was forced into a starting role and has played admirably earning trust from fantasy owners. With Anthony Rendon healthy, the Nationals are not going to try and rush Escobar back. He will take some swings in the cages but don’t expect him back in the starting lineup until Tuesday against the Yankees.
JOSE FERNANDEZ, SP, MIAMI MARLINS
The Injury: Fernandez is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery and could possibly be back by early July.
What It Means: Fernandez has made another step towards his return. He has been cleared to begin his rehab assignment. It will be crucial to see how this goes to make sure there are no additional setbacks and to see what changes will occur with his timetable.
NETFALI FELIZ, RP, TEXAS RANGERS
The Injury: Feliz is currently on the 15-day DL with an axillary abscess on his right side.
What It Means: Feliz has started to make some rehab progress as he has recently started to throw off the mound. However, it will be awhile before he is ready to return. A move to the closer role upon his return is far from guaranteed.
DOUG FISTER, SP, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
The Injury: Fister is on the 15-day DL with a right flexor strain and could possibly be back during the first half of June.
What It Means: Fister has made some progress towards his return as he has started throwing bullpen sessions. However, there is still some time before he can return, as he will need to progress to facing live hitting and a possible rehab assignment before returning to action.
JOSH HAMILTON, OF, TEXAS RANGERS
The Injury: Hamilton was placed on the DL with a strained right hamstring and could possibly be back in July.
What It Means: The early indications are that this injury could cost Hamilton about 4 weeks. This injury is likely to result in an increase in playing time for Delino DeShields Jr. Deshields possesses good speed (13 stolen bases in 14 attempts) but little else.
HISASHI IWAKUMA, SP, SEATTLE MARINERS
The Injury: Iwakuma is out with a right lat strain and could be back by late June.
What It Means: Iwakuma threw off a mound for the first time since April 20th a couple days ago. He will probably throw another bullpen session or two before a simulated game. After that, he should be good to go for a rehab assignment, barring any setbacks of course.
MATT LATOS, SP, MIAMI MARLINS
The Injury: Latos is on the 15-day DL with left knee inflammation.
What It Means: The good news is that this looks to be a short-term injury for Latos. There is optimism that his return should occur relatively soon.
EVAN LONGORIA, 3B, TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Injury: Suffering froma sore left wrist, he is currently day-to-day
What It Means: Longoria was held out of Saturday’s game and will sit out Sunday as well. The Rays have a day off Monday giving Longoria three full days to rest his wrist. Jake Elmore srated in Longoria’s place and will more than likely start today as well.
VICTOR MARTINEZ, 1B, DETROIT TIGERS
The Injury: Martinez is on the 15-day DL with left knee inflammation and could be back this month.
What It Means: The good news regarding Martinez is that he is making progress in his rehab. He could possibly be back sometime this week.
DEVIN MESORACO, C, CINCINNATI REDS
The Injury: Mesoraco is on the DL with a left hip impingement.
What It Means: After being labeled as day-to-day for several weeks, the Reds finally placed Mesoraco on the DL. It is possible that he may need season ending surgery.
MATT MOORE, SP, TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Injury: Moore is recovering from Tommy John Surgery and could be back in June.
What It Means: Moore continues to make progress towards his return. He has started his rehab assignment. It will be crucial to check the progress of this to see when he will be scheduled to return.
JUSTIN MORNEAU, 1B, COLORADO ROCKIES
The Injury: Morneau is on the 15-day DL with concussion symptoms.
What It Means: It appears that Morneau will need more time to recover from these issues that initially placed him on the 7-day DL. Currently, there is no timetable for his return.
BRANDON MORROW, SP, SAN DIEGO PADRES
The Injury: Morrow is on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation and could be back during the first half of June.
What It Means: Morrow has been making progress towards his return and is set to start his rehab assignment. The plan for him is to make two starts before returning to the Padres.
DANIEL MURPHY, 2B, NEW YORK METS
The Injury: Suffering from a left quad stain. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Murphy felt tightness in his calf on Thursday and has been shut down to not aggrevate the injury. Danny Muno was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to fill the last spot on the 25-man roster.
WIL MYERS, OF, SAN DIEGO PADRES
The Injury: Myers is on the 15-day DL with left wrist tendinitis and could be back during the first half of June.
What It Means: Myers has made some progress as he has starting hitting off a tee and has progressed to participating in batting practice. Further more, it looks like Myers is heading off to a rehab assignment and is probable to be activated by this weekend.
JAKE ODORIZZI, SP, TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Injury: Suffering from oblique tightness, he is currently day-to-day.
What It Means: Odorizzi left his start on Friday with the discomfort and will see a doctor on Monday back in Tampa Bay. Expectations are that he might miss his next start but nothing is definite yet. Hopefully this isn’t something serious, as Odorizzi has been a fantasy stud for owners his season.
JAMES PAXTON, P, SEATTLE MARINERS
The Injury: Suffering from a strained tendon in his middle finger of his left hand. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Paxton complained about the injury during his start on Friday and was ultimately pulled from the game after 4.2 innings. Injuries like this can be tricky so it remains to be seen if Paxton will be good to go by the time he is eligible to be activated. Mike Montgomery was called up to start on Tuesday and impressed tossing 6 innings of 1-run ball with 4 strikeouts and 2 walks. Montgomery will continue to start in Paxton’s place and if he continues to pitch well when Paxton is activated, he may very well find himself on the Mariners 25-man roster permanently. Deep leagues take notice.
HUNTER PENCE, OF, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
The Injury: Suffering from left wrist tendinitis, he is currently day-to-day.
What It Means: I was really hoping I wouldn’t see Pence back on the injury report again this year but this is baseball and injuries can happen at anytime to anyone. Pence was held out of Friday and Saturday’s contest and will probably sit out today as well according to Henry Schulman. The wrist is on the same arm that he broke during Spring Training. Gregor Blanco will man RF until Pence returns. He could be a good fill in for you as he is slashing .284/.347/.440 on the year.
JORGE SOLER, OF, CHICAGO CUBS
The Injury: Suffering from a sprained left ankle, he is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Soler twisted his ankle, landing on first base awkwardly during a game against the Miami Marlins. This doesn’t seem serious as Soler expects to be 100% by the time his 15 days are up. Junior Lake has started every game in Soler’s place and is an interesting look for deep leagues, as he possesses legitimate speed and power.
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 returning so late-July or early August is the likely time for his return. 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.
STEPHEN STRASBURG, P, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
The Injury: Suffering from neck tightness. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Strasburg reported no discomfort after a 30-pitch bullpen session on Saturday. Front office personnel have been reviewing game tape of Strasburg to see if they can identify any causes. He has been a little unlucky this season (3.76 xFIP) but players will sometimes change their mechanics to deal with an injury and that tends to lead to poor results. His arm seems fine, as he can still touch 98 MPH with ease. Taylor Hill was called up from AAA to take Strasburg’s spot on the 25-man roster and will probably spot start if the Nationals need a fifth starter.
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 shut down for one week and not allowed to do any baseball activities last Sunday because of the lingering soreness he reported the day before. That week is now up so if he gets the green light, Travis should be able to start a new rehab assignment or at least some light baseball activities. Shoulder injuries are difficult to deal but hopefully it will not linger. Travis has been sensational as a rookie slashing .271/.336/.504 with 7 HR in 146 PA.
JUSTIN VERLANDER, P, DETROIT TIGERS
The Injury: Suffering from sore triceps. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Verlander started in his first rehab game last Sunday for Triple-A Toledo. It was a tough outing for the former MVP, as he threw only 2.2 innings, giving up 3 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. He did throw 50 of his 79 pitches for strikes though. Verlander may see another rehab start before joining the Tigers rotation or not depending on the front office. The Tigers don’t need another fifth starter until June 16th so Verlander should be ready to go by then if he needs a little more time.
JAYSON WERTH, OF, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
The Injury: Suffering from a broken wrist, he is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: Werth is aiming for a return by August 1st but is not sure if that goal is “realistic or not.” Werth is going on 37 and the wrist has been surgically repaired in the past so, as an owner of Weth, it’s hard not to get worried. In re-draft leagues, if you have an open DL spot then hang on to him. But if he’s taking space up on your bench the time to cut him might be now. Michael Taylor and Clint Robinson will share duties in LF until Werth returns. Taylor is worth a look in deep leagues, as he will get more playing time. He has decent power and good speed but he does tend to strike out a bunch.
DAVID WRIGHT, 3B, NEW YORK METS
The Injury: Suffering from spinal stenosis. He is currently on the 15-day DL.
What It Means: It’s not clear if Wright is going to be back this season or not, as the only news doctors gave him (or at least what he told reporters) was that he would be able to return “sooner rather than later.” The spine condition is serious and surgery is being considered as a last resort it at his age. The advice that goes for Werth applies to Wright as well. Eric Campbell was recalled from Triple-A and will slot in at 3B. Campbell has flashed some good power in Minor Leagues but it has yet to really blossom in The Show.