We are headed in to the dog days of summer now where real baseball teams decide their path for the rest of the season. After that rush to the trade deadline, we can be comfortable for the most part with which teams are throwing in the towel and which are gunning for the playoffs.
Those six week injuries take on a different light during this time of the year when considering the Fantasy Baseball injury report.
If a team is packing it in, maybe it’s time to shut someone down for the year rather than rush to get them back for two weeks of meaningless games.
On the other hand, a team in the midst of a playoff run might be very interested in getting a player back for the last couple weeks and their final push before the post season.
As we head into the final third of the Fantasy Baseball season, we will need to keep an eye on team’s longer term plans related to their injuries and how that might impact our Fantasy plans going forward.
“So Called” Fantasy Baseball Injury Report
Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians
Kipnis was placed on the 15-day DL August 3 with a sore shoulder. He’s currently in third place in the AL with a .326 batting average on the year and has probably been key to your team if you own him. It’s concerning that he was shut down completely after an MRI on Sunday, August 2 and the Indians have been fairly tight lipped since. The current word is that he will miss two to three weeks.
Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
Bryant took a hard slide into second on Sunday and had to leave in the fifth inning of the game. It appears he got nicked in the head while trying to extend a single and had some dizziness after. He was due for some additional concussion tests Monday August 3, but the team thinks he avoided anything serious. As long as the testing comes out clean he should be back later this week.
Matt Holliday, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Just as you get used to the idea of having the Cardinals outfielder in your lineup again, back he goes to the disabled list. He re-pulled his quad and was diagnosed with a grade 2 strain of the muscle. This is the same injury that sidelined him before and there is currently no time frame for him. Phrases like “Holliday hopes to play again this season” are floating around so don’t expect him back in the next couple weeks.
A.J. Pollock, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Pollock is in the midst of a breakout campaign so it’s a shame he had to join us on the injury report. He hit .340 for the month of July but missed the first few days of August after tweaking a hamstring. He was back in the lineup on August 3, so we can hope this was precautionary. I’ll feel better when I see him steal a base or two.
Steven Souza, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Souza broke his hand on Saturday, August 1, taking a pitch from Joe Kelly and will miss 4-6 weeks. We will need to monitor this to see how aggressive the team is with getting him back if they are out of the race in September. I probably wouldn’t drop him just yet, but his contribution the rest of the way could be minimal to non-existent.
Mookie Betts, OF, Boston Red Sox
Betts went on the concussion related seven day DL last week after tumbling over the wall in Fenway. He has shown good improvement and the Sox hope to see him return to baseball activities over the next few days.
C.J. Wilson, SP, Los Angeles Angels
While it’s not official yet, everyone with the Angels expects Wilson to cut his season short and elect for surgery due to bone spurs in his throwing elbow. He had hoped to pitch through this and get surgery once the season was over, but the issue has gotten to the unmanageable point according to Wilson. He can be dropped now in redraft leagues. Rostering someone like Luis Severino looks like a better option to fill that pitching spot going forward.
Stephen Strasburg, SP, Washington Nationals
Here we go again. Strasburg has been sent out on a rehab assignment following his oblique strain. It’s not clear how many starts he will get in the minors, but this does mean he is close to stepping back on the mound for the Nationals. Strasburg has been a mess to this point and a complete disappointment to those that drafted him. If you’ve held him this long, you can hope that he makes up for it now.
A.J. Burnett, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
After three terrible outings, word surfaced that Burnett was suffering from elbow inflammation and that he could need surgery. The 38 year old pitcher was thinking he might have thrown his last pitch if surgery ended his season. Luckily, the MRI showed an intact UCL and a strained flexor tendon. This is a best case scenario and should probably take about four weeks to heal. This means there is a good chance Burnett pitches again this year. He’s still not a sure thing, but at least he’s got a chance to join the club as they push for the playoffs.
Drew Smyly, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
Smyly continues his rehab assignment and has actually been a little rusty. He might need another start or two in the minors before he joins the big league club.
Michael Pineda, SP, New York Yankees
A strain of the right flexor muscle has sent arguably the Yankees best pitcher this year to the 15-day DL. This is similar to the injury Andrew Miller just came back from, so a month sounds about right, but the team is yet to put a time table out for Pineda. If the Yanks are still clawing for a spot in September, they will try to get their pitching staff in order before the playoffs start and get him a couple starts in the regular season.
That about covers it for this week’s fantasy baseball injury report. Check out our other weekly articles through our Fantasy Baseball homepage, right here!