2018 MLB Injury Report: May 15
Michael A. Stein breaks down the injury situations across Major League Baseball, including player profiles, reasons for optimism, and reasons for pessimism.
It has been another busy and chaotic few days since the last injury report as we have some major names to discuss here. Fantasy GMs are being tested on a daily basis with all of these injuries and no one is immune. Scouring the waiver wire for depth and alternatives should be part of your daily routine and right now is as good a time as any to begin those habits. So, without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Joey Votto (1B-CIN)
Reds first baseman Joey Votto was taken out of Monday’s game against San Francisco with tightness in his lower back. The severity and extent of the injury is not known yet so we will need to wait for further updates from Cincinnati regarding his status going forward. Votto got off to a very slow start to the season but has gotten his batting average up to .288 along with six home runs, 23 RBI, 18 runs scored and one stolen base. He is an elite first baseman and any games he misses will have a critical impact on fantasy teams.
Robinson Canó (2B-SEA)
Cano has been one of the most dependable and durable players in the league for well over a decade. He did miss some time last year with a quadriceps injury, but for the most part he has avoided lengthy absences throughout his career. Unfortunately, that has changed now that he has landed on the disabled list with a fractured bone in his right hand. He will see a hand specialist to determine his surgical options so we do not know yet how long he may be out. Either way, it will be for a significant amount of time so GMs need to make adjustments. Gordon Beckham has been promoted from the minor leagues and could see some time at second base in Cano’s absence. Stash Cano on your bench or a DL slot and hope for a speedy recovery.
A.J. Pollock (OF-ARZ)
Pollock sustained a sprained left thumb on Monday while diving attempting to make a catch. Not only did he miss the catch leading to an inside-the-park homerun, but Pollock had to be taken out of the game and will undergo further testing to determine the severity of the injury. It is possible this could lead to a lengthy absence for Pollock who has been a fantasy stud thus far batting .293 with 11 home runs, 33 RBI, 23 runs scored and nine stolen bases. Fantasy GMs should hold their breaths and hope for the best.
Ryan Braun (OF-MIL)
Fantasy owners have had schizophrenia all season when it comes to Braun’s presence on the field. He seems to be out of the lineup every other day with one injury or another. He was scratched from Monday’s lineup because he was suffering from tightness in the middle of his back. He has had back problems before so this does not come as much of a surprise. Braun has been wildly inconsistent in both his performance and playing time batting just .222 with five home runs, 20 RBI, 14 runs scored and four stolen bases in limited time. For now you should consider him day-to-day until we know more about his status.
D.J. LeMahieu (2B-COL)
The Rockies placed pending free agent D.J. LeMahieu on the disabled list with a sprained left thumb. We do not know the extent of the injury just yet, so a lot will hinge on whether he needs surgery or not. LeMahieu missed some time earlier this year with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Pat Valaika and Daniel Castro who should combine to fill the void while he is out again. It is also possible that Ryan McMahon eventually gets a shot at second base where he has played a little in the minor leagues after an unremarkable cup of coffee with Colorado earlier this year.
Keynan Middleton (RP-LAA)
The Angels closing situation has been murky since spring training but it seemed as though Keynan Middleton had stabilized the ninth inning. He notched six saves along with a 2.04 ERA and 1.30 WHIP before injuring his elbow a couple weeks ago. Middleton was just activated last week and subsequently re-injured the elbow over the weekend. We don’t know how serious this may be, but the specter of Tommy John surgery is very much present. Look for a committee of closers to emerge amongst the group of Jim Johnson , Cam Bedrosian and Blake Parker .
Adrián Béltre (3B-TEX)
Beltre has been dealing with a hamstring injury for the past several weeks and re-aggravated it over the weekend against Houston. He was taken out of Sunday’s game and could be headed back to the disabled list depending on the severity of the injury. He has a lot of miles in his legs so recovering fully could take a significant amount of time.
Marcus Stroman (SP-TOR)
The dumpster fire of a season for Marcus Stroman continues as he has been placed on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue. Stroman has been horrendous through seven starts compiling an 0-5 record with a 7.71 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. He will be out for an undisclosed amount of time with either Sam Gaviglio or Joe Biagini filling his place in Toronto’s rotation.
Dustin Pedroia (2B-BOS)
Veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia has yet to play this season as he recovers from offseason knee surgery. Now his return appears imminent as he begins a rehab assignment this week with Boston’s Triple-A team. Pedroia is coming off an injury-shortened 2017 season in which he hit .293 with seven home runs, 62 RBI, 46 runs scored and four stolen bases in 105 games. He will provide a boost for fantasy lineups as he is still a productive hitter in terms of batting average and runs scored.
Rich Hill (SP-LAD)
Hill is one of the most frustrating players to own on a fantasy team because he is always dealing with some sort of injury. He has been besieged by finger issues all season as he was forced out of his last start with a blister on his middle finger. Hill is essentially giving fantasy GMs the proverbial middle finger with his atrocious 1-2 record with a 6.20 ERA, 1.74 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in just 24.2 innings. We will have to wait and see how he is over the next few days before knowing whether he will make his next scheduled start. Even if he is does pitch, he is a questionable fantasy option at this point and will need to demonstrate some consistency in his health and performance before we can trust him again.
Chase Anderson (SP-MIL)
Chase Anderson has been placed on the disabled list due to an illness and will likely only miss one start before he is eligible to return. Milwaukee has called up Freddy Peralta to replace Anderson who is 3-3 with a 3.97 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 30 strikeouts in eight starts. Fantasy GMs won’t have to adjust too much since this transaction is retroactive and Anderson is expected back in short order.
Adam Wainwright (SP-STL)
Veteran Adam Wainwright could be facing the beginning of the end of his great career as he will likely end up back on the disabled list with elbow pain. He just came off the disabled list and lasted under three innings in a horrific outing on Sunday where he walked six batters. Wainwright is 1-3 with a 4.00 ERA, 1.83 WHIP and 15 strikeouts in 18 innings over four starts and may not be back for quite some time. He is not worth stashing on your roster at this point.
Lucas Duda (1B-KC)
Duda has been placed on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. This likely means he will be out for an extended period of time as this is a painful injury and does not heal quickly. Duda was only a marginal corner infield option in deeper fantasy leagues with a .256 batting average and four home runs, 19 RBI and 12 runs scored. The Royals called up Hunter Dozier to replace Duda at first base and he should get an extended look while Duda is out with the injury.
Bradley Zimmer (OF-CLE)
Zimmer has been dealing with a sore chest since he collided with the outfield wall last week and is still not able to take the field with any consistency. He was held out of the lineup again on Monday but the fact the Indians have not placed him on the disabled list yet indicates they believe he will be back very shortly. Zimmer has struggled thus far hitting only .224 with two home runs, nine RBI, 14 runs scored and four stolen bases. He is merely an OF5 option in deep leagues right now but he does possess enough speed to keep him rostered.
Jeimer Candelario (3B-DET)
The Tigers have placed third baseman Jeimer Candelario on the disabled list with tendinitis in his left wrist. He has been bothered by this injury for some time now and Detroit has decided to shut him down despite an MRI revealing no structural damage. Candelario has provided spurts of production leading to a .272 batting average with five home runs, 16 RBI and 21 runs scored. Pete Kozma and Dawel Lugo should see playing time at third base in Candelario’s absence.
Jason Castro (C-MIN)
Castro has been out for a while now with a torn right meniscus and has decided to undergo surgery this week. It is expected that he will be out for four to six weeks as a result which means that Mitch Garver should see extended playing time for the next month. Castro was not a viable fantasy option before the injury as he was only hitting .143 with one home run and three RBI. Garver is not much more of an option either but could get some consideration on the waiver wire if GMs are desperate.