2018 MLB Injury Report: May 18
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 active few days in terms of chaos ripping through fantasy lineups and rosters. We had a major PED suspension and more clarity on the severity of injuries to several impact players. We are only in the middle of May and already GMs are being put to the test with respect to being able to compensate and overcome the loss of many key players. So, without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Robinson Canó (2B-SEA)
Just a few days ago, we recommended that you stash Cano on your bench or a DL slot due to his fractured hand which was going to keep him out for a while. Since then, the news broke that Cano has been suspended 80 games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. This is very disappointing as Cano was likely heading towards the Hall of Fame and has been one of the most consistent and productive fantasy players for more than a decade. Unless you have a very deep bench, he can be dropped in most redraft leagues.
J.D. Martínez (DH-BOS)
Red Sox slugger J.D. Martínez was taken out of Thursday’s game against Baltimore due to a stomach illness. It does not appear to be anything serious as it is possible he became nauseous when looking at the Orioles’ pitching staff. Martinez has been an elite stud all season with a .344 batting average along with 13 home runs, 38 RBI and 29 runs scored. Expect him to be back in the lineup on Friday unless there are any lingering issues.
A.J. Pollock (OF-ARZ)
Pollock injured his left thumb on Monday while diving attempting to make a catch. He has been diagnosed with an avulsion fracture in the thumb and will likely be out up to two months. This is a big loss for fantasy GMs who had benefited from his .293 batting average to go with 11 home runs, 33 RBI, 23 runs scored and nine stolen bases. He will likely be replaced by Jarrod Dyson and Chris Owings while he is out.
Yoenis Céspedes (OF-NYM)
The saga of Yoenis Céspedes continues as he was finally placed on the disabled list due to a strain of his right hip flexor. The transaction is retroactive to May 14 as the Mets finally made the move once an MRI confirmed the injury. Cespedes is hopeful he will be back once eligible next week but do not be surprised if the Mets are extra cautious with their superstar who is hitting .255 with eight home runs, 28 RBI, 18 runs scored and three stolen bases.
Starling Marte (OF-PIT)
Marte was off to a great start to the season hitting .308 with six home runs, 19 RBI, 30 runs scored and ten stolen bases. That is tremendous production in all five Roto categories but now GMs will be without his services for the next couple weeks as he was placed on the disabled list with a strained right oblique. The Pirates recalled prospect Austin Meadows to taken Marte’s place and he should see some playing time making him a worthwhile addition on the waiver wire.
Nelson Cruz (DH-SEA)
Cruz has missed the past couple games with a bruised foot after he was hit by a pitch earlier this week. The Mariners slugger has been dealing with a variety of injuries since spring training and is only hitting .240 with seven home runs, 18 RBI, 11 runs scored and one stolen base in 32 games. He is aiming to be back on Friday which would be good news for GMs who are waiting for Cruz to break out.
Justin Upton (OF-LAA)
Upton was hit by a Chris Archer pitch on his left hand and was taken out of Thursday’s game. Fortunately, x-rays came back negative so it appears he avoided a serious injury. It is possible that he will sit out on Friday to allow some time for the pain and any swelling to dissipate, so be prepared to be without him in the short term. Upton has had a solid season thus far batting .262 with 11 home runs, 34 RBI, 28 runs scored and two stolen bases
Yu Darvish (SP-CHC)
Things have not worked out well for Darvish since signing with the Cubs this winter as he is 0-3 with a 5.56 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in seven starts. He just came off the disabled list and only lasted four innings in his last start due to some cramps in his left leg. He should be fine to make his next start and hopefully he can build off his last outing in which he only allowed one run and had five strikeouts.
Cole Hamels (SP-TEX)
Hamels was scheduled to start on Thursday but was scratched due to stiffness in his neck. He has been up and down all season but was very effective in his last outing where he put up zeroes over six innings last week. It is possible he could land on the disabled list if his condition does not improve over the weekend. Overall, Hamels is 2-4 with a 3.48 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 57 strikeouts over his first nine starts.
Edwin Encarnación (1B-CLE)
Encarnacion missed a couple games this week with stiffness in his neck and back. The Indians DH has struggled this year with a .205 batting average but he does have nine home runs and 22 RBI. It is not known whether he will miss any more time due to the injury, but stiffness in multiple parts of his body could mean he requires an extended period of rest.
Ryan Braun (OF-MIL)
At least fantasy GMs now know that Braun will be out as he was placed on the disabled list retroactive to May 14 due to tightness in his back. He had missed several games in a row but Milwaukee finally made a roster transaction and shut him down. It has been a frustrating season for Braun and fantasy owners who have seen him in and out of the lineup all year. Hopefully he will be ready to go by the time he is eligible to be activated, but at this point it would not be surprising if he was out for a longer period of time.
Keynan Middleton (RP-LAA)
The bad news we were expecting came to fruition as Keynan Middleton does in fact need Tommy John surgery. The Angels closer came off the disabled list last week only to experience pain in his elbow again and then a second opinion confirmed that UCL surgery was the proper course of action. Middleton had pitched well since assuming closing duties with six saves and a 2.04 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Now the Angels are back to square one and will have to turn to the likes of Jim Johnson , Blake Parker and Cam Bedrosian to close out games.
Teoscar Hernandez (OF-TOR)
Hernandez is considered day-to-day with a back injury which kept him out of Thursday’s game against Oakland. He is not expected to miss much time and could be back in the lineup as early as Friday assuming he does not have any setbacks. Hernandez has been a pleasant surprise thus far batting .272 with seven home runs, 18 RBI, 20 runs scored and three stolen bases.
Joey Lucchesi (SP-SD)
The Padres have not had much success to revel in thus far, but they have been seeing some of their young players arrive and be productive. One of them is Joey Lucchesi who is 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 48 strikeouts in 47.1 innings over nine starts. He has been placed on the disabled list with a strained right hip which he aggravated earlier in the week during his last start. San Diego is likely being cautious with their young pitcher who could be back as soon as he is eligible to be activated.