When pondering what mixed emotions feel like, consider this week in fantasy baseball. Once again, there are several impact players that have succumbed to injuries. But, there are also several players on the mend and starting rehab assignments or already are set to return this week. So without further adieu, here is the Week 12 edition of the Walking Wounded.
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Ryan Braun (OF-MIL).
As if it couldn’t get more complicated for Ryan Braun owners, the tainted former MVP has been placed on the DL with a thumb injury. There is no truth to the rumor that he injured his thumb as a result of sitting on it and spinning. Braun is hopeful to resume baseball activities within a week and only miss the minimum amount of time. Fantasy owners have already been concerned about a possible suspension for Braun due to his alleged involvement with Biogenesis. However, it is likely that such a suspension would not happen until next year, if at all, due to the time necessary to investigate the case and deal with the MLBPA for the appellate and grievance process. For now, stash Braun on the DL and assume he will be back within a couple weeks.
Troy Tulowitzki (SS-COL).
There are three things in life that are guaranteed: death, taxes, and Troy Tulowitzki getting injured. The Rockies’ superstar shortstop was having a great season but now he will miss 4-6 weeks with a fractured rib. His statistical production cannot be denied, but he has clearly established himself as a high risk player due to his regular extended trips to the disabled list every year. If you need a replacement on your fantasy team, Josh Rutledge should get most of the playing time for the Rockies while Tulowitzki is out.
Mark Teixeira (1B-NYY).
It seems like Mark Teixeira has been on the Injury Report more than any other player this entire season. After missing the first two months of the year recovering from a wrist injury, Teixeira returned in early June with disappointing results. Granted he is always a slow starter, but he has not produced at all since coming back. Over the weekend, he was taken out of a game in Anaheim with an aggravation to his wrist. He had opted for rest as opposed to season-ending surgery, so there was always the possibility of reinjuring himself. An MRI revealed inflammation in his wrist. Reports indicate that Teixeira received a cortisone shot and that he will be re-evaluated later this week. It is too soon to speculate how much time Teixeira may miss. But you had him on your bench all season already, so it shouldn’t be too big a deal to send him back there again.
Clay Buchholz (SP-BOS).
When you talk about the best pitchers of 2013 thus far, the conversation has to start with Boston’s Clay Buchholz. He is 9-0 with a sub-1.00 ERA thus far. Unfortunately, Buchholz is dealing with a strained AC joint in his shoulder and he could be placed on the DL if he does not make any further progress in the coming days. He hasn’t pitched in almost two weeks and has only made two starts since the end of May. In weekly leagues, he is too risky to put in your lineup for Week 12. However, keep monitoring him in daily leagues as his next start will likely be next weekend if he is able to go.
Anibal Sanchez (SP-DET).
There is now reason to be concerned about Tigers’ starter Anibal Sanchez who did not make it out of the 4th inning of his last start. Sanchez missed his previous start with stiffness in his right shoulder and manager Jim Leyland conceded that he was concerned. Sanchez has elevated his game this year becoming a more valuable fantasy starter due to his increase in strikeouts. It seems very likely he will land on the disabled list and could miss several weeks until his shoulder is fully healed.
Alex Cobb (SP-TB).
Not all injuries are created equal. In what has become far too common an occurrence (hey isn’t once more than enough?), Rays pitcher Alex Cobb was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Eric Hosmer. Cobb went down in a heap and suffered a concussion. He did not lose consciousness and seemed to be in good spirits. But this is a dangerous injury because you can never know for sure whether there will be any long-term effects (such as with Brandon McCarthy). Cobb has pitched well most of the year and was emerging as a solid fantasy starter. He will be out at least a few weeks on the conservative side, so plan on finding an alternative on your staff.
Josh Johnson (SP-TOR).
Ugh. Josh Johnson has done nothing to shake his reputation as a fragile pitcher. He already has spent time on the DL this season and is now dealing with a blister issue. He came out of his last start when the blister developed and it has caused his next start to be bumped back a few days already. There is no indication he will miss any more time because of the blister, but it is representative of the high risks you take when relying on him on your fantasy team. Johnson can be a productive starter, but he is too unreliable to put in your lineup from week to week or even from day to day.
Corey Hart (OF-MIL).
If you want to start wearing your sunglasses at night, you will likely have to wait until after the All-Star break. Brewers injured first baseman/outfielder Corey Hart is still recovering from off-season knee surgery and hasn’t been cleared to start a rehab assignment just yet. Many people (including me) drafted Hart with the intention of stashing him for up to two months and then reaping the benefits of getting him for more than half a season. That time frame has shrunk but he is still worth holding on to simply because of his offensive prowess.
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On the Mend
Jose Reyes (SS-TOR) – should be starting a rehab assignment during Week 12 and could be back before the All-Star break if he continues to progress and doesn’t suffer any setbacks with his ankle.
Ian Kinsler (2B-TEX) – he returned to the Rangers over the weekend and should be activated in all leagues. If you have Jurickson Profar on your team, the good news is that he was not sent back to the minors and could begin to learn how to play the outfield.
Aaron Hill (2B-ARZ) – one of the top fantasy second baseman will begin a rehab assignment this week as well and could be back shortly. He provides solid contribution in all categories and will be a valuable asset to get back in any league format.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free reach me at email@example.com or on Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).
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