Personally, I think players are getting weaker. Every day, more and more nagging injuries are coming up across the league, and it seems like before long, I'll have to list each and every major league player on the injury report. The bad news for fantasy players is that one of the few remaining healthy third basemen is now down for the count, leaving the thinnest position practically barren. With that, let's go around the league and catch up on who's hurt, who's injured, and who's out.
Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus is suffering from a still undefined abdomen injury that's kept him out of the lineup for the past three days. Rasmus had an ultrasound on the area on Monday, which came up clear. However, with the sudden rash of abductor and oblique injuries that players are suffering from these days, one has to think that Rasmus will be brought in for an MRI sooner rather than later. This is the worst kind of situation for fantasy owners because it's going to be a daily hassle to keep up with how Rasmus is progressing, and whether or not the Cardinals trust him enough to put him in the lineup.
Shane Victorino pulled his right hamstring muscle on Saturday and hasn't been in the Phillies lineup since. The team says that they hope to have him back in the lineup by Wednesday, but if he doesn't trust it fully by then they may opt to place him on the DL and bring in another body. One player who won't be considered as Victorino's replacement is Domonic Brown, who is dealing with a bone bruise in his hand down at AAA Lehigh Valley.
Which 3B injury has hurt fantasy teams the most so far in 2011?
Chipper Jones is once again suffering from an injury, this time to his non-surgically repaired right knee. Chipper has a partially torn meniscus in the knee, an injury that he can continue to play on but will probably give him more trouble at some point this season. Chipper will likely have the knee scoped sometime in the next month or so, and at that point will need about 2-3 weeks to recover.
The Rangers are going to be combing the parking lot for outfielders pretty soon as now Mitch Moreland, the starting first baseman who was pressed into outfield duty, is dealing with a sore hamstring. Moreland has missed the past three games and isn't expected in the lineup tonight against the White Sox either. Chances are, the Rangers will try everything in their power to keep Moreland off the DL at least until either Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton or Julio Bourbon is ready to come back.
The Red Sox are sending Daisuke Matsuzaka for an MRI on his tender right elbow. Dice-K has been terrible since leaving his start two weeks ago with soreness in the elbow, so it wouldn't be a surprise if something is found to be wrong there.
The latest third baseman to come down with an injury is the Mets' David Wright. Wright had an MRI on his ailing back only to discover a stress fracture that will likely land him on the DL for anywhere from 2-6 weeks. If you are in an NL-only league and have a living, breathing third baseman, then you should consider yourself one of the lucky ones so far this season. If you have two of them, chances are you could make a very nice deal for yourself with anybody who owns Pablo Sandoval, Chipper Jones, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, or Casey Blake.
Grady Sizemore is once again on the disabled list with a deep bruise in his right knee. Apparently, Sizemore could have played with the injury, but the Indians are treating him with kiddie gloves at this point and have sent him to the DL to make sure he makes a full recovery. He should be able to return right away when he becomes eligible to come off the DL in two weeks.
The most agonizing kind of injury for fantasy owners is the one that keeps your player on hold day in and day out for a week, only to have him wind up on the DL anyways. That's exactly what happened with the Blue Jays Adam Lind, who has been suffering from back spasms for well over a week now. I thought that when the team sent David Cooper back down to AAA Las Vegas that was a good sign for Lind, but it was not to be. With his hot streak well behind us, I guess it is time to throw Lind on the back burner once again.
The Red Sox have run out of excuses for starting pitcher John Lackey, but evidently a lingering elbow issue has landed him on the disabled list. Lackey has been brutal this season, and I find absolutely no reason why anybody should continue to hold him in any sort of fantasy league. No, not even in your DL spot.
A left oblique strain has shelved the Orioles Derek Lee for at least the next couple of weeks. Lee hasn't been able to figure out American League pitching so far, and was only hitting a pathetic .231/.311/.346 in forty games with the Orioles this season.
It appears that Aroldis Chapman isn't going to capture the Reds closer job anytime soon. He has struggled with mechanics and consistency at times this year, and has now landed on the 15 day DL due to inflammation in his left shoulder. He won't be fantasy-relevant for at least the next month or two while he recovers and hopefully regains his previous form.
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The Braves Jason Heyward was expected back in the lineup today against the Astros after sitting out nearly a week with right shoulder inflammation. A couple of days ago, it appeared as though Heyward would wind up on the disabled list for sure after reporting pain and numbness in his forearm and hand, but evidently that cleared up after a cortisone injection he received over the weekend.
Ike Davis says that his ankle is feeling much better already and is currently working out at the Mets spring training complex in Florida. He's expected to be activated from the DL on May 26th, and it appears as though he won't have any lingering complications at that time.
The Rangers are salivating at the thought of Nelson Cruz returning to the lineup soon. Cruz went 1-4 with a single in his second rehab assignment game on Tuesday. He will play the field for the first time on Wednesday, and if he comes out of that alright he should be on target to make his return to Texas by this weekend.
Those in need of middle infield help should take notice; the Dodgers expect to activate Rafael Furcal from the DL next Monday now that he's able to hit from both sides of the plate with AAA Albuquerque. Furcal is only owned in forty percent of fantasy leagues, and would be a welcome addition in many others at this point I imagine.
Andrew Bailey is throwing well in extended training sessions, and should be sent out on a minor league rehab assignment early next week. Bailey has been out since the end of spring training with a right forearm strain. If all goes well, he should be back with the A's by the end of the month and closing games again by early June.
Jeff Mans is a co-host of The Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, the Senior Writer at Fantasy Alarm and a contributor to Bleacher Report.