Massage Table Mentionables: Fantasy Baseball Weekly Injury Update

Bret HoffmanCorrespondent IApril 30, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 19:  Centerfielder Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers at bat on April 19, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

"MTM" is our Thursday topic at the sportspa.blogspot.com during the MLB season. In these articles we attempt to update you on the latest injuries, and also inform you how some previously injured players are progressing, or not.

Brandon Webb and Stephen Drew-Diamondbacks

Webb's injury has turned out to be more serious than originally expected. He isn't expected to return until sometime in June.

Obviously you want to hang on to him, and he could help your fantasy team make the playoff push down the home stretch.

Drew landed on the 15 day DL last week with a hamstring injury. He is expected to return sometime in mid May barring any setbacks.

Hamstring injuries are tricky, as they can be nagging. Drew was off to a slow start, but if you have a DL spot open I think he's worth taking a gamble on. Production at the short-stop position has been pretty brutal so far in 2009, and he could come back and produce for your team.

Brian McCann-Braves

McCann is currently on the 15 day DL with blurred vision, which is probably the reason for his slow start. If you can't see you can't hit.

McCann is one of the better fantasy options at catcher when healthy. He is currently on a rehab stint in the minors, so put him on your DL, and monitor the situation over the next few weeks.

John Smoltz, Kevin Youkilis, J.D. Drew, Daisuke Matsuzaka-Red Sox

Smoltz experienced a minor set back in his rehab this week, as the Red Sox shut him down from throwing for the rest of the week.

They are being cautious with him at this point, and because they are playing well right now, can afford not to rush him back.

He's a veteran guy who could pitch very well when he does return sometime in early June, so keep an eye on his progress.

Youkilis sat out Wednesday's game with a sore back after being hit by a pitch. He is listed as questionable for the upcoming series with Tampa Bay, but I expect him to play, probably even tonight.

I don't think this is anything to be concerned with at this point, but he may miss another game or two, so those of you who own him will want to make sure he's in the line-up before setting your rosters.

J.D. Drew is also listed as questionable with a quad injury. Drew hurt, who would have anticipated this? This guy is a good player, but he just can't seem to stay healthy. Little brother Stephen had avoided the injuries until now, and we can only hope he's not going to follow in big brother's footsteps.

Dice-K is expected to be out until at least mid May at this point. He's a good enough player to warrant a DL spot, and could pitch well for your fantasy team when he finally makes it back.

Aramis Ramirez-Cubs

Ramirez was off to a good start for the Cubs before injuring his calf. He is expected to miss the upcoming series with the Marlins, but the injury isn't expected to be that serious at this time. Just keep an eye on his progress over the weekend, but I expect him to be back in the line-up early next week.

Chris Getz-White Sox

Getz is expected to miss the upcoming series with the Texas Rangers due to a finger injury. White Sox fans, as well as most fantasy owners, were hoping that would mean that Gordon Beckham might be called up, but it's not looking like that's going to happen at this point.

If Getz is your second baseman, it appears he should be back in action early next week.

Edwin Encarnacion-Reds

Encarnacion is expected to be out until mid May with a wrist injury. Third base is pretty deep this year, and those of you who were using Edwin can surely find a replacement.

You might check out Mark Reynolds, Mark Teahan, Mike Lowell and Scott Rolen. Most of these guys are probably still available in your league, and would be very adequate replacements.

Travis Hafner-Indians

Hafner was off to a pretty good start for the Indians, and appeared to be healthy after his shoulder surgery.

It was too good to be true, as the same shoulder has flared up on him again, and he has landed on the DL. He is expected to be out until at least mid May at this point.

Jeremy Bonderman and Dontrelle Willis-Tigers

Bonderman is having trouble regaining his velocity in his rehab of his shoulder. He is expected to return sometime in June, and is a guy you might want to keep an eye on later in the season.

Willis is expected to make a rehab start pretty soon, and is another guy you might want to keep an eye on. Willis was a great pitcher early in his career, and if he can figure it out, would be someone who could be a great pick-up down the stretch.

Hanley Ramirez-Marlins

Han-Ram is expected to miss the upcoming series with the Cubs after being hit by a pitch on the wrist. It doesn't look that serious at this point, but just something to be aware of.

Jose Valverde-Astros

Valverde was dominant as the Astros closer in 2008, but has had some issues so far in 2009. The calf problem is probably the reason why he has struggled, and he finally landed on the 15 day DL because of it.

He is expected to return in mid May at this point, and would be a great player to stash on your DL in my opinion. The Astros have been a great second half team the past few years, and Valverde could rack up the saves in the second half of the season.

Alex Gordan and Joakim Soria-Royals

Gordan, with an injury and surgery much like A-Rod's, is expected to be back sometime in mid July. Gordan is a solid young player, and could be a good fantasy producer in the second half of the season.

Soria has been great so far in the closer role for the Royals, but has recently had some shoulder issues. The Royals are expected to rest him in the upcoming series with the Twins. It doesn't look to be serious at this point, but his owners will certainly want to monitor it, as shoulder injuries are obviously never good for pitchers.

Ervin Santana, Kelvim Escobar, John Lackey and Vladimir Guerrero-Angels

Santanna, Escobar and Lackey are all expected to return in mid May, so help is on the way Angel fans. All of these guys, especially Lackey and Santana, can come in and make an immediate fantasy, and real life, impact. Keep an eye on the progress of these three if you are struggling at starting pitcher.

Vladimir Guerrerois also expected to return in mid May, and still has some left in the tank. He is probably worthy of a DL spot, but that just depends on who else is available in your league.

Joe Mauer-Twins

Mauer is currently on a rehab assignment, and could rejoin the Twins as early as this weekend. He's obviously one of the better options at catcher, and his owners will be very happy as soon as he returns.

Carlos Delgado and Luis Castillo-Mets

Both of these guys are expected to miss the upcoming series with the Phillies, so if you use them you will want to adjust your line-up for the weekend.

Xavier Nady, Alex Rodriguez, Chien-Ming Wang-Yankees

Nady is expected to return sometime in late May, but with Nick Swisher still playing well, the Yankees probably won't rush him back.

A-Rod is a different story, and could rejoin the team as early as Monday's series opener with the Red Sox. I fully expect him to be in the line-up when Boston comes to town.

Wang is expected to return in late May at this point, but who really knows how effective he will be when he gets back. Wang certainly has the skill-set to be a good pitcher, but he will have to clear the mental problems up first, and I'm not convinced he will be able to do that.

Jason Giambi-A's

Giambi is off to a slow start for Oakland, and is questionable for today's game with the Texas Rangers. If he's one of your regulars, you might want to find a replacement for today's game.

Cole Hammels and Brad Lidge-Phillies

Hammels was finally having a good outing, but twisted his ankle attempting to make a play off the mound. He is questionable for his next start, on May 4, against the Cardinals. He's a tough kid, so I don't expect this to hold him down for too long, but it's something that needs to be watched.

Lidge, and his sore knee, are questionable for the upcoming series with the Mets. You obviously don't want to drop him, but just keep an eye on the progression of the injury.

Ryan Doumit and Nate McLouth-Pirates

Doumit has wrist surgery, and is expected to return in early July. He is someone to keep an eye on as the date draws closer, as fantasy catchers have been pretty weak thus far.

McLouth is DTD with an oblique injury, and could return for the weekend series with the Reds. Check his availability before deploying him as you normally would.

Pablo Sandoval-Giants

Sandoval has finally come to life over the past week and a half or so. He is listed as questionable for the upcoming series with the Rockies, so if he's one of your regulars you will want to adjust your line-up accordingly.

Jason Bartlett-Devil Rays

Bartlett, who is off to a fantastic start for the Rays, is considered probable for their upcoming series with the Red Sox. Again, hamstring injuries can be tricky, so just keep an eye on his availability.

Josh Hamilton-Rangers

Hamilton is off to a slow start in 2009, especially since he set the bar so high in 2008. He is still struggling with a rib cage injury, and is considered to be doubtful for today's game with Oakland.
Hamilton owners will want to sit him, and pray that it doesn't become a routine thing.

Ricky Romero and B.J. Ryan-Blue Jays

Romero, the rookie starting pitcher, was off to a great start for Toronto. However, he was recently bitten by the injury bug, and is expected to be out until at least mid May. Keep an eye on him as that time approaches, and he will probably be available in your league, and could give you a boost at SP.

Ryan, with shoulder and back issues, is also expected to be out until at least mid May. Scott Downs will fill the closer's role in his absence, and is a great pick-up in my opinion. Check and see if Downs is available in your league before it's too late.

That about wraps it up for this week, tune in next week for more injury updates.

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