Around the League 4/18

Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Kevin Nielsen provides a fantasy baseball update for injuries, closer news, and call-ups, including who is probably going to be the new Cardinals closer.

I'll try a new format this week. Please let me know if this is better than the previous team-format.

Injuries

David Ortiz should return to the Red Sox lineup this Friday while Jackie Bradley Jr. will be sent down to AAA. Luke Scott is a few weeks away from making his return to the Rays. Will Shelley Duncan be able to stick even after he returns? He hit a solo HR yesterday, his second of the season. Duncan has a reverse platoon split, crushing RHP and struggling against LHP in the small sample size. Yoenis Cespedes hit the DL with a hand injury but shouldn't miss more than the minimum. The hope is that this won't affect his hitting upon his return. Michael Pineda has been throwing bullpen sessions and could return to the Yankees rotation in June. He's definitely someone to speculate on In AL-only leagues. Darin Mastroianni will miss up to a month with an ankle injury. The fact that the injury is to his ankle doesn't look good because all of his value comes from his base-stealing ability. Michael Bourn cut his finger and will miss a couple of weeks but should be 100% upon his return and miss just the minimum 15 days.

Travis d'Arnaud fractured his toe and will be out for a few weeks. Matt Garza is ready to make rehab starts and shouldn't be too far away from a return to the Cubs rotation. Scott Feldman, not Carlos Villanueva, could be the odd man out. Lucas Duda's back has been a problem in frigid conditions at Coors Field but he should be fine with the Mets coming back to Citifield Friday evening. Adeiny Hechavarria may need to go on the DL with an elbow issue. This would probably result in Donovan Solano taking over at SS for the time being. With Wilson Ramos out for a few weeks, Kurt Suzuki is doing all he can to keep at least a timeshare at catcher going upon Ramos' return. He has a couple of homers and has been making solid contact thus far. Chris Capuano has hit the DL with a leg injury. Ted Lilly will join the Dodgers rotation but after struggling a bit in AAA, I wouldn't suggest picking him up just yet. Chase Headley has re-joined the Padres. Giancarlo Stanton will be in the lineup tonight against the Reds. It will be important to see if his shoulder injury will affect his hitting at all. Wandy Rodriguez will not need to go on the DL and will start tomorrow against the Braves.

Closer News

It looks as though Edward Mujica will get some save chances for the Cardinals. He's worth a pickup in all formats. Mitchell Boggs and Trevor Rosenthal haven't been impressive thus far. John Axford and Carlos Marmol have each looked good since their demotions. Each are a decent bet to get their jobs back and Marmol may already have his back with such a lack of options in the Cubs bullpen. Joaquin Benoit struggled to get the save but got it late last night. Jose Valverde has thrown a couple of strong innings in the minors. This situation isn't real close to being a switch to Valverde but it's something to monitor and possibly speculate on, especially in a really deep league. Joel Hanrahan is no lock to continue closing upon his return from DL in about a week. It's probable that if Andrew Bailey does well he will keep the job. The Brewers signed Francisco Rodriguez and, with their bullpen being so bad, he could end up in the 9th inning mix at some point. Frank Francisco is making some progress in his return to the Mets and will pitch in the minors to prove healthy. I don't think there's any way he will reclaim his closing role unless Parnell and Lyon both have a few consecutive terrible outings and Francisco is really throwing well.

Call-Ups / Send-Downs

Tony Cingrani will make his MLB debut for the Reds tonight against the Marlins. Cingrani has put up amazing numbers in the minors and has interesting strikeout potential. I would pick him up for the nice matchup tonight in most leagues. Check out Jason Hunt's write-up on Cingrani for more information: Coming Soon to A Stadium Near You: Tony Cingrani, LHP, Cincinnati Reds

After performing atrociously to begin the season Brett Wallace has been sent down to AAA. I don't think there is any reason to hang onto him, even in AL-only leagues.

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