Fantasy Injury Update -- More hurt than you thought

Elsa

"He won't miss much time," they said. They lied.

So far, the weeks of the baseball have had themes. Week one was "nothing major." Week two was "DANGER DO NOT DO SOMETHING YOU WILL GET HURT NO NOT EVEN THAT JUST SIT AND BREATHE AND HOPE YOUR ROOF DOESN'T FALL ON YOUR HEAD."

Week three appears to have been "Crap, that was worse than we thought."

Several players - guys with relevance, too, not just dudes in shirts - went from "back soon" to "back someday...maybe...hell, I don't know" last week. The most notable of the group, of course, was Derek Jeter, who had a crack in his ankle revealed in CT. That looks to keep Jeter out until the All-Star break or later. I warned everyone not to bother with Jeter before the season, so don't blame me if he's clogging your roster. If you have a spare DL slot, sure, whatever, but if there's some choice between Jeter in a DL slot and just about anyone else, I'd take option B.

On the other hand, his prolonged absence from the Yankees could mean good things for Travis Hafner owners. Had Jeter hurried back, dollars to doughnuts he'd only have been able to play the field occasionally, meaning he'd need the DH slot sometimes too, bumping Hafner (who please lord never plays the field) to the bench. Jeter being gone longer means more games for Hafner, who, as I said Wednesday, will notch plenty of longballs.

Also out longer than expected is Matt Harrison for the Rangers. When he went on the DL, I expected (and most reports seemed to agree) that he'd only miss the minimum time, maybe only slightly more. Now, though, it'll be a race to return with him and Jeter, as Harrison is scheduled to undergo back surgery Tuesday.

The fantasy strategy here is...well, less defined. With Harrison out, decent chance Nick Tepesch keeps his rotation slot even when Martin Perez or Colby Lewis returns, assuming he is healthy himself after taking a line drive to the arm in his last start. Tepesch (or Justin Grimm, the other rotation filler) isn't worth much unless you're in the deepest of leagues, and if his arm is hurt worse than expected, Derek Lowe might slide into the rotation, and may lord help us all at that point. Better to look outside of Texas for a Harrison replacement.

Everyone who was paying attention last year said Chad Billingsley would need Tommy John. Not one was rooting for it, but everyone thought it was inevitable. He and the Dodgers said no, rested him, brought him back this season. He's on the DL now with a sore elbow.

Chad Billingsley is going to have Tommy John surgery. It sucks. Out-for-the-year sucks. But I'm just predicting it right now. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but I'd feel comfortable dropping him from any team.

There were a couple pieces of guy-hits-the-DL news that don't fit my theme, so I will fit them here now and pretend I didn't come up with my theme before I remembered their injuries. Ryan Zimmerman hit the DL with a strained hamstring. It looks like he'll be back in normal time or thereabouts. In the meantime, Anthony Rendon got called up and debuted Sunday, and that's fun and all, but I doubt he sticks around much longer than however long Zimmerman is out.

Over in Cleveland, Michael Bourn landed on the DL with a lacerated finger. He seems even more likely to miss minimal time, but in the meantime, it looks like Jason Giambi will get more at bats, if you're super-desperate.

And, in case you guys were worried I had missed my weekly "dangit, a second baseman got hurt" update, Aaron Hill went on the DL with a broken hand. Hill, unlike Brian Roberts and Scott Sizemore before him, actually has some real fantasy relevance. Didi Gregorius has come up, getting the shortstop time since, with Cliff Pennington sliding to second. That's all pretty useless to you (no, Gregorius can't hit, you small sample size monsters), but there is potential in Martin Prado's increased second base time. He might soon have new positional eligibility, and yay for that.

Follow me on Twitter @danieltkelley

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