The injury update gets difficult in September, for a variety of reasons, really. First, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, the disabled list becomes a lost relic in the majority of cases, as the 15-day DL does not give teams any expanded roster room and thus goes basically unused.
But the other reason an injury update can be difficult in this time of magic numbers and expanded rosters is that injuries just fall through the cracks. For example, the Marlins are well out of it. If Giancarlo Stanton gets hurt, yeah, sure, that's still big news. But if, I don't know, Logan Morrison goes down with an iffy injury - he sprains his ankle or tweaks a shoulder - they might just shut him down for a while without anyone really thinking much of it. Not many fantasy owners - some, but not many - are running LoMo out there every day. He's not the face of anything but Twitter. And there are just so many guys out there on a day-by-day basis that we don't, can't notice everything.
I was running through MLB.com's injury updates as I started working on this, and I noticed Carlos Pena's name on there. Now, the Carlos Pena I'm familiar with is a new Royal, and he has been Royal-ing it up for a few days. So, I figured, this was either a different Pena (it's gotta be a common-enough name), or the Pena I'm familiar with has something small aggravating him.
And then I looked a couple columns over and saw the phrase "Out for season." And it was the same Pena. He had an appendectomy on Saturday. So either I missed that news altogether, or it simply didn't get widely reported. I have no idea which it was.
Pena isn't a very relevant fantasy name, but that isn't the point. Big guys and playoff-important guys get attention this time of year. Nobodies and already-out-of-the-playoffs guys just get shut down, and it's not always mentioned.
Anyway, here are the injuries of import:
Brett Gardner, NYY
GEEZ EVERY YANKEE HAS BEEN HURT THIS YEAR. Sorry, just gettin' my write-about-baseball bona fides out of the way. Gardner strained his oblique Thursday against the Orioles, and it seems very unlikely he'll have much, if any, relevance the rest of the way. Oblique injuries are rarely super long-term problems, but they also don't vanish right away (see Freddie Freeman, earlier this year, for one). Gardner's owners can't plan for anything out of him the rest of the way, and he's cuttable for anyone needing his spot for a contributor.
Yasiel Puig, LAD
Puig hurt his hip Saturday making a diving catch against the Giants. He was left out of the starting lineup Sunday, but did enter the game as a pinch-hitter, grounding out on the first pitch he saw to end the game. The Dodgers have little need to rush Puig back to full-time duty (except, I guess, in order to field a full lineup, as Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, and Matt Kemp are all suffering through maladies of their own) as they have basically locked down a playoff spot, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Puig get more time off going forward.
Hanley Ramirez, LAD
When I played baseball in school, we had this guy on our team who was also a top-flight basketball player, ultimately going on to play for UK in college. He was our shortstop and leadoff hitter, unless he had a basketball game or camp or practice or what-have-you to go to. So we either had a star player doing star-player things, or not. There was never a middle ground. That's basically what fantasy players have gotten out of Ramirez this year, as he's been MVP-caliber through his 79 games played, but hasn't had much of any "middle-of-the-road" playing time. He's been missing time again because he aggravated his hamstring and irritated a nerve in his back last week. He received a cortisone injection, and is expected out at least until later this week. Like Puig, there's no need to rush Ramirez back.
Joe Mauer, MIN
The Twins catcher has been trying to come back from post-concussion symptoms dating back to mid-August. For a while, it was looking like he'd be back in time for the team's upcoming road trip to Chicago and Oakland, but after a recurrence of the symptoms, he's been shut down for the time being, and won't travel with the team for the start of the trip. There's still talk that he's expected to play again this year, and it hasn't been ruled out that he could join the team mid-trip if he recovers quickly, but at this point, if I'm a Mauer owner, I'm planning on 2014.
David Wright, NYM
Wright, who has been out with a strained hamstring for the past six weeks, appears close to returning, perhaps as close as the team's next game, Tuesday against San Francisco. The hamstring issues were a worry almost as soon as Wright pulled up lame, but Wright has accelerated his workouts in recent days. Wright said repeatedly during his time away that he was determined to make it back this year, though it's for a team that is doing little but playing out the string. Any of his owners who survived his absence have to relish the return. Alas, in the one league I own Wright, my team has been eliminated. Feel bad for me.
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