It was - thankfully - a fairly light week of baseball injuries. Unless I missed something, there were no awful-luck second basemen hurt!
I mean, that's probably because all those guys are already hurt, but whatever. I'll take what I can get.
There were a few injuries, sure, but nothing like Jose Reyes' ankle, Zack Greinke's collarbone, all of Brian Roberts' insides. The most significant DL trip for fantasy players is Jason Heyward, on the 15-day DL as he recovers from an appendectomy. Russell A. Carleton with Baseball Prospectus examined the idea that players could get preventive appendectomies to ward off these in-season issues, and while that's extreme, it's an interesting thought project.
The idea won't do much for Heyward, though, as he's already had his. Give that man a time machine! Or don't, because if you have a time machine, giving it to Jason Heyward for a preemptive appendectomy would be a gross misuse of the resource. But hey, it's your time machine. Do whatever you want with it.
Sorry, I like thinking about time travel. If recent player appendectomies are any indication, Heyward won't miss much beyond the 15 days. A horrendous start to the season combined with a surgery will have lots of his owners worried, but not me. He's a terrific buy-low opportunity, and if you can get him from the downers out there, I'd do it without hesitation.
Troy Tulowitzki left Sunday's game with a strained left shoulder. I haven't seen much in the way of prognosis for him, but tread lightly; dude gets hurt a lot.
Matt Adams and Ivan Nova were the other big (or "big") names who were DL-bound last week, and I don't feel the need to devote a lot of space to them. Adams strained an oblique; it's a short-term injury, and the Cardinals have had trouble getting him playing time anyway. Nova, meanwhile, strained his right triceps, but if you were relying on Nova's help, you had bigger problems to begin with.
For the A's, Brett Anderson is skipping Monday's start, as he recovers from a sprained ankle. The team is bringing Dan Straily back up to face the Angels today. If you're streaming guys, Straily is a good bet for some strikeouts, but it sounds like he won't be up for the long run.
No, with the lack of serious injuries this week, I figured it would be a good time to look at guys who were already hurt, and see if they're nearing their return. And guess what! They are! Happy days are here again.
Yoenis Cespedes made his return yesterday. If you didn't know that, you know that know. This is how I help. He's a must-start, just as he was before, and I thought that even before he homered in his return.
Brian McCann has also started a rehab stint of his own. His return is imminent. Now, if he beats Heyward back, the Braves will likely slot McCann in as catcher and play Evan Gattis in the outfield. When Heyward returns, though, Gattis owners might want to watch out. He overperformed the first few weeks, and even then, his on-base percentage is under .300. The slugging is great, but you've got to reach base. If McCann is McCann upon his return, the best Braves lineup will be on with Gattis on the bench. He'll get semi-regular starts, but if you've been starting Gattis in your lineups, it's probably nearing time to figure out a backup plan.
Aramis Ramirez is due back from his left knee sprain sometime this week. In his stead, Yuniesky Betancourt has been getting the third-base time (and occasionally hitting cleanup, which is hilarious). Ramirez should have no trouble pushing Yuni back to the bench. Or to second, since Rickie Weeks has been only slightly better than my pet cat this season. I'll say this: In the Brewers infield, Jean Segura is worth owning in all leagues. Ramirez is worth owning in most. Betancourt and Weeks are worth laughing if your opponents own them.
Kyuji Fujikawa has been throwing, and may well return for the Cubs in the next week. The team has been semi-committee-ing it in his absence, with Kevin Gregg notching three saves and Carlos Marmol one. I doubt Fujikawa goes immediately back into the closer role; I honestly don't know who, if anyone, to recommend as the Cubs save-getter.
For all his desperate owners (including my brother, who has been obsessed with this injury all season), Hanley Ramirez is about to start a rehab stint, and could be back within the next couple weeks. Since the left side of the Dodger infield is such a mess, I doubt it can come soon enough. Update: The reports I saw when I wrote this were that Hanley was getting closer, not that he was super-duper close. But it sounds like "within two weeks" was conservative, as the LA Times (and others) are reporting he could be back as soon as Monday night's game. On the other hand, today is certainly "within" two weeks, so I'm still right! Anyway, welcome back, Hanley.
Also due back soon: Michael Bourn, Wilson Ramos, Johnny Cueto, and maybe even Curtis Granderson. As I have nothing funny to say about any of these guys, I'll just list them there. I expect, barring setbacks, all four to be back by Mother's Day, give or take. You will use Bourn, Cueto, and Granderson just as you would otherwise. Full use. You might use Ramos, if you believe me when I say that he's very good at baseball.
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