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Fantasy injuries after the first week

There were no severed limbs or gushing arteries in week one, just a bunch of nagging things getting worse or getting better.

Kevin C. Cox


When I wrote before the season about how it would be smart to target Brian Roberts late, about how he'd give you good performance for however long he managed to stay healthy, I really thought there was a decent chance he'd make it to, you know, May. But no.

No, a hamstring strain suffered while trying to steal a base on Friday has Roberts already back on the DL. I really want the guy to succeed - the longer/more a player is hurt, the more I inevitably end up rooting for him, so if Wilin Rosario wants me to stop dogging him so much, a nice long DL stint ought to be in order. (I'm kidding. I absolutely never root for injuries in anyone, and it's not personal with ol' Wilin.)

Regardless, though, the point I was making in my original Roberts piece holds. I said ride him while you could, but don't think twice about dropping him when he gets hurt. I already dropped him from my teams; go ahead and drop him from yours. But I'm rooting for him.

In the meantime, expect Ryan Flaherty and Alexi Casilla to get the time Roberts would have had. Expect them to offer you little-to-nothing in fantasy. I wouldn't bother with them unless I was super-duper desperate and the league was super-duper deep.

Frankly, for guys who actually went on the DL in the season's first week, there wasn't a huge amount of impact. Freddie Freeman is the biggest name, out with a strained oblique. And he's rather peeved with the Braves about it, which tells me it's unlikely to keep him out any more than the minimum time. If he's on your roster, keep him there. I doubt you needed my advice for that.

The primary other put-on-the-DL guy this week was Aramis Ramirez, out with a left knee sprain. He'll likely be back late in the month, for whatever it's worth. I'm not a Ramirez guy, and I think there are plenty of comparable third basemen out there. I'm not saying drop him, but if you have both Freeman and Ramirez hurt and have to drop one, Ramirez is obviously (for me) the guy to go.

Hey, those were things about guys who were healthy and now are not. Let's now talk about the opposite! What a segue.

David Freese is due back as early as today for St. Louis, with minimal concerns about his playing time going forward. So that's good. On the (significantly) other hand, though, sometime in the past few months, Freese went from "fine third baseman" to "OMG HE'S THE BESTEST." Freese is fine. He'll help you. But missing him isn't like missing Chase Headley or Hanley Ramirez. Don't start celebrating your title. Just start Freese over...I don't know, Kyle Seager or whoever you've been using.

The biggest injury stuff of week one was little fiddly bits, ouchies that sent guys to the bench for a short time, with the duration of their absences up in the air.

In Milwaukee, Ryan Braun missed the weekend with neck stiffness. I once fell asleep for several hours sitting upright on a friend's couch, and literally could not turn my head at batting practice the next day, so I'm just like Braun and you should respect me accordingly. Anyway, the Brewers had Braun in the on-deck circle during Sunday's extra-inning affair, but Ron Roenicke said it was a decoy, and Braun was never going to bat. It sounds like he won't be out long, but neck stuff can be a worry, so keep an eye on that in daily-lineup leagues. If you have weekly lineups, I'd roll with Braun, but I'd do it with a nerve or two. ***UPDATE*** Mike Vassallo tweeted out at 1:10 on Monday that Braun is in Monday's lineup. I assume he's fine.

In Toronto, Jose Bautista hasn't played since leaving Thursday's game early with a sore right ankle. The Blue Jays have said it's not a big deal, and he's expected to play Tuesday in Detroit, so I'm keeping Bautista in all lineups.

Outfielders! Hurt all of them! In Oakland, Josh Reddick sprained his right wrist. X-rays were negative, but I wouldn't expect him back until mid-week at the earliest. And wrist injuries in power hitters are so unpredictable. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but unless he's Samson and his power is in that beard, he might not have his normal pop for a little bit.

An even tinier injury appears to have happened in Reddick's neighborhood, as Yoenis Cespedes sat out Sunday with a sore elbow he tweaked Saturday. It doesn't sound like he'll miss any real time, especially with Reddick already out.

Brett Anderson's thumb looks gross after taking a line drive Saturday:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Boo.. <a href="" title="">…</a></p>&mdash; Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson49) <a href="">April 8, 2013</a></blockquote>
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On the other hand, it sounds like there's a decent chance he won't miss any time, and if he does it'll likely be only one start, so not much news there other than Man, Anderson is another guy that gets hurt a lot.

I wrote this whole thing early while watching last night's Angels-Rangers game (which my Rangers won wooooooo). That means that I finished it, scheduled it to publish, and settled in to watch the rest of the game. And now, Monday morning, it occurs to me that Yu Darvish and Jered Weaver both got hurt in the game! A blogger's work is never done!

I'm not terribly worried about the blister on Darvish's finger, but I will say that I wouldn't be shocked if the Rangers try to wedge in a pushed-back start for him in the next couple weeks if it doesn't go away. Don't change your lineups yet, but keep an eye on him, because the Rangers have in the last few years had no issues moving around early-season starts.

Weaver had me really worried with his reaction to his strained elbow last night, when he fell on it trying to dodge a line drive. X-rays came back negative, and it sounds like he'll make his next start fine, so it might not be a concern. On the other hand, his fastball speed is dropping, he's never been quite as good as people want him to be, and now he has an elbow thing (non-throwing elbow, but still). Don't drop him or anything, of course, but if you have the opportunity to deal him, I'd strongly consider it.

So these are my Monday injury posts. They're depressing to write. I hate guys getting hurt. So I'm rooting for a week where I don't even have a post to write. Just no injuries, anywhere. I'll write about balloons or something instead.

Follow me on Twitter @danieltkelley