It seems like every year more and more players get hurt, impacting our fantasy teams. The hamstring injury seems to be more and more common this season, or maybe my fantasy teams weren't impacted with hamstring injuries in the past. I wonder if the improved drug testing is impacting players ability to rebound from injuries quicker. I also wonder if teams prescribed PEDs to get their players back on the field in the past.....just a few things I was wondering about when preparing for writing this week's Injury Report. Onto the Injury Report:
Troy Tulowitzki, COL
I was staying out of the heat on Sunday, checking my Twitter timeline and came across this tweet from Troy Renck, which should bring smiles to the faces of Troy Tulowtizki's owners:
Tulo and fowler are expected to begin rehab assignment in AAA on Tuesday. Would play 2 days ideally and join Rox on Thursday— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) July 7, 2013
Tulo coming back before the All Star break is certainly news. When placed on the DL back on June 13th, he was expected to miss 4-6 weeks, so he is coming back in exactly 28 days.
Matt Kemp, LAD
Kemp aggravated his left shoulder swinging at a pitch on Friday night and missed a few games as a result. He grabbed his shoulder and grimaced after the swing. Manager Don Mattingly and the team trainer, Sue Falsone, took a look at him but he stayed in the game. He was later pulled before his second at bat. He should not need a DL move, but know that this is not a good sign for the former first round pick, especially after he homered twice in the Rockies series. Kemp had a cortisone shot in his shoulder and was not in the lineup on Saturday or Sunday.
Yadier Molina, STL
Molina is probably one the top 2-3 candidates for National League MVP right now and the Cardinals could not afford to lose him, but he is dealing with a knee injury right now. Here is more from Bernie Miklasz from the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
The only thing missing was catcher Yadier Molina, who left the ballpark early, before Jon Jay scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. And Molina’s quick exit had nothing to do with wanting to get a head start on firing up the backyard grill.
Molina’s right knee, suddenly disagreeable, was adamantly opposed to him catching Saturday. The right knee put up a noisy protest and demanded a trip to the doctor’s office for a thorough examination.
MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch provided this update on Molina via Twitter:
Yadier Molina said he has been diagnosed with knee inflammation; nothing concerning found on MRI. Expects to return in a few days— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) July 7, 2013
Good news for Molina owners, but something to be aware of in the second half. The Cardinals may give him more than the occasional day off going forward.
Ryan Howard, PHI
The Phillies placed Ryan Howard on the 15 day DL on Saturday, an hour before their game with the Braves. He will rest the knee for now, but surgery is a possibility, as the team believes he has a torn meniscus. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. stated they would be conservative with Howard, and that surgery is a consideration. In the meantime, Darin Ruf will be Howard's replacement in the Phillies lineup and should play every day.
Clay Buchholz, BOS
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz was having a Cy Young award type season before suffering a neck strain. Before landing on the DL, Buchholz was 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in 12 starts. Buchholz threw from 75-80 feet on Wednesday and is scheduled to throw from 120 feet, without restrictions, before getting on a mound for some bullpen sessions. He will need at least two rehab starts before coming off the DL, so he could be sidelined till at least after the All Star break, and possibily a bit longer.
Brandon Beachy, ATL
Beach is closing in on a rehab assignment, according to Carroll Rogers from the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Beachy is with the team in Philadelphia, and will need one more bullpen session before he starts his second rehab assignment. I could see him starting the rehab assignment this week and returning from the DL right after the All Star break. Beachy is owned in just 17% of ESPN leagues, so go out and grab him if you can.
Carl Crawford, LAD
Crawford was activated from the DL on Friday night and entered the game as an injury replacement for Matt Kemp. Manager Don Mattingly will have to juggle his lineup on a daily basis to keep his four outfielder fresh until Andre Ethier is dealt.
Brett Lawrie, TOR
Lawrie is still on the DL recovering from a sprained ankle. That must have been some major strain as he has been out of action since late May. He has moved his rehab to AA New Hampshire and is on schedule to return after the All Star break. Will Lawrie ever reach the potential we all bestowed on him after his awesome rookie season?
Ryan Braun, MIL
Braun has been out since June 9th with a thumb injury (placed on DL on June 14th), but took 50 swings in the batting cage on Friday, and was scheduled to take batting practice with the team on Saturday. Braun told reporters that his batting practice session went well, and he could start a rehab assignment this week. As a result, we could see him back in the Brewers lineup before the All Star break. Good news for fantasy owners. Yes, I own him. Braun has been a bit of a disappointment this season as well, but, when healthy, can carry a fantasy team for long stretches.
Derek Jeter, NYY
Jeter is closing in on a rehab assignment after participating in a simulated game recently. Jeter is rehabbing from a broken ankle, so the team has been cautious with his rehab. I have a feeling he could struggle in the field upon his return, as he is no spring chicken, but he is better than what the Yankees are throwing out there on a daily basis. Jeter is owned in just 28% of ESPN leagues, so if you are looking for a shortstop, go out and grab him.
I saw highlights of his first rehab game on the MLB Network on Sunday morning, and he looked a little gimpy running out a grounder to first base.
Adam Eaton, ARI
Eaton has been playing rehab games recently, but has not played the outfield yet. He has been DH'ing, but is scheduled to play the outfield this weekend with a chance to return from the DL after the All Star break. Eaton is scheduled to move his rehab to AAA Reno after going 1-3 and playing center field on Saturday. The Diamondbacks may take it slow with him when he returns, but he should be the Diamondbacks regular center fielder soon after he returns, providing fantasy owners with solid run and stolen base totals.
Jedd Gyorko, SD
Gyorko is recovering from a groin injury, and recently experienced a setback in his rehab. Manager Bud Black recently stated that Gyorko is about a week away from returning to game action, and has been taking ground balls, running the bases and participating in batting practice. I imagine he could begin a rehab assignment this week and return before the All Star break if all goes well.
Alex Cobb, TB
Cobb is recovering from a concussion suffered after taking a line drive off his head. The Rays are being very cautious in his rehab, but he is making progress in his rehab, as he threw his first bullpen session on Friday. He will continue to go through concussion tests as he progresses through his rehab, and there is no timetable for his return.
Yasmani Grandal, SD
Grandal suffered an injury to the MCL and ACL in his right knee on a collision at home plate on Saturday, and landed on the 60 day DL, which means he is probably out for the season. He will have an MRI on Monday to determine the seriousness of the injury. He is droppable in non-keeper leagues.