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Injuries are probably playing a big part in how your fantasy team is performing this season. It seems every week we are seeing three to four players land on the DL, and I’m not talking about a long reliever or backup middle infielder that no one cares about, I’m talking about top of the line players. Players who were selected in the first couple of rounds in your draft. One of my pet peeves in fantasy leagues are those in which you have a limited number of DL slots. Seems unfair to punish a team for having multiple players on the DL. Now they either have to lose a bench spot or release a player they wouldn’t otherwise. This is not the first time I have complained about this, and it won’t’ be the last either. You could field a really good fantasy team with the players that are currently on the DL. We’re going to go position by position and look at the players who are currently on the DL and not helping their fantasy owners.
Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians: Is actually on the seven day DL for a concussion. Good news I suppose in that he can come back earlier, but not sure I’d be all that happy with a catcher who received his concussion after taking a foul tip off the mask, not like that’s not going to happen again.
Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers: Out all season due to knee surgery. Now we’re hearing he could come back in September. If you play in a league with unlimited DL spots or have a spot open, may not be a bad idea to put a claim in now and stash him for later.
Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers: I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I heard about his injury. He was reaching for a sock when his wife knocked some luggage onto his hand, thus breaking it. What was in that luggage? Concrete?
Others: Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals; Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs.
Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies: Out all season after tearing his Achilles in his final at-bat last year. Seems to have had one setback after another, some have even questioned how the Phillies have handled his injury. Could return around the All-Star break.
Lance Berkman, St. Louis Cardinals: Remember last year when we were all just waiting for Berkman to get hurt. He seemed to be injury prone, plus the Cards had him playing right field. Certainly that would lead to disaster. Well, we were a year off. Berkman has suffered one injury after another this season and is currently on the DL until after the ASB due to knee surgery. Ironically Berkman didn’t have to play the OF this season, the loss of Albert Pujols allowed him to return to 1B, one would’ve thought this would make life easier for Lance, but no.
Michael Morse, Washington Nationals: This one year wonder came out of nowhere to hit 31 HRs and bat .303 last year. Most thought the power was legit, the average probably not. Well an oblique injury, that was aggravated in early April, has kept him out of the lineup so far this season although it does look like Morse will return sometime within the next 10 days.
Other: Matt Gamel, Milwaukee Brewers
Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies: Like Howard Utley has missed the entire season due to knee problems. Unlike Howard Utley has been swinging a bat and could probably hit now, but is still not healthy enough to take ground balls regularly. Until he can do so, he can’t begin a rehab stint to get him back in the lineup.
Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles: Remember him, he seems to have missed most of the past two seasons due to a concussion. He has just now begun a rehab stint that could see him rejoin the team by the end of June. Will he be the same player that provided a good source of power and speed in the middle infield? Probably not, but he should still be on your radar once he’s closer to returning.
Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays: Longoria is certainly a very good to great player, but this seems to be an annual occurrence. He just can’t stay off the DL. Longoria was a 1st round pick in some leagues and can put up big numbers when he’s on the field, but his loss can also be devastating unless you have an adequate backup.
Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants: Like Longoria, another player that can’t stay healthy, and also like Longoria his loss is devastating to the team he plays on as the Giants don’t possess a powerful lineup even with Sandoval in the lineup.
Stephen Drew, Arizona Diamondbacks: Still hasn’t returned since a gruesome ankle injury last year. Drew will perhaps never live up to the hype that surrounded him at one time, but he’s still a loss for fantasy owners. Shortstop is weak, and his power potential was enticing for owners. The good news is that Drew is the only blemish at this position, but don’t worry, outfielders more than make up for it.
Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodger: Yeah I know he was activated today and will in all likelihood play tonight, but still I couldn’t help but include him on this list. Kemp was off to an MVP start and one has to wonder if these two weeks off will slow him down somewhat.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox: Ellsbury very easily could’ve won the American League MVP last season, and if the Sox didn’t choke down the stretch, perhaps he would’ve, but this is now that second time that he has suffered a freak injury that will cause him to miss half the season. Question is how will he perform once he returns? Only time will tell.
Carl Crawford, Boston Red Sox: Now here’s a free agent signing that certainly hasn’t worked out. We all know the story with Crawford. Terrible season last year in Boston. Injured his wrist, had surgery, had a setback, seemed recovered, than injured his elbow. Talk about one thing after another. Crawford is swinging a bat now but still hasn’t begun a throwing program. ASB is a good bet for his return.
Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays: Jennings suffered a knee injury that was once considered day to day but now keeps pushing his return from the DL further and further away. Perhaps next week now we’re hearing. One thing to keep in mind, a good portion of Jennings’ fantasy value is his speed, and his knee injury could slow down his running a bit.
Others: Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians; Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers; Brett Gardner, New York Yankees; Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals.
Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies: Have to admit that I’m not surprised about the injury. Halladay hasn’t been the same this season. His velocity is down and he hasn’t had his normal command. Six to eight weeks is a huge loss for fantasy owners, by the time he returns, it may be to late for your fantasy team.
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels: Talk about bloody Tuesday. First Halladay, than Weaver lands on the DL. The good news, he is only supposed to miss the minimum amount of time due to a back strain. The bad news, he is a tall lanky guy, wouldn’t surprise me if he is out longer than a couple of weeks.
Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals: Carpenter has thrown well over 600 innings the past three seasons, not including playoffs, and it looks like that workload is finally catching up to him. Carp has yet to pitch this season due to a nerve problem in his neck. He has begun a throwing program, but there is no telling if he will be able to build up enough strength in that shoulder to help fantasy owners this season.
Others: Neftali Feliz, Texas Rangers; Michael Pineda, New York Yankees
Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees: You know it’s a bad year when Mariano goes down for the count while shagging fly balls in batting practice. This was supposed to be Mariano’s swan song for his career, but the injury has made him change his mind, he will be back next year.
Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants: Once again I’m not surprised by this injury. Wilson had arm problems last season, his velocity was down, just seemed to be a matter of time. Apparently the beard is not infallible after all.
Andrew Bailey, Boston Red Sox: After all the injuries the Sox have suffered in their outfield, you think they would like to have Josh Reddick back? That is who they traded to get Bailey. Bailey had thumb surgery during spring training and once again could be back around the ASB.
Others: Drew Storen, Washington Nationals; Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals; Ryan Madson, Cincinnati Reds.
If you want to comment on this column or any other, you can reach me on Twitter, @georgekurtz
Topics: Achilles, Carlos Santana, Chicago Cubs, Clearing The Bases, Cleveland Indians, Concussion, Detroit Tigers, Fantasy, Fantasy Leagues, Fantasy Owners, Fantasy Team, Foul Tip, Jonathan Lucroy, Knee Surgery, Middle Infielder, milwaukee brewers, Pet Peeves, Philadelphia Phillies, Ryan Howard, Victor Martinez, Washington Nationals