Fantasy baseball Weekly Planner: Options as injuries mount
We can finally say that baseball is officially in full swing, because the DL is hot and players are dropping like April showers.
Jose Reyes (ankle) is out for three months, while Zack Greinke (broken clavicle) -- curse you Carlos Quentin! -- is down for at least two. Yoenis Cespedes (hand) needs at least a two-week rest, and Erick Aybar (heel) (yes, even his loss can be damaging right now) also hit the DL on Saturday. And most recently, Johnny Cueto (triceps) left his start early on Saturday, which doesn't sound promising, unless you're a wistful Tony Cingrani owner.
Keep in mind, that was just the last few days. We had already lost Jered Weaver (broken non-throwing elbow), Freddie Freeman (oblique) and Aramis Ramirez (knee) to the DL earlier last week week, and Jason Motte (elbow) might require season-ending surgery.
Boy, are the athletic trainers are working overtime. We'll try to help you field a full, healthy lineup with our plethora of useful nuggets in SI.com's fantasy baseball Weekly Planner.
Johnny be hurt?
Rooting for injury is classless, but if you're not a Cueto owner, that devil on your shoulder whispered Cingrani's name in your ear last night. Cueto left with a "sharp" pain in his right (throwing) triceps and headed to Cincinnati to be evaluated, which may lead to a potential DL stint.
The Reds have already come out earlier this week and declared Cingrani, a 23-year-old left-handed pitching prospect, their alternative for the rotation if one of their starters went down. It proved an omen -- good for Cingrani owners, bad for Cueto owners.
Cingrani would be the option to take Cueto's turn Thursday; he started Sunday against Toledo, but was restricted to just two innings so he can come back to start Thursday on short rest since the Reds don't have a day off to rework their rotation. He struck out five of the seven batters he faced in those two scoreless innings.
Our advice to you: pick up Cingrani in all leagues immediately. He might not yet be slated to stick around long term -- much less arrive in the near term -- but he has been outstanding in his two Triple-A starts (21 strikeouts in 12 1/3 shutout innings). Cingrani could even pitch his way into the Reds rotation -- and fantasy lineups -- indefinitely if Mike Leake (6.75) continues to struggle.
If you lost Reyes or Aybar, here are some of the top mixed-format options:
Player of the week
Player of the weak
Tout wars moves
Picking up a pitcher -- having lost Fujikawa to the DL and not being overly excited about starting seventh-inning man Drew Storen on my rotisserie staff, it was time to put in a claim on one of the best available pitchers: