In fantasy, owners often look for signs to help make educated roster decisions -- we scour stat trends, look at numbers from seasons past, analyze the teams against which a player is pitching or hitting, and so on and so on. However, one of the most persuasive things is an injury report. If a player is experiencing tightness or soreness, or even hits the DL for some period of time, that means it's time to reevaluate his spot in your lineup. Let's take a look at the signs for this week.
? Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan, Boston Red Sox: We're clumping these two together because, well, they're both contributing to the problems with the Boston bullpen. Bailey was placed on the 15-day DL Monday with a sore biceps after feeling discomfort last Saturday. Then mere hours later, Hanrahan exited the ninth inning against the Twins (after giving up a home run to Brian Dozier and blowing the save attempt) with forearm pain. Last week we discussed the vagueness of "pain," from which both Boston relief pitchers are suffering, and that diagnosis should sprout the red flags in a fantasy owner's mind. Until further evaluation (Bailey underwent an MRI Monday, Hanrahan will have one Tuesday), neither relief pitcher has an estimated return time. With both guys out for a while, Junichi Tazawa will reportedly assume closer duties for the Red Sox.
? Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies: Owners who drafted Halladay knew he was a risky pick. His strong stats in his third, fourth and fifth starts of the season allowed owners to remain cautiously optimistic that he could return to, well, Halladay-like form. However, nearly every fantasy column preached that he would not hold up through the season, and told owners to sell him high while he was still producing. Halladay took a strong turn for the worst, and now he's headed for the 15-day DL with a strained shoulder. Fantasy owners who clung to his somewhat optimistic numbers (this writer included) are kicking themselves, as we now have no chance of getting anything for him. It's time to cut bait.
? Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers:In this column last week, we were celebrating Ramirez's return from thumb surgery for a torn ligament in the WBC (in time for his own bobblehead day, remember?). But now, we're lamenting his loss again, this time due to a hamstring injury, suffered while sliding into third. This guy just can't stay healthy. This DL trip, where he joins fellow Dodgers Mark Ellis and Carl Crawford on the bench, will likely be shorter than for his thumb injury, but in the meantime, pick up his replacement, Dee Gordon. The former highly-touted prospect can steal bases like no other -- when he gets on.
? Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals: Just as Ryan Zimmerman returns to the lineup, Werth falls out. He struggled with various injuries last week, fouling a ball off of his left foot a week ago Tuesday, then leaving last Thursday's game against the Braves early after reporting hamstring tightness. Owners, take note of the diagnosis of a tight hamstring, as opposed to a pulled hamstring -- a tight hamstring won't lead to a DL stint. The Nationals played it safe and sat the veteran the entire weekend in Pittsburgh. He's expected to return to the lineup Tuesday.
? Gavin Floyd, Chicago White Sox: It's been determined that Floyd, who injured his elbow April 27 against the Rays, will undergo Tommy John surgery. Since he tore both the ulnar collateral ligament and the flexor muscle, chances are Floyd will take longer than the standard year to recover. It could take up to 19 months, which would put him out of commission well into the 2014 season.
? Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves: The Braves' catcher made his long-awaited season debut Monday night after undergoing shoulder surgery in October. His replacement, Evan Gattis, has been one of the best stories of the season, and in order to keep his hot bat in the lineup, the Braves played Gattis out in left field after 22 starts behind the plate. McCann went 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout, not bringing much to fantasy owners who got excited and decided to start him. However, if McCann's bat doesn't pick up soon, it may be replaced by Gattis'.