The Miami Marlins are the only team in the major leagues yet to win 20 games, and studs Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison were growing tired of watching them lose. But Monday night, both players were in the lineup for the first time since July 7, 2012; it's about time the Fish got some luck (and skill) back on their side.
However, Stanton and Morrison have both said that they are not back to 100 percent, and may not be able to play consecutive games for a while. When that's the case, most organizations will hold off and wait until the player is as close to full strength as possible. The Marlins are not like most organizations, though, and with Casey Kotchman and Chris Coghlan hitting the DL last week, they needed some bodies quickly.
Here's the latest injury news from around the league:
• 1B Logan Morrison, Miami Marlins: LoMo has been away from the major leagues since July 28 of last year, recovering from various knee procedures (his most recent on Sept. 5). During his minor-league rehab assignment this year, Morrison hit .179 with 2 homers and 10 RBI in 56 at-bats. Unfortunately for Miami, that's right on par with the team's other first basemen this season, who have collectively hit .191. The Marlins activated Morrison from the 60-day DL and put him back in the llineup on Sunday, where he went 2-for-4 with a walk. Unfortunately, he did admit that his knee did not feel 100 percent, something general managers and fantasy owners do not want to hear. But if you were one of the few who drafted him, put him in your lineup. He should find his groove again soon.
• OF Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins: Stanton returned from the DL Monday night, going 1-for-4. In drafts, Stanton was considered a first- or second-round pick, but those who took him that high only got to enjoy him in their lineups for less than a month, since he went down with a hamstring injury on April 29. Like Morrison, Stanton has admitted that he's not yet 100 percent, but hopefully the presence (albeit, the not-completely-healthy presence) of both players can boost the Marlins' offense.
• 3B Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants: Sandoval was diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his foot after undergoing an MRI Monday, landing him on the 15-day DL. Many will argue that Panda's large size may have contributed to his injury, but it's mostly a continuation of his foot injury from late May. The Giants have called up Nick Noonan to replace him for the time being, and we should know more later this week about the time frame for a return. For now, Sandoval owners and Giants fans will have to be content watching Panda challenge David Wright for the NL All-Star squad's starting spot.
• 2B Jedd Gyorko, San Diego Padres: The Padres' second baseman was diagnosed with a groin strain after leaving Sunday's game in the 10th inning. It's hard to say right now just how long he'll be out, but the Padres activated Logan Forsythe from the 60-day DL and he started in Gyorko's place in the field Monday. Gyorko's been a driving force of the Padres' offense, leading the team in home runs (8) and runs scored (36); he also has a rookie-best batting average (.284) and hits (66). Needless to say, the Padres and fantasy owners alike will miss those numbers in their lineups, but we should know a better estimate of his return time later this week. His current replacement, Forsythe, is worth picking up in deeper leagues.
• SP Alexi Ogando, Texas Rangers: Ogando just returned from a three week stay on the DL with right biceps tendinitis, but now it seems the pain has migrated to his shoulder, forcing him to the 15-day DL again. The Rangers hope that it won't be as long of a stay this time, but they don't want to risk anything. Ogando served as a relief pitcher last year, and his injury struggles this season have forced the Rangers to wonder if he's better suited for that position again. In the meantime, the Rangers recalled Josh Lindblom, who allowed five hits and one walk but struck out six against the slumping Indians in Ogando's spot in the rotation Monday. With all these rumors swirling about Ogando moving to a relief position again, his owners may want to shop around for another starting pitcher. At the very least, Ogando will be out for at least another two weeks, so Lindblom may be worth a pickup in AL-only leagues.
• OF Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals: Harper, who's been out of the lineup since May 26 battling bursitis in his knee, saw Dr. James Andrews on Monday for a second opinion. Dr. Andrews said that there's no long-term damage, which is good news for Harper's owners. Reportedly, Harper's knee "felt pretty good" on Saturday morning, but at this point, we have to realize that Harper's bursitis is something that will need to be monitored closely through the duration of the season. Bursitis can only truly be healed through rest, and Harper won't get much of that until ... October or November.
• SP Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox: Buchholz left Saturday's start in the seventh inning with neck tightness. Granted, fantasy owners (including me) should be relieved that it's not a shoulder/throwing arm injury, but an injury's an injury. The right hander, who has yet to record a loss this season, is currently day-to-day, and an evaluation early this week will determine if he will have to miss Friday's start. Owners, let's hope our no-loss (yet) star doesn't hit the DL.
• SP Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds: Cueto was scratched from last Wednesday's start and was put on the DL with a right lat injury ... again. Only three starts between trips to the DL doesn't bode well for this pitcher, and the only positive thing coming out of it for the Reds is that there's space on the roster to call up Tony Cingrani again. If the Reds' prospect is still available in your league, grab him.
• 1B Mitch Moreland, Texas Ranger: Moreland hit the 15-day DL with a right hamstring strain Thursday, but after just a few days, he's already showing improvement. Moreland ran through some drills at 60-percent effort on Monday and said he felt good. Manager Ron Washington remains hopeful that Moreland can return as soon as he's eligible (June 21). Until then, Jeff Baker will replace Moreland at first.