Another week, another slew of players hitting the DL with injuries. Many players are dealing with overuse injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, bursitis and tendonitis. These are often the worst kinds of injuries, since they can flare up at any point. A word of advice for fantasy owners -- monitor an overuse injury carefully, since it could force a player to sit a game at any moment, or even knock someone out for a month. Looks like these players are ready for the All-Star Break.
On to this week's injury news:
• SP Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds: Cueto has also dealt with a frustrating season, especially as he begins his third (THIRD) DL stint of the year. Cueto, who's only pitched 48.2 innings so far this season, felt pain in his right lat during a pitch against the Rangers on Saturday and immediately left the game, knowing he likely reaggravated his injury. The Reds don't have a need to rush him back into the lineup, so his owners should expect him out until about August. But Tony Cingrani's owners will be excited, as he's taken over Cueto's spot in the rotation for the meantime.
• 3B Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays: Longoria left the game early last Friday as he was struggling with plantar fasciitis, a strain in the bottom of the foot caused by overuse, in his right foot. Plantar fasciitis, like bursitis (Bryce Harper's recent injury) is an overuse injury, and is really only helped with rest. Longoria wore a walking boot through the weekend, hoping to take some of the strain off of his foot, and he told the Tampa Bay Times that his foot was feeling much better Monday. He said the foot doesn't bother him much while doing infield work, but running the bases is going to be the real test. He's in the lineup Tuesday night at DH, so
• OF Peter Bourjos, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: In last week's waiver wire, Michael Beller ranted and raved about how Peter Bourjos was breathing life back into the Angels since returning from a hamstring injury. Well, to those of who you picked him up, we apologize, because he's back on the DL after being hit by a pitch in the top of the fourth inning against the Astros. Fortunately for Bourjos, it's a non-displaced fracture, meaning the bone remained in alignment and he won't have to undergo surgery. In the meantime, J.B. Shuck will fill in at left field, and Mike Trout will move to center.
• OF Melky Cabrera, Toronto Blue Jays: Cabrera, who left Thursday's game clearly in pain, joins the players-with-overuse-injuries club, as he was diagnosed with tendonitis in his left knee and he hit the DL Friday. The Blue Jays anticipate that Cabrera will only spend the minimum amount of time on the DL, but that's what all teams say about their players. The speedy Rajai Davis will get most of the playing time while Melky's out, and he's definitely worth a look if you need some speed.
• OF Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals: After being on the DL since May 27, Harper made his long-awaited return to the lineup last night, wearing a highly-padded knee brace. And, much to his fantasy owners' delight, he homered on his first at-bat (he went 0-3 in remaining at bats). Harper injured his knee when he crashed face-first into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium on May 13. He initially tried to play through the injury, but it was apparent that he was in pain, so on June 1 he was put on the DL for bursitis in the knee. Harper received two shots to help the pain and swelling, and as soon as that went down, he returned to regular baseball activities. Many were wondering if Harper would return to his pre-injury state. Well, if his home run on Monday was any indicator, then he should be on the right track. However, keep in mind that bursitis can flare up at any time, and he may have to unexpectedly sit games on occasion.
• SP David Price, Tampa Bay Rays: When the reigning AL Cy Young winner hit the DL, the Rays made it seem like he was going to miss three starts at most; he didn't even have a strain or a tear, just tightness in his tricep. This season has been frustrating for Price's fantasy owners, since he wasn't pitching anything like he did in his Cy Young-winning season last year. But have faith, owners. His problems were likely related to his injury, so now's the time for him to return stronger on the mound. He makes his first start back Tuesday night.
• OF Carl Crawford, Los Angeles Dodgers: A few weeks ago, we were lamenting how seemingly the entire Dodgers' outfield was on the DL. Then the Dodgers called up Yasiel Puig, and the rest is history. But now that Crawford is starting his rehab assignments this week, what is a team to do with a surplus of stud outfielders? Manager Don Mattingly isn't lamenting the situation, and he simply told the L.A. Times that he will be rotating between Crawford, Puig, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, depending on who is playing the best. This situation will prove tricky for those who own any of the four outfielders, as they may not be in the lineup as regularly. When Crawford returns, make sure to stalk the lineups regularly, especially if you're in a daily league.
• SP Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers: Sanchez made a rehab start with High-A Lakeland Monday night, but was forced to leave the game after taking a line drive off the calf. Initial report stated that there was no serious damage, meaning the Tigers dodged a bullet, but Sanchez will have the leg checked out just to be sure. Barring any problems with his calf, Sanchez is expected to return to the lineup Saturday.