Maybe the Opening Day adrenaline is gone. Maybe players aren't used to the stress of competing every day. Maybe the MLB grounds crews switched to a new brand of infield dirt. Whatever the reason, injuries have piled up over the last week. Philadelphia has been hit especially hard. The Phillies were already missing
Philly fans may be pulling their hair out, but fantasy managers should take a deep breath. These guys will be back, and there are waiver wire fill-ins available.
I'm guessing the phrase "Grade II calf strain" received close to 1 million WebMD hits from the Philadelphia area this week. Rollins went down with the calf problem before the first pitch of the Phillies' 7-4 victory over the Nationals on Monday. Calf strains are generally very painful and the two-to-four week recovery time announced by the Phils is optimistic. Rollins' fantasy owners should plan for him to be out the full four weeks.
Philly's going to roll with
The Rollins injury has another fantasy effect.
The circumstances around Werth's hip flexor strain are less severe but more uncertain than Rollins' calf. Werth started Wednesday's game on the bench, but did pinch hit. He returned to the starting lineup on Thursday. It appears that Werth is going to play through the problem, but his fantasy owners should be prepared for occasional days off in the next few weeks.
According to several reports, Lidge is targeting the Phillies next homestand (April 30) for his return. The closer, who is recovering from knee and elbow surgeries, had a good minor league rehab appearance on Wednesday. He pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two, walking one, and allowing no hits. More importantly, his fastball was in the low 90s and his location improved drastically.
Lidge might not walk back into the closer role when he returns. He'll eventually get there, but
Zimmerman has missed four straight games with a left hamstring injury. The third baseman participated in batting and fielding practice Thursday, and is listed as day-to-day. Zimmerman admits he is unsure of when he'll return, and said after Wednesday's game, "There is no point in pinch-hitting if I can't score on a single." Of course he went on to pinch-hit late in Thursday's game and hit an opposite field homer. The fact that he made an appearance precludes the Nats from making a DL stint retroactively and seems to indicate one won't be necessary.
As mentioned above, Roberts is out. This time it's due to an abdominal strain, which could be related to the back problems he has been dealing with since spring training. Roberts' back didn't prevent him from missing the beginning of the year, like many thought it would, but it's still not completely healthy. According to the
Roberts is eligible to come off the DL on April 25, but with his back problems and abdominal injury, he could be out longer. As he recovers, Wigginton is an excellent temporary option in both mixed and AL-only leagues.
Montero's knee injury is old news, but new reports say no ligament damage was found and he underwent surgery to repair his torn meniscus on Thursday. This is excellent news for Montero's fantasy owners, and the catcher should be back before the end of May (four-to-six week recovery time projected by the Diamondbacks).
Montero owners who haven't added
Basically, the Toronto Blue Jays are playing it safe with Hill. This injury is a minor hamstring strain that was originally labeled as hamstring "tightness." It's pretty shocking that Hill landed on the DL, but the move is retroactive to April 6 and it's doubtful that Hill will be out for much longer unless there is some unforeseen setback.
Fantasy owners may be upset that Hill is missing games due to extreme caution, but it's much better than letting him rush back and suffer a worse injury. Hill's replacement,
Much like Hill, the Padres claim they are being cautious with Young by placing him on the 15-day DL (retroactive to April 7). Young generated plenty of buzz with his season debut; six scoreless innings with five strikeouts and only one hit.
Right now, Young and the Padres are expecting him to come back immediately after his DL stint. Because it's a shoulder problem, and because of Young's recent injury history (he hasn't pitched more than 110 innings since 2007), I'm personally not quite as optimistic. He's available in most fantasy leagues, but I'd rather take chances with other fantasy options even when he comes back.
Rodriguez has allowed seven runs on 14 hits with six walks and four strikeouts in 10.1 innings so far. He struggled in the spring as well. Following Monday's start against St. Louis, a game in which Rodriguez was pulled after 65 pitches, he said that he felt some soreness in his throwing shoulder.
Rodriguez owners should monitor his next start closely. If he's pulled early or suffers from any type of shoulder pain, he could be headed to the DL.
Kinsler told reporters on Thursday, "As long as I'm playing in October, I'll be fine ... Hopefully it won't last until October. Who knows?"
This was obviously a joke (I hope), but Kinsler is taking his ankle sprain recovery slowly, and probably won't be back until the middle of next week at the earliest. He received a cortisone shot last Friday and has been doing agility drills and taking batting and fielding practice this week.
There are plenty of players hanging around the training room these days, here are some others.
* All stats up-to-date as of 04/14/10.