August 13, 2013

Carlos Beltran has struggled with nagging injuries this season, but should be there for the stretch run.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

At this point in August, the odds of an injury ending a season increase exponentially. Rickie Weeks and his injured hamstring? Done. Cody Ross and his dislocated hip? Over. There's not much time left in the MLB season, and there's even less left in the fantasy season, so injured players have little chance of recovering enough to contribute down the stretch.

Fantasy owners need to ask one question when players on their roster sustain an injury: Will this guy return in time for the playoff push? If not, it's time to move on and find a replacement.

This week's baseball prep: Weekly Planner | Waiver Wire | Pitching Report | Injury Report | Advanced Stats Focus | Trade Tips

OF Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals: Beltran left Sunday's game in the fifth inning after fouling a ball off of his foot, leaving the foot swollen and sore. Initial x-rays came back negative, and Beltran can walk on the foot, but he's still listed as questionable for Tuesday's game. Beltran has been plagued by minor injuries for much of the season, but has managed to avoid the DL thanks to strategic off days. Beltran's owners shouldn't worry about this, as he's likely to return to the lineup soon and be an impact player during the fantasy playoffs.

3B Eric Chavez and OF Cody Ross, Arizona Diamondbacks: Chavez, who was already dealing with some knee pain, came out of the game early on Friday when his hip stiffened up. The Diamondbacks put him on the 15-day DL Monday, retroactive to Saturday. In order to replace him, the Diamondbacks called up Matt Davidson to help fill in at third. Davidson didn't expect to play immediately, but Cody Ross suffered a season-ending injury Sunday, as he dislocated his hip while attempting to beat out a ground ball to first. After Ross' injury, Martin Prado shifted to the outfield and Davidson jumped in at third. Neither Chavez nor Ross are widely owned in leagues, but if either happens to be on your roster, drop him. They're not worth keeping anymore.

3B Miguel Tejada and 3B Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals: While diving for a ball in the seventh inning of Saturday's game, Tejada strained his right calf, forcing the Royals to place him on the 15-day DL Sunday. Immediately, the organization jumped into action and acquired Jamey Carroll from the Twins in order to create some infield depth. That move proved to be critical, as Carroll went in when Mike Moustakas left Monday night's game early with tightness in his calf. Moustakas, who is listed as day-to-day, has been a huge part of Kansas City's 19-5 record since the All-Star break. His injury is bad news for the Royals and for fantasy owners.

OF Carlos Quentin, San Diego Padres: The Padres did all they could to keep Quentin on the active roster. However, after missing a week of games and seeing no improvement on his strained right knee, he went on the DL on Friday (retroactive to July 31). It's unclear when he'll return, but he's eligible to come back as early as next week. Knee injuries can take a while to heal, however, and with phrases like "no improvement" being tossed around, fantasy owners should look elsewhere for help.

OF Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates: Marte exited Saturday's game early after being hit by a pitch on the left hand. Initial x-rays came back clean (Marte tweeted out, "Nothing serious, thanks to God" on Sunday), but the ball left a rather large mark. Marte is day-to-day, and the Pirates expect him to be back in the lineup soon. Nothing to worry about here, fantasy owners.

OF Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals: Werth suffered a minor knee injury in Sunday's game against the Phillies while sliding into home, forcing him to leave the game early. Luckily, it doesn't look like anything for fantasy owners to worry about -- just a bruise. The Nationals had the day off Monday, and Werth hopes to be back in the lineup on Tuesday.

Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers: Weeks suffered a left hamstring strain last Wednesday night, and he'll need surgery, knocking him out for the remainder of season. Weeks was having a disappointing season, hitting just .209/.306/.357 with only seven stolen bases. A season cut short by injury feels like a fitting fantasy end.

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