Injury Report: May 23: Chase Utley, Andre Ethier, Josh Hamilton & More

There is a lot of injury news this morning regarding some of the best players in the league.  Let’s take a look at what is going on:

Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies – Todd Zolecki of (click here for the article), “The Phillies second baseman, who has been recovering from patellar tendinitis in his right knee, arrived at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday morning after playing in rehab games with Class A Advanced Clearwater for four consecutive days. He is not in the lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the Texas Rangers, but he is expected to make his season debut in Monday night’s series opener against the Cincinnati Reds.”  In nine games at Single-A Utley hit .281 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R and 1 SB.  We all know that there’s a little bit of a risk, but there is no reason to shy away from him.  I’d get him active in all formats for the coming week and hope for the best.  He’s just too good of an option to leave on your bench for the next 7 days.

Andre Ethier – Los Angeles Dodgers – According to Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles (click here for the article), “The already injury-depleted Los Angeles Dodgers lost two more key players in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against the Chicago White Sox when right fielder Andre Ethier left the game with injuries to his right elbow, right lower back and left big toe and catcher Rod Barajas departed with a right wrist injury.  Ethier underwent X-rays on his toe, Barajas on his wrist. Both were negative, and both players are listed as day to day.”  Ethier is considered day-to-day at this point, though this certainly isn’t the type of news that fantasy owners want to hear at this point in the week.  Hopefully we have a little bit more news before lineups are due on Monday, but it’s going to be a tough decision to make.  At this point all we can do is stay tuned and hope.

Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals – Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (click here for the article) is reporting that, “Matt Holliday, serving as the designated hitter to give his tight left quadriceps a rest, came out of the game for a pinch runner during the inning when the leg tightened again.”  At this point it appears that he should be considered day-to-day.  However, does that make him a usable play for the coming week?  Hopefully we get a little bit more information before lineups are due.

Josh Hamilton/Nelson Cruz – Texas Rangers – According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (click here for the post), “Barring any setbacks with their injuries or any travel problems or a can’t-miss sale at the Round Rock outlet mall, Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz will be activated from the 15-day disabled list Monday and be in the Rangers’ lineup against Chicago.”  Great news for their fantasy owners, but if you own a pitcher scheduled to take on the Rangers this is obviously bad news.  The Chicago White Sox trio of John Danks, Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd all take a small step back for the coming week.

Jason Heyward – Atlanta Braves – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien is reporting (click here for the article) that, “Jason Heyward was placed on the 15-day disabled list for recurring soreness in his right shoulder, the latest in a series of injury setbacks for the Braves’ prized right fielder.”  Considering what has happened of late, this really shouldn’t be surprising news.  Hopefully the extended time off helps him fully recover from this.  At this point, all you can do is stash him on the bench and hope for the best.

Rafael Furcal/Juan Uribe – Los Angeles Dodgers – According to Ken Gurnick of (click here for the article), “The good news/bad news treadmill continued for the Dodgers on Sunday, when shortstop Rafael Furcal was activated from the disabled list but Juan Uribe was put on it.”  This isn’t really surprising news.  He has struggled this season anyways and should just be stashed at this point.  Furcal owners, meanwhile should be excited.  He returned to the lineup yesterday going 0-5 while hitting leadoff.  Bad day, but he’s worth using in most formats at a weaker position.

Brian Matusz – Baltimore Orioles – According to Jeff Zrebiec (via Twitter), “Brian matusz getting closer but all signs point to him making one more rehab start. He’ll throw a bullpen tuesday.”  Just stay patient, but he’s getting closer and closer to finally making his return.

Alex White – Cleveland Indians – The team’s Twitter feed is reporting that, “Alex White out 8 to 12 weeks with a strained ligament in his right middle finger.”  It’s an extremely tough break for the youngster, as we may not see him back until late August.  He had shown signs of usability, though the loss isn’t a great one for fantasy owners considering we all knew he would be inconsistent.  Stash in him deep keeper formats, otherwise move on to the take hotshot youngsters (Danny Duffy anyone…).

Lance Berkman – St. Louis Cardinals – He returned to the lineup, going 0-4 with 1 R.  He appears to be a safe play in all formats for the coming week.

Angel Pagan – New York Mets – Keep him stashed on your bench for now, as David Lennon (via Twitter) is reporting that, “Collins expects Angel Pagan to rejoin #Mets next weekend at Citi Field”. 

Chipper Jones – Atlanta Braves – David O’Brien (via Twitter) is reporting that, “Chipper Jones getting day off, has mild hamstring tightness but available to play today”.  The fact that he’s available is good news and it would appear that he can be labeled as day-to-day.  Still, you have to consider him a risky play for the coming week but, given the number of injuries at 3B, he’s probably still worth using in most formats unless you already have a viable alternative.

Michael Cuddyer – Minnesota Twins – According to LaVelle E. Neal III (via Twitter), “Sounds like Cuddy is a no-go today due to a stiff neck.”  He should be considered day-to-day, so we’ll just have to be monitoring the pregame lineup for the next few days.

Marlon Byrd – Chicago Cubs – Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (click here for the article) is reporting that, “Marlon Byrd is headed to the 15-day disabled list, and will be replaced by reliever Justin Berg.”  Not really surprising news.  Keep him stashed on the bench for now.

Nate McLouth – Atlanta Braves – According to David Ely of (click here for the article), “Nate McLouth exited Sunday’s game against the Angels with an injury to his left oblique just four pitches into his first at-bat of the game. After McLouth checked his swing on Ball Two, it was immediately clear that he was in pain.”  By now we have all learned that oblique injuries are bad news.  It wouldn’t be surprising to see him land on the DL and he is an impossible play for the coming week.  If you own him you will want to find an alternative.

Tim Hudson – Atlanta Braves – David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (click here for the article) is reporting that Hudson will miss his next scheduled start on Wednesday, with Mike Minor being recalled to take that place.  Minor will also get another start on May 31, in replace of Brandon Beachy, with the hope that Hudson’s stiff back allows him to take the mound on May 30.  Hudson clearly should not be active for the coming week.  Minor, on the other hand, has intriguing potential for those in keeper formats.

Jeff Baker – Chicago Cubs – According to Carrie Muskat (via Twitter), “Baker left with strained left groin. He’ll be re-evaluated Tues in Chicago”.  Consider him day-to-day, though since he doesn’t get everyday at bats he’s more of an NL-only option only.  If he has value, look for another option.

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