Injury Report: June 20: Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Hunter Pence & More

Let’s take a look at this morning’s injury news and notes:

Albert Pujols – St. Louis Cardinals – B.J. Rains (via Twitter) is reporting that, “Preliminary evaluation shows Pujols left the game with a sprained left wrist. Will receive further evaluation tomorrow.”  The injury occurred when he collided with Wilson Betemit on a play at first base.  Fantasy owners have to be hoping that the initial diagnosis holds true, but hopefully we will learn more tomorrow before lineups are due for the week.  All you can really do at this point is sit and wait.

Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees – According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York (click here for the article), “New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez has been battling a left shoulder injury of unknown severity for the past couple of weeks, an injury that may be the reason for his lower-than-average power production.”  He entered Sunday hitting .282 with 13 HR and 42 RBI, so the overall numbers are still very good.  Still, this is something that should be monitored.

Clay Buchholz – Boston Red Sox – According to Nicole Auerbach of the Boston Globe (click here for the post), “The Red Sox announced this afternoon that they placed righthander Clay Buchholz on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 17, with a lower back strain.”  Andrew Miller will take his place in the rotation, starting on Monday against the Padres.  Miller could become a two-start option now, with the second starting coming on Sunday at Pittsburgh.  He has had a rough time in the Major Leagues before, with a career ERA of 5.85 over 294.1 innings, but those matchups certainly appear intriguing.  If you are in a deeper format, he could be worth rolling the dice on.

Hunter Pence – Houston Astros – According to Alyson Footer (via Twitter), “Hunter Pence underwent an MRI of his left elbow…MRI revealed a sprain of the left elbow, but revealed no tears or ligament involvement.”  Very good news.  It’s possible he could return to the lineup on Monday, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he receives an extra few days to rest.  Unless you play in a shallow format or have good options available, it is probably worth rolling the dice on him.

Shaun Marcum – Milwaukee Brewers – According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (click here for the post), “So, there’s no structural damage in the hip after Marcum exited his start Friday night after one inning.  Roenicke said Marcum would be examined in Milwaukee on Monday morning by team physician William Raasch.  If Marcum is given the OK, he’ll throw a bullpen later that day to test the hip. And, if he passes that test, he’ll make his next start Wednesday vs. Tampa Bay.  But Roenicke made it clear he will err on the side of caution with Marcum.”  It’s good news, but fantasy owners have a tough decision to make with him for the coming week at this point.  If you have a viable replacement, you may want to go the conservative route with him at this point.  Consider him high risk, high reward.

Lance Berkman – St. Louis Cardinals – Brian Stull (via Twitter) is reporting that, “Berkman available to pinch-hit, but per TLR just a day off w/bonus of tomorrow’s off day to rest some ‘barking’ back, leg”.  It doesn’t sound like a big issue, as the Cardinals are just giving him an extra day of rest, but it should probably be monitored.  Still, based on this news, there is no reason to bench him for the coming week.

John Danks – Chicago White Sox – Mark Gonzales (via Twitter) is reporting that, “Results of CT scan on the back of Danks’ head were negative. Expected to make next start vs. Washington next weekend.”  The fact that he stayed in Saturday’s game after taking a line drive off the bat of Stephen Drew to the head spoke volumes.  The White Sox covered their bases, but at this point he appears to be fine.  If he was usable in your format he should continue to be so.

Jose Tabata – Pittsburgh Pirates – According to Rob Biertempfel (via Twitter), “LF Jose Tabata had left arm wrapped this morning, still bothered by sore thumb. He’ll get today (or at least 6 innings) off to rest”.  It seems like it should be considered a day-to-day situation, though if he is forced to miss any time Xavier Paul would certainly be the biggest benefactor.  If you are in an NL-only format, he is probably worth stashing.

Rick Ankiel – Washington Nationals – According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider (click here for the post), “The Nationals placed outfielder Rick Ankiel on the 15-day disabled list with a strained intercostal muscle this morning, a move that cleared roster space for left-hander Tom Gorzelanny to be activated off the DL and start the series finale against the Orioles.”  Ankiel has not played since Tuesday, so this really shouldn’t be a big surprise.  Roger Bernadina now becomes the regular centerfielder again, making him a low-end option in five-outfielder formats.

Danny Duffy – Kansas City Royals – According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (click here for the article), “And all that occurred after Royals starter Danny Duffy exited with two outs in the fourth inning because of a cramp in his left leg.”  It certainly appears to be a minor setback, though it interrupted a gem from the rookie, who had struck out 9 batters in just 3.2 innings of work.  It’s not known if this could cost him a start, but he was a low-end option to begin with as he has been erratic thus far.  Those in AL-only formats should monitor his progress.

Nate McLouth – Atlanta Braves – He returned from the DL to go 1-3 while hitting seventh.  However, once Martin Prado returns, his job could be in jeopardy thanks to the impressive play of Jordan Schafer.  He should be considered nothing more than a low-end option in five-outfielder formats at this point.

Orlando Hudson – San Diego Padres – The team activated him from the DL and he delivered in his first game back, going 2-3 with 1 R.  He may have stolen 10 bases prior to being put on the DL, but that actually ties his career high and he doesn’t bring much power.  In other words, in a weak lineup, he doesn’t hold much value.

Tom Gorzelanny – Washington Nationals – He struggled in his first start off the DL, allowing 5 R (4 earned) on 10 H and 1 BB, striking out 0, over 4.2 innings.  As I always say, starting a pitcher in his first start off the DL is a risky proposition.

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