Forget about the players who have been placed on the DL, it’s those who are banged up but have the potential to play that drive fantasy owners crazy. Let’s take a look at a few of the names:
Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians – Second Baseman
Kipnis has been awful to start the season, so maybe a few days off will offer him the ability to regroup and start hitting. However, his poor play (.125, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 0 SB) and questionable status makes it a little bit easier to slide him onto your bench, assuming you have a viable replacement available to you.
What makes it even easier is the fact that the Indians have three left-handed pitchers on the schedule, including Jon Lester. This season Kipnis is 3-17 against southpaws after hitting .215 with 2 HR in 209 AB in 2012.
To add even more fuel to the fire, espn.com (courtesy of Rotowire) has the following quote:
Kipnis (elbow) will be examined prior to Tuesday’s game against the Red Sox. He also dealt with elbow trouble during spring training; “I can’t really pinpoint [what caused it],” he said on Sunday. “I do feel a little bit better today, but it’s too early to tell. Hopefully [I'll be fine Tuesday]. I think we’re going to treat it constantly for the next two days and see where we stand once Tuesday arrives.”
Verdict – The safe play is to bench him
Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians – Catcher
Santana is in the same boat as teammate Jason Kipnis, having missed both Saturday and Sunday, though he is simply dealing with a bruised thumb. Catchers are always expected to miss a game or two a week, so this isn’t as big of a concern.
Chances are he plays on Tuesday, but even if he doesn’t it appears like his return is imminent (he did appear as a pinch hitter on Sunday).
Verdict – Worth using in all formats
Michael Bourn – Cleveland Indians – Outfielder
He suffered a lacerated hand on on Sunday and, according to Jordan Bastian (via Twitter):
“Bourn needed 5 stitches in right index finger laceration. Won’t be able to play until stitches removed (guessing: 5-7 days?).”
In other words, it would appear like he is only going to play a game or two, at best, this week. That means he needs to be on your bench in all formats.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins – Outfielder
The injury doesn’t appear to be major, as Joe Capozzi (via Twitter) is reporting that:
“Update on Giancarlo Stanton: He has a left shoulder contusion and is day-to-day.”
He has been struggling (.167, 0 HR, 0 RBI) and appears to be a one-man show in Miami, but we all know he is too good of an option not to use when in the lineup. We would all think that it’s just a matter of time before he starts pounding the baseball.
Even if he is forced to miss a game or two, the Marlins are set for a seven game week so there should be ample time to produce.
Verdict – Since it is just a bruise, there is no reason to have him on your bench (unless the news changes)
Mike Morse – Seattle Mariners – Outfielder
The early reports had him out 3-7 days and Morse has already been on the bench for the weekend (and the Mariners have an off day on Monday). So the question remains, when is he going to be able to return to the field?
Who knows, but CBS Sports offered the following quote from Morse:
“We still have a lot of games left,” he said Sunday. “I’ve got to get all the inflammation out first.”
That tells us that Morse sees the bigger picture and is going to be cautious to not do further damage. The way he had been playing makes it tough to bench him, but if we may only get a few games do we have much of a choice?
Verdict – Consider it a gut call, though consider benching him due to the risk
Aaron Hill – Arizona Diamondbacks – Second Baseman
There is a little bit of concern with Hill. According to Jack Magruder (via Twitter):
“2B Hill had an x-ray that was negative after he left Sunday’s game and will have an MRI today, Gibson said.”
Hill missed a few games earlier in the week and got just two AB over the weekend. The Diamondbacks play in two favorable locations this week, playing in the New Yankee Stadium and Coors Field, so it is hard to recommend benching him. However, we also aren’t likely going to know his status until after lineups need to be set.
The fact that the issue has lingered leads one to believe that he should be benched, assuming you have a viable alternative, but the potential upside if he plays is too much to ignore. This one has to be considered a gut call.
Verdict – High risk, high reward so go with your gut
What are your thoughts of these lineup decisions? Who else are you having trouble deciding on?