Fantasy Training Room: When Will Rendon Return, Should We Bench Cozart & More

by Jeremy Tiermini

“A baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings.” Earl Wilson

Pitching injuries have dominated the Fantasy Training Room for much of 2015 so I was surprised that there were not any significant ones to discuss today. However this week’s quote is perfect, we can enjoy the respite from the lack of pitching injuries but the infield has taken a hit. With no rest for the wicked, let’s look at some injuries to the infielders that might have the most significant fantasy impact.

Zack Cozart (CIN SS)
Cozart left yesterday’s game in the 4th inning after injuring his index finger while fielding a ground ball hit by Julio Teheran. Cozart, in the Cincinnati Enquirer, was quoted as saying, “I looked down and didn’t think anything of it, I just couldn’t believe I made an error and then I looked down to pick the ball up and blood’s everywhere.” X-rays were taken and did come back negative so the only injury of concern is the nail, which was bent back to cause the bleeding.

If Cozart is unable to grip/throw the baseball he could be out for a few days while this injury resolves. “We’ll have to see how that comes around on his throwing hand,” indicated Reds manager Bryan Price in the same article. “It’s an essential part of making those throws across the diamond.” Cincinnati is off today and has a night game tomorrow so the Reds will not know anything about Cozart’s status until tomorrow night. I don’t anticipate this injury to cause Cozart to miss more than one game, if that, so it should be safe to keep him in your line-up, especially considering the Reds have him batting in front of Joey Votto and Cozart is batting .304 with five homers.

Jose Iglesias (DET SS)
The Tigers shortstop indicated that he injured his left groin in the 9th inning of Saturday’s game and it tightened up during yesterday’s game, forcing him out early. Detroit has listed him as day-to-day, but Iglesias is hopeful he can return on Tuesday. In both cases the tightness started after sprinting, Saturday while on defense and yesterday while beating out an infield single. The Tigers have an off day.

Iglesias is batting .354 and has been a cheap source for stolen bases, as he has posted five on the season. However as a player whose fantasy value comes in the speed game, his history of leg injuries can be troubling, with “shin splints” last season and now the groin issue. It will be interesting to see if he becomes a cheaper version of Jose Reyes, either in stolen base totals or in injury frequency.

Anthony Rendon (WAS 3B)
Rendon has to be the front-runner for Fantasy Bust of 2015, having yet to make his season debut after being drafted in the first two rounds of most fantasy leagues. While on a rehab assignment after spraining his the medial collateral ligament in his left knee he was scratched again because of soreness in his side. It is looking increasingly likely that he will not make his debut for the Nationals until late May.

Jean Segura (MIL SS)
Cubs’ pitcher Pedro Strop hit Segura in the helmet in the 8th inning of yesterday’s game. This is the second time this season that the Brewers’ shortstop has been struck in the helmet by a pitch. After the game then-manager Ron Roenicke indicated that Segura came out of the contest because he was nauseous. He will need to go through the required concussion protocol and he could be placed on the 7-day concussion DL if his symptoms persist.

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  1. Marky Mark says:

    I’m glad I grabbed up Moustakas in the first week to fill in for Rendon, it’s making that absence a bit easier to tolerate. Just hope Moose keeps it up….

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Definitely helped so far, but that’s definitely debatable…

      • Marky Mark says:

        He’s clearly made a dedicated effort to go the other way, so as long as he keeps that going, he should be fine.

        • Rotoprofessor says:

          He should be ok, but still too many popups (29.4%) and strikeouts should increase. I just don’t know that he’ll be this good

          • Marky Mark says:

            Why should his K’s increase? If he’s decided to re-invent himself as a hitter to beat the shift, can’t a reduced K-rate be a part of that? His BB-rate is way down too, do you assume that will increase as well?

          • Rotoprofessor says:

            It’s not impossible that he keeps it, but 9.3%? It’s not like I’m saying he’s going to fall off a cliff, but some sort of regression seems likely (though not a given)

  2. Marky Mark says:

    Again….why do you think a regression is likely? Do you simply not believe that he’s demonstrating a different skill set than he has in the past?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’m not saying he’s going to regress back to his previous levels, but not many people can maintain this type of strikeout rate. Last season there were only 9 players with a K% under 10%. In 2013 it was 7. Plus, most of those are slap/speed type players (most, not necessarily all)

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