by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Injuries always play a significant role in our draft day decisions. Is it worth stashing a player who is going to miss time? If the answer is yes, how far do we downgrade them? Let’s take a look at two currently injured players and try to determine how they should fit into our plans:
Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians – Second Baseman
“Jason Kipnis had a second medical opinion on his sore right shoulder. Dr. Keith Meister agreed with the Tribe doctors, who said Kipnis has inflammation. He will rest for a week, then start hitting and throwing.” — Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Assuming the Tribe’s star second baseman has no more setbacks, he will be able to play in 4-to-5 weeks, according the the Indians. That means he’ll open the season on the disabled list.”
Opening Day is less than two weeks away, so a best case scenario appears to have Kipnis missing the first two weeks of the season. Of course this is all under the caveat of having “no more setbacks”. The injury initially occurred in February and the thought was that he’d be able to play in early March. However after just a handful of AB he had to be reevaluated and now faces an extended absence.
Who is to say that the rest is going to correct the issue this time around? Who is to say that maybe there isn’t another underlying issue? Maybe he’s forced to play with the discomfort all year long, certainly hindering his performance.
When healthy Kipnis is a borderline Top 10 second baseman, but at this point he obviously carries significant risk. It’s fair to value him similarly to a high-level prospect, who we expect to be recalled but there is no guarantee when he’s going to debut or if he is going to have issues upon reaching the Majors. That puts him in the Yoan Moncada range among 2B. Currently the latter holds an average ADP of 247.10, which is a perfect range for a 12-team league.
Verdict – Only worth buying as a late round flier
Didi Gregorius – Shortstop – New York Yankees
“Didi Gregorius has a strain, no baseball activity for two weeks, will not be ready for Opening Day.” — Bryan Hoch, Twitter
Gregorius was already a risk, despite coming off a career year (.276, 20 HR, 70 RBI, 68 R, 7 SB). There appeared to be a split in his approach between the first and second half, with the potential that he made a concerted effort to hit for more power:
- First Half – 11.0% strikeout rate, 35.9% O-Swing%, 7.8% SwStr%
- Second Half – 16.8% strikeout rate, 45.0% O-Swing%, 11.4% SwStr%
Throw in a jump in his fly ball rate (33.5% to 48.4%) and it’s obviously a significant concern considering he actually was better in the first half (.298 with 11 HR). Couple having never really shown that type of power with a shoulder strain that could zap him of his power, and the risk becomes that much greater.
Maybe if his draft day cost falls far enough he’s worth considering, but in most formats consider him not worth the risk as he could miss the bulk of April and deal with the injury all season long.
Verdict – Too much risk to consider
Sources – Cleveland Plain Dealer, STATS, Fangraphs
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|Starting Pitcher||#1-20 |02/27/17|