by Will Overton
The injury bug is one of the most frustrating parts of fantasy baseball and it seems sometimes like once it starts it just keeps hitting. Here I wanted to take a look at some of the names on the DL and offer both a report on their status and estimated return as well as my own advice on what to do with each player. Which ones should you be adding, which ones should you be dropping and who am I most concerned about. This is obviously not a comprehensive list of all injured players, but a group of ten guys who are relevant to all formats of fantasy baseball.
Erik Bedard: The recovery process is a slow process right now for Bedard and the Mariners. He threw a some hope for a May return, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be back in the majors anytime before June. Given his injury history its best he isn’t rushed back, but if you have a DL spot open he could be a nice asset to have in the second half. Despite the injuries when he is healthy he has undeniable skill.
Huston Street: Another guy hoping for a May return who will likely be more likely to be back in June, especially now after the groin injury he sustained recently to go with the shoulder that is recovering. He is starting to throw now and after a couple more throwing sessions it should become more clear when he’ll be back. In the meantime Manny Corpas has some value in all formats as he could get up to a month worth of saves.
Mike Gonzalez: Alfredo Simon’s days as closer for the season could be numbered. Not only does he have Uehara breathing down his neck, but Gonzalez is on the comeback trail and there is no doubt it seems that he’ll jump right back into the closer role. He just threw his first bullpen session since the injury and he’s going to pitch an extended spring training game soon which should put him in line for a couple rehab appearances in the minors and a return to the Orioles by the end of the month or first of June. While he won’t get a ton of opportunities on the Orioles he is a solid pitcher when healthy and the few games the Orioles win won’t be blowouts so he’ll get some chances.
Justin Duchscherer: This guy is one of those cases where you wonder how good he’d be if he could just stay healthy. People were getting excited about him coming off the DL only for him to head right back before he could even start one game when his hip injury flared back up again. This is frustrating for both him and his owners for sure and with a lot of really good pitchers on the waiver wire if you don’t have a DL spot open I wouldn’t recommend holding onto Duchscherer in a standard league.
Jair Jurrjens: He was set to come off the DL, but a hamstring injury is going to keep him there. We aren’t getting a real timetable for Jurrjens after the most recent setback, all we really know is that he is at the least three weeks away from being able to start a rehab assignment. I like Jurrjens, but much like Duchscherer if you have him in a standard league and have no DL spots he might not be worth keeping with no definite return time.
Jacoby Ellsbury: It is actually good news on this one as Ellsbury started his rehab assignment last night going 1 – 3 with a run scored. As of the end of last week he still wasn’t 100%, but he is working his way back. Francona has said that he’ll play another game tonight and then be re-evaluated. Boston doesn’t seem real hopefully that he’ll be back after just the two games, but it hopefully won’t be too much longer than that.
Curtis Granderson: Took part in “baseball activities” over the weekend for the first time since his injury. Basically he took some batting practice and did some fielding. As of right now the estimated return is the end of May or early June which would be a pretty good recovery time for this injury. It’ll be interesting to see how much speed he’ll have upon his initial return though as this kind of injury can slow a guy down and can be a very nagging injury as well. So while the recovery is coming along nicely, you’ll still want to keep an eye on things after the return.
Carlos Beltran: If you own Beltran you shouldn’t hope for or expect Beltran anytime before the All-Star Break. Things are coming along ok, but this was a major injury and Beltran and the Mets are going to take things slow. He is starting to do some jogging and light running and hopes to be sprinting sooner rather than later. Once he is able to do that the Mets will be able to identify a closer timetable. If you have held on this long, keep holding on. There is no guarantee what you’re going to get, but the potential is there.
Miguel Montero: I can’t be the only guy out there who is tired of plugging in a different catcher every few days trying to find the hot bat while waiting on Montero to come back and offer some consistency. He should be starting the infamous “baseball activities” himself this week and if all goes well he will begin a minor league assignment next week that I presume will run until the early part of June when we will hopefully seem him back. While I am excited for his return my enthusiasm is somewhat tempered by the fact that he is a catcher with a knee injury, a scary combination.
Rafeal Furcal: This is the return I am waiting for. I think the Dodgers were hoping he’d be back already, but things are moving along a little slow. He has played a couple minor league games and is reportedly at about 90%, but he’ll take a couple more days off before hitting the minors again and it looks like the end of May rather than the middle for a return. The slow process Is a bit disconcerting considering it’s a hamstring injury and he is a speedster, but the middle infield positions are off to a pretty rough start production wise and before the injury Furcal was hitting well. If he got dropped in your league he is a must own and if you can get him on the cheap before he returns you should try.
Like I said earlier this report is just a sampling of the injured players out there and if you have questions about any other guys who are injured and on your team or perhaps on the waiver wire feel free to fire away and I will do my best to track down some information to give you. Also, feel free to chime in with your own feedback; who are you holding onto and which injured guy are you ready to quit waiting on? Anyone your especially worried about even after their return? Let us know what your thinking.