Let’s take a look at this morning’s injury news and notes:
Victor Martinez – Detroit Tigers – According to Rick Eymer of mlb.com (click here for the article), “Detroit catcher Victor Martinez missed the game with a sore groin, and Leyland indicated he would not catch Monday’s series opener against the Mariners. He couldn’t say if Martinez would be in the lineup.” He becomes a risky play in one-catcher formats for the coming week, since we have no clue how much he will actually be able to play. However, if you don’t have a viable replacement, just leave him in there (low-end catchers aren’t worth the risk, since it sounds like he will be able to play some). In two-catcher formats, he’s certainly worth the risk.
Johnny Damon – Tampa Bay Rays – Tony Fabrizio of The Tampa Tribune (click here for the post) is reporting that, “Rays DH-left fielder Johnny Damon said the bruise on the tip of his left ring finger that caused him to leave today’s game against the Twins is “very sore,” and he isn’t sure whether he’ll miss any of the four-game series with Chicago that starts Monday.” Monitor the pregame lineup for now, but it sounds like he may miss a day or two.
Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals – According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (click here for the article), “Right fielder Jayson Werth missed the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Brewers, a 5-1 Nationals win, with “some general aches and pains,” Manager Jim Riggleman said.” The article also says that he will be in the lineup on Tuesday (and he also played in Game 1 of the double header), so don’t read anything into it past that.
Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds – C. Trent Rosecrans (via Twitter) is reporting, “Phillips sitting again today, but is out before the game taking ground balls and looks good”. That’s certainly good news for fantasy owners. He would appear to be a safe play in weekly formats for Fantasy Week 3, unless you play in a shallower format.
Roy Oswalt – Philadelphia Phillies – According to Matt Gelb (via Twitter), “Dubee’s confidence that Oswalt starts Thursday is ‘very high.’” That’s certainly good news for fantasy owners, though he still is a bit of a risk for those in weekly formats. His next start is scheduled in San Diego, so he may be worth rolling the dice on (outside of shallower formats).
Allen Craig – St. Louis Cardinals – B.J. Rains (via Twitter) is reporting, “Now La Russa says on KMOX that Allen Craig has a “groin or leg problem” and probably won’t be available today.” He’s not an everyday player, so this really only effects NL-only owners. Keep tabs on it, but he should be on your bench until he earns regular playing time.
Nyjer Morgan – Milwaukee Brewers – According to Tom Haudricourt (via Twitter), “Why isn’t Nyjer Morgan playing? We were just told he has a deep thigh bruise.” Consider him day-to-day, though he did appear as a pinch hitter in Game 1 of yesterday’s double header.
Mitch Talbot – Cleveland Indians – According to mlb.com’s Jordan Bastian (via Twitter), “Indians expect Talbot to miss 3-4 weeks. No word on who will take his place in the rotation on Tuesday.” It has since been revealed that Jeanmar Gomez will take his place in the rotation.
Brandon Morrow – Toronto Blue Jays – According to Gregor Chisholm of mlb.com (via Twitter), “BlueJays Farrell confirms that Morrow will make his final rehab start today. His first start in Toronto is still TBD but expected Fri or Sat”. He should not be activated yet, but once he gets the rust out from the first start he will become a good option in all formats (outside of matchups with the Yankees or Red Sox). Just stay patient for another week.
Frank Francisco – Toronto Blue Jays – Also according to Chisholm (via Twitter), “Francisco to pitch in another rehab outing today.Could make return to big league club on Tuesday.” It would appear that owners have squeezed about as much out of Jon Rauch as possible, though don’t drop him quite yet. The Blue Jays’ closer situation figures to be fluid and you don’t really know how things are going to play out. Either one of the two (or maybe even Octavio Dotel) could emerge as the closer, so we’ll just have to see who ultimately claims the job long-term. Still, it’s not worth risking getting nothing out of Rauch for Week 3. If you have another option, I’d put him on the bench.
Carlos Pena – Chicago Cubs – Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (click here for the article) is reporting that the Cubs’ training staff has, “custom-molded a cast-like guard to protect Pena’s injured right thumb under his glove while he plays in the field.” We’ll see if it helps, but for now you have to keep it in mind. Pena has yet to hit for power, his one true redeeming fantasy quality. Without that, he’s unusable for fantasy owners.
Barry Zito – San Francisco Giants – He was placed on the DL with right mid-foot sprain, recalling Ryan Vogelsong up to take his spot in the rotation. While Vogelsong hasn’t been in the Majors since 2006, he was impressive in Spring Training (3.27 ERA, 20 K over 22.0 IP) and has been lights out at Triple-A (1.59 ERA, 17 K over 11.1 IP). Still, at 33-years old, are we to believe he has suddenly morphed into something usable? Consider him in NL-only formats at this point.