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Diamond Cuts: Rocky Mountain Low

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.


Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki

It's a new week but more of the same for the Rockies. The news starts with Gonzalez, who has been placed on the disabled list for the second time this season with left knee tendinitis and a right ankle sprain. The knee has been a nagging ailment for a majority of the season and the ankle has been sprained and aggravated during the last few weeks.

The injuries are both relatively minor but can linger, limiting a player for a considerable amount of time. Listening to Rockies athletic trainer Keith Dugger talk, it sounds as if the injuries are beginning to wear on Gonzalez mentally as well. Dugger discussed "the decision to take time off" and how, "you could see the mental stress on [Gonzalez]." Opting to rest will allow CarGo time to deal directly with the functional issue but also provide a chance to clear his head. The former All-Star wants to return again this season but it is no guarantee. The Rockies dismal ranking in the standings could influence just how long Gonzalez's break will last. Fantasy owners are left in a tough spot but given the uncertainty and poor return thus far, it may be best to consider other options.

Tulowitzki's absence isn't helping the situation. Out since July 22 with a strained muscle in his hip, Tulowitzki is working out with the team but is managing erratic pain in the area. The discomfort is significant enough that the Rockies aren't considering a rehab assignment at the moment and Dugger even went as far to suspect a potential labrum issue. If Tulowitzki has damaged the cartilaginous ring that aids in hip stability, he could be looking at yet another offseason spent recovering from surgery. Like Gonzalez, there appears to be limited incentive to rush Tulowitzki back and fantasy owners are left in an uncomfortable state of limbo.

Manny Machado

For a second straight season the Orioles were forced to watch in horror as their up and coming third basemen lay crumpled on the ground. During Monday's win over the Yankees, Machado awkwardly twisted his right knee during an at-bat and needed the help of manager Buck Showalter and athletic trainer Richie Bancells to get off the field.

Machado underwent a MRI on Tuesday and the team has yet to release the findings. Showalter did report that the limited information he had received was "more positive than negative."

Machado missed the first month of the season recovering from medial patellofemoral ligament in his opposite knee that he suffered in later September of the 2013 season. The mechanism of injury appears similar with his foot sticking in the ground and an excessive amount of force placed on and through the inside (medial) portion of the knee. It seems the severity of the current injury is different based on Machado's reaction alone but the final results of the MRI will provide more information regarding the extent of the damage and the time needed for recovery.

Tigers Pitchers

The once mighty Detroit pitching staff is falling apart at the seams. First, the Tigers were forced to place Anibal Sanchez on the 15-day DL with a strain in his right pectoralis major. The pec muscles are situated in the upper portion of the chest and are most commonly associated with the bench press. While the pec major isn't commonly linked to the shoulder, it does in fact play a role there. In addition to its connection with the sternum and the rib cage, each pec major attaches to the humerus of the shoulder on its respective side. As a result the pec major is able to help with flexing and extending the upper arm. It also plays a role in pulling the arm toward the midline of the body in a motion known as adduction. Finally, and more importantly for pitchers, the muscle is involved in rotating the arm, making it a critical component of throwing. Knowing its involvement in shoulder motions, it is easy to understand while a strain to the area is a serious issue. The injury will sideline Sanchez for at least three weeks with a month-long absence likely.

Justin Verlander followed Sanchez to the imaging room, having a MRI taken on his right shoulder after feeling soreness following Monday's start. The former Cy Young winner surrendered four runs in the first inning but did receive a bit of good news when the tests revealed mild inflammation but no structural damage. He could miss his next start but it appears he will avoid the DL.

The bullpen is also fighting the injury bug as Joakim Soria joins Sanchez on the DL with a left oblique strain. The strain is expected to keep Soria off the field for at least a few weeks, hurting his already limited fantasy value.

Check Swings

Jacob deGrom: Rotator cuff tendinitis will force deGrom to miss at least the next 15 days. The Met placed the right-hander on the DL but walk away from his MRI with a sense of relief. With the labrum and supporting structures intact, deGrom has a good chance to be back in action by September.

Andrew McCutchen: The Pirates retroactively sent McCutchen to the DL after the avulsion fracture in his ribs failed to improve. The injury was expected to take weeks and not days to heal so the move isn't necessary surprising. Pittsburgh continues to hold out hope that the injury will improve but I'm less optimistic. The injury is very painful and severely limits trunk rotation. It's hard to imagine McCutchen smoothly swinging a bat or throwing a ball in less than 15 days.

Hanley Ramirez: Ramirez has been placed on the 15-day DL with a right oblique strain. The Dodgers are hoping he misses the minimal amount of time but injuries of this nature are prone to re-injury and should be treated conservatively, even after pain has dissipated.

Alex Rios: The Rangers have little to play for at this point of the season but it appears Rios will remain in the lineup. Rios recently aggravated a sprained ankle but is slated to play on Wednesday.