Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Back on the DL

Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Back on the DL

This article is part of our Fantasy Baseball Injury Report series.

Stephen Strasburg
The Nationals' ace hit another bump in the road of what has been a disappointing season thus far. Strasburg left his start last Friday with neck tightness and was placed on the 15-day disabled list over the weekend. This marks the second time this season Strasburg has experienced pain in his back and neck, having dealt with discomfort in early May. The previous injury did not force him to miss any time and it was believed the issue was the result of a fault in his mechanics, stemming from a spring training ankle injury.

However, it appears any attempts to address the problem have not worked. Strasburg is slated to visit with a back specialist on Monday which will hopefully pin point the exact area of concern. Treating the symptoms may provide Strasburg with relief but he runs the risk of this becoming a reoccurring issue until the exact root of the problem is located and corrected. While some initial reports have suggested the injury is a simple strain of the trapezius, look for more information to begin surfacing after his visit with the specialist. Given the current information and poor productivity thus far, fantasy owners would be wise to consider all their options for the hard throwing ace.

Adrian Beltre
I previously detailed the perils of the head-first slide, citing the risk of injury to the hands and fingers as a primary reason to avoid the maneuver. However, Beltre proved that even a foot-first slide can yield

Stephen Strasburg
The Nationals' ace hit another bump in the road of what has been a disappointing season thus far. Strasburg left his start last Friday with neck tightness and was placed on the 15-day disabled list over the weekend. This marks the second time this season Strasburg has experienced pain in his back and neck, having dealt with discomfort in early May. The previous injury did not force him to miss any time and it was believed the issue was the result of a fault in his mechanics, stemming from a spring training ankle injury.

However, it appears any attempts to address the problem have not worked. Strasburg is slated to visit with a back specialist on Monday which will hopefully pin point the exact area of concern. Treating the symptoms may provide Strasburg with relief but he runs the risk of this becoming a reoccurring issue until the exact root of the problem is located and corrected. While some initial reports have suggested the injury is a simple strain of the trapezius, look for more information to begin surfacing after his visit with the specialist. Given the current information and poor productivity thus far, fantasy owners would be wise to consider all their options for the hard throwing ace.

Adrian Beltre
I previously detailed the perils of the head-first slide, citing the risk of injury to the hands and fingers as a primary reason to avoid the maneuver. However, Beltre proved that even a foot-first slide can yield the same results after he injured his thumb while trying to break up a double play. Beltre slid to the outside of the bag and caught his left hand on second base. The collision left him with a sprained thumb and a laceration that required four stitches to close. The Rangers have already stated he will miss a minimum of two weeks but it sounds like they are preparing for their All-Star to be sidelined longer. The injury will prevent him from swinging a bat for at least 12 days, meaning additional time off to get comfortable and back into playing shape will be necessary. As a result, fantasy owners should anticipate a late June or early July return. The team has yet to make a roster move, though Adam Rosales took over for Beltre on Sunday.

Khris Davis
The Brewers' outfielder will miss an extended period after suffering a meniscus tear in his right knee. The issue will be addressed surgically before a specific recovery time table is established. If Davis' injury is able to be repaired, he would miss a longer period of time but would not be at risk for as many long–term problems. If he opts to have a meniscectomy, a procedure in which the damaged tissue is excised instead of repaired, he would be able to return in four to six weeks. However, it would make him susceptible to things like osteoarthritis in the future. Oakland infielder Ben Zobrist underwent a meniscectomy earlier this season and was back a few days short of one month following surgery. Gerardo Parra appears to be the most likely candidate to replace Davis in the Milwaukee lineup.

Check Swings

Jose Abreu
Abreu remains sidelined with a right index finger injury. X-rays failed to find a fracture though the persistent swelling is preventing Abreu from properly gripping a bat or ball. Each finger of the hand is comprised of multiple joints that work in unison thanks to an intricate system of pulley-like tendons and supportive ligaments. Damage to one of the parts can often prove more problematic than a bone injury as they tend to need more time to heal and the associated swelling limits function. The White Sox opted to rest him over the weekend and have Monday off as well. The hope is that three days off will allow Abreu to reenter the lineup, however, a degree of risk remains, especially for those in weekly formats.

Matt Adams
The Cardinals' first baseman will be sidelined indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a tear in his right quadriceps muscle. The quad is actually a muscle group made up of four muscles that work at both the hip and knee. Tears can occur in the muscle belly or to the tendon. Unfortunately, the specific location of the tear was not revealed, though reports indicate that the tear to Adams' quad was complete. The recovery process is long and tedious and it's hard to imagine Adams returning this season given the severity of the injury.

Sean Doolittle
Doolittle's return from a slight rotator cuff tear was brief, as the Oakland reliever is back on the DL just days after being activated. A MRI revealed a strain of his throwing shoulder though no complete tearing of the muscle was found. The inflammation is reportedly in his shoulder blade and shoulder capsule, a good indicator that the rotator cuff is once again the problem. I warned about the risk of investing in Doolittle earlier this season given his injury and the associated problems of sitting out spring training. While there was some potential upside earlier in the year, it looks as though the time has come to move on.

Bryce Harper
Apparently the only thing that could derail Harper's hot streak was a fastball to the back. Harper was struck by a stray pitch from Cincinnati's Tony Cingrani on Friday and did not play Saturday as the Nationals opted to hold their All-Star out until he can move fluidly and without pain. It doesn't appear a DL stint will be necessary and Harper was back Sunday, going 0-for-2 with two walks and a run.

Adam Jones
Jones has been a spectator in back-to-back games after spraining his ankle while sliding into home. While X-rays were negative, this set of images doesn't provide any information on the involved ligaments. A MRI was scheduled to get a visualization of the integrity of the connective tissue and should provide more helpful insight into the severity of Jones' injury. Consider him day-to-day for the time being and hope the tests reveal a minor sprain.

Yasiel Puig
The Dodgers are optimistic Puig will feel healthy enough to begin a second rehab assignment in the coming week in his continued attempt to return from a nagging hamstring strain. Puig has reported positive progress in his recovery but fantasy owners invested in the slugger have been down this road before. Puig's risk of re-injury will loom even upon his return to the active roster and having a suitable backup handy remains a must.

Masahiro Tanaka
Tanaka will make his return Wednesday against the Mariners. Sidelined since late April with a forearm strain and wrist tendinitis, Tanaka will be under a strict limit of 80 pitches. As a result, it may be wise to wait a start to plug Tanaka back into your fantasy lineups. Moving forward, the amount of associated risk surrounding Tanaka will remain elevated until he pitches for an extended period without injury. His history of elbow and forearm problems is worrisome, though the Yankees appear to consider surgery a last-ditch option.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
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