Fantasy baseball injury report: Updates on Strasburg, Tulowitzki, more
Fewer things are worse for a fantasy owner than hearing a starter is experiencing any sort of pain. And this week, several guys have reported "pain." It's a maddeningly vague diagnosis, which is tough for fantasy owners, because all we want to know is if a player will start. Often, the decision to play or not (and where) is often made in the eleventh hour for a player in pain. So here's the latest on injuries to help you make informed lineup decisions this week:
• SP Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals -- Strasburg, who's still winless outside of his Opening Day victory, dropped his fourth straight game Monday. However, that's the least of his worries right now. The Nationals' prized pitcher reported some forearm pain, which likely caused owners to panic. Luckily, after closer examination, the Nationals GM reported his arm is "structurally perfect." The Nationals will likely take some precautionary measures to ensure Strasburg's arm remains in good condition, but he'll likely be making his next start Saturday. Strasburg owners, please take a breath now.
• SS Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies -- An awkward slide into home plate roughed up Tulowitzki's left rotator cuff Sunday. He didn't leave the game immediately, but after two innings of stretching his arm and shoulder constantly, he was replaced by Jonathan Herrera. He was held out of the lineup Monday, but the Rockies don't think it's serious. He'll likely be back Wednesday.
• OF Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins -- The absolute last thing the Marlins need right now is for their stud to be injured. Giancarlo Stanton left Monday night's game with a right hamstring injury and an MRI Tuesday revealed a Grade 2 strain -- a fairly severe injury that will put him on the DL for at least three weeks. At this point, the jokes are real: The Marlins are fielding a minor league team.
• 3B Kevin Youkilis, New York Yankees -- Kevin Youkilis may be joining the ranks of Yankees on the DL right now. An MRI Monday revealed no structural damage to his ailing lower back, but he's receiving epidural injections, likely to help with the inflammation. The third baseman's lower back has experienced issues with his back before, which worries Joe Girardi. "Backs can be tricky," he said ahead of Sunday's game.
• OF Shane Victorino, Boston Red Sox -- A seemingly minor back tweak has turned into a much longer saga, as Shane Victorino hasn't played since last Wednesday. but he should return to the lineup any day now. An MRI revealed only inflammation in his aggravated back, but the Boston Globe has reported only "slight" improvement recently, so he may be out through the series against Toronto. Does this injury just mean Victorino is -- dare I say it -- getting old?
• 2B Mark Ellis, Los Angeles Dodgers -- Mark Ellis pulled up with a hamstring injury Friday night and hasn't been in the lineup since. Don Mattingly said Ellis can hopefully avoid the DL, but he's day-to-day at this point. He played catch and took batting practice Sunday morning, and if all continues to go well, he could be back by the end of this week.
• SP R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays -- R.A. Dickey's been dealing with some pain and stiffness in his lower back. It's not quite enough to put him on the DL, but he's admitted he's not 100 percent. The Cy Young winner will get an MRI this week, but this injury is definitely doing nothing to convince owners his age is not an issue. At 37 years old, the chances of a quick (and complete) recovery are slim, so get rid of him now.
• SP Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles -- Dylan Bundy paid a visit to well-known orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his right flexor mass tightness (or simply, a hurting elbow). Both Dr. Andrews and the Orioles' team orthopedic recommended rest and rehab (no surgery!) for Baltimore's top pitching prospect, meaning Bundy will be sidelined for six weeks. He also received a platelet rich plasma injection from Dr. Andrews, with hopes to speed up the healing process. We'll check in with him around Memorial Day.
• SS Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers -- Hanley Ramirez shattered the timetable of a mid-May return from straining a thumb ligament during the World Baseball Classic, as the Dodgers reactivated him Monday night. It's impeccable timing, as the shortstop will likely be back in the lineup just in time for Hanley Ramirez bobblehead day at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday. Give him a day or two to reacclimate, then put him back in your lineups.
• SP Matt Garza, Chicago Cubs -- Slowly but surely, Matt Garza is making his way back to the rubber. The Cubs' starter, who suffered a left lat strain before the start of the season, was supposed to make his first rehab start last week, but was delayed by forearm soreness. He threw a bullpen session Sunday and is back on track to be activated from the DL in late May. Rejoice, Garza owners.