Fantasy baseball Injury Report: Curtis Granderson back on the shelf
We've seen our fair share of odd injuries this season, from Zack Greinke breaking his clavicle during a brawl against the Padres to Bryce Harper cutting his chin on the outfield wall. This past week brought two doozies: Boston's Clay Buchholz, who's 7-0 on the season, was scratched from his start Monday because of collarbone soreness that stemmed from falling asleep while cradling his daughter in his arm. Arizona's Ian Kennedy, meanwhile, also missed his scheduled Monday start after cutting his finger while washing dishes. Clearly, earning millions of dollars doesn't prevent baseball players from suffering the bizarre injuries that befall most other humans. Here's the latest injury news:
• OF Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees: I think we all agree that Granderson should wear full body armor every time he goes up to bat. He had just returned to the field after recovering from a broken arm, suffered thanks to a rogue pitch in spring training, when another wandering pitch fractured his pinkie and knocked him out for at least another month. Since Granderson had only been back for eight games, hopefully most of his owners held on to their replacement players. Call on those guys again, because they're going to be in your lineup through the end of June.
• P Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels: Fantasy owners and Angels fans alike should celebrate on Wednesday, as Weaver is expected to make his first start since April 8, when he was sidelined with a fracture to his non-pitching elbow. Everything about his recovery has been on schedule and non-eventful, so owners shouldn't hesitate to start him immediately.
• OF Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals: Harper left Sunday's game with some knee soreness, and an MRI Monday revealed no tears but showed bursitis -- inflammation of the bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac acting as a cushion between the bones, muscles, tendons and joints. Harper's been hobbling since he slammed into the right-field fence on May 13, and the MRI confirmed the problem. He's going to sit out for now and be reevaluated Wednesday; if all goes well, he'll DH during interleague play when he returns. If Harper doesn't improve, however, he may face a procedure to drain the sac. He should avoid surgery, and even if he does go under the knife, it shouldn't affect any muscles, tendons or bones. "DH'ing will probably be good for the him. He won't run into any walls," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.
• 2B Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies: A mild right oblique strain has landed Utley on the DL for at least two weeks. Likely a problem that a 20-something Utley would have played through, this Utley decided to play it safe and take 15 days to rest. Given how poorly the Phillies are playing, there's no reason to rush Utley back into the lineup at this point in the season. Utley owners shouldn't gamble on his replacement, Michael Martinez, as he has the worst OPS (.512) among all Phillies players since 1960 (minimum 350 plate appearances).
• OF Shane Victorino, Boston Red Sox: The Injury Report mainstay finally hit the DL after battling various problems, including back spasms and soreness from crashing into the outfield wall. Now, Victorino is sidelined with a left hamstring strain, which has hampered him since last week. It's unclear whether or not all of these injuries are related, but at this point, it's probably best to let this guy rest for an extended period of time. Fantasy owners shouldn't be afraid to part ways with Victorino via trade or the wire, as he's starting to look like a player who won't be able to get healthy all season.
• 3B Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays: Lawrie exited the Jays' game against the Braves Monday night after catching his cleat on the bag while stealing second base. Right now it looks like a strained or sprained ankle, and if the swelling doesn't decrease, he'll likely get an MRI to rule out any tears. Lawrie says he didn't feel any pops during the injury, but a tear would warrant a stint on the DL. Keep an eye on him.
• P Chris Perez, Cleveland Indians: Perez, who kicked off the Indians' bullpen implosion against the Red Sox Sunday, left the ninth inning early after feeling what he described as a "pinch" in his shoulder. While this triggered a DL stint, and while a pinch in the shoulder never bodes well for a pitcher, this doesn't seem major for Perez -- yet. Vinnie Pestano will reportedly close in his place, but don't rush to grab him just yet: Pestano has struggled since returning from the DL on May 16 and has seen a drop in velocity. Plus, Joe Smith could also earn some save opportunities.
• P Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox: Buchholz awoke Monday morning with stiffness in his shoulder, which he claims was caused after cuddling with his daughter in an awkward position all night. Instead of pressing through and potentially causing more damage, Buchholz decided to skip his start this time around; but no worries, fantasy owners (myself included): He'll be back for his Saturday start. I'll gladly sacrifice one of two starts in a week if it means keeping one of my best pitchers off the DL.