Fantasy baseball Injury Report: Examining the injured All-Stars
In honor of tonight's All-Star Game, let's take a look at the six players who were selected to play, either by players' vote or fan vote, but couldn't due to injury. Most of these players are suffering from minor injuries, but there's no use in pushing yourself for the All-Star Game.
• SP Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers: After struggling with some upper back pain, Darvish, who leads the MLB in strikeouts with 157, was placed on the DL July 10 (retroactive to July 7). After examinations with the Rangers' physicians, Darvish was formally diagnosed with a trained trapezius; no inflammation or tears were found, so the pain is simply caused by fatigue -- that's about the best news that fantasy owners could get. Unfortunately we won't see him pitching in the All-Star Game for the second straight year, but luckily, thanks to the break, he's only missing one start. Darvish has reported that he's feeling minimal pain, and he's expected back as soon as he's eligible on July 22 against the Yankees.
• 1B Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves: Freeman, who received the "Final Vote" into the All-Star Game, jammed his thumb while making a play at first base Saturday, and was ruled out for the game the next day. He was wearing a brace on his thumb on Sunday, and will continue to get treatment during the All-Star break. Fantasy owners, don't worry -- he should return to the lineup at the end of the break.
• SP Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox: Oh, Buchholz. Initially, the Red Sox stated that Buchholz would spend the minimum amount of time on the DL, mostly as a precautionary with a sore neck. However, that was in mid-June -- he still hasn't returned by the All-Star Break. Buchholz was initially scheduled for a rehab assignment last weekend, but instead he threw a bullpen session Sunday, and may throw another while at the All-Star game. Red Sox manager John Farrell anticipates that he'll throw a simulated game at the end of the week, and that his change in schedule isn't a problem. His fantasy owners should know that while he will return to the mound soon, this could be an issue that plagues him for the rest of the season. He may not be at full health when he returns.
• SP Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals: Zimmermann has reportedly pitched through neck problems for approximately seven weeks now. It wasn't bad enough to hinder him in his start Thursday against the Phillies (he went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and getting six K's), but he wants to take advantage of the break to rest up. Fantasy owners shouldn't worry -- a healthy Zimmermann in the second half outweighs a not-so-healthy Zimmermann who pitched in the All-Star Game.
• SP Jeff Locke, Pittsburgh Pirates: Jeff Locke was scratched from his start Sunday and the All-Star game after experiencing lower back tightness after his start last Monday. However, fantasy owners need not to worry, because he was throwing from the mound Friday. Fortunately, with the All-Star break, it looks like Locke will avoid a DL stint now, since he has the extra rest.
• RP Jesse Crain, Chicago White Sox: After ten seasons of trying to become an All-Star, Crain hit the DL Wednesday, July 3 with a shoulder strain that prevented him from participating in the Midsummer Classic. He threw for the fourth consecutive day Friday, stretching his distance to 100 feet, but he still feels pain, he told the Chicago Tribune. Crain still considers himself day-to-day. However, more importantly than the All-Star Game, Crain's injury will likely lower his trade value and hurt his chances of being traded to a postseason contender before the July 31 deadline.