As we get closer to the start of the 2010 season—and some remaining drafts—it’s time to get updated on some key player news and injuries that could affect either the way you start the season, or who you target when it’s your pick.
This Spring Training has really beaten up a lot of guys, most of which who were considered to be impact players. Guys like Lance Berkman (knee), Willy Aybar (hamstring), Joe Nathan (wrist), Rick Ankiel (ankle), are either out for the season, or just plain grounded for the moment.
Let’s take a look at who is suffering from what.
Starting pitcher Roy Oswalt was suffering from a tight hamstring which is enough for any manager to be concerned about since he was already a victim of a bulging disk in 2009; something that drastically affected his play. The hammy is being reported as fine, but he is 34 and getting to the point where his once rugged frame is now showing signs of fragility.
Fellow starting pitcher Brett Myers is also banged up. As if Oswalt and Berkman wasn’t enough, now Brett Myers is dealing with a groin injury that has him listed as day to day. Ironically, he “tweaked” his left groin against the Philadelphia Phillies, and he was to be re-evaluated this past Friday, so details should be available by Monday morning.
On top of THAT, shortstop Tommy Manzella (quadriceps) and outfielder Michael Bourn (oblique) have both been out for the past week and are still listed as day to day. Manzella did some running and fielding without any issues, and Bourn got some action Friday without any setbacks.
Meanwhile, Ed Wade has been busy dealing with a massive migraine from all of this, poor little guy.
Mat Gamel – 3B: Gamel has been placed on the 15 day disabled list with a right shoulder tear which is a blow to those who were looking for a sexy and cheap alternative at third. His tear will probably keep him out for 6 to 8 weeks, and when he does return he will begin in Triple-A. It’s safe to keep him out of your draft plans, but do keep him on your watch list.
Other noteworthy news: Outfielder Ryan Braun (stiff back) and relief LaTroy Hawkins (stiff shoulder) are said to be on track after dealing with some minor bumps and bruises.
St. Louis Cardinals:
Assuming everyone is aware that first baseman Albert Pujols (back) and Matt Holliday (intercostal strain) are fine—if you’re not aware, now you are— the only other mention is outfielder Colby Rasmus ( sore knee). The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is calling it a minor injury, and that Rasmus should be ok moving forward.
On side not regarding Holliday’s injury to his ribs, any type of strain to the intercostals muscles can show itself to be tricky so keep a discerning eye on whatever update may come. As of now, everything looks good for the slugger.
In case anyone missed it, Derrek Lee received treatment for a strange injury to his back when a collapsing chair…well, collapsed on him while he was eating. While the Cubs are reporting everything to be fine with the first baseman, it is this sort of quirky incident that seems to be par-for-the-course for the Cubs.
In other news, starting pitcher Ted Lilly recently came off of a strong minor league outing where he threw 31 pitches and looked ‘really strong’ according to Lou Piniella. He is on track for a return in the latter half of April.
Outfielder Cody Ross (calf) was held out for a second time due to cramping in the same calf that gave him trouble earlier in the week. There isn’t that much of a concern over the ailment since the unseasonably cool weather probably has a lot to do with these sorts of flare-ups in players.
New York Mets:
God, where do I begin? Relief pitcher Pedro Feliciano has a bruised right knee with a bit of swelling and will likely miss the next couple of games, but keep an eye out for any additional problems as knee injuries are always tricky.
Shortstop Jose Reyes’ thyroid has been “stabilized” which is good news, because now he can concentrate on dealing with his nagging hamstring. At this point, it is my opinion he is more of a risk than worth picking up early. Here is another great piece regarding the Fantasy Fallout of Jose Reyes.
Outfielder Carlos Beltran (knee) is said to be on track for his expected May return, and for those faithful advocates that still hold a candle for starting pitcher Johan Santana, things are looking as if he is not worth an early consideration in your draft. That elbow is still giving him problems, and his Spring Training performance, thus far, has been nothing short of atrocious. He could wind up being last year’s version of Francisco Liriano.
Outfielder Brad Hawpe is said to be healing just fine from his ingrown toenail he had removed a month ago, which is good news since anyone who hits for the Rockies is bound to have a good season; especially when they are home.
Closer Huston Street played catch from 60 feet and resumed throwing on Friday which is good news for those looking to capitalize on his services this year. It is still being speculated that he will start the season on the D.L. and return by the end of April, but a sooner return is not out of the question if his recovery goes smoothly.
In the meantime, don’t be afraid to take a chance on Franklin Morales while you wait; he isn’t elite material, but he is very serviceable.
Toronto Blue Jays:
First baseman Lyle Overbay suffered a knee contusion on Friday, and is currently listed as day to day. Overbay has a lot of upside this 2010 Fantasy season, so stay tuned to be sure nothing extenuates from this injury.
Starting pitcher Dustin McGowan was once again shut down due to a “tired shoulder” which is really bad news since McGowan hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2008 thanks to that same shoulder. It is safe to direct your attention towards another pitcher at this time.
Another starter on the Jays you want to stay away from is Scott Richmond. Richmond has been sidelined all spring due to a shoulder impingement which is in the same shoulder that wreaked havoc on him in the latter half of 2009.
Starting pitcher Jeremy Sowers will begin the season on the D.L. and there is little reason to think that he will even be ready by May, thanks to that shoulder of his. In addition to that closer Kerry Wood will be out of commission for 6 to 8 weeks with a strained back muscle, but that should seem about right for a guy who just can’t seem to stay healthy ever.
Both Eric Bedard and Cliff Lee are dealing with some serious injuries which raises red flags all over Seattle right now.
Bedard is still dealing with complications from his surgically repaired torn labrum, and Mariners trainer Rick Griffin said he is simply not ready to throw. At this point, he isn’t worth a pick until you hear something more substantially positive.
Cliff Lee is an even bigger problem.
Lee is suffering from an abdominal strain that is looking worse than originally thought, so bad, the hard throwing ace has under gone experimental treatment (platelet-rich plasma injection) to try and speed the recovery. As it stands right now, he probably won’t be ready be Opening Day.
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is still dealing with spasms in his neck, but his recovery from his earlier rib and shoulder injuries seem to be going well. At this point, any situation where manager Ron Washington holds Salty out is probably for precautionary reasons, but he is on track to start the season injury and pain free.
Second baseman Ian Kinsler was given an injection into his right foot, and it is likely he will miss about a week or so worth of action. He has been sidelined all of Spring Training because of this nasty ankle, and by now, owners are going to start questioning his reliability as a fantasy player; a move that is pretty intelligent.
First baseman Willy Aybar is adding another injury to the list, and this one is a hamstring. Already dealing with a slight wrist injury, Aybar is now being listed as having a Hamstring injury that coach Maddon said” could impact” his availability for Opening Day.
Catcher Dioner Navarro was diagnosed with a nerve contusion in his left shin which is a bad injury for someone who squats better than 50 percent of his playing time. Still, despite walking around on crutches, he is expected to be fine by April 5th, but I would still keep an eye on him just to be safe.
Kansas City Royals:
The American League’s version of the Mets, in regard to injuries, have a nice little list they are building and it starts with second baseman Alberto Callaspo and his strained oblique. Callaspo hurt it last week, and it should take a couple of days to fully learn the extent of the injury. He is listed as day to day right now.
Other Royals felling the injury bug are: Starting pitcher Gil Meche (shoulder) who could miss the start of the season with that stiffness in his throwing arm; third baseman Alex Gordon (broken thumb) who will not start the regular season, and outfielder Rick Ankiel (ankle) who hasn’t played since March 11th, but is slated to open the season just fine.
Other players in both leagues who have been not been mentioned are dealing with very minor issues that are no cause for concern, and as of now will not interfere with their availability on Opening Day. These are the most recent and current updates as of March 28, 2010.