Another day, another top fantasy option has come down with an injury. In fact, you were almost as likely to take a player who has spent time on the DL or on the bench this year with your first round pick as you were likely to draft a healthy player. Just look at how many of the top-15 options heading into the year have dealt with injury.
Miguel Cabrera tweaked a hamstring on Thursday and will be held out of the lineup on Friday though word is that he might be able to pinch-hit if needed. No Cabrera owner can be too upset since their man has hit .354 with 10 home runs, 38 RBI and 34 runs scored so far this season – provided this doesn’t become a DL-type thing.
Hanley Ramirez: He has battled through a variety of injuries all year, and though he is hitting a robust .342, he has only eight home runs and eight steals on the year.
Jose Reyes: The latest news says that his injured calf is now an injured right hamstring tendon. Whether or not that is the same injury and the Mets have kept it under wraps is unknown, but the bottom line is that he is on the DL and the New York Post is reporting that he could miss up to six weeks with the injury. He was hitting only .279 with 11 steals in just 36 games, woeful production for a top-5 pick.
Ryan Braun: Like Hanley, Braun continues to play through a variety of bumps and bruises. Still, he has produced hitting .316 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI, though that pace leaves him barely on pace to produce his third straight 30-100 season. He has only gone deep twice in 19 games which leads me to think he physically ain’t right.
Grady Sizemore: Dude has been lost all year, and now we know why – his elbow is jacked up. Grady hasn’t had surgery on his elbow yet, but it looks like it might be required despite the fact that an MRI didn’t show any structural damage. Sizemore has gone 20/20 in 4-straight year and he could still reach that level since he has nine home runs and seven steals so far provided he doesn’t go under the knife, but his .223 average and .726 OPS show just how awful he has been.
Alex Rodriguez: Had hip surgery and as a result didn’t take the field until May 8th. He is only hitting .250 and doesn’t have a single steal, but he has gone deep seven times with 22 RBI in 26 games.
Josh Hamilton: Like Sizemore, Hamilton may need surgery to fix what ails him. Hamilton is currently on the DL with a strained abdominal muscle. He could be back in two weeks, or he could miss up to two months if he needs surgery. He was hitting only .240 with a .746 OPS though he had drive in 24 runs in 35 games.
Here are some further notes of interest on Friday…
David Ortiz is having his eyes checked since he reported having dry eyes of late. You would think that someone would have checked out his vision a long while ago given his putrid work at the dish this year which includes a .187 average and one home run through 187 ABs. Perhaps some new spectacles will help?
J.J. Putz will be on the shelf for an estimated two months, possibly more, as he will have his elbow operated on to clean some things up. If he comes back as expected, and the team is able to get Billy Wagner back as well, no one will want to face the Mets in September if they can go Putz-Wagner-Francisco Rodriguez in the 7-8-9 innings. I know I wouldn’t.
Brad Penny apparently is on the Braves radar as they look to add some pitching depth. First off, the Red Sox would likely entertain the idea of moving Penny since John Smoltz appears on the cusp or a return to the rotation. The Sox also have Justin Masterson who can start if needed, and don’t forget about Clay Buchholz who continues to toil away in Triple-A simply dominating hitters with his filthy stuff to the tune of a 4-0 record with a 1.74 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and a 4.75 K/BB mark. If you ask me, Penny is the worst option out of those four, so why not move him? If the Braves wanted to add a veteran arm, why didn’t they just hold on to Tom Glavine? For his part, Penny is a very deceiving 5-1 this season thanks to a ton of run support as he has posted a 5.63 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 5.63 K/9 and a 2.00 K/BB. My disdain for Penny is well chronicled going back a couple of seasons, and nothing I have seen from him this season has changed my mind one bit.
Oh, and one last note. Kyle Elfrink, my co-host on the Fantasy Buffet, our Monday through Friday podcast at Fanball.com, recently did a 1-on-1 interview with the Jets’ running back Leon Washington. Listen for that interview on Monday during the 11AM-12PM time slot that we do the show. You can access the interview at the link posted above on Monday.
By Ray Flowers