Injury Roundup Week 12: Price, Panda Bear, Braun and more
Injuries, injuries, injuries! There’s nothing more frustrating than to have your star player go down with an injury. To add insult to injury (pun intended), there’s been a lot of stars injured this year.
Here’s this week’s injury roundup with a bit of fantasy spice:
David Price (SP – TB)
Price is set to make his first rehab start today with Class-A Charlotte.
Looking at Price so far this year, he’s looked completely opposite from last year. In 2012, Price won the Cy Young award and many thought he would repeat the great season he had. However, even before the injury, Price had struggled posting a 5.24 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP over nine starts. Price does post a strong K/BB ratio, 14/14, but has allowed 65 hits and has had accuracy trouble within the strike zone.
Final Verdict- Price went down with his triceps injury on May 15 and it’s been a slow, working progress since. Originally, the Rays thought he would recovery quickly and only serve a short 15 day-DL stint. However, it’s been setback after setback on his road to recovery. The weird thing about this injury has been the vagueness from the Rays front office. They haven’t said much about Price and his rehabbing , only that he was experiencing some shoulder stiffness as well. Perhaps that’s the reason why it’s taken him so long to come back. I would expect Price to return before the All-Star game. However, owners in fantasy leagues should keep a keen eye on him and how well he preforms in his rehab- especially his ball-to-strikes ratio.
Pablo Sandoval (3B – SF)
Sandoval is expected to start his rehab assignment on Saturday.
Sandoval has been his usual dependable self this year, hitting a .289 with eight home runs and 37 RBI’s. However, his dependable injury stint has been here as well. Luckily, this time around it hasn’t been too serious. Panda bear went on the DL June 9 with a strained peroneal tendon on his foot. However, while on the DL an MRI indicated that Sandoval has actually had a hairline fracture in his foot for a few years now.
Final Verdict- Sandoval is a big guy, no question about it. Not to be mean or poke fun of him for it, one can only wonder how much of this injury was related to his weight? Giants manager Bruce Bochy said while on the DL, he and team physicians have encouraged Sandoval to lose weight. In response, Sandoval has actually shed five pounds and Bochy said he is impressed with him. Sandoval will play five innings on Saturday and Sunday with Class-A San Jose. He is eligible to come off the DL on June 24, and barring no setbacks, he will be able to do so. Fantasy owners should start him as soon as he comes back. No worries here.
Ryan Braun (OF – MIL)
Braun visited a hand specialist in Arizona earlier this week.
Braun was placed on the DL June 10 for his chronic thumb pain that’s been bothering him all season. It’s been an interesting year for Braun. Obviously, we are all familiar with the Biogenesis scandal that surrounds him, but on the field it’s been odd as well. Braun’s batting has been where most expected, posting a .304 average with nine home runs and 36 RBI’s. But the odd thing has been his steals. What made Braun an elite player was the fact that he could steal 30 bases a year. This year, he only has four and has actually been caught stealing five times.
Final Verdict- Braun visited Dr. Don Sheridan in Phoenix earlier this week and confirmed what we already know. Braun has an inflamed nerve on his right thumb and will need some time to fully heal. However, it’s not that serious of an injury and is playable if Braun and team officials elect to do so. Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke stated that “it sounds like he’s going to have to swing and see how it feels… We don’t want to go back to where he was when he went on the DL.” Sadly for fantasy owners, that’s a pretty vague response as to when Braun might come off the DL. Personally, I think the Brewers will activate him when he is eligible to return on June 25. But, that could be a problem for owners who need some power. There is a possibility that Braun’s power could deteriorate because of this lingering injury. If I owned Braun on a fantasy team, I would try to sell him for 90 cents on the dollar. Perhaps Jay Bruce?
Chase Utley (2B – PHI)
Started rehab assignment and could be back this weekend.
This year, Utley began showing power again hitting seven home runs in 158 at-bats. He also hit a .272 batting average, 25 RBI’s and five stolen bases. Utley went down on May 23 with a right oblique strain while swinging a bat. But, he’s made steady progress. Utley started swinging bats and doing routine fielding drills last week and started his rehab assignment Wedesday. Utley went 0-4, but did not feel any setbacks.
Final Verdict- Originally, his injury was classified as a class-1 strain, but the Phillies wanted to be overcautious, which is understandable. Since 2010, Utley has had the injury bug and this year it struck again. Seeing as there weren’t any setbacks on Wednesday and barring any in the near future, Utley could actually return this tomorrow for the series against the Mets. If he does return tomorrow, it will be just under a month he would be recovering from an oblique strain, which is right on par with the type of injury. With the progress that he’s made, there is a good chance that Utley is completely over the injury and ready to go. His fantasy outlook is good and I wouldn’t expect him to re-injure himself. Hopefully, he can return with the same pop he had at the start of the season.
Aaron Hill (2B – ZONA)
Like Utley, Hill could return with the Diamondbacks this weekend.
Hill has a small sample size this year, only having 36 at-bats before being sent to the DL for his hand fracture. Hit has two home runs and a .306 batting average and looked to be his typical self. Hill has been sent to Triple-A Reno for his rehab and has done quite well. He’s 3 for 9 hitting and says he feels fine, the hand is holding up quite well and there aren’t any setbacks.
Final Verdict- But there is a reason to be concerned with Hill. Even though no pain or setbacks have been reported, the fracture didn’t heal quite how it was supposed to. In fact, it still might be fully healed. Now, there’s no indication that Hill will for sure return this weekend, or even early next week. But manager Kirk Gibson said Hill will return when he’s not feeling any pain. So while there’s an idea of when he might return, it still has yet to be officially confirmed. Fantasy owners should be on high alert with Hill. If you’re anxiously waiting for him to come off the DL and return to being Aaron Hill, think again. The problem with injuries like this is, they sap power and bat speed. There’s a good chance that Hill will lose both, causing his batting statistics to slump a bit. Even when Hill is back in the majors, I would pick up another second baseman (maybe Beckham, LeMahieu or Dozier) or keep the one you’re currently using until Hill says he’s fully better.