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Fantasy Baseball Week 20 Injury News, Updates: Walker Buehler, Wander Franco, Joey Votto, Jack Flaherty and more

walker buehler fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers mlb injury news

We have entered the time of the season when teams are grinding it out to make their playoff pushes.  The heat and the time of year can play a toll on the players. Injured players are suffering more muscular injuries and teams have to be able to fill the gaps and keep going. This is similar to how fantasy teams are being managed at this time. Fantasy teams are trying to make sure that one or two injuries do not ruin what could be an otherwise successful fantasy season.  Knowing when injured players are coming back or how long they will be out is key to your success from now to the end of the season.

For new readers, my name is Reuven Guy and I am a practicing orthopedic/pain management Physician Assistant. I have been dealing with sports injuries for the past 16+ years and have a knowledge of orthopedic injuries and their recovery times based on my medical experience. I have also been  playing fantasy baseball during that same period, which has helped me get an advantage in this aspect of fantasy baseball, which I hope to share with you.

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Injured Hitters for Fantasy Baseball

Wander Franco (SS, TB)- Wrist: Franco is on the IL as just under a month ago he had surgery to repair a fractured hamate bone in his right wrist. Franco has been on a rehab assignment but has sat a few days recently due to wrist soreness. The earliest he could be activated from the IL is August 22nd. 

Bryce Harper (OF, PHI)- Thumb: Harper is on the IL following left thumb surgery. Harper has been taking batting practice already, as noted on his Instagram account. Harper could begin a rehab assignment as soon as Tuesday. He was transferred to the 60-day IL, which does not affect the earliest date that he could return, which is around September 1.

Austin Meadows (OF, DET)- Achilles: Meadows is on the IL due to bilateral Achilles tendon strains. Meadows was on a rehab assignment, played four games, and was then pulled from the assignment. There is no timetable for his return.  

Ozzie Albies (2B, ATL)- Foot: Albies has been on the IL since having surgery for a fractured left foot. Albies is expected to continue ramping up his progression of baseball activities next week. He is expected to begin taking batting practice but it was also noted that he will need, possibly, a full two weeks on a rehab assignment. His timeline to return to the Braves is around mid-September. With Orlando Arcia also out, with a left hamstring strain, Vaughn Grissom will continue to fill in a second base for the Braves

Trevor Story (SS, BOS)- Hand:- Story was placed on the IL with a hairline fracture in his wrist. He has been taking batting practice and was hitting off the machine this week and could be activated this coming week. 

Giancarlo Stanton (OF, NYY)- Achilles: Stanton is on the IL with an Achilles strain. He is currently scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this weekend and could return to the Yankees lineup sometime next week. 

Mickey Moniak (OF, LAA)- Finger: Moniak fractured his left middle finger this past week. He had the stitches removed from his left middle finger and could start swinging a bat soon. Early September is the target return date for Moniak’s return from the IL.

Luis Guillorme (3B, NYM)- Groin: Guillorme was placed on the IL with a left groin strain, which occurred scoring from second on a hit. The severity is not yet known. Deven Marrero was called up to take his utility spot and Yolmer Sanchez was also recently signed by the Mets for more depth in the infield. 

Kole Calhoun (OF, TEX)- Heel: Calhoun is on the IL due to an injury to his right heel. He has begun a rehab assignment and could be activated from the IL as early as this weekend. 

Luis Garcia (SS, WAS)- Groin: Garcia was placed on the IL with a left groin strain. The severity is not yet known. CJ Abrams was called up and looks to be the primary shortstop moving forward for the Nationals. 

Ke'Bryan Hayes (3B, PIT)- Back: Hayes was placed on the IL with a mid back muscle strain. The Pirates do not consider it to be a significant injury and Hayes is currently expected to have only a minimal IL stint. Rodolfo Castro has been filling in for Hayes at third for the Pirates. 

Ramon Laureano (OF, OAK)- Oblique: Laureano is on the IL with a left oblique strain. It is a Grade 1 oblique strain. Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said this week that “ it will be pain tolerance in terms of his workouts and for him to start doing rotational stuff," Kotsay said. "He says he feels a lot better, which is positive." Seth Brown is set to see more playing time with Laureano out. 

Brandon Marsh (OF, PHI)- Knee: Marsh was placed on the IL this week with a bone bruise in his left knee and left ankle sprain. The extent of the injury is not yet known. Bradley Zimmer was claimed off of waivers to take his roster spot for the Phillies. Matt Vierling and Nick Maton could also see more playing time with Marsh out. 

Aledmys Diaz (3B, HOU)- Groin: Diaz was placed on the IL with left groin discomfort this week. The severity is not yet known. J.J. Matijevic was called up to provide depth for the Astros’ bench. 

Joey Votto (1B, CIN)- Shoulder: Votto was placed on the IL with a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. He will undergo season-ending surgery. Matt Reynolds looks to fill in until Mike Moustakas comes off of the IL. 

Elias Diaz (C, COL)- Wrist: Diaz has been on the IL with a left wrist sprain since August 12. He took swings this week and has resumed playing catch pain-free. He could go out for a rehab assignment next week and could be activated by the end of next week. Until then, Brian Serven will continue to fill in for the Rockies. 

Eduardo Escobar (3B, NYM)- Oblique: Escobar was placed on the IL with a strained left oblique. Escobar did try to play through it but was limited in the field and could only bat left-handed, his weaker side. The severity of the injury is not fully known yet. Brett Baty was called up to take his place at third for the Mets. 

Omar Narvaez (C, MIL)- Quad: Narvaez has been on the IL with a quad strain since the beginning of August. He could return over the weekend.

Manuel Margot (OF, TB)- Knee: Margot suffered a right knee sprain earlier this year. He is expected to be activated from the IL on August 20th.

 

Injured Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball

Walker Buehler (SP, LAD)- Elbow: Buehler sustained a Grade 2 flexor strain in his right elbow on June 10 and is scheduled to have season-ending surgery next week on his elbow.  

Steven Matz (SP, STL)- Knee: Matz is on the IL with a torn MCL in his left knee. He is scheduled to begin mound work next week. He is not expected to be able to return until mid-September.

Clayton Kershaw (SP, LAD)- Back: Kershaw is on the IL with a low back issue. Kershaw had an epidural injection performed and has been feeling better since then. He also has resumed throwing but because the Dodgers have a big division lead, there is no rush to barring Kershaw back too soon.

Michael Lorenzen (SP, LAA)- Shoulder: Lorenzen is on the IL with a shoulder strain. He has begun a rehab assignment but the earliest he could be activated from the IL is September 2.  

MacKenzie Gore (SP, WAS)- Elbow: Gore was placed on the IL with a sore left elbow. He will continue to treat his injury with rest and rehab. Gore has been throwing up to 120 feet and could throw a bullpen session as early as this weekend. There is no timetable for his return. 

Carlos Carrasco (SP, NYM)- Oblique: Carrasco was placed on the IL with a  low-grade left oblique strain. This was confirmed with an MRI. He is expected to be out for three to four weeks. David Peterson will take his rotation spot for the Mets. 

Jack Flaherty (SP, STL)- Shoulder: Flaherty is on the IL as he continues to rehab from a shoulder injury. He began a rehab assignment this week and is scheduled to continue it. The earliest he could return to the majors is September 2. 

Trevor Rogers (SP, MIA)- Back: Rogers is on the IL with lower back spasms. Rogers is scheduled to make his third rehab start over the weekend after which time he could return to the Marlins rotation. The Marlins may end up going with a six-man rotation when he comes back. 

Adrian Houser (SP, MIL)- Elbow: Houser is currently on the IL with a right flexor strain. He has had three rehab starts and could be activated on August 24th. 

Tarik Skubal (SP, DET)- Arm: Skubal was placed on the IL with left arm fatigue. Inflammation was noted in Skubal’s forearm and Skubal underwent successful flexor tendon surgery on his left elbow. He is out for the year.  

Paul Blackburn (SP, OAK)- Finger: Blackburn was placed on the IL with an inflamed right middle finger. He was diagnosed with a torn flexor tendon sheath in his right middle finger. He will wear a splint for the next six weeks but will not require surgery. He is done for the year. 

Hunter Greene (SP, CIN)- Shoulder: Greene is on the IL with a shoulder strain. Greene will throw a bullpen session Sunday. He is then still expected to need up to three rehab starts before he could be activated from the IL. This puts his return date in early to mid-September. 

James Paxton (SP, BOS)- Elbow: Paxton is on the IL following Tommy John surgery last April. During his first rehab start, he was pulled due to lat tightness. The severity is not known. This injury may not allow Paxton to pitch at all in the majors this year.  

Mike Soroka (SP, ATL)- Achilles: Soroka is on the IL following multiple Achilles tendon surgeries. He threw his first rehab assignment this week and will continue his rehab with the Triple-A affiliate of the Braves. He will need a few more rehab starts prior to the Braves being able to activate him off of the IL. Soroka last pitched in the majors in August 2020.  

Taijuan Walker (SP, NYM)- Back: Walker left his last start after the second inning due to low back pain. An MRI showed a disc bulge. Walker said that the injury was "the worst pain he ever felt," but was feeling better just two days later. The Mets will see how he feels in the coming days before confirming him as Sunday's starter. If he cannot start Jose Butto could fill in for him as Trevor Williams will be filling in for an injured Carlos Carrasco the day before as part of a doubleheader. 

Antonio Senzatela (SP, COL)- Knee: Snezatela suffered a torn ACL of his left knee while trying to cover first base. He is done for the year. Jhoulys Chacin was activated to take his roster spot.

Injured Relief Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball

Brusdar Graterol (RP, LAD)- Shoulder: Graterol was placed on the IL with right shoulder inflammation. Graterol has been pitching in a rehab assignment and could return to the Dodgers bullpen this weekend. When he returns, he could be an option to close for the Dodgers as Craig Kimbrel struggles. 

Tanner Houck (RP, BOS)- Back: Houck was placed on the IL with low back inflammation. He was diagnosed with a disc issue and will be re-evaluated next Monday. At that point, a more clear picture should be known when and if Houck will return to pitch this year.  

Drew Pomeranz (RP, SD)- Elbow: Pomeranz is on the IL after he underwent surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow last August. His rehab has been transferred to Triple-A and could be activated soon. 

Clay Holmes (RP, NYY)- Back: Holmes was placed on the IL this week with left lower back spasms. Manager Aaron Boone is hopeful that Holmes will only miss the minimum time. Aroldis Chapman could retake his closer job but Boone, on his weekly radio spot in New York said that Scott Effross could get an opportunity as well.

Joe Barlow (RP, TEX)- Finger: Barlow was placed on the IL for the second time this year with a blister on his right index finger. He is expected to be out more than the minimum stay as the Rangers want to make sure this issue resolves. Jonathan Hernandez and Jose Leclerc could close for the Rangers.



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