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MLB Injury Updates for Fantasy Baseball: Doolittle, Vogt, Puig, Soler, Beltre, More...


Sprains, strains, and surgeries. These three words make chills run down the spine of even the most hardened fantasy player. They're the little “what if” clause hanging over every fantasy season, that thing you just can't ever really predict no matter how much pre-draft research you do.

Like it or not, being able to properly deal with injuries is one of the main separators between casual fantasy players and league champions. Given the importance of this aspect of the game, I'll be devoting a weekly column to discussing the latest injury updates pertaining to the fantasy community.

A disclaimer before we get started: the sheer size of the fantasy baseball player pool means I won't be able to discuss every injury that might affect teams out there. Furthermore, this article will be tailored towards standard leagues. I'll do my best to cover all the important names, but some guys are going to be inevitably left out. When they are, feel free to bring them up in the comments section below. I'm always happy to chat if there's a player you need to know more about.

 

Recent Injuries

Sean Doolittle: Another rough break for Doolittle and the A's here. Just days after being activated from the disabled list, shoulder pain sent Doolittle straight back.

“I felt good while I was throwing, I felt good after I was throwing and then that night, the shoulder was pretty painful in a slightly different area than before,” Doolittle explained. “We tried to let it calm down on Thursday and then came in yesterday and it was feeling slightly better. I was able to get through all my warm-up stuff, but when I went out to throw, it wasn’t right, it was too painful.”

Given the nature of this injury, there is currently no timetable for Doolittle's return.

Stephen Vogt: Vogt was forced from Thursday's game due to a painful leg cramp, likely related to an ill-fated chase after a popup.

"Hopefully, it's just a one-day thing and I feel good in the morning," Vogt said, per MLB.com. "I'm usually able to bounce back fairly quickly. It's one of those things I've dealt with, and it's frustrating, but it happens."

“As severe as it looked, maybe he'll just be a little sore tomorrow," Manager Bob Melvin added. "Who knows? You can be pretty sore when you get it that extreme."

Vogt's status for Friday's game is, as of yet, undetermined.

Edwin Encarnacion: Encarnacion is day-to-day with a sore left hamstring that has kept him from the starting lineup since June 2nd. Despite the injury, Encarnacion seems hopeful that a few days of rest are all that he'll need.

"I just want to make sure, I don't want to lose like 15 games," Encarnacion told MLB.com. "I'd prefer to lose two or three games and come back again. If I feel something can be worse, I'd prefer to lose two or three games."

Ryan Braun: Braun left the team on June 3rd to undergo a second cryotherapy procedure on his right thumb. The Brewers expect him back in the starting lineup on June 5th.

Jorge Soler: Soler was placed on the DL on June 3rd for a left ankle sprain. The Cubs are hoping to have him back sometime in mid June.

Archie Bradley: Bradley was placed on the DL on June 4th with right shoulder tendinitis. There is currently no timetable for his return.

Howie Kendrick: Kendrick was held out of the starting lineup on June 4th due to knee soreness. This injury is not expected to warrant a DL stint, however. Kendrick's condition is currently listed as day-to-day.

Hunter Pence: Pence was held out of the starting lineup on June 3rd due to left wrist soreness. The injury appears minor, however, and Pence should be ready to return very soon.

Brandon Crawford: Crawford was limited to pinch-hitting duties on June 3rd because of calf tightness. That manager Bruce Bochy was comfortable enough to pinch-hit with Crawford is an excellent sign that the injury is a very minor one though.

Yunel Escobar: Escobar exited Thursday's game early due to an apparent right wrist injury. Luckily, subsequent X-rays on the wrist turned out negative.

"He's fine," Manager Matt Williams told Fox Sports. "No issue there [with the X-ray]. He just tweaked it trying to check up."

The Nationals plan on reevaluating Escobar's condition Friday before proceeding further.

Wilson Ramos: Ramos was held out of the Nationals' starting lineup on June 4th due to right thumb soreness. The injury seems to have originated from when he was hit by a foul ball in the Nationals' previous series against the Yankees. While the condition does not seem serious, Ramos felt that a day of rest was necessary for the swelling to go down.

Stephen Strasburg: A left trapezius strain sent Strasburg to the DL on May 30th. He has been making good progress since then, having most recently started throwing off flat ground on June 3rd. He is expected to be able to rejoin the team sometime from mid-to-late June.

Adrian Beltre: Beltre was placed on the disabled list on June 1st thanks to a left thumb laceration. The injury is not expected to keep him out of action for more than the minimum time, however. Expect him to be back and ready to play in mid-June.

Josh Hamilton: The Rangers are hoping to have Hamilton back in July after the outfielder strained his left hamstring during a game. He was placed on the disabled list on June 4th, retroactive to June 1st.

Yoenis Cespedes: Cespedes was forced to leave June 4th's game early due to flu-like symptoms. He is expected back any day.

Brian McCann: McCann is day-to-day with right foot soreness. CT scans on his foot on June 4th turned up negative, quieting the fears of some fantasy owners. Hopefully, he is ready to resume his duties behind homeplate soon.

 

Ongoing Injury Updates

Devon Travis: After only a single rehab game, shoulder pain forced the Jays to shut Travis down for at least one week. The Jays will evaluate Travis' progress on June 7th in order to determine his status going forward.

Yasiel Puig: Puig is set to begin a rehab assignment on June 4th. The Dodgers are hoping he'll be ready to return to the team the week of June 8th.

Jose Fernandez: The Marlins' young ace is expected to begin a Class A+ rehab assignment on June 6th. After missing more than a year to Tommy John surgery, Fernandez could be back in less than a month.

David Wright: Wright is currently undergoing intensive physical therapy to treat his spinal stenosis. While there is no timetable for his return at this point, both the Mets and Wright seem confident in his ability to return sometime this season. Whether that will actually be possible remains to be seen.

Travis d'Arnaud: d'Arnaud resumed his Class A+ rehab assignment on June 4th. In his first game back he was able to catch five innings, certainly a good sign for his progress.

Doug Fister: Fister threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session on June 4th. His return to the team should be coming soon.

Matt Wieters: The Orioles expect Weiters to rejoin the team on June 5th. Set your lineups accordingly.

Wil Myers: Myers was able to take batting practice on June 3rd.

"That’s a really good sign," Manager Bud Black told UT San Diego. "The last three or four days, he’s been anxious to get on the field and hit against a live arm and really swing the bat. What we saw today is really, really encouraging."

Matt Moore: Moore took another important step on the long road back from Tommy John surgery on Tuesday by beginning a Class A+ rehab assignment. If all goes well he could be ready to retake his spot in the Rays' rotation by the end of the month.

Devin Mesoraco: The Reds have begun working Mesoraco out in the outfield in an attempt to get his bat back in the every day lineup. While left hip injuries have made catching this season untenable, the Reds are optimistic about the possibilities of an outfield move.

"We're going to continue to prepare him to hit and potentially work with him in the outfield a little bit and see if that's an option moving forward, to see if we can extract some value from him before we write off his season," Manager Bryan Price told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "If he can't catch and he can only be a pinch-hitter, his value is so limited that it wouldn't make sense to take up that roster spot if that's all he can do. If he can play the outfield a bit capably, it's a way to get him in the lineup every now and again and let his bat do some influence for our club."

Corey Dickerson: Dickerson was able to run the bases on June 2nd. While a timetable for a rehab assignment has not yet been laid out for him, Dickerson was encouraged by this progress.

"I'll do some more running and then see how it reacts, then go from there," Dickerson said. "I think I'll be ready to go start playing again pretty soon. I hope in the next few days."

Victor Martinez: Martinez continues to make progress and is ready to resume batting practice ESPN reports. The Tigers expect him to be ready to rejoin the team next week.

Jacoby Ellsbury: General Manager Brian Cashman shared the disappointing news that the Yankees do not expect their leadoff hitter to be back until the end of June.

"Probably anywhere from point of injury, five to six weeks total should resolve all of it, as far as rehab and healing," Cashman said.

It seems that fantasy owners will have to be patient for a little while longer.

 

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