Fantasy Baseball Injury Report – July 20, 2012

We are now officially in the second half of the season as the All-Star Game is in the rearview mirror.  There have been many devastating injuries to elite players which has wreaked havoc on many fantasy baseball teams.  As we enter the second half of July, the list keeps growing with some more premier players going down.  Your league’s trade deadline is likely approaching within the next month, so now would be the ideal time to start planning ahead and accumulate some roster depth because you never know which player could go down next.  So without further adieu, here is this week’s edition of the walking wounded for Fantasy Alarm.

1. Joey Votto (1B-CIN).  Former National League MVP Joey Votto was placed on the disabled list and will miss 3-4 weeks after having surgery on his left knee.  He initially injured his knee at the end of June and missed a few games, but has been unable to play through the pain.  It looks like Todd Frazier will see a lot of at bats in Votto’s absence, so he could be a decent stop-gap option for your fantasy team.

2. Jose Bautista (OF-TOR).  Two-time reigning homerun champion Jose Bautista was placed on the disabled list after leaving Monday’s game against the Yankees when he injured his left wrist swinging the bat on a foul ball.  X-rays revealed that there is no fracture, but he did hear a pop and could be dealing with a tendon issue.  An MRI also revealed that there was no structural damage, so Bautista should be ready to go by the time he is eligible to come off the DL.

3. Ryan Braun (OF-MIL).  Reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun has been hampered by a groin injury most of the season.  It has flared up again and he will miss some time this week.  Right now it doesn’t appear as though he will require a stint on the disabled list, but it is troubling for fantasy owners to worry about when he might miss games down the stretch.  Keep a very close eye on his status because he should certainly be in your lineup when playing.

4. Evan Longoria (3B-TB).  There have been conflicting reports over the past few weeks regarding the status of Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria.  Longoria has been out for the past couple months with a hamstring tear.  It was rumored he could be shut down for the season, but recent reports indicate he will travel withTampaBay on a long road trip and could begin a rehab assignment shortly after.  Even if he comes back by the beginning to middle of August, he will provide a huge boost to your fantasy baseball down the stretch and could be the difference-maker.

5. Matt Holliday (OF-STL).  Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday sustained a contusion in his left thigh after being hit by a pitch on Tuesday.  He will be held out of the lineup for at least one game but could be given additional time to heal.  This comes at a bad time as Holliday has been on a tear.  Monitor his status each day because he needs to be in your lineup if he is playing. 

6. David Ortiz (DH-BOS).  Just when the Red Sox got Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Carl Crawford back in their lineup, slugger David Ortiz was placed on the disabled list with a right Achilles injury.  Ortiz injured his Achilles heel rounding the bases on a homerun against the White Sox.  An MRI revealed no structural damage, but Ortiz has been placed in a walking boot and will be shut down for at least seven days.  Stash him on your bench or DL because he should return relatively soon assuming he has no setbacks.

7. Brett Gardner (OF-NYY).  More bad news for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner.  He felt some soreness in his right elbow after a simulated game last weekend and will undergo surgery to trim bone spurs and remove elbow lining tissue.  The Yankees were hopeful to have him back by the end of July, but now they must move on without him for the rest of the season.  You can now officially drop him from your fantasy baseball team and clear the roster spot.

8. Chad Billingsley (SP-LAD).  Fantasy enigma Chad Billingsley was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow.  It has been a struggle lately for Billingsley who hasn’t been the same pitcher since 2010.  He is a borderline fantasy starter given how erratic he is.  His injury is one of the reasons the Dodgers are in the market for another starter like Ryan Dempster.  Stash Billingsley on your bench if you have a deep roster or open DL slots.  If not, then he is a viable candidate to be dropped.

9. Jed Lowrie (SS-HOU).  After being placed on the DL with what was thought to be a sprained ankle, Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie has been diagnosed with a nerve issue in his right leg.  Houston anticipated he will miss between 4-6 weeks, but that is just an estimate as there is not a lot known about this injury.  Lowrie has performed well as a middle infield option in most fantasy leagues.  Given how long he will likely be out, he is also a candidate to drop if you need to clear a roster spot. 

10. Jason Hammel (SP-BAL).  The Orioles have been one of the most surprising teams in all of baseball, thanks mostly to their pitching.  Jason Hammel has been the ace of the staff but unfortunately needed to undergo knee surgery to deal with loose cartilage.  Hammel should be back within 3-4 weeks barring any setbacks.  He has been a solid fantasy pitcher all year, but you will have to find a way to compensate for his loss for the next month or so.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jason Bay (OF-NYM).  Jason Bay returned to the Mets’ lineup earlier this week and promptly did absolutely nothing noteworthy.  In fact, he was pinch hit for in the 9th inning of Tuesday’s game.  Even though he did hot a 9th inning homerun the next day off of Tyler Clippard, he does not belong on your fantasy baseball team’s roster unless you get points for being awful. 

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