Fantasy Baseball Injury Report – July 27, 2012

Welcome back for another edition of the Fantasy Baseball Injury Report for Fantasy Alarm.  As is the case every week, fantasy baseball teams crawl into the fetal position as they deal with crippling injuries and bad news which wreaks havoc on their championship aspirations.  With many leagues’ trade deadlines fast approaching, now is the time to make some moves and compensate for the loss of players while also trying to accumulate more depth.  So without further adieu, here is this week’s edition of the walking wounded.

1. Troy Tulowitzki (SS-COL).  Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has been out for quite awhile after undergoing surgery on his groin.  There have been conflicting reports on whether Tulowitzki would even return at all this season.  According to what he told a Denver reporter, he does plan on coming back in late August or early September assuming he has no setbacks in his rehab.  While the Rockies will want to be cautious with their star, it is hard to believe they wouldn’t let him play if he was physically able to.  Given Tulowitzki’s track record for September performances, he could be a real difference maker if he does indeed come back.

2. Pablo Sandoval (3B-SF).  NL All-Star starter Pablo Sandoval was removed from a game earlier this week with a strained left hamstring.  The Giants will wait until Friday to make a decision whether he will need a stint on the disabled list.  You should keep a close eye on this because Kung Fu Panda is a must start when healthy.  If he is going to miss more time again, you should strongly consider a replacement because Sandoval is proving to not be durable.

3. Alex Rodriguez (3B-NYY).  From the Department of All Non-Yankee Fans Collectively Smile and Revel in Other’s Misery, Alex Rodriguez suffered a broken hand after being hit by a Felix Hernandez pitch earlier this week.  Early indications are that he will be out at least 6-8 weeks which essentially renders him worthless for the rest of the 2012 fantasy baseball season.  A-Rod is a shell of his former self, possibly because now he cannot get away with doing steroids.  He was an average to mediocre fantasy third baseman at this point anyway, so his loss should not cripple your team.  If the Yankees do acquire a replacement such as Chase Headley, then put in a waiver request.

4. Lance Berkman (1B-STL).  Cardinals first baseman/outfielder Lance Berkman had just come back after having knee surgery when he was hit by a Clayton Kershaw pitch on that very same knee.  This has kept Berkman out of the lineup for most of this week.  Berkman had a renaissance season in 2011 and it was questionable whether he could replicate that this year.  We will never know because he has been limited to only 21 games and clearly is having issues after this latest beanball.  He should be in your lineup if he is playing, but you should also be used to him sitting on your bench for most of the season.

5. Nick Swisher (OF-NYY).  Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher hasn’t played since last Friday when he was removed from the game with a strained left hip flexor.  While the team says a stint on the disabled list is unlikely, it is questionable to doubtful that he will play this weekend.  You should keep him reserved until you hear otherwise.  When he does get back in the lineup, activate him and enjoy watching the happiest player in all of Major League Baseball.  Seriously, I bet he is smiling and laughing even while his hip hurts.

6. Johan Santana (SP-NYM).  Since pitching the Mets first ever no-hitter, Johan Santana has hit a wall.  This was greatly feared by manager Terry Collins who was hesitant to extend Santana to over 130 pitches after coming back from serious shoulder surgery.  He was placed on the disabled list with an ankle injury that occurred a couple starts back on a play at first base.  It is more likely that the Mets used this as a good excuse to shut him down for a couple weeks and allow him to rest.  He should be ready to go by the time he is activated.

7. Matt Garza (SP-CHC).  Cubs pitcher Matt Garza has been one of the most frequent names discussed as the MLB trade deadline approaches.  It is inevitable that he will get traded, but when and to whom are still undetermined.  However, it is highly likely that he will not pitch another game in a Cubs uniform as he was recently excused from the team to be with his wife as she gave birth.  Garza had also been suffering from cramping in his triceps area, so he was going to be pushed back a few days anyway.  Keep an eye on Garza for next week to see when he is pitching and for which team.

8. Ian Desmond (SS-WAS).  Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond has been placed on the disabled list with a torn left oblique and will likely be out at least a month.  This is more bad news for fantasy teams in need of help at shortstop or middle infield.  Desmond has been very solid this year, but with this extended absence you really should consider trying to make a deal before your league’s trade deadline expires.

9. J.P. Arencibia (C-TOR).  Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia sustained a fractured right hand when he was hit by a foul tip earlier this week.  He will likely be out at least six weeks which renders him almost useless for the rest of this year.  While Arencibia has been an albatross in terms of batting average, he has proven to be a great source of power and run production from the weak catcher’s position.  His power surges have come in spurts so he has yet to develop much consistency.  You can probably drop him if you need to clear a roster spot because he won’t be back until sometime in September.

10. Colby Lewis (SP-TEX).  The Rangers starting rotation has been completely decimated with injuries all year.  Now Colby Lewis joins the list as he will undergo season-ending elbow surgery to repair a torn ligament.  He had been a productive fantasy starting pitcher racking up strikeouts.  He can be dropped in all formats as he is done for the year and it is questionable whether he will be ready by spring training in 2013.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jason Bay (OF-NYM).  Jason Bay still sucks and we can only hope he somehow ends up back on the disabled list so no one is forced watch his ineptitude anymore.

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