11 Apr MLB: Infirmary Report: Week 2
By: Shane Thompson
The 2017 season started off with a bang, but not in a good way. Top tier talent hit the shelf in Spring Training and the bad fortunes have continued into the regular season. When you’re a baseball fan like I am, and a former player, you never want to see anyone get hurt, even if they play for your teams rival or your opponents fantasy team. MLB reduced the disabled list minimum of days from 15 to 10 this season, which will likely lead to more players being placed on it than ever before. Teams will feel more inclined to do so, knowing that their player will be available to them at a faster rate than in years past. In this article, I’m going to focus on 5 players that have a chance to come back and make an impact sooner rather than later.
Catcher: Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
This might even still be somewhat news to many fantasy owners and DFS players. Posey got hit by a 98 mile per hour fastball by Taijuan Walker earlier this week and he’s been experiencing concussion like symptoms. The silver lining for the Giants is that Nick Hundley is his backup and a very capable one at that. Hundley can be a starter for numerous teams around the league, is a solid catcher and should have a very low price on Draft Kings and Fan Duel.
Third Baseman: Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
Initially he was supposed to be coming off the DL this week but apparently he has had a setback on his right calf. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to many people, considering Beltre’s age. Top prospect Joey Gallo has been filling in for Beltre at the hot corner and although he possesses tremendous power, I believe that the Rangers have been scuffling out of the gates, largely due to that fact that they miss Beltre’s presence in the lineup and his gold glove defense.
Second Baseman: Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
The majority of the baseball analyst’s pre season predictions include the Cleveland Indians winning the World Series, or at least representing the American League in the fall classic. Jason Kipnis suffered rotator cuff inflammation a month ago and is set to begin a rehab assignment in the minors. The offense is full of talent up and down the lineup but is lacking production at second base. When he comes back off the DL, consider this lineup very dangerous, and expect Jose Ramirez to move back over to third.
Starting Pitcher: Garrett Richards- Los Angeles Angels
Pretty sure when Richards exited the game against Oakland last week while grabbing his arm, we were all thinking, here we go again. The good news is that it was a very minor biceps injury and the Angels are just taking full precautions with their ace. He is a legitimate star when healthy, has some of the best pure stuff in MLB and is only expected to miss one start.
Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray- Oakland Athletics
He suffered a strained lat muscle in Spring Training and there was no legitimate timetable for his return. He did throw a bullpen session on Monday which went very well so that is an encouraging sign. The next step for Gray is to throw thirty pitches to hitters on Thursday. If all goes according to plan, he will go on a minor league rehab assignment and will be in the rotation by the end of the month. He had a rough season last year, but the 2 prior seasons he was Oaklands top starter, which version will we get when he returns in 2017?