We are in the midst of spring training and there are quite a few impact players who are out with injuries. I will examine some impact players and their injuries for this fantasy baseball season. I will give an outlook on what to expect when they come back from their injuries and whether it is worth it to pick up these players.
Curtis Granderson and Mark Texiera (NYY) – A double whammy for the beloved/hated New York Yankees. Granderson got hurt in the very first Yankees spring training game and his very first at-bat. A J.A. Happ pitch fractured his right forearm and he is out for 10 weeks. He is scheduled to come back some time in May.
Outlook: I would gamble on him. I think once he knocks off the rust he will be a solid addition to your team. He may not hit 40+ HRs missing 2 months but he can hit 30+ HRs after he comes back, which makes him a nice bargain in daily fantasy baseball leagues.
As for Teixiera, I am more worried about him than I do about Grandy. Why? Well the main reason is that he strained a tendon in his right wrist. He will miss at least 8-10 weeks. I just don’t buy the timetable for his return as wrist injuries like Teixiera’s can be much longer. A great example is Jose Batista’s wrist injury last year. Batista tried to come back in a month but ended up re-aggravating his wrist and ended up missing the rest of the season. As much as the Yanks value Tex’s production, they will not rush him.
Outlook: I would avoid Teixiera after this injury. Who knows when he will come back? And even if he comes back by the 10 weeks, how long would it take for him to get his power back? I say pass with other great options available at 1B. Update: After further tests, Teixeira has learned that he has a partially torn tendon sheath that may eventually need surgery. This is terrible news for Teixeira. Avoid at all costs!
Brandon Beachy ( ATL) – Beachy had a great first half for the Braves.He led the league with a 2.00 ERA with a microscopic .96 WHIP. He was on his way to a spot on the National League All-Star squad – even perhaps the starter for the NL team. Then it all came crashing down. He left a game due to elbow soreness and days later he was diagnosed a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Tommy John surgery would knock him out since mid-June of last year. Tommy John surgeries do not take as long to recover as back then but it is still a long process for any player.
Outlook: The news right now is that he should be back by sometime in June. If your league allows stashes or if you have a deep bench, I would add him immediately as he was on his way to a great season before the injury. He can be a crucial addition to your fantasy baseball squad toward the stretch run.
Corey Hart (MIL) – Hart had a decent season last year for the Brewers with 30 HRs and 83 RBI. The Brewers lost some much needed pop when Prince Fielder left for Detroit so they need Hart’s production to help out Ryan Braun. On January 25th, he had surgey on his right knee to repair a small cartilage tear and to clean up some debri. He is supposed to be back by sometime around early May.
Outlook: Here is a name to not forget. People might be scared off because of knee surgery but you shouldn’t. 30 HR capability should never be ignored now that we are past the ‘juiced ball’ era. Hart is valuable because of his power potential that will cost at a discounted price. He is even for more valuable in leagues where he counts as an OF and a 1B.
Matt Garza (ChC) – Garza was a usable SP for fantasy baseball owners last year. A 5-7 W L record is nothing to be excited for but then again he plays for the talent-depleted Cubs. He still managed a 3.91 ERA with a decent 1.16 WHIP. He was a trade piece for the Cubs and was going to be dealt to a contender looking for pitching. That never happened as Garza had tricep cramping/soreness which turned out to be a stress reaction in the back of his right elbow and was lost for the season. Now with his elbow working fine, he had a new injury to deal this spring with a strained lat muscle. He will be placed on the DL when the season starts and may be out until May.
Outlook: Do you see a pattern here? Garza just cannot stay healthy. He teases you with some nice games and then he gets hurt. I would pass on him and rather stash or aim for a SP like Beachy. We have seen Garza’s ceiling already. He is not worth the headache to have on your team.