Stepping in for the great Michael A. Stein or as twitter users may know him as @FantasyJudgment, I feel honored to join him in such an amazing group of fantasy doctors. We have Hawkeye Pierce from MASH, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Greg House from House M.D. and Derek Shepherd from Greyâ€™s Anatomy. Then there is us here at Fantasy Alarm. The jokes get better folks, believe me. So today weâ€™ll be breaking down which players are coming back from injury this weekend, which players might not make it back so soon and a few who may be out past the all star break. Here we go !
Mitch Haniger (OF-SEA)
This is an injury that seems very minor and precautionary. Haniger suffered a bruised right knee in Wednesdayâ€™s contest and has missed both games since. Haniger and manager Scott Servais have both come out to say that he should be able to play in todayâ€™s game or possibly wait until Sundayâ€™s matchup with the Colorado Rockies. Haniger, along with Nelson Cruz , are catapulting the Mariners into serious contention this season. He is slugging .492 on the season to go along with a career high 10.9% walk rate, wreaking havoc in the middle of that lineup in Seattle. It appears that the Mariners may have dodged a bullet.
Kris Bryant (3B-CHC)
Bryantâ€™s injury is a little bit cloudier in regards to his eventual return to the diamond. The star third baseman took some BP on Friday and it was expected that the Cubs would then decide if he would be reinstated from the disabled list. With the announcement that he will remain on the shelf through Friday, thereâ€™s a chance he could come back Saturday. Thereâ€™s also the possibility of his inflamed left shoulder not cooperating and remaining sidelined until further notice. Also, no decision has been made as to whether Bryant will play in any minor league games in a rehab stint. Stay tuned as a decision could be announced any minute. Thereâ€™s no denying Bryantâ€™s value to this Cubs team both offensively and defensively and his fantasy owners alike. Bryant is slashing .280/.383/.481 this season and is destroying lefties to a tune of a .373 average with five home runs in only 51 at bats.
Joey Gallo (3B/1B/OF-TEX)
Just a couple hours before first pitch yesterday it was announced that the Rangers slugger would be scratched from the lineup after an unknown mishap with Delino DeShields in the outfield during batting practice. The reason given was â€śblurred visionâ€ť so the team is likely just being cautious with Gallo although blurred vision could be from a concussion. He is sure to be tested for concussion like symptoms and if that is the case he may be out for the remainder of the first half. While this is a worst case scenario and the team hasnâ€™t yet diagnosed him, it is a possibility here in this situation. Gallo has 21 home runs and 48 runs batted in for the Rangers but is batting .192. Same old same old from Gallo so far in 2018.
Gleyber Torres (2B-NYY)
The Yankees young star suffered a right hip strain in Mondayâ€™s game versus the Braves and tried to play Wednesday but was lifted before the fifth inning. Torres was placed on the DL Thursday and will miss the remainder of the first half. There has been no specific date announced for return but it seems likely that he should be back to full health within the first week of the second half. The 21 year old is hitting an impressive .294 with 26 extra base hits and a 144 wRC+. JosĂ© Altuve has a 146 wRC+ and is the only second baseman with a number higher than Torres, just to put that into context. Fantasy owners should be looking forward to a healthy Torres leading them in the second half.
Evan Longoria (3B-SF)
The veteran third baseman underwent surgery to repair his fractured left hand back on June 19th. Recent reports from John Shea of the San Fransisco Chronicle state that Longoria is close to taking ground balls and hitting off of a tee. This is encouraging news as heâ€™s on pace to return in the first week of August, matching up with the 6-8 week timeline given immediately after surgery. While Longoria has a career low 3.7% walk rate and .278 OBP, heâ€™s provided the Giants some much needed power with a .188 ISO and .434 slugging percentage. As a player with a career 0.45 BB/K ratio (0.18 this season), look for Longo to improve his approach this season and maintain his 20+ home run output heâ€™s had since 2012.
Shohei Ohtani (SP/DH-LAA)
Oh oh oh Ohtaniiiiii is back! Well, kind of. He will not be pitching for at least a couple of weeks and will strictly be used as a DH. Since being activated on Tuesday, Ohtani is 2 for 12 with six strikeouts and is clearly getting some of that rust out of his swing. Ohtani has a bat that will stick in the big leagues evidenced by his .278/.359/.508 slash rate despite his slow return to form. We just have to hope that his elbow isnâ€™t hindering that swing, otherwise he may be shut down for the rest of the season. No information has been given regarding his pitching status other than he will be re-evaluated later this season. It will be a huge deal if he can make it back to the mound for his team and fantasy owners as heâ€™s 4-1 with a 30.5% K-rate in 49.1 innings starting off his Major League career.
Carlos Carrasco (SP-CLE)
Cookie has made his return to the hill. On the shelf after getting hit in the forearm by a line drive on June 16th, Carrasco took the mound against Oakland Athletics last night. A little rust was expected from Carrasco and his seven hits and three runs allowed showed that. However, it should be a great sign that in 5.1 innings he struck out seven batters. It may take a couple of starts to see the Indians hurler back to form so patience should be applied in dealing with him in the near future. Locating his pitches and having effectiveness with his fast ball and off speed pitches will be key in the next start or two. Carrasco can be downright filthy when heâ€™s on and showed some of that already in his first start back. All signs point to Cookie being as filthy as ever very soon. Â
Tyler Skaggs (SP-LAA)
Another Angels player should be returning soon from injury and itâ€™s a darn good thing with the team really scuffling as of late as they are 6-12 since June 16th. Even though Skaggs has only missed one start with his right adductor strain, they need him every fifth day as heâ€™s having a career year. His 6-5 record does him no justice, his peripherals however, do just that. A 2.64 ERA, 100 strikeouts and only 27 walks in 92 innings shows what kind of season he is having in 2018. The injury doesnâ€™t seem to be one that will keep him out long unless they decide to give him the all star break to gain extra rest and thereâ€™s been no indication of any such move. Skaggs great start doesnâ€™t appear to be fluky as heâ€™s been a high strikeout pitcher throughout his big league and minor league career.
Masahiro Tanaka (SP-NYY)
The Yankees have dealt with some serious injury problems as of late but one situation will be clearing itself up very soon. Tanaka, after injuring his hamstrings running the bases on June 8th, has thrown two bullpen sessions, a simulated game and a rehab start at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He threw 69 pitches (49 strikes), struck out four and walked none over five innings. Tanaka looks like heâ€™s ready to go and in fact, the Yankees have announced that he will be the starter for Tuesdayâ€™s game against Baltimore. Tanaka has an inspiring 24.8% K-rate while walking batters at a rate of 6.5%. His multiple rehab activities without setback shows some optimism of better days ahead for all of you Tanaka owners. The Yankees, battling the Red Sox for first place, could probably use him too.