Injury Storylines To Follow: NL West (2019 Fantasy Baseball)
While “Opening Day” may have occurred overseas, the other Opening Day is approaching. Draft dates have likely been set if they haven’t happened already. As mentioned previously in this series, it’s important to keep in mind any injury storylines that may carry over from last year. While most players spend the offseason rehabbing any injuries, and getting healthier and stronger for the start of the season, some players have had trouble staying healthy recently and they should be kept in mind when drafting. This series of posts will take a look at a few players in each division that you might want to weigh the risks of drafting.
Kenley Jansen (RP – LAD)
Jansen has been playing through much of his career with the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, a serious condition that affects the electrical conduction in the heart. He has missed time in the past due to treatment and side effects from different medications and has already had one heart surgery in 2012. Although he had an up and down year where many of his stats dropped, Jansen still showed flashes of his former dominance through stretches of last season. Last November he underwent another heart surgery and spent much of the offseason recovering and preparing for opening day. Seemingly his recovery has gone well, and he will return to the Dodgers’ bullpen with expectations for him to get back to a level close to his past elite performance.
Corey Seager (SS – LAD)
To the dismay of many fantasy owners, Seager was diagnosed with a UCL strain in the first month of last season and missed almost the entirety of last year after undergoing Tommy John. This is less of a concern for a fielder as opposed to a pitcher, and he should return with no issue as is generally the case with Tommy John surgery. It was also reported that he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his hip last August, but that didn’t appear to lead to any specific diagnosis or setbacks in his recovery. While he just made his spring training debut Wednesday, it is expected that he will be starting at shortstop Opening Day.
Daniel Murphy (1B/2B – COL)
Murphy began the season on the 60-day DL last year after knee surgery to repair cartilage. After his return, he continued where he left off at the plate but seemed to have lost a step in the field. The Rockies plan to play Murphy at first base to negate fielding concerns, but entering his age-34 season he may require more rest than previously in his career. Outside of that factor, if he can stay healthy, Coors Field seems like a great environment for a player like Murphy.
Wil Myers (3B/OF – SD)
Myers missed roughly half of 2018 due to injury, at different points missing time with nerve irritation in his arm, a bruised left foot, and an oblique strain. While the bruised foot may have been bad luck, the oblique strain and nerve irritation are concerning in a young player such as Myers. Hopefully, he can settle in to the Padres’ revamped lineup and stay healthy. It remains to be seen if 2018 was an anomaly or the start of what will become a pattern.