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Injury Roundup (2021 Fantasy Baseball)

by Lucas Babits-Feinerman | @wsonfirst | Featured Writer
Mar 29, 2021

Draft season is winding down, and we’re less than a week away from Opening Day. There have been many injuries in the past week, and I’m here to keep you informed. 

Injured players: George Springer, Carlos Carrasco, Kirby Yates, Eloy Jimenez, Luke Voit, Jose Leclerc, Zac Gallen, Trent Grisham, Nick Anderson, Sonny Gray, Matt Barnes, Eduardo Rodriguez

Potential beneficiaries: Randal Grichuk, Cavan Biggio, Joey Lucchesi, Rafael Dolis, Jordan Romano, Andrew Vaughn, Jay Bruce, Ian Kennedy, Joely Rodriguez, Luke Weaver, Diego Castillo, Pete Fairbanks, Jose De Leon, Adam Ottavino 

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Injury Roundup

George Springer (OF – TOR)
After missing some games with abdominal tightness, Springer (oblique) was formally diagnosed with a Grade two oblique strain on March 23rd. He’s considered day-to-day. He will likely open the season on the IL. 

A grade two oblique strain takes up to three months to heal, but it seems like Springer’s timetable is ahead of that schedule. Hitters can typically recover from a grade one strain in 27 days, which would put Springer on track to return around the third week of April. He’s already swinging the bat, which is a good sign for his recovery.

I think Randal Grichuk will fill in for Springer if Springer misses any time. Also, Cavan Biggio is a logical choice to lead off for the Blue Jays until Springer returns.

Carlos Carrasco (SP – NYM)
Carrasco (hamstring) had an injury scare when he was shut down with elbow soreness early this spring. He then suffered a torn right hamstring on March 18th. The Mets expect Carrasco to be out six to eight weeks which places his return date in May. Joey Lucchesi is scheduled to fill in, in the interim but is not on the fantasy radar in standard redraft leagues. 

Kirby Yates (RP – TOR)
Kirby Yates (Tommy John)  is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on Wednesday. Fantasy managers speculating on saves can add Rafael Dolis and Jordan Romano. Dolis was the closer in 2020, but he’s suffering from back spasms. I give the long-term edge to Romano because Dolis walks too many people. 

Eloy Jimenez (OF – CHW)
Eloy Jimenez (torn pectoral) is out for the season with a torn left pectoral muscle. The White Sox are suddenly left fielder-less to start the season. Andrew Vaughn has never played left field, nor does he have any experience above Single-A, but he looks like the next man up. Vaughn has slashed .278/.384/.449 during his minor league career. 

Luke Voit (1B – NYY)
Luke Voit (knee) needs surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in his left knee. The Yankees, who are cagey about injury timelines, have said it will be at least three weeks before Voit can resume baseball activities. That puts his return date sometime in May. Jay Bruce is going to start at first base until Voit is healthy enough to return. Of course, if Bruce doesn’t hit, then the Yankees will move D.J. LeMahieu at first and free up at-bats at second or short. 

Jose LeClerc (RP – TEX)
Jose LeClerc (elbow) is out indefinitely with elbow soreness. Joely Rodriguez, the best choice to replace LeClerc, is out with a sprained ankle. I think Ian Kennedy will get the first crack as the closer because he’s the only Ranger with closer experience, and none of the other relievers profile as closers. The Rangers bullpen is a situation to avoid for now. 

Zac Gallen (SP – ARI)
Zac Gallen (forearm) suffered a hairline fracture during batting practice this Spring Training. He’s out indefinitely. It’s hard to speculate when Gallen will return because his injury is unique among baseball players. I think owners should expect him back in May. Luke Weaver will replace Gallen in the rotation. He’s not a recommended pick-up.

Trent Grisham (OF – SD)
Trent Grisham (hamstring) is day-to-day with a strained hamstring. If he misses Opening Day, he should return within before the end of the week. Should Grisham suffer a setback and miss significant time, then Jurickson Profar, Ha-Seong Kim, and Jake Cronenworth would benefit. 

Nick Anderson (RP – TB)
Nick Anderson (elbow) is on the 60-day IL with a partially torn UCL in his right elbow. He’ll be out until after the All-Star break. The Rays don’t have a traditional closer, but Anderson was in the mix for saves. With him out, Pete Fairbanks and Diego Castillo have less competition. They’re both worth rostering, and their value goes up in holds leagues.

Sonny Gray (SP – CIN)
Sonny Gray (back) is rehabbing from a back injury and won’t be ready for Opening Day. He’s expected back in April. Jose De Leon will fill-in should the Reds need a fifth starter but is not a recommended add in standard redraft leagues. 

Matt Barnes (RP – BOS)
Matt Barnes (COVID-19) tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. He’ll be out for at least a couple of weeks while he recovers from the virus. In the meantime, Adam Ottavino is likely to be the first man to replace Barnes as the Red Sox closer. Ottavino is an excellent bounce-back candidate this season.

Eduardo Rodriguez (SP – BOS)
Eduardo Rodriguez (dead arm) is in danger of opening the season on the IL. Rodriguez missed all of 2020 with myocarditis, which resulted from a COVID-19 infection. He was supposed to be Boston’s Opening Day starter, but now it will be Nathan Eovaldi. Rodriguez should pitch in April and is worth rostering in standard redraft leagues.

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Lucas Babits-Feinerman is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Lucas, check out his archive and follow him @WSonFirst.