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Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Fernando Tatis Jr., Cody Bellinger, Ketel Marte (2021)

by Lucas Babits-Feinerman | @wsonfirst | Featured Writer
Apr 12, 2021

The baseball community suffered a big blow on Monday when Fernando Tatis Jr. injured his left shoulder. Love him or hate him, he’s one of the most exciting players to watch, but he’s not the only big-time star to get hurt this week. Let’s check out the round-up and see who’s hurt, who’s back, and who could benefit. 

Injured Players: Fernando Tatis Jr., Ketel Marte, George Springer, Cody Bellinger, James Paxton, Zac Gallen, Joakim Soria, Jesse Winker, Sonny Gray, Chris Owings, Kolten Wong, J.D. Davis, Josh Bell, Jon Lester, Kyle Schwarber, Josh Harrison, Trent Grisham

Potential Beneficiaries: Ha-Seong Kim, Tim Locastro, Jurickson Profar, Randal Grichuk, Rowdy Tellez, Chris Taylor, Justin Dunn, Taylor Widener, Stefan Crichton, Kevin Ginkel, Chris Devenski, Tyler Naquin, Jeff Hoffman, Jose De Leon, Wade Miley, Sam Hilliard, Garrett Hampson, Ryan McMahon, Jace Peterson, Daniel Vogelbach, Jonathan Villar, Ryan Zimmerman, Luis Garcia, Andrew Stevenson

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Injury Roundup

Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS – SD)

Fernando Tatis Jr. (shoulder) crumpled to the dirt in the middle of an at-bat on Monday. He was later diagnosed with a left shoulder subluxation or partially dislocated shoulder. Tatis suffered an injury on the same shoulder fielding a routine ground ball during Spring Training but avoided the IL at the time. 

The Padres expect him back sooner rather than later, but this injury will hang over Tatis like a cloud. Once the shoulder dislocates and is corrected, subsequent dislocations occur often, and it becomes easier for the shoulder to dislocate. Rest and recovery, strengthening the surrounding areas, and changing his max-effort approach could keep Tatis healthy, but he will likely need surgery eventually. If Tatis does relapse and requires surgery, it would knock him out all season. 

Meanwhile, Ha-Seong Kim has been filling in for Tatis at shortstop. But with manager Jayce Tinger suggesting Tatis could return as early as Friday, Kim’s value may be limited.

Trent Grisham (OF – SD)

Trent Grisham (hamstring) has returned to the lineup after missing the first week of the season. He’s OPSing 1.629 since his return and will bump Jurickson Profar out of the starting line-up. However, the Padres are still playing short-handed with Tatis Jr. out, so Profar will get semi-regular at-bats until everyone is healthy. 

Ketel Marte (OF – ARI)

Ketel Marte (hamstring) suffered a hamstring injury on Wednesday that required a trip to the IL. He had been off to a blistering start, OPSing over 1.300 in five games before getting injured. The 27-year-old had to be helped off the field by training staff, and the Diamondbacks initially termed the injury a ‘cramp.’ 

Fantasy managers will need to wait for Marte’s MRI results to come back before an estimate for his return is given. He will likely be out at least a month, best case scenario, as that is the typical timetable for a low-grade hamstring strain. Tim Locastro has taken over in Center Field while Marte recovers. 

George Springer (OF – TOR)

George Springer (quad) suffered a relapse while recovering from his oblique injury. He strained his quad while running the bases. Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoya stated that Springer’s oblique injury is healed, and they are just waiting for the quadriceps to heal before they activate him, which could come as early as next week. 

Randal Grichuk will continue to start in Center, and Rowdy Tellez will be the primary DH while Springer is out. 

Cody Bellinger (OF – LAD)

Cody Bellinger (calf) required an IL trip after getting cleated in his left calf by A’s pitcher Reymin Guduan during a bang-bang play at first base on Monday. The 25-year-old does not have any fractures or ligament damage, so the Dodgers are just being cautious. He should return to the line-up as soon as he’s eligible on April 16th. 

Chris Taylor is playing Center Field while Bellinger is out. 

James Paxton (SP – SEA)

James Paxton (forearm) is likely to be out for the season. He’s seeking a second opinion after being told he needed Tommy John surgery last week. Even if Paxton avoids TJ surgery, he won’t be back soon. 

The Mariners don’t have great choices to replace him in the rotation. Justin Dunn will get the first crack. 

Zac Gallen (SP – ARI)

Zac Gallen (forearm) is making steady progress, working his way back from a fractured forearm, and could rejoin the rotation as soon as Tuesday. Gallen’s injury damaged his ability to throw breaking balls. 

Prudent managers can consider fading him in his first start back as he’s not likely to pitch deep into the game and could be a little rusty. It looks like Taylor Widener could be the odd-man-out once Gallen returns to the rotation.

Joakim Soria (RP – ARI)

Joakim Soria (calf) went to the IL on Tuesday. He was injured on a routine play, covering first base. Soria’s return timetable is unknown at this point. Stefan Crichton, Kevin Ginkel, and Chris Devenski will be Arizona’s closer committee while Soria is out. It’s a situation to avoid for fantasy managers. 

Jesse Winker (OF – CIN)

Jesse Winker (calf) made his return to the Reds lineup after missing time with a non-COVID-related stomach illness and then promptly injured his calf. He’s considered day-to-day, and Tyler Naquin has been one of the best hitters in baseball while Winker’s been out. Still, Naquin managers should expect Winker to take over in left once he’s healthy and send Naquin back to the bench. Winker’s return is imminent. 

Sonny Gray (SP – CIN)

Sonny Gray (back) is making progress in his rehab and could return this week. He threw a simulated game on Saturday, and manager David Bell said the next step is game-action. Gray will be on a short leash for his first start back, so managers can consider fading him in that start. Jeff Hoffman, Jose De Leon, or Wade Miley could be demoted from the rotation to make room for Gray. 

Chris Owings (2B/OF – COL)

Chris Owings (thumb) hit the IL on Saturday. Owings is also working through a hamstring injury. Before the injury, Owings was one of the hottest hitters in baseball, OPSing 1.721 over his first 15 at-bats. His timetable is unknown, but when he does return, he is worth a speculative add. Prior to the injury his Statcast numbers were elite – 11.8 K%, 11.8 BB%, 94.2 MPH exit velocity, 15.4% barrel rate, .704 xSLG, and .365 xBA. 

There will be more at-bats for Sam Hilliard, Garrett Hampson, and Ryan McMahon while Owings is out. 

Kolten Wong (2B – MIL)

Kolten Wong (oblique) is out a few weeks. He was day-to-day, trying to play through the injury but re-injured it and went on the IL. Jace Peterson will take over at second base while he’s out. If that doesn’t work, the Brewers may consider moving Keston Hiura back to the keystone and using Daniel Vogelbach at first base. 

JD. Davis (3B – NYM)

JD. Davis (hand) was hit by Chase Anderson‘s on the hand last Tuesday and had to leave the game. X-rays were negative, but the Mets placed him on the IL on Saturday, retroactive to Wednesday. He should return when he is eligible but is having trouble gripping a bat. He can do defensive drills and weight lift. Jonathan Villar is getting burn at third base while Davis is out. 

Washington Nationals COVID-19 outbreak

The Nationals finally made some roster moves related to their COVID-19 outbreak. Josh Bell, Jon Lester, Kyle Schwarber, and Josh Harrison were all placed on the COVID-IL, but Dave Martinez said the COVID-four could return on Monday. It sounds like their returns are imminent. Jon Lester will need to build up arm strength before he rejoins the rotation. Ryan Zimmerman, Luis Garcia, and Andrew Stevenson are starting in the interim.

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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.