Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Jacob deGrom, Christian Yelich, Anthony Rendon (2021)
The hits just kept on coming this week, with the lone member of the first-half-of-the-first round, Jacob deGrom, making an appearance for the first time on this season’s injury roundup. Joining him are fellow superstars Anthony Rendon and Christian Yelich. Fortunately for fans of good pitching, deGrom’s injury is not thought to be serious. But Christian Yelich’s stock, on the other hand, is plummeting with an undiagnosed back injury. April’s MVP, Byron Buxton, also appears on this week’s list. Hopefully, you listened to me when I told you to sell Buxton on April 28th.
Injured Players: Javier Baez, Ian Happ, Nico Hoerner, Joey Votto, Alex Cobb, Wilson Ramos, Anthony Rendon, Christian Yelich, Byron Buxton, Gio Urshela, Jacob deGrom, Colin Moran, Alex Dickerson, Diego Castillo, Rafael Dolis
Potential Beneficiaries: Kris Bryant, Matt Duffy, David Bote, Ildermaro Vargas, Eric Sogard, Kyle Farmer, Grayson Grenier, Jake Rogers, Jose Suarez, Jose Rojas, Phil Gosselin, Avisail Garcia, Tyrone Taylor, Billy McKinney, Jackie Bradley Jr., Avisail Garcia, Trevor Larnach, Jake Cave, Kyle Garlick, Tyler Wade, Todd Frazier, Peter Fairbanks, Andrew Kittredge, Jeffrey Springs, Ryan Thompson
Christian Yelich (OF – MIL)
Christian Yelich (back) returned from the IL on Monday, then after playing only one game, Yelich went back on the IL.
To recap – Yelich experiences back tightness on April 11th; he’s day-to-day, then he misses five straight games and is placed on the IL on the 16th. The All-star outfielder begins rehab on April 20th but hits a plateau and goes for an MRI on the 24th. The MRI reveals no structural damage, and Yelich resumes batting practice on the 28th. Then he plays in a simulated game on the 29th and returns to the Brewers lineup on May 3rd. He plays one game and returns to the IL on May 4th.
Fantasy managers should expect to be without Yelich for at least three weeks. He will probably shut down for at least a week before attempting any baseball activities. Then, they will be highly cautious, considering they rushed him back too soon, once already. Avisail Garcia moves over from right to left, and Jackie Bradley Jr. takes over in Right Field. Tyrone Taylor and Billy McKinney also see an increase in playing time while Yelich is out.
Javier Baez (SS – CHC)
Javier Baez (back) left Saturday’s game early with an injury. He wasn’t in the lineup on Sunday but then came in as a pinch-hitter. Baez is considered day-to-day and is probable to start on Tuesday. If he misses any time, Eric Sogard would be his replacement, at least until Nico Hoerner is healthy again.
Ian Happ (OF – CHC)
Ian Happ (ribs) suffered an injury after colliding with Nico Hoerner while attempting to catch a pop-up. Happ was held out of the next few games and eventually placed on the IL, retroactive to May 3rd. There’s no timetable for his return, but the injury couldn’t have had worse timing because Happ was having his best game of the season before he got hurt. The Cubs are using Kris Bryant in Center Field while Matt Duffy plays third.
Nico Hoerner (2B – CHC)
Nico Hoerner (forearm) injured himself in the same play as Ian Happ. The 23-year-old infielder made the catch before leaving the game due to injury. Unlike Happ, Hoerner was placed on the IL immediately following the game. His timetable for return is undefined at the moment. David Bote, Ildemaro Vargas, and Eric Sogard are filling in at second base while Hoerner is out. Hoerner was enjoying an excellent season at the dish before the injury.
Joey Votto (1B – CIN)
Joey Votto (thumb) left Wednesday’s game early after being hit by a Dallas Keuchel change-up. After the match, manager David Bell told reporters that Votto’s thumb was fractured and he’d be out at least a month. That places his return sometime in early June. Mike Moustakas moves from third to first, Eugenio Suarez shifts back to his natural position at third, and Kyle Farmer fills in for Suarez at shortstop to cover for Votto.
Wilson Ramos (C – DET)
Wilson Ramos (back) was having an excellent season power-wise before being placed on the IL on Friday. Ramos left Thursday’s game early, and Grayson Grenier and Jake Rogers replace Ramos in the lineup. Ramos’s injury is not severe, and he should return soon after he’s eligible on May 17th.
Alex Cobb (SP – LAA)
Alex Cobb (blister) is on the IL retroactive to May 5th. On the fourth, Cobb was effectively wild against the Tampa Bay Rays with eight strikeouts and five walks, but zero earned runs and only two hits. Cobb’s been somewhat of an enigma this season, with a 5.48 ERA and 2.62 xFIP, while doubling his strikeout rate to 13.08 K/9 year over year. The 33-year-old righty will miss one or two starts, and Jose Suarez will fill in while he’s out.
Anthony Rendon (3B – LAA)
One of the biggest names on this week’s injury report, Anthony Rendon (knee), left the game on Monday after fouling a ball off his knee. X-rays were negative, but Rendon was in a lot of pain, and on Wednesday, the Angels placed him on the IL. He’s probable to return as soon as he’s eligible on May 14th or shortly after that. Jose Rojas and Phil Gosselin are filling in at the hot corner while Rendon recovers.
Byron Buxton (OF – MIN)
Byron Buxton (hip) was one of the most valuable hitters in baseball before being placed on the IL on May 7th. Buxton left Thursday’s game early after a ninth-inning groundout and was diagnosed with a grade two hip strain. The 27-year-old has missed time with injury in every season he’s played. Fantasy managers can expect him back in “weeks, not days,” according to manager Rocco Baldelli. It’s a bad break for Buxton, who was emerging as a superstar for the Twins early this season. Trevor Larnach was promoted to the big leagues to play left field, and Jake Cave takes over in center with Kyle Garlick in the mix.
Gio Urshela (3B – NYY)
Gio Urshela (knee) left Thursday’s game early with an injury. He was sent for an MRI and held out of the lineup over the weekend. The Yankees’ third baseman is considered day-to-day and could be back in the lineup Tuesday, against the Rays. It is a developing situation, and fantasy managers will want to stay tuned for updates if Urshela cannot return on Tuesday. He may go on the IL. Miguel Andujar filled in for Urshela over the weekend, but the Yankees have since demoted him. D.J. LeMaheiu will likely swing over to third, and Tyler Wade will take the keystone if Urshela misses Tuesday.
Jacob deGrom (SP – NYM)
Jacob deGrom (lat) did fantasy managers a favor by waiting until he qualified for a win to pull himself from his start on Sunday. It was a busy week for deGrom, who had his Tuesday start skipped due to the injury but then suited up on Sunday. He went for two MRIs, and they’ve both come back clean. The Mets expect him to make his next start and don’t think he’ll need a stay on the IL. As a deGrom manager in one league, I say better safe than sorry. The bottom line, this is a short-term injury, and baseball fans won’t miss their weekly deGrom starts for too long. He is a joy to watch play.
Colin Moran (1B – PIT)
Colin Moran (groin) was low-key, having a solid season for the Pirates before leaving Saturday’s game early. The 28-year-old has a .820 OPS in 111 at-bats this season. Because of the recent nature of the injury, the severity of the strain is unknown. As such, it isn’t easy to forecast his return. Todd Frazier will fill in at first while Moran is hurt.
Alex Dickerson (OF – SF)
Alex Dickerson (shoulder) went to the IL on Friday. He hurt himself on Tuesday during the first game of a doubleheader and hasn’t started since. The Giants expect Dickerson to return soon after he is eligible on May 17th. Mike Yasztremski was activated off the IL and took Dickerson’s spot in the lineup in a corresponding move.
Diego Castillo (RP – TB)
Diego Castillo (groin) was on a roll, racking up seven saves in a contested bullpen situation for the Rays, before being placed on the IL. Castillo has “groin tightness” without a formal diagnosis, so it’s hard to say when he’ll return. The pecking order in the Rays pen is muddled with Peter Fairbanks, Andrew Kittredge, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson, all listed as closer. Kittredge and Springs each have one save in the past week, while Peter Fairbanks has the best skillset.
Rafael Dolis (RP – TOR)
Rafael Dolis (calf) suffered an injury during Friday’s game against the Astros. On Sunday, the Blue Jays placed him on the IL with a calf strain. Typically, grade one calf strains take between two to four weeks to recover from, which puts Dolis’ return at the end of May or early June. Tyler Chatwood has been the Jays best reliever this season among the relievers who are still healthy. But Jordan Romano was in the mix for saves earlier this season. Ryan Borucki is in the combination as well.
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