Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Max Muncy, Sonny Gray, Luis Severino (2021)
Week 10 of the fantasy season topped even week nine in terms of injuries. Few players went on the IL this week, and none of them are top-50 players. However, several well-regarded players are battling day-to-day type injuries – Cody Bellinger, Javier Baez, Jonathan Schoop, Jacob deGrom, Colin Moran, Mitch Haniger, Max Scherzer.
Nick Madrigal (2B – CHW)
Nick Madrigal (hamstring) is one of my favorite rookies this season. I loved researching him in the offseason and discovering his minuscule strikeout rate and penchant for old-school hitting. I love his confidence; in January, he proclaimed that he could reach 3,000 hits in his career. But I wasn’t quite sure he’d provide fantasy value this season because I thought he might not do anything except a high batting average. The 24-year-old was slashing .305/.349/.425, before tearing his hamstring on Wednesday. He may have to miss the rest of the season, and if he does return this year, it won’t be until at least August. Leury Garcia is the next man up for the White Sox.
Tejay Antone (SP – CIN)
Tejay Antone (forearm) is a somewhat unique figure on the fantasy landscape as a non-closer who is too good for most Waiver Wires. Think 2021’s version of 2020 ROTY, Devin Williams. Antone’s role in the Reds’ bullpen is to eat high-leverage innings, and he’s always available for multi-innings whenever manager David Bell calls on him. He’s got a 1.41 ERA and a 0.72 WHIP in 32 innings this season and a career BABIP of .194. The 27-year-old has elite spin rates, and if the Reds ever needed him to be, the closer he would be must-own everywhere. Antone expects to be back immediately when eligible on June 18th.
Sonny Gray (SP – CIN)
Sonny Gray (groin) was doing his usual high-strikeout rate, low ERA, middling WHIP thing this season before he suffered a groin injury on Tuesday. He’s a known quantity at this point, a solid number three fantasy starter with a five-pitch mix (although he doesn’t usually throw his change-up). Gray expects to return shortly, initial reports show him missing two starts, but managers must stay up-to-date here because Gray does have an injury history. There’s always a potential setback on the horizon. Tony Santillan will start while Gray is injured.
Max Muncy (1B – LAD)
Max Muncy (oblique) is having a bounce-back season after slashing .192/.331/.389 in the abridged 2020 season. He left Friday’s game early with side tightness, and when he couldn’t make it back on the field on Saturday, the Dodgers sent him to the IL. Managers will have a hard time replacing his bat in their lineups, especially in OBP leagues, but the injury does give Matt Beaty a chance to shine. Beaty is worth snatching off the waiver wire if he gets regular playing time, but the Dodgers have plenty of options at first base, so that’s not a guarantee. Oblique strains usually take around four weeks to heal, which puts Muncy’s return in early July.
Travis Shaw (3B – MIL)
Travis Shaw (shoulder) is OPSing .616 this season, which leaves a lot of room for improvement. He dislocated his shoulder diving for a ball on Wednesday against the Reds, and that opens up a spot in the Brewers lineup. Pablo Reyes started at third base over the weekend, but managers don’t need to roster him. The biggest takeaway here is that Milwaukee needs a new infielder for the foreseeable future.
Alex Dickerson (OF – SF)
Alex Dickerson (back), similar to Travis Shaw, hasn’t done much this season. He’s on the IL with an upper back strain, which he suffered in a game on Tuesday. Dickerson’s injury opens a lane for LaMonte Wade Jr., Steven Duggar, or Austin Slater to earn regular playing time. Wade is getting the first chance, but his Statcast profile is undermining his .268/.359/.446 slash line. Wade is somebody fantasy managers should watch but not yet add.
Ian Kennedy (RP – TEX)
Ian Kennedy (hamstring) is eligible to return from the IL on June 16th. He went on the IL with a mild hamstring strain and has been excellent this season with a 2.53 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Although Kennedy will, perhaps, return before Texas’ bullpen even gets a save opportunity, this is undoubtedly a situation fantasy managers need to watch closely. That’s because Kennedy is likely to get dealt before the trade deadline, which means whoever gets the save when he’s out could be the first guy up after he’s traded. It looks like Josh Sborz, Brett Martin, and John King will all be in the mix.
Luis Severino (SP – NYY)
Luis Severino (groin) was on the cusp of returning from Tommy John surgery before injuring himself in a rehab start for High-A Hudson Valley. Before the injury, Severino displayed the velocity and spin rates that made him one of the AL’s premier starters from 2017-to-2018. If you’ve been stashing Severino, you’ll want to wait for the MRI results, and if this is a significant setback, go ahead and drop him.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy baseball, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you navigate your season. From our Lineup Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.