Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Max Scherzer, Tyler Glasnow, Shane Bieber (2021)
After two idyllic weeks with little-to-no significant injuries, week 11 of the fantasy baseball season was merciless. We lost many important players to injury this week, not including Jose Ramirez, Adalberto Mondesi, Anthony Rendon, Josh Donaldson, Jacob deGrom, and Fernando Tatis Jr., who have day-to-day ailments. I usually don’t cover the day-to-day stuff in-depth, but I think it’s important to note that deGrom’s (shoulder) injury originated from swinging too hard in his lone at-bat against the Cubs on Wednesday.
It wasn’t all bad news in week 11. Byron Buxton returned to the field for the Twins, and Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Luke Voit, and more are on the verge of returning to action.
Carson Kelly (C – ARI)
Carson Kelly (wrist) went on the IL for the second time this season after fracturing his wrist on a hit-by-pitch. He was having a great season, slashing .260/.385/.460 in 187 plate appearances. For Kelly to return to action, first, the fracture needs to heal and build up strength and likely a rehab assignment. Managers would do good to release him until he’s close to a return. Daulton Varsho will be the Diamondbacks catcher while Kelly is out.
Shane Bieber (SP – CLE)
Shane Bieber (shoulder) went on the IL after a rough start two Sundays ago. His velocity was down, and he allowed five runs in five-plus innings to the Mariners’ impotent lineup. The 2020 Cy Young Award winner won’t throw for two weeks (including one last week), and then the Indians will re-evaluate. Hopefully, this is just a bit of fatigue and not a structural issue for Bieber’s shoulder. Managers will have an impossible time replacing the strikeouts that Bieber provides; after all, he leads the majors, but losing his WHIP and ERA won’t hurt nearly as much. Eli Morgan will fill in while Bieber is out.
Austin Gomber (SP – COL)
Austin Gomber (forearm) left Saturday’s start early with forearm tightness. An MRI revealed no structural damage in his elbow, which is great news for fantasy managers. Gomber rose to the top of the Rockies staff with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP in 78 and 1/3 innings. Because of the clean MRI, fantasy managers may want to hold Gomber and see if he can make a quick return. Stay tuned for more updates.
Kyle Tucker (OF – HOU)
Kyle Tucker (COVID-19) expects to return from the COVID-list early this week. He might even play Monday night against the Orioles. Tucker never tested positive for COVID-19, so it’s a mystery how the Astros were allowed to place him on the COVID-list; instead, he was sick with a stomach bug. The 24-year-old outfielder is having a great season, with an almost identical slash line to his 2020 breakout campaign.
Alex Bregman (3B – HOU)
Alex Bregman (quad) injured himself running out a ground ball on Wednesday. If it’s a lower grade strain, it’s a matter of weeks, and a higher grade strain anywhere between one and three months. Bregman is slashing .262/.355/.437 with a 12% walk rate and 15.4% k-rate in 442 plate appearances since 2020; and .289/.391/.533 with a 13.4% walk rate 13.1% k-rate in over 2000 plate appearances from 2017-2019. It’s almost as if knowing what pitch was coming made Bregman a better hitter. Fantasy managers should temper their expectations for the talented third baseman until he can replicate those trash-can-era numbers. Abraham Toro is taking over Third Base while Bregman recovers.
Cody Bellinger (OF – LAD)
Cody Bellinger (hamstring) appeared in the day-to-day section of last week’s column but landed on the IL on Tuesday. He is eligible to return on June 22nd. It’s presumed to be a short trip for the Dodgers slugger who suffered a hamstring injury against the Rangers on June 11th. Zach McKinstry is filling in while Bellinger is out.
Andrew Benintendi (OF – KC)
Andrew Benintendi (rib) went on the IL last Monday with a fractured rib. It’s unfortunate because he’s having his best season since 2018 with eight home runs and seven stolen bases in 219 at-bats. This type of injury has a typical time to recovery of four to six weeks placing Benintendi’s return in late July. Hunter Dozier takes over in left field with Benintendi out, with Kelvin Gutierrez getting regular time at third base.
Jean Segura (2B – PHI)
Jean Segura (groin) was having his best season since 2016 before injuring his groin last Tuesday. He was diagnosed with a grade one groin strain and expected to miss three weeks. Brad Miller, Luke Williams, and Ronald Torreyes get bumps in playing time while Segura is out.
Tyler Glasnow (SP – TB)
Tyler Glasnow (elbow) has a partial tear of his UCL ligament and a flexor strain that will force him to miss most, if not all, of the rest of the season. Glasnow blamed his injury on MLB’s handling of the ‘sticky stuff’ problem, saying, changing his routine, and switching his grip caused the damage. Take that with a grain of salt, Glasnow’s career-high in innings-pitched is 111 and 2/3s, and he was at 88 before the injury. He threw 86 innings last season, including the postseason, and missed most of the 2019 season, too, contributing 60 and 2/3 innings that year.
Max Scherzer (SP – WAS)
Max Scherzer (groin) went on the IL on Tuesday after leaving his June 11 start against the Giants in the first inning. It’s a strained groin for the Uber-talented 36-year-old, and at first, he was day-to-day before going on the IL. He’s been throwing on flat ground, and he may make a start on Tuesday. Scherzer’s injury is short-term.
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