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Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: Ronald Acuna Jr., Jacob deGrom, Clayton Kershaw (2021)

by Lucas Babits-Feinerman | @wsonfirst | Featured Writer
Jul 19, 2021

Injuries piled up over the All-Star break, and we lost Ronald Acuna Jr. for the rest of the season. Jacob deGrom and Clayton Kershaw lost their battles with nagging ailments and will miss time on the IL. Several teams have including the Yankees and Phillies, have COVID outbreaks. July is the point of the season where engagement from out of contention teams starts to fall off, so there’s less competition for waiver wire reinforcements. One thing to remember before we dive in is that the long All-Star weekend allows teams to be creative with IL stints and get some of their veterans extended rest with injuries they could otherwise play through. 

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Injury Roundup

Ronald Acuna Jr. (OF – ATL)
Sad to say, but Ronald Acuna Jr. (knee) will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. The 23-year-old superstar injured himself, crashing into the wall trying to field a Jazz Chisholm fly ball. He finishes the year with 24 home runs, 17 stolen bases, and a .990 OPS – great full-season numbers for most players but fantasy managers, especially in head-to-head formats, will find it impossible to replace Acuna. Guillermo Heredia is playing Center Field with Acuna out. 

Ian Anderson (SP – ATL)
Ian Anderson (shoulder) struggled in his last start, allowing four runs in two and one-third innings, and will head to the IL with shoulder inflammation. There are no structural issues, which is good news for fantasy managers, but Anderson is still without a timetable for return. Touki Toussaint will fill in for Anderson for the time being. 

Clayton Kershaw (SP – LAD)
Clayton Kershaw (forearm) is dealing with inflammation in his forearm. As a result, the Dodgers will take it slow with their ace, who won’t be back until August. Fortunately, there’s no structural damage, so he’ll be able to pitch again once he’s pain-free. David Price slots into the rotation with Kershaw out, and fantasy managers hope some rest helps Kershaw stay fresh deep into September. 

Pablo Lopez (SP – MIA)
Pablo Lopez is having a breakout season with a 3.03 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 101 innings pitched. He dominated the Braves in his last start before the injury, striking out nine batters in a row to start the game, a Major League record. The Marlins are labeling it as a rotator cuff strain, and Ross Detwiler is taking Lopez’s spot in the rotation. There’s no timetable for Lopez’s return to play. 

Jazz Chisholm (2B – MIA)
Jazz Chisholm (shoulder) injured himself diving after a Bryce Harper pop-up during Sunday’s game. He hit the ground and looked to be in a reasonable amount of pain before leaving the field in tears. It seemed like a nasty injury, but X-rays were negative, and that’s excellent news. He’ll undergo further testing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit the IL, even if there’s no structural damage, but it seems as if he’ll play again this season. Jon Berti and Magneuris Sierra could see a boost in playing time if Chisholm is out. 

Devin Williams (RP – MIL)
The 2020 NL Rookie of the Year, Devin Williams (elbow), went to the IL over the weekend with a sore elbow. There’s no structural damage, and Williams has been pitching great since June with 23 strikeouts and eight walks in 14 innings pitched. However, he’s out indefinitely, which means more hold opportunities for Brent Suter and Brad Boxberger

Yankees COVID-19 Outbreak
Six Yankees, including Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, and Jonathan Loaisiga, were infected with COVID-19 during the All-Star Break. However, the Yankees reached the vaccine threshold (85% of the team) at the end of April, and all their infected players are asymptomatic. As a result, Greg Allen, Rougned Odor, Trey Amburgey, Ryan LaMarre, and Hoy Jun Park will see boosts in playing time until the COVID six return. 

Luke Voit (1B – NYY)
It’s beginning to look like a lost season for Luke Voit (knee), who’s making another trip to the IL. He’s got a bone bruise in his surgically repaired knee and might receive PRP therapy to help improve the damage. There’s no timetable for Voit’s return; it probably has a lot to do with how much pain he can play through. Chris Gittens will play first base with Voit out. 

Jacob deGrom (SP – NYM)
The best pitcher in baseball, Jacob deGrom (forearm), went on the IL retroactive to July 7th with forearm tightness. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time the Mets ace has missed time with a nagging injury this season. There’s no structural damage, but the Mets will be extra cautious with the two-time Cy Young Award winner. Hopefully, he’s back soon; there’s no replacing him for fantasy managers. Jerad Eickhoff will start in deGrom’s place. 

Francisco Lindor (SS – NYM)
Francisco Lindor’s disappointing season continues; he left Friday’s game early and was later diagnosed with a grade two oblique strain. An injury like this tends to last at least four weeks, but there’s no official timetable for his return. Nevertheless, it’s good news for Jonathan Villar’s managers because he’ll return to the line-up after being squeezed out by the returns of Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis

Aaron Nola (SP – PHI)
Aaron Nola will return from the COVID-IL on Tuesday against the Yankees. Alec Bohm, the Phillies’ third baseman, has COVID, and Nola is sidelined due to contact tracing.

Alec Bohm (3B – PHI)
Alec Bohm went to the COVID-IL on July 11th, which means he’s eligible for return on the 21st. Ronald Torreyes is playing third in Bohm’s absence. 

Yu Darvish (SP – SD)
Yu Darvish (hip) left his start on July 9th early and went on the IL but will pitch on Monday against the Braves.

Ryan Weathers (SP – SD)
Ryan Weathers (ankle) has a great season with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 58 and 2/3 innings. Unfortunately, a 4.61 xFIP and 2.33 K/BB ratio indicate regression on the horizon. Weathers will be back before the end of the month. The Padres haven’t announced a replacement for Weathers’ start on Tuesday.

Jake Fraley (OF – SEA)
Jake Fraley (illness) doesn’t have COVID but is going to the IL with the flu. He probably won’t miss a lot more than the minimum 10-days. Jake Bauers will fill in while Fraley is out. 

Joe Ross (SP – WAS)
Joe Ross (elbow) had been pitching great with a 2.79 ERA and 3.58 xFIP in 51 and 2/3 innings, dating back to May 20th. He’s on the IL, retroactive to July 4th, with elbow inflammation and no timetable to return. Fantasy managers can expect to be without him until August. Paolo Espino is starting with Ross out. 

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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.

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