Spring Training has been underway for just a couple of days, but there are already some fantasy-relevant players down with injury.
The baseball season is just getting starting. And so are the injuries. If you played fantasy baseball last season, you know how many players, especially good ones, were on the disabled list at some point in the year. There are a couple of big names that will miss significant time this season. There are also some deep picks that will be hampered by injuries for a couple of weeks.
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Cameron Maybin: After a big season last year, Maybin’s 2016 season is getting off to a rocky start. He will be out four to six weeks with a hairline fracture in his left hand. He was hit by a pinch in the team’s Spring Training opener. He had a good season with the San Diego Padres in 2011 with 40 RBI and 40 steals, but last season was his best fantasy season. He hit 10 home runs (career high), 59 RBI and .267 with 23 steals as a member of the Atlanta Braves.
With the Detroit Tigers’ signing of Justin Upton, Maybin would have been in a left-field platoon with Anthony Gose. If he is out the projected six weeks, he’ll miss just the first two or three weeks of the regular season. The fact that he was in a platoon to begin with hurt his fantasy value, so this drops him even more in my rankings.
Los Angeles Dodgers rotation: Brett Anderson is just one of many Dodgers pitchers dealing with some sort of injury. He will undergo back surgery on a bulging disk and will miss three to five months. Hyun-jin Ryu is working back from shoulder surgery and Brandon McCarthy is a long way aways from returning from Tommy John surgery. New signees Kenta Maeda and Scott Kazmir have had a history of injuries as well.
This will force the Dodgers to move some pieces around to fill the rotation. Alex Wood is likely the No. 3 or 4 starter with a couple of more question marks in the back-end. This is going to be an interesting season for Dodgers pitchers. Clayton Kershaw is the only one worth drafting in standard leagues. Maeda is a sleeper pick in keeper/dynasty leagues.
Carter Capps: Well, the Miami Marlins closer situation just got a little clearer. I wrote about the potential competition for the job between Capps and A.J. Ramos a few weeks ago. Ramos has the experience, but Capps is a harder thrower. That hard throwing looks to have bitten him in the behind.
Capps had an MRI after experiencing elbow soreness. The MRI showed that there was “some stuff there,” but nothing significant. He is scheduled to visit with world-renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Monday. While it doesn’t necessarily mean Tommy John surgery, it doesn’t look good.
As a result, Ramos becomes a top-15 closer in standard leagues, unless the Marlins go out and sign another relief pitcher.
Jarrod Dyson: This injury won’t affect those in standard leagues. However, those in deeper leagues need to take note. Dyson left Wednesday’s spring opener with an oblique injury. Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost said that he will undergo an MRI and he should be out “a couple of weeks, minimum.” He will miss six weeks with a Grade II oblique strain.
That will run into the first couple of weeks of the regular season. Dyson was slotted in a right field platoon with Paulo Orlando. Now with the injury, Orlando will take over the starting job with other names rotating in.
While Dyson doesn’t play as much as other outfielders, 200 at bats last season, he is a good source for steals. He had 26 last season and 36 the year before. He would have been a late-round speed pick in most leagues.
This is just the first of what I assume will be many injury reports throughout Spring Training. Luckily, this round didn’t feature major stars. Let’s hope the next report doesn’t have any superstar players on it.