The team at insideinjuries.com provides some waiver tips and injury updates
Seranthony Dominguez RP, PHI
Owned in 46% of CBSSports.com leagues
The Phillies closer situation isn’t any clearer this week than it was last, which means there still might be opportunity to find some saves here on the waiver wire. Dominguez is the high upside option, as he’s been lights out here in the very early going of his Major League career. In his first nine innings, he’s allowed just one hit while striking out nine. He profiles perfectly as a shutdown closer, with his mid-to-high 90s fastball and a power slider. The situation isn’t completely clear in Philadelphia right now, but Dominguez should be a priority add, because if he keeps this up he will be the regular closer with the struggles of Hector Neris and veteran Pat Neshek remaining on the DL.
Jared Hughes RP, CIN
Owned in 5% of CBSSports.com leagues
Raisel Iglesias just hit the DL for Cincinnati, meaning the Reds will have to find someone to fill-in for the 9th, for at least a bit. Iglesias is dealing with a bicep strain on his non-pitching arm, which isn’t of huge concern, but it has been problematic for him to be shut down for now. Iglesias is a low injury risk according to Inside Injuries, and he isn’t expected to be out long, but there is some short-term value to be found in his fill-in, Jared Hughes. It may be a bit of a committee approach, but Hughes looks like the best bet. He’s posted a 1.26 ERA in 26 appearances and has been very steady. See if you can get a few saves out of him while Iglesias is down.
Carlos Rodon SP, CWS
Owned in 40% of CBSSports.com leagues
Rodon has been on the mend from shoulder surgery that he underwent last September, but his return to a Major League mound is now in sight. In his first rehab start, Rodon went five innings, giving up just one run and striking out six. He’s still probably got at least a couple more rehab starts to make, but he’s worth picking up and stashing now if you have DL spot availability. Rodon remains a high injury risk according to Inside Injuries, but he does have an Above Average Health Performance Factor, which shows that he’s making progress in his recovery. Rodon hasn’t quite lived up to his top prospect hype so far in his career, but he’s worth a DL stash still in most leagues at this point.
Jurickson Profar SS/OF, TEX
Owned in 28% of CBSSports.com leagues
Another former top prospect that hasn’t quite lived up to his billing, the still 25-year-old Profar is getting everyday at-bats for the Rangers, who have been struggling with a litany of injuries. With Elvis Andrus on the 60-Day DL and Adrian Beltre on the 10-Day DL, but still a “few weeks away,” those at-bats should still be there for quite some time. And he’s starting to do something with them, posting a .277/.308/.489 slash line over the past two weeks. His still has some unrealized potential and upside given his youth, and his positional versatility is a plus. He’s a solid waiver option, especially in deeper leagues.
Chad Pinder 2B/SS/OF, OAK
Owned in 7% of CBSSports.com leagues
Khris Davis just hit the DL for Oakland with a Grade 1 right groin strain, and there isn’t a well-defined timetable for his return. Davis is a high injury risk according to Inside Injuries, and will likely miss more than the minimum 10 days. While he’s out, there will be an opening for Pinder to get more at-bats. Pinder is an all-or-nothing hitter like a lot of guys these days, striking out a lot but bringing real power to the table. Even with the strikeouts, Pinder has been able to maintain a respectable .261 average to go along with four homers in limited at-bats. If you need some short-term pop in a deep league, Pinder is a good choice.
Dee Gordon OF, Mariners: fractured right big toe
Gordon is out indefinitely after scans showed a fractured right big toe. His toe has been bothering him for most of the season, and now the injury has landed him on the DL. We are showing a 7 week Optimal Recovery Time, so he should be out through the All Star break. Mariners manager Scott Servais said he doesn’t think Gordon will be out much longer than 10 days, but a return in early June wouldn’t be wise, especially for a player like Gordon who relies on his speed. The former All Star was just moved back to second base to replace the suspended/injured Robinson Cano (hand fracture). Now they have a few huge holes to fill as the injuries continue to pile up in Seattle.
Rich Hill SP, Dodgers: blister
It’s time to forget about Rich Hill. In our injury roundup last week, this is what we said: “Hill is expected to make his next scheduled start on Sunday, but this remains a serious concern. He missed significant time in each of the last two seasons with blisters. This isn’t a problem that is just going to go away…this won’t be the last we hear of his blister problems.” He left his start Saturday after just two pitches.
Nothing really has changed for Hill, except now he is expected to miss at least a month. He will ask MLB for permission to wear tape on his finger, but they are unlikely to approve his request.
Steven Souza OF, Diamondbacks: right pectoral strain
Souza missed the first month of the season after suffering a serious right pectoral strain during Spring Training. He played 14 games before re-aggravating the injury, once again landing him on the DL. While the Diamondbacks have indicated that this one isn’t as serious, repeat injuries are always a major red flag. Taking a look back at our analytics, Souza never improved from a High Injury Risk, so it was no surprise that he was re-injured. Now we are showing an Optimal Recovery Time of at least four weeks. Souza was hitting just .163 with no home runs before his latest setback, so he clearly wasn’t anywhere near 100 percent. It could be best for him to sit through the All Star break. He should be dropped in most leagues unless you have an open DL spot.
Khris Davis DH, Athletics: groin strain
Davis was diagnosed with a Grade 1 right groin strain after leaving Sunday’s game with the injury. Our algorithm is showing a 2-3 week Optimal Recovery Time. Groin strains are tricky, though, so he needs to rest over the first week before testing out the groin. Losing the slugger leaves a huge hole in the Athletics lineup, as he already had 13 home runs this year. Now the focus needs to be on getting healthy for the rest of the season, not rushing him back just to get his bat back in the lineup.
Paul DeJong SS, Cardinals: left hand fracture
DeJong underwent surgery last Friday to have screws and a plate inserted to accelerate healing in his fractured left hand. He was hurt Thursday when he was hit by a pitch. Now we are showing that he shouldn’t return until late June, but with the All Star break soon after it could make sense to keep him out until July.
Alex Wood SP, Dodgers: cramps
Wood left his start on Sunday with what appeared to be an injury, but it was just cramps. He should be on track to make his next scheduled start. If this was even a slight strain or muscle injury, it’s likely to pop up again in the next few weeks. We will continue to monitor him, but for now, he appears to be out of the woods.
Andrew Miller RP, Indians: back injury
Miller’s back locked up on him last Friday during his normal pregame routine. This came just days after a horrible outing and could explain the poor performance. He took a few days off to rest and pitched on Tuesday. For now, he won’t need to take any additional time off, but it’s something to watch. Any sort of back trouble is a concern for a hard throwing guy like Miller.
Jake Faria SP, Rays: oblique strain
During the third inning of his start on Tuesday, Faria suffered an oblique strain that has landed him on the DL. This injury comes with a lengthy recovery time for a pitcher. Our algorithm is showing a four week Optimal Recovery Time, but it could take even longer for him to return to the rotation. It’s time to drop him in most leagues. He’s going to miss a significant amount of time and when he comes back, he still may not be 100 percent.
Other Injuries and Updates:
Joe Mauer 1B, Twins: concussion
Another concussion landed Mauer on the DL this week. He was initially diagnosed with a cervical strain (neck injury) but later reported concussion symptoms. Mauer has a concerning history of concussions that started with a 2013 concussion that came with long-lasting symptoms. He continued to report blurred vision and other lingering concussion symptoms over the following three seasons. The Twins will play it safe here, so he could be looking at a lengthy absence.
Alex Reyes SP, Cardinals: Tommy John surgery
We could be just days away from Reyes making his season debut. He underwent Tommy John surgery 15 months ago and is expected to join the Cardinals’ rotation, not the bullpen, when he’s ready. We are showing a Peak HPF (Health Performance Factor), so we have a promising outlook on his ability for the 2018 season.
Madison Bumgarner SP, Giants: pinkie fracture
MadBum was able to throw a 30-pitch bullpen simulated game on Tuesday and is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this weekend. He is right on track according to our initial recovery timeline, and his HPF is slowly improving. Any hand injury is concerning for a pitcher, and his pinkie fracture was pretty severe, but the fifth digit is the least important of course. He should be an above average pitcher when cleared to return, and in the second half of the season, he should earn back his ace status.
Clayton Kershaw SP, Dodgers: biceps tendinitis
It’s been over three weeks since Kershaw landed on the DL with tendinitis in his left biceps. He isn’t ready to return to the rotation just yet, but he has been cleared to throw a four-inning simulated game on Saturday. If that goes well, he should either make a rehab start or join the rotation next week. Our analytics still show that he isn’t quite ready, but his Injury Risk has improved from High to Elevated. He should be a week or two away.
Main Image Credit: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren