Health updates to open the week from insideinjuries.com
Daniel Murphy 2B, Nationals – Sit
Murphy is getting closer and closer to joining the Nationals for the first time this season. He underwent a very serious procedure on his right knee last October, one that we initially said can take 9 months to recover from. It’s no surprise that reports suggest he isn’t anywhere near 100%, but he may be healthy enough to be a contributor. Just don’t expect anything consistent when he is activated. Murphy’s Injury Risk remains Elevated, and with a Below Average HPF (Health Performance Factor) he won’t put up numbers anywhere close to what he did the last few seasons. The Nats will also likely give him quite a few days off over the next month to ensure that he stays healthy and fresh. Keep him out of your lineups until he proves he is here to stay.
Asdrubal Cabrera 2B, Mets – Sit
The list of injured Mets continues to pile up, and Cabrera was the latest addition. Nothing is official yet but it looks like he could be headed for the DL. Cabrera experienced tightness in his left hamstring while running the bases and was lifted in the fourth inning. He has been one of the team’s best players this season, but a hamstring injury isn’t worth taking any risks. It can quickly get worse, so a short stint on the DL now is best for his long-term health. Cabrera’s Injury Risk jumped to High following his injury. If he tries to play in the next few days, don’t be surprised if he doesn’t play well or his hamstring acts up again. It’s best to keep Cabrera out of your fantasy lineups for now, especially if they lock on Monday.
Mark Canha OF/1B, A’s – Start
The A’s placed Matt Joyce on the disabled list with a lumbar back strain that will keep him sidelined for at least the week ahead and probably longer. Without Joyce to platoon with, Canha will likely begin playing every day for the A’s. Canha is fully healthy as his Health Performance Factor is at its Peak. He’s scuffled a bit this season with a .247/.311/.440 line, but he’s batted .375 over his last six games and appears to be heating up at the right time.
Josh Donaldson 3B, Blue Jays – Sit
Donaldson was eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday, but he’s still dealing with calf tightness and is not yet 100% healthy. He remains a High risk for injury, and his Health Performance Factor is Below Average, two designations that are unlikely to change this week. Keep Donaldson on the bench for now. Even if he is activated during the coming week, he is unlikely to help your fantasy team much.
Mookie Betts OF, Red Sox – Cautious Start
Betts is close to being activated from the DL and will accompany Boston on their upcoming road trip. He has been hitting in the indoor batting cage, but it remains to be seen if they will send him on a rehab assignment. Betts has surpassed the June 10 Healthy to Return date calculated by Inside Injuries’ algorithm, but he remains a High risk for injury. His Health Performance Factor is still Below Average. If you still have a viable replacement for Betts, it would be wise to keep that player active as the Red Sox are calling Betts’ status day-to-day. They won’t take any chances with their superstar outfielder and will likely give him as much rest as he needs to get fully healthy. He may not play a full schedule until then, so you may be better off with someone playing every day.
Eric Thames 1B/OF, Brewers – Start
The Brewers announced that Sunday will likely be Thames’ final minor league rehab game, and they intend to activate him from the DL on Monday. Thames has long surpassed his Return to Health date, but he is still a High risk for injury and his Health Performance Factor remains Below Average. He’s played two of his three minor league games in the outfield, which suggests that he will be playing there upon his return to the Brewers, so they can keep Jesus Aguilar in the lineup at first base. OF Domingo Santana has been the odd man out recently. It is quite possible that someone else from among Ryan Braun, Christian Yelich, and Lorenzo Cain will see their playing time reduced if the Brewers continue to use Thames in the outfield and Aquilar at first base. Keep a close eye on this situation, which could change quickly at any time.
Yoenis Cespedes OF, Mets – Sit
Cespedes played in a minor league rehab game Saturday but was forced to leave early with quad tightness. At the very least, this will delay his return to the Mets. While this is bad news for Cespedes owners, it is good news for fantasy owners of Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and Jay Bruce. Like the Brewers, the Mets will need to make some choices about their crowded outfield when Cespedes does finally return. This is another situation to watch closely, but it is unlikely there will be any movement this coming week. Cespedes has a long and concerning history of lower body injuries including hip, quad and hamstring problems. Even when he is “healthy,” he could remain a High Injury Risk for the rest of the season.
Rich Hill SP, Dodgers – Sit
Hill pitched a four-inning simulated game on Saturday and came away without any damage to his blister-prone finger. The Dodgers have not finalized their plans for Hill, but a few different scenarios have been rumored, none of them great for fantasy owners. The best-case scenario has Hill returning to the Dodgers next weekend and starting one of the three games against the Giants. However, there is also talk that Hill will make one more rehab start and not returning until the following week. Yet another scenario suggests that Hill will work out of the bullpen upon his return to ease the strain on his blistering finger. Hill’s fantasy value will plummet to zero if he becomes a member of the Dodgers’ bullpen. Regardless of which scenario ultimately plays out, you can safely keep Hill tucked away this week.