Eric Thames 1B/OF, Brewers
Thames was activated off the DL earlier this week and played his first game Tuesday. He went one for four with two strikeouts. Since Thames hurt his thumb in late April, the Brewers have come to rely on Jesus Aquilar as their everyday first baseman, and he’s responded with a .285/.355/.535 line and has more then earned his place in the lineup. In addition, they’ve gotten excellent hitting from the outfield pair of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain. That leaves a platoon with the injury-prone Ryan Braun as Thames’ best chance at regular at bats.
Keep in mind that thumb injuries like Thames’ tend to sap power long after they’ve healed, and things are looking bleak for his fantasy prospects. Keep him benched until someone else in the Milwaukee outfield gets injured. Even if he does play regularly, he is unlikely to hit for much power for quite a while. Inside Injuries continues to list Thames with a Below Average Health Performance Factor and at a High Risk of injury.
Jason Heyward OF, Cubs
Since returning to the Cubs lineup in mid-May, Heyward has been on a tear, posting a .338/.366/.506 line with a home run, 14 RBIs, and eight runs scored. This is a significant improvement over the .227/.315/.340 mark he posted prior to the injury. Indeed, Inside Injuries lists Heyward’s Health Performance Factor as Above Average with an Elevated Injury Risk. The current production may make Heyward a tempting waiver wire acquisition for deeper leagues. However, be forewarned that his current hot streak is being driven by an unsustainable .342 BABIP in June and that he is still hitting groundballs close to 50% of the time with a very low 25.6 percent Hard%. Regression to the mean will kick in at some point as most of what he’s doing now is luck driven as opposed to skill driven. Heyward is an excellent sell high candidate right now.
Mookie Betts OF, Red Sox
Betts was finally activated by the Red Sox after he missed 14 games with a core muscle injury. Although he has surpassed his June 10 Return to Health date, Inside Injuries still lists his Health Performance Factor as Below Average. Betts did face live pitching in a brief minor league rehab stint, so it shouldn’t take long before he is hitting well again. Prior to the injury, he was leading the major leagues with a .359/.437/.750 triple slash. You should activate him in all formats right away.
Carlos Correa SS, Astros
After missing just four games with an oblique strain, Carlos Correa returned to the Astros lineup and promptly went two for four with a home run Tuesday night. Correa’s injury has a Return to Health date of June 20 according to Inside Injuries’ algorithm. The early return to the field puts Correa at risk of further or additional injury. As such, Correa is listed at High Risk of injury with a Health Performance Factor of Below Average. Correa’s performance to date of .268/.352/.478 seems low compared to last season’s .315/.391/.478. But it is in line with his performance in 2015 and 2016. Make sure you have a backup plan if you have Correa active already. With a little luck, you may not need it.
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