Recommended Waiver Adds and Injury Breakdowns from insideinjuries.com
A.J. Minter RP, ATL
Owned in 50% of CBS Leagues
Arodys Vizcaino is back on the DL, and he is reportedly still 2-3 weeks away from even starting a throwing program. It’s going to be awhile until he’s back pitching at the Major League level, opening the door for Minter to get a bounty of save opportunities. After a slow start to the season, Minter has pitched lights out since the start of June, posting a 2.41 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings, showing the elite potential he flashed late last season in his 15 inning cup of coffee with the big club. Given how long Vizcaino could be out, it wouldn’t be a shocker if Minter’s role as the Braves’ closer loses its temporary tag at some point, should he continue to pitch this way. That upside makes him a must add reliever right now.
Garrett Hampson 2B, COL
Owned in 14% of CBS Leagues
Hampson was called up over the weekend to take over at second base for the injured DJ LeMahieu, who was placed on the 10-Day DL with a strained oblique. These are notoriously tricky injuries to overcome, and LeMahieu has a High Overall Injury Risk because of their nature. Hampson should be given plenty of at-bats in the Rockies lineup, which makes him a Fantasy asset given his bat (.315 career average in the minor leagues) and speed (120 steals in 287 minor league games). Throw in the positive effects of playing at Coors Field and you’ve got a very intriguing second base option in Fantasy. He’s certainly worth a pickup in deeper leagues.
Daniel Poncedeleon SP, STL
Owned in 27% of CBS Leagues
Poncedeleon’s 7 no-hit innings in his Major League debut, 14 months following emergency brain surgery after getting hit by a line drive, was one of the best stories of the season so far. Poncedeleon has also gained a lot of notoriety in Fantasy circles, with his ownership percentage shooting up to 27%. While that may seem like a bit of an overreaction to some, given the state of the Cardinals’ rotation, it makes some sense. Carlos Martinez (High Overall Injury Risk) seems close to returning from an oblique injury, but both Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha are a ways away. It’s unclear if Poncedeleon will get another shot in the rotation right away, but chances are his debut, as well as his solid performance in the minors this season, will get him some more opportunities. The uncertainty might take him out of consideration in some shallower leagues, but he should at least be on the radar in deeper formats. He was sent to the minors but could be back very soon.
Yonny Chirinos SP/RP, TB
Owned in 5% of CBS Leagues
Chirinos just made his first big league start since going on the DL with a forearm strain on May 1st, giving up 3 runs in 6 1/3 innings to the Yankees. He had been pitching in Triple-A since getting healthy in early June, and it is still a bit unclear what the Rays will do with him going forward, but he is expected to be a part of their staff in some regard for the remainder of the year. Health hasn’t been a concern since he resumed pitching, and it shouldn’t be moving forward as he has a Low Overall Injury Risk. Chirinos has posted a 3.78 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in 33 1/3 innings at the Major League level this season, which are rather serviceable numbers in deeper leagues. He gains even more appeal in standard points leagues given his relief pitcher eligibility. All of these factors make Chirinos an intriguing under-the-radar option.
Robert Gsellman RP, NYM
Owned in 46% of CBS Leagues
After the departure of Jeurys Familia in a trade to Oakland, it appears that Gsellman should have the inside edge on the closer role for Mets, at least for the time being. He has five saves on the year, including a 6-out save over the weekend against the Yankees. None of Gsellman’s numbers really jump off the page, but given Anthony Swarzak’s struggles with both performance and injuries (Elevated Overall Injury Risk), he should have the job locked down soon. For those looking for saves in the wake of Familia losing a closer job, you might not have to look farther than his old team, should someone like Minter not still be out there on the wire.
Kris Bryant 3B, Cubs: left shoulder inflammation
For the second time this season, Bryant is on the DL with inflammation in his non-throwing shoulder. If it was just inflammation, the two weeks he previously took off combined with the All-Star break should have been enough time for it to heal. That means there could be something more serious going on here. The Cubs will send him for additional tests to determine what could be causing the inflammation. Until then expect him to be out for at least two weeks, but likely much longer.
Justin Turner 3B, Dodgers: groin strain
Turner tried to play through a mild groin strain over the last two weeks but aggravated the injury, forcing him to the DL. Because he wasn’t initially shut down when the injury started, he could be looking at a longer recovery time. His Injury Risk has been High all season, so it was no surprise that he went down with an injury. Now we are showing that he needs a minimum of two weeks to recover, but 4-5 weeks is more realistic for the groin to fully heal.
Gary Sanchez C, Yankees: groin re-aggravation
On Monday night, Sanchez found himself in the center of a controversy when he didn’t run hard out of the batter’s box, ending the game in what should have been a game-tying play because he didn’t hustle. Then on Tuesday he said it was because he injured his groin earlier, so he wasn’t playing at 100%. Now Sanchez is on the DL and isn’t expected to return until late August or early September. That indicates a moderate groin strain with a minimum 4 week Optimal Recovery Time.
Sanchez had just returned from the same injury, and Inside Injuries warned that he should just DH for the first few weeks. Sure enough he was injured in just his second game back behind the plate. Catching puts a lot of stress on the legs, particularly the groin, so he needs to be very cautious in his return and take things much more slowly this time. Repeat injuries tend to take longer to heal and greatly increase future Injury Risk.
Yoenis Cespedes OF, Mets: calcification in both heels
Cespedes’ season is over, and we finally have an explanation for the root of all of his muscular strains. Cespedes will undergo procedures on both heels to address a chronic problem that has been bothering him for years. It is also the cause of the hip, hamstring and quad strains he has faced over the last three seasons. By trying to play through the calcification in his heels that was causing a lot of discomfort, he overcompensated and caused damage to the rest of his lower body. Now he faces a minimum recovery time of 8-10 months. He will have one foot operated on, allow some time for it to partially heal, then undergo surgery on the other foot. Cespedes won’t be ready for Spring Training in 2019 and is unlikely to be ready on Opening Day. Like many other players on our list this week, Cespedes’ Injury Risk was already at a concerning level even before the news of his latest injury problem broke. He should have been shut down a long time ago.
DJ LeMahieu 2B, Rockies: oblique strain
The Rockies placed LeMahieu on the DL earlier this week due to an oblique strain. If minor, he could return in around two weeks, but he has had various injury concerns recently that seem to have lingered. This is his third stint on the DL following a right hamstring strain and a left thumb sprain already in 2018. Oblique strains are also notoriously slow to heal, so he shouldn’t be activated when first eligible. His Injury Risk is High, and with a Below Average HPF (Health Performance Factor), he won’t be able to perform at a high level for awhile.
Noah Syndergaard SP, Mets: hand, foot and mouth disease
The injuries/illnesses continue to get weirder and weirder for the Mets. Syndergaard is on the DL after getting infected with hand, foot and mouth disease after working at a kids camp over the All-Star break. He should miss just one turn in the rotation.
Blake Snell SP, Rays: left shoulder fatigue
The Rays placed All-Star lefty Snell on the DL due to fatigue in his pitching shoulder. An MRI confirmed that there is no structural damage, so this isn’t anything that should lead to an extended absence. If all goes as planned, he will miss just one start, but throwing arm injuries must be monitored very closely. Rushing back can lead to more damage that could end his season, so he needs to give his arm some time off so things can calm down. If he sits out for two weeks, his Injury Risk will be back at Low. For now his HPF is Below Average, so he isn’t ready to pitch effectively just yet.
Carlos Martinez SP, Cardinals: oblique strain
A mild oblique strain forced Martinez to the DL last week, but he is expected rejoin the rotation on Monday night. Martinez will throw a bullpen session on Friday, and if that goes as planned he will be cleared to return. That’s a quick return according to our analysis. His Healthy to Return Date isn’t until the second week of August. He will remain High Risk for now as oblique strains are very easily aggravated.