Each week Baseball Press will be providing injury news and analysis as it relates to some of the top players in the game. I'll be taking a look at the injury and the effects it will have on the player, team and more importantly, your fantasy team.
The first week of baseball is in the books and we already have a long list of players who are hitting the DL. Let's take a look at some folks who are already on the shelf and some who are sitting in the waiting room.
Miguel Montero - C, Arizona Diamondbacks
Chief Complaint: Torn meniscus in right knee Montero injured his knee running to first base after hitting a grounder to pitcher Zach Duke and immediately left the game. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list shortly after a MRI revealed that he would need surgery. Montero will receive further tests this week to determine the severity of the tear or possible ligament damage, but it certainly looks like he could miss some extensive time.
Arizona will lean on Chris Snyder for the bulk of the catching duties while Montero is out. Snyder shouldn't miss a beat while filling in for Montero, as he was the club's full-time catcher up until the beginning of this season.
Those of you who drafted Montero in your fantasy league (like me) will obviously need to find a replacement. There isn't much available but here are a few names who come to mind: Jeff Clement - PIT (Yahoo! only), Chris Snyder - ARI, Rod Barajas - NYM, Chris Iannetta - COL and Jeff Mathis - LAA. Yes, the names above are pretty awful, but at this point you are looking for a stopgap at a shallow position and can hopefully land a guy who plays every day.
Brian Roberts - 2B, Baltimore Orioles
Chief Complaint: Abdominal strain
BBP has hit on Roberts a lot this spring as he's been dealing with the back injury and now the abdominal strain. Is the abdominal strain related to the back issue? It very well could be. Roberts left the game versus the Rays in St. Petersburg after stealing a base. If you have been following the injury bug surrounding Roberts, you remember that he missed most of Spring Training because of a herniated disc. I'm actually surprised that the Orioles insisted on playing him every game so far, but hey, they know more than me. The Orioles did, however, buy some insurance on Roberts before the season started by acquiring Julio Lugo from the St. Louis Cardinals. Justin Turner also appears to be headed to Baltimore from Triple-A, according to multiple sources covering the Orioles, so it appears likely Roberts will land on the 15-day disabled list.
As I mentioned above, Julio Lugo will see a majority of the time at second base while Roberts is out, with Turner serving as the backup.
Hopefully you adhered to the advice from everyone to stay away from Roberts on draft day. The back injury should have been a major red flag for Roberts' value. But, if you did draft him, not all is lost. A guy who is still available in most leagues is Kelly Johnson of the Diamondbacks. You also have guys like Casey McGehee and Juan Uribe still looking for homes.
Update (4/12/10 2:45 PM): Roberts was in fact placed on DL retroactive to April 10th. He may also might receive another epidural on his back according to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com
Aaron Hill - 2B, Toronto Blue Jays
Chief Complaint: Right hamstring tightness
Hill was scratched earlier in the week, feeling discomfort after diving for a ball during Opening Day in Texas. Hill has missed four straight games with the injury and has yet to take batting or fielding practice. He's still listed day-to-day but the Jays are hoping to have him ready by the home opener in Toronto today and avoid the DL.
Mike McCoy and John McDonald have been filling in during Hill's absence. The Blue Jays certainly want Hill back in a hurry, but they have been doing just fine without him and are coming off a sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore.
Update (4/12/10 4:45 PM) The Toronto Blue Jays just announced that Hill was placed on DL retroactive to April 6th.
Ryan Zimmerman - 3B, Washington Nationals
Chief Complaint: Left hamstring tightness
Zimmerman left Saturday's game after feeling a Ď'tweak'', but had reportedly had some discomfort during the past few days. Zim is out until Wednesday, as the team doesn't want to run a risk with their franchise player. It truly sounds like a minor issue and the Nats are just being cautious as they will need Zim for any kind of success this season.
Adam Kennedy and Willie Harris will platoon at third base while Zimmerman is out. The Nationals play the Phillies today, with an off day on Tuesday.
Chipper Jones - 3B, Atlanta Braves
Chief Complaint: Right oblique strain
Larry Wayne Jones Jr. left last week's game against the Cubs with an apparent oblique strain. He missed all of the games this weekend against the Giants in San Francisco, but is only expected to be out a few more days and avoid the disabled list. This isn't Chipper's first rodeo with an oblique strain; he missed some time last season after injuring his oblique during the World Baseball Classic. The Braves play in San Diego tonight followed by an off-day on Tuesday, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Jones returning to action on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
The regular second baseman Martin Prado has taken over for Jones at third base with super utility guy Omar Infante filling in at second base.
Andre Ethier - OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Chief Complaint: Left sprained ankle
Ethier left a game earlier this week against the Pirates after taking an awkward step on the first base bag. It's just a minor ankle sprain, but the Dodgers won't risk things this early in the season. Ethier missed the remainder of the Pittsburgh series and didn't see much action when the Dodgers traveled to South Florida. He didn't start in any of the games against the Marlins but did pinch-hit over the weekend. Manager Joe Torre commented that Ethier should be ready for the Dodgers' home opener on Tuesday afternoon.
Reed Johnson and Garret Anderson have been platooning in right field with Ethier out.
Jacoby Ellsbury - OF, BOS had a scary moment when he collided with Adrian Beltre on a play down the left field line. The collision initially looked severe but tests and x-rays revealed no broken ribs, and Ells is listed day-to-day. He will likely miss tonight's game in Minnesota as a precaution, so look for Jeremy Hermida to get the start.
Jose Reyes - SS, NYM returned to action this weekend against the Washington Nationals and appears to be running healthy. But hey, it's the Mets and injuries are what they do best.
Daisuke Matsuzaka - SP, BOS made his first rehab start in the minor leagues over the weekend. Dice-K looked good, hitting in the low 90's on his fastball while pitching five innings. He threw 73 pitches (43 for strikes), striking out three and only walking one.
Chris Young - SP, SD was placed on the 15-day disabled list with tightness in his right shoulder. It's a tough break for Young who missed time last year with a labrum injury.
Alex Gordon - 3B, KC is 2 for 8 with 6 walks during his rehab assignment with the Single-A team. He figures to make a few more starts in the minor leagues before returning to the Royals.