Wednesday, March 9, 2016

MLB Injury Report 3/9/16

by David Marcillo

Carter Capps
All baseball fans cringe when they hear a pitcher is visiting Dr. James Andrews. Dr. Andrews has made his name synonymous with Tommy John Surgery, a procedure to repair the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the elbow joint. While a marvel of modern medicine in that it allows pitchers to return to the mound eventually whereas they would previously have had to call it a career, Tommy John Surgery still comes with a 12-18 month recovery period.
Miami Marlins reliever Carter Capps spent some time on the disabled list last year due to what was called an elbow strain. Any elbow issues are concerning in pitchers, but especially so in those who throw with maximum effort and unique deliveries, both of which apply to Capps. He was allegedly healthy over the offseason, but upon reporting to Marlins camp, he complained of elbow soreness. He was sent for an MRI, then sent to ask for a second opinion. The second opinion, that of Dr. Andrews, likely confirmed the first and Capps had the surgery performed on Tuesday.
With the surgery, Capps will miss all of the 2016 season and likely the beginning of the 2017 season as well. There is a chance he will be ready for Opening Day 2017, as relief pitchers tend to recover a bit quicker than starters, but due to his violent delivery, Capps may end up taking a bit more time than other one-inning guys to be ready to return.
The injury leaves A.J. Ramos as the undisputed closer for the Miami Marlins and gives him a certain fantasy boost. A healthy Capps was supposed to compete for the closer role and would have been an excellent replacement if Ramos struggled in-season. Without Capps to challenge him, Ramos should hold the ninth-inning role all season.

Michael Foltynewicz
Atlanta Braves pitcher Michael Foltynewicz had a piece of one of his ribs removed in order to aid in the healing of several blood clots in his throwing arm. He is not expected to be ready for Opening Day, but should not be too far behind, with his current target set as late April. "Folty" has always had an electric arm and enticing upside, but he has yet to put it together on a major league mound. He posted a 5.30 ERA in 16 relief appearances as a Houston Astro in 2014 and a 5.71 ERA in 15 starts and 3 relief appearances as an Atlanta Brave in 2015. He may have a hard time cracking the Braves rotation upon his return, but he should get some chances to start as the season goes on. He's always been a tempting fantasy add because of his upside, but he's too unreliable to waste a roster spot on for now. Keep an eye on his return and see how he does when he comes back before adding him.

Henderson Alvarez
The Oakland Athletics took a chance on righty starter Henderson Alvarez after he was non-tendered by the Miami Marlins. He is recovering from a severe shoulder injury and won't be ready to pitch until late May or early June. In "real life" baseball, Alvarez is a solid starter that keeps runs off the board. However, due to the fact that he pitches mostly to contact as an extreme ground ball pitcher, his value is a bit lower in fantasy. He has never struck out more than 6 batters per inning, and he always has the potential for a blow up game if he is leaving the ball up. Players in the deepest leagues can give him their last DL spot, but he's likely best left on the wire for now.

Carlos Martinez
Promising young righty Carlos Martinez ended last season with a shoulder strain. He was excellent before the injury though, recording a 3.01 ERA in 179.2 innings. He is set to be the number three starter in a good St. Louis Cardinals rotation, and should be ready to go come Opening Day. He has yet to appear in Grapefruit League play, but he has been cleared and should make his 2016 debut sometime this week. Barring an unexpected setback, Martinez should be on the mound every fifth day throughout the 2016 season. Keep him where he was on your draft board, and don't let his injury scare you away.  Check out our new YouTube series MLBQuickVid below where we analyze the Martinez injury and fantasy implications for 2016.

Dylan Bundy
Dylan Bundy's career has been a story of missed time. He had Tommy John Surgery in 2013, missed most of 2014, then had shoulder issues in 2015. He has a powerful arm and has always been an intriguing talent with limitless upside. Since Bundy is out of options, he will almost certainly make the Orioles' 25-man roster (unless he starts the year on the disabled list) however he will be working out of the bullpen, at least for now. Since he won't be challenging Zach Britton or Darren O'Day for late inning appearances, he won't have any fantasy value until he earns a rotation spot. He can be left on the wire for now, but keep an eye on the Baltimore starting rotation. If anyone gets hurt, Bundy may get a chance to step in assuming he stays healthy.

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Devon Travis
Devon Travis was great in 2015, but comes into 2016 with a huge question mark attached to his surgically repaired shoulder. According to reports, Travis is just now starting to get full range of motion back in his shoulder and is still far from resuming baseball activities. His target at this point seems to be late May or early June. Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney will likely handle second base in the powerful Toronto lineup until Travis returns, but neither player is a legitimate fantasy option.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm a huge fan of Carlos Martinez since I got into fantasy sports on I hope his injury is not the worst and he will be able to perform as good as we know him!