We (almost) made it! We’re (just about) here! We are (kind of) at the All-Star Break, and not a minute too soon. With games taking a pause over the next little while to celebrate the greats in our game, it will be a time of collective rest for fantasy players everywhere. It’s a chance for reflection and relaxation, as we analyze our rosters and figure out what went right or wrong. In honor of the first half, here is a collection of All-Star caliber players and their ailments that currently occupy the Injured List heading into the Break. Please note that some position eligibilities had to be utilized in order to make this work, but the point remains that there are a lot of impactful injuries right now.
Name: Salvador Perez
Injury: surgery for UCL in the thumb
Timetable: eight weeks as of the end of June
Update: Salvador Perez took in some defensive work, utilizing his glove and other catcher equipment before a game last week.
In the meantime: Losing someone as valuable as Salvador Perez is a tough pill to swallow. He was a solid contributor at the plate at a weak position, making his loss incredibly tough for fantasy owners. In his absence, MJ Melendez has shown power at the plate and continues to get everyday reps as the team’s catcher.
Salvador Perez on this hot Sunday morning getting in early work a little over 2 weeks after thumb surgery. pic.twitter.com/9Yejd6qebD
— Joel Goldberg (@goldbergkc) July 10, 2022
Name: Juan Yepez
Injury: forearm strain (Grade 2)
Timetable: anywhere from ten days to one month
Update: Juan Yepez said that he felt discomfort in his arm after he threw out a runner at home, and was placed on the 10-day-IL with a Grade 2 forearm strain.
In the meantime: Yepez came into this season as somewhat of an unknown and undrafted player. He hit .284 in May and June with nine home runs and cemented himself into the Cardinals’ lineup. While he is away, Corey Dickerson will get additional playing time, but, with the All-Star Break this week, we could see Yepez back very soon, meaning he won’t miss much time at all.
Juan Yepez with the cannon. 💪
— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) July 15, 2022
Name: Jazz Chisholm Jr.
Injury: back strain
Timetable: aiming to play in All-Star Game
Update: Jazz Chisholm Jr. was seen playing catch from 90 feet earlier in the week.
In the meantime: Jon Berti took over as the team’s primary second baseman, but he is now injured, paving the way for Joey Wendle. As mentioned previously in this column, Wendle can be a nice source for batting average help and some speed. As for Chisholm Jr., he seems likely to play in the All-Star Game this week, which means there is a chance that he gets activated back to the team when games resume later in the week.
Name: Fernando Tatis Jr.
Injury: broken wrist
Timetable: hitting progression has begun
Update: Just recently the Padres elevated Tatis Jr.’s rehab into the realm of a hitting progression program where he would be able to swing a bat with intent. This should help elevate him back into game action sooner rather than later, though an official timetable has not been set.
In the meantime: It remains to be seen how the construction of the roster plays itself out. There has been no word on if he will play in the outfield or infield, but either way will see important players miss playing time. Currently, San Diego has placed Nomar Mazara in right field, and the former fantasy darling has responded with a lowered strikeout rate and a solid batting average. Both he and Ha-Seong Kim at shortstop figure to lose playing time, while a demotion of phenom prospect Esteury Ruiz isn’t completely out of the question.
Name: Wander Franco
Injury: wrist surgery (hamate bone)
Timetable: five to eight weeks as of the middle of July
Update: Wander Franco had successful surgery on his hamate bone, and will require rest until then. Even when he does return, it remains to be seen how well his hand responds with regards to the grip of the bat and ability to swing.
In the meantime: The Rays will continue to use Taylor Wells at shortstop, but also have prospect, Jonathan Aranda, in the fold, who offers moderate power and speed potential after a great year in the minors. He is someone to monitor going forward.
— Kyle Burger (@kyle_burger) July 10, 2022
Name: Bryan Reynolds
Timetable: eligible to return the first day back from the All-Star Break, but nothing has yet to be confirmed
Update: Reynolds has not resumed baseball activities.
In the meantime: The idea was to give their youth additional playing time in order to see what they can do. Unfortunately, that hasn’t transpired, as Jack Suwinski struggled recently and was sent down to Triple-A to get himself ready for the second half of the season. If Reynolds was to miss additional time after the All-Star Break, look for Suwinski, Cal Mitchell, and Ben Gamel to man the outfield and get the majority of the playing time.
Name: Chris Taylor
Injury: foot fracture
Timetable: late August (estimation)
Update: Manager Dave Roberts recently said that Taylor can’t put much pressure on his injured foot and will need to let it heal before anything else happens.
In the meantime: Gavin Lux has seen an uptick in playing time since the injury and has responded in a big way, batting well over .300 in that timeframe. He seems to be the biggest beneficiary here and should be an everyday player due to his versatility. The Dodgers are good at moving players all over the field to create opportunities, though they may try to add an offensive piece at the trade deadline.
Name: Yordan Álvarez
Timetable: anytime after the All-Star Break
Update: Álvarez has been given this time to hopefully heal during the All-Star Break. It is unclear as to how serious this nagging injury is, nor if surgery will be needed in order to fix the problem.
In the meantime: While it is impossible to replace the impact bat that Álvarez has been, Aledmys Díaz will once again prove his versatility and receive additional playing time. He has struggled to get anything going this season but has shown the ability to be productive in the past when given a chance to play.
Yordan Alvarez is here. No wrap or anything on his right hand.
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) July 15, 2022
Name: Bryce Harper
Injury: thumb fracture
Timetable: anywhere from mid-August to early September
Update: Harper himself was quite adamant when asked, stating that he will return regardless of the Phillies’ position in the standings.
In the meantime: Prospect Darick Hall has displayed the power that he developed in the minor leagues, as he has hit four home runs with a solid batting average during his brief time with the Phillies. Despite a high strikeout rate, he looks able and ready to keep the team afloat in Harper’s absence.
Name: Jacob deGrom
Injury: stress reaction in his right scapula (shoulder)
Timetable: anytime after the All-Star Break
Update: deGrom recently threw his longest rehab outing to date, a four-inning and 42-pitch performance where he struck out four batters. deGrom himself said that he was disappointed in the outing because he couldn’t locate his fastball early on. Still, it is believed that he will throw a live bullpen over the All-Star Break before a definitive timetable is set.
In the meantime: The Mets’ rotation has had its fair share of questions and quirks all season, yet here they are, in first place in the NL East. It remains to be seen how things will play out, but Carlos Carrasco could lose his spot in the rotation, due to some recent inconsistency and a history of injuries, though he’s been quite good himself. Still, a six-man rotation can’t be ruled out, since everyone has come up big when called upon. This is a situation to monitor, but the fact remains that deGrom should be in the rotation when he is back.
Jacob deGrom surrenders a run after a wild pitch, but strikes out 2 in the 3rd inning pic.twitter.com/eOXtDD8SUi
— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) July 14, 2022
Name: Matt Barnes
Injury: shoulder inflammation
Timetable: currently in a rehab assignment
Update: Matt Barnes has pitched twice for the Red Sox’s rookie league affiliate, and has struggled to keep runners off the basepaths. That being said, it’s unclear if his velocity is close to where it should be.
In the meantime: The Red Sox have gone via the closer-by-committee approach as a season-wide trend, as eight pitchers (Barnes included) have recorded at least one save for them in 2022. What makes it even more perplexing is the roles of these pitchers, since some seem better suited as a starter (Tanner Houck) and others in long relief (Garrett Whitlock), yet all are being thrown around into spots with which they may feel uncomfortable. All that being said, it seems like a healthy Matt Barnes might just be Boston’s end goal, so keep an eye on his health, though there are no guarantees of that happening.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)