As the injury news pours in this season, we'll take a quick-hit look at the fantasy-relevant players who are battling health issues. We'll be splitting them up into players who we're keeping a watchful eye on -- players who have sustained injuries recently but have not been placed on the disabled list -- as well as those who have been placed on the DL.
To the DL
Francisco Cervelli, C, New York Yankees (right hamstring): When a player instinctively grabs the back of his thigh as he pulls up while running, then falls to the ground, there is little doubt as to which muscle is injured. When the injured player does not even attempt to move, but instead sits on the ground waiting for assistance, there is little doubt the injury is severe. Cervelli did both of those things as he crossed first base Sunday, leading anyone watching to anticipate a move to the DL with a hamstring injury, probably for a lengthy period of time. On Tuesday the Yankees placed Cervelli on the 60-day DL with a Grade 2 (moderate) hamstring strain, essentially confirming early suspicions. The recovery time for a Grade 2 strain varies widely depending on the degree and location of the tissue damage. Two to three months to return to full function is not unusual. Cervelli will not be back until June at the earliest.
Juan Lagares, OF, New York Mets (right hamstring): Lagares pulled his hamstring Monday, also while running to first base. He too will require a DL stint but his is of the 15-day variety. That’s not to say he won’t require some additional time beyond the two weeks but he has the opportunity to return if the leg cooperates.
Keep a watchful eye on:
Curtis Granderson, OF, New York Mets (forearm/rib cage/knee): Granderson nearly took out three separate body parts in one play Monday, but X-rays of each proved negative. Still, Granderson was moving gingerly after the game and sat out Tuesday. He is considered day-to-day and could possibly return as soon as Wednesday. He also is considered lucky.
Josh Johnson, SP, San Diego Padres (right forearm): Things just are not getting better for Johnson. He opened the season on the DL with a flexor strain in his throwing elbow and has failed to progress to throwing. On Tuesday, the Padres announced that Johnson will travel to visit Dr. James Andrews (Johnson had Tommy John surgery in 2007 and a subsequent elbow scope this past offseason). According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, when Padres general manager Josh Byrnes was asked if Johnson would pitch this season his reply was an unsettling, "Not sure." And so we wait. Given Johnson’s storied health history, this latest news is anything but encouraging.
Nearing a return:
Jose Reyes, SS, Toronto Blue Jays: Reyes is currently on a rehab assignment after starting the season on the DL with a hamstring strain. Well, he didn’t actually open the season on the DL, but he did have tightness in his hamstring during spring training, then failed to get to first base during his first regular-season at-bat before it acted up. Apparently, things are going well enough now that Reyes could be activated this weekend for the team’s series in Cleveland. Jays manager John Gibbons told reporters if the next couple of days go well for Reyes, he should be "ready to go" Friday. Naturally, Reyes is not out of the woods, given his extensive history of hamstring injuries, but the Jays will be happy to have him back.
Casey Janssen, RP, Toronto Blue Jays: Janssen opened the season on the DL with a low back strain but worked his way back to his first rehab outing Tuesday. After one inning, Janssen suffered no apparent setbacks but the next day is always a telltale indicator. Janssen may need a few rehab appearances but could rejoin the Jays within the week.