Fantasy 30: Injuries impacting lineups around the league

Zack Cozart has been swinging a hot bat this season, but will an injury keep him on the bench in the near future? Getty Images

Even when you're a fan of one specific Major League Baseball team, it can be difficult to keep track of all the news that surrounds your favorite club on a daily basis.

However, when you're a fantasy baseball owner and you have to multiply that effort by 30 in order to be as up to date as possible with each club, it's a fool's errand that borders on the impossible.

Fear not! We'll be here every Monday and Thursday to give you a snapshot of what's going on in the world of baseball, with one fantasy takeaway from each of the league's 30 teams. Think of it as your one-stop shopping for the week ahead.

Here are the takeaways as we head into Week 7 of the 2017 season:

Arizona Diamondbacks: A.J. Pollock had to leave yesterday's game with a right groin injury, and his initial reaction -- slamming his helmet to the ground in frustration -- seemed to indicate it might be serious enough for a disabled list stint. Pollock, who has had similar injuries in the past, seemed resigned to his fate: "I mean, it wasn't good. They just said tomorrow, these things, you do it, and then the next day is pretty much the day you really evaluate it." David Peralta had previously left Sunday's action with a right glute injury, though the outfielder didn't seem to think it was a big deal. Gregor Blanco (.286) seems to be the first option to fill in for Pollock for as long as he needs to sit.

Atlanta Braves: Bartolo Colon may finally be reaching the end of the line. The 44-year-old is struggling mightily -- no National League pitcher has allowed more earned runs so far this season -- with an 11.66 ERA over his last three starts. Time is definitely ticking on Colon's stay in the Atlanta rotation, as manager Brian Snitker says, "We just can't be in that position all the time where we're coming back and fighting back, because it's just tough to do." If Toronto destroys Colon on Monday, perhaps Lucas Sims (4-0, 2.16 ERA at Triple-A, and 21 years younger than Colon) will get a call.

Baltimore Orioles: After finally getting a start on Sunday, Hyun Soo Kim is just 2-for-12 in May. He's simply not getting the playing time, and manager Buck Showalter admits that likely won't change anytime soon: "We try to keep everybody involved, but it's tough." Of course, the emergence of Trey Mancini is a large part of the reason Kim has been sitting, which is why it seems odd that Mancini (.288, 7 HRs) is owned in only 14.6 percent of ESPN leagues.

Boston Red Sox: David Price is close to returning to the Red Sox rotation. After throwing a 75-pitch simulated game yesterday when his scheduled start for Triple-A Pawtucket was rained out, there was nothing negative to report. Price is scheduled to throw 85-90 pitches on Friday, and then "we'll re-evaluate ... and wouldn't rule out his return to us if everything goes according to plan," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. With Drew Pomeranz lasting only three innings on Sunday due to left triceps tightness, it's probably a good time for Boston to get Price back in the fold.

Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber is in a 5-for-41 funk this month, which would be bad for any hitter, but even more so for a leadoff man. For now, at least, manager Joe Maddon seems willing to ride out the slump: "'I can't tell you that he's pressing; I don't know that. Talking to him, he seems to be fine. He's grinding through a tough moment, but he's really good, and I know it's going to level out in our favor.'' In any event, if Maddon does decide to make a change this week, it probably won't involve Jason Heyward. The outfielder (jammed finger) is having trouble swinging the bat and is not expected to be activated from the 10-day DL on Tuesday, when he's first eligible.

Chicago White Sox: The pitching staff of the White Sox is down James Shields, Carlos Rodon, Nate Jones, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka. Amid all the triage, though, Anthony Swarzak has been a beacon of hope. The reliever has made 14 appearances, 11 of which went a full inning or more, and has yet to allow a run. "(He's) not just eating up the innings, (but) getting really big outs and being very effective," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said of Swarzak. If you're in a league with daily transactions, you could do a lot worse than to use Swarzak as an option on days when your starters aren't on the hill.

Cincinnati Reds: Zack Cozart is hitting a very healthy .336 after his 0-for-6 outing in Friday's 17-inning affair against the Giants. However, the shortstop hasn't played since, as he is dealing with a sore left wrist. The Reds likely will continue to sit Cozart until they're sure the injury is completely behind him. "He's had this before. I think we're all in agreement that it's not going to get better if he's taking four or five at-bats," manager Bryan Price said. With an off day on Monday, that may mean Cozart will not miss any more games, but until he gets through a full nine innings, it might be wise not to lock him into your lineups.

Cleveland Indians: Looking for a one-week lottery ticket? That might be Daniel Robertson. The outfielder was recalled by the Indians on Sunday after they placed Brandon Guyer (.182) on the 10-day DL with a wrist injury and designated Michael Martinez for assignment. Robertson, who was hitting .467 in limited Triple-A action, started in right field for Cleveland yesterday and went 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Like I said, it's a roll of the dice -- but fortune favors the brave.

Colorado Rockies: It's certainly understandable why Pat Valaika's ownership is at an anemic 1.0 percent in ESPN leagues. After all, a utility man, in Colorado, hitting .214 when coming off the bench? That's not exactly a stellar resume. That said, Valaika is now the starting shortstop, since Trevor Story is on the 10-day DL due to a strained left shoulder with no timetable for his return. In starts, Valaika is batting .296, including a two-HR Sunday. "It's unfortunate for Trevor. But to be able to be in there every day with consistent at-bats is nice," Valaika said.

Detroit Tigers: It took a while for a save situation to arise, but when it finally did on Saturday, Justin Wilson made quick work of the Angels, striking out the side to close out a 4-3 win. Wilson had supplanted Francisco Rodriguez as closer earlier in the week, but had yet to pitch since inheriting the job. "I really didn't have a whole lot of time to think," Wilson said. "That's probably a good thing. It kind of kept the nerves at bay, because I was just worried about getting loose and getting ready to go out there." One down, and probably many more to go. I'm not expecting K-Rod to get this job back.

Houston Astros: Few hitters are as hot right now as George Springer. The outfielder is in the midst of a 13-game hitting streak during which he's hit .333 with a .953 OPS. While not nearly as impressive as the 14-game streak he had in 2015 (.458/1.221), Springer is tied for 11th in ESPN points league scoring among outfielders over the last 15 days. He'll now head to Miami, where the Marlins are expected to throw three right-handed pitchers against Houston. A right-handed hitter, Springer is batting .284 vs. righties and just .205 against lefties.

Kansas City Royals: After missing all of April with a strained oblique muscle, Jorge Soler started May in an 0-for-12 funk. Since then, he's batting only .250 (4-for-16), but three of those hits have been for extra bases, including Sunday's estimated 464-foot blast. "I don't think I've seen a ball hit harder than that in this park," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It was on a dead line over the center-field wall. It was smoked." Soler is owned in only 5.1 percent of ESPN leagues, but if his power is on full display going forward, that number is sure to rise.

Los Angeles Angels: Timing is everything. Just when it looked as if Yunel Escobar was getting hot -- a .306 batting average with three home runs in his last nine starts -- he goes down with a strained hamstring. He is expected to miss from two to four weeks. With first baseman C.J. Cron back from the disabled list on Sunday, Luis Valbuena can move over to third base to handle the hot corner. However, it remains unclear as to who will be the team's leadoff batter. Stay tuned.

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers' rotation is getting healthier, with Brandon McCarthy (shoulder dislocation) and Rich Hill (blister) ready to be activated from the disabled list to start for the team on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. With Clayton Kershaw being Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood at 4-0 with a 2.21 ERA, Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-5, 4.99 ERA) could be pitching for his starting job when he takes the mound either Wednesday or Thursday.

Miami Marlins: Last week, the Marlins placed starter Wei-Yin Chen on the 10-day DL with left arm fatigue. At the time, there was optimism that rest would cure what was ailing the pitcher. Now, manager Don Mattingly seems a bit more concerned: "At this point, you feel like you really can't count on him at any time in the near future. Obviously, this is turning into more than we thought it was going to be." Chen may get a second opinion this week, and surgery could be in his future.

Milwaukee Brewers: Travis Shaw, in the middle of a seven-game hitting streak during which he's hit .357 with two home runs and eight RBIs, had to leave Sunday's game after jamming his right index finger in the field. Early reports seem to indicate that nothing is broken, but Shaw should still be considered day-to-day. If he has to miss time, Hernan Perez would likely fill in at third base, with Nick Franklin potentially getting some starts in the outfield.

Minnesota Twins: After starting the season 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in Triple-A, there was little left for Jose Berrios to prove at the minor league level. Berrios continued his momentum Saturday in his 2017 Twins debut, pitching into the eighth inning and allowing just one run on two hits in a 4-1 win over Cleveland. "[It was impressive] for him to come up and just kind of blend right in and give us the outing he did," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. Before Berrios' next start, expect his ownership to rise well above his current 24 percent.

New York Mets: The Mets, already with nine players on the disabled list, may be adding Asdrubal Cabrera to the collection of walking wounded. Cabrera is dealing with a sore and swollen left thumb and was told there was a tear. The shortstop still wants to wait out the injury and try to play through it, but that might not be possible. With Amed Rosario batting .359 at Triple-A, it's hard to understand why New York hasn't promoted the prospect to see what he can offer the struggling club.

New York Yankees: Although the MRI shows no structural damage, Aroldis Chapman is still expected to miss around a month of action due to inflammation in his left shoulder. Dellin Betances will take over as closer for the Yankees, who shouldn't really miss a beat with this change. Betances has a better ERA (0.75), WHIP (1.33) and K/9 (16.5) than Chapman so far this season. All he needed to be considered an elite fantasy reliever were the saves.

Oakland Athletics: Sean Manaea will return to action Monday, starting for the first time since going on the disabled list April 27 with a strained left shoulder. Manaea had a 10.5 K/9 rate prior to his last start, which lasted just two innings due to the injury. Manaea says he feels "as good as I've felt all year." Catcher Josh Phegley is also back for the A's after sitting for a week due to a concussion, though he has yet to start.

Philadelphia Phillies: Jeremy Hellickson is the winningest pitcher on the 2017 Phillies, with a 4-1 record and a 3.71 ERA. He's also the only pitcher in his 30s in the team's rotation, which makes him a prime candidate to be traded for prospects. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that "Phillies personnel have made it known they'll listen on Hellickson in trade talks." But given the relative youth of the team's staff, perhaps a contract extension would make more sense. In any event, while he's far from flashy, ranked No. 39 on the ESPN Player Rater, Hellickson should probably be owned more than his current 53.4 percent.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Gregory Polanco was 11-for-33 (.333) in his last 10 games, but he may not play for at least a few days after left hamstring discomfort forced him off the field Sunday. "I don't know. I have to see when I wake up tomorrow how I feel," Polanco said. "I'll talk to the trainers. Hopefully it'll feel better because right now I'm feeling a lot better in the box." The silver lining is that Adam Frazier (hamstring) came off the disabled list earlier this week and is 4-for-11 since his return, so the outfield won't be too short-handed.

St. Louis Cardinals: Dexter Fowler got Sunday off and Magneuris Sierra started instead. Sierra (.375) has hit safely in all six of his starts since being recalled from the minors, and the Cardinals have won all of those games. With manager Mike Matheny saying that Fowler is still far from 100 percent -- "His throwing shoulder is still not quite right." -- Sierra may see more action in the coming week. However, Fowler may attempt to give it a go on Tuesday.

San Diego Padres: With Travis Jankowski (foot) and Alex Dickerson (back) both out for an unknown length of time, the Padres dealt for Matt Szczur of the Cubs to help out in the outfield. After a 5-for-13 start, Szczur is hitless in his last seven at-bats. However, as Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune points out, "(Szczur's) ability to handle all three outfield positions means the Padres can afford to give rookies Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe more rest. That is something they would welcome." Lin says the team does not want either young outfielder to reach 600 at-bats this season, and they both would at their current pace.

San Francisco Giants: Hunter Pence has not been having a good May. Not only has he managed to post only a .190 batting average (with 11 K's) in 42 at-bats, but now he may be headed for the 10-day DL. Pence has been dealing with a left hamstring strain and, for now, is only available to pinch-hit. Manager Bruce Bochy did not seem pleased with his veteran: "Hunter is one of those guys who comes in and says, 'I feel great. I'm ready to go.'... But we've lost a little trust in him when he says he's ready to go. It's up to me to adjust his playing time." Justin Ruggiano has started the last three games in right field and will likely stay there until Pence is ready to return to action.

Seattle Mariners: Robinson Cano has missed the last four Mariners games with a strained right quad. While Taylor Motter handled second base over the weekend, Seattle is itching for Cano to return. That may be as early as today, now that the team is back home for a full seven-game week of action. Cano's bat was hot before the injury; he has a .438 batting average in eight May games, with four home runs and 10 RBIs.

Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays have finally seen enough of Blake Snell (4.71 ERA) for now. Winless in eight starts, Snell's six runs allowed against the Red Sox on Saturday was the last straw. He has been sent to Triple-A Durham. The team is hoping the left-hander will be able work on his fastball command in a lower-pressure environment. Erasmo Ramirez (2-0, 2.92 ERA) is the likeliest candidate to take Snell's spot in the rotation.

Texas Rangers: Don't be stunned if the Rangers announce later today that Carlos Gomez is headed to the 10-day DL. The veteran outfielder left Sunday's game after experiencing discomfort in his right hamstring. With Shin-Soo Choo also dealing with some lower back stiffness, expect Ryan Rua to get a lot of playing time this week, with a call-up from Triple-A (Jurickson Profar or Drew Robinson, perhaps?) also getting some at-bats.

Toronto Blue Jays: Devon Travis is hitting .268 so far in May, and while that may not be anything to salivate over, considering his .130 April batting average, it's tremendous. Manager John Gibbons has certainly noticed: "He's started to come to life. He's throwing enough hits out there to keep his head above water ... and he's started to drive the ball better." With Troy Tulowitzki's return from the disabled list on the horizon, Toronto will have one infielder too many with Tulo, Travis, Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins. Having Gibbons' confidence should be enough to allow Travis to keep his job for now.

Washington Nationals: Bryce Harper went 6-for-12 with a pair of home runs and five RBIs over the weekend in Philadelphia, as if to quiet any naysayers who might be skeptical of the $21 million-plus contract he signed Saturday to remain with the Nationals for 2018. "Nobody can say he ain't worth the money," manager Dusty Baker said after Harper hit a walk-off blast Saturday night. Harper ranks second behind only Paul Goldschmidt on the ESPN Player Rater, and with no chance of contract talks becoming a distraction, there's no reason he won't stay in that lofty territory all season long.