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Fantasy Baseball Injuries and Consequences

There are nearly 20 of fantasy baseball’s top 200 players from the start of the season currently sitting on the 15-day disabled list. What’s the latest on the injury status of your players, and when will they be back on the field to save your season?

  • Alfonso Soriano, OF, Chicago Cubs: Sori insists that his injury was not caused by the unnecessary hop he performs before making routine catches in the outfield. Now he will miss action until the first week of May. Statistically, Fonzo is a traditionally slow starter, so if you were waiting for an excuse to bench him and play a more productive early season outfielder like Raul Ibanez, now you have one.
  • Curtis Granderson and Dontrelle Willis, Detroit Tigers: Granderson looks closer to returning from the broken finger injury that has caused him to sit out the entire season to this point after a pain-free batting practice on Tuesday. He could start a rehab assignment by Friday. The D-Train has been derailed since this past weekend with a hyperextended right knee, and the Tigers are in no hurry to rush him back. This is good news for fantasy owners, because Willis has been an overrated pitcher for most of the past two seasons. Cutting ties with him and picking up one of the hott pitchers on the Royals could be a good idea for all fantasy D-Train riders.
  • Shane Victorino, OF, Philadelphia Phillies: The Flyin’ Hawaiian’s injured calf is less severe than originally thought, and Victorino has already taking batting practice with the Phillies. His rehab assignment will begin next week, and he should be able to return April 29 against the San Diego Padres.
  • Mike Lowell, 3B, Boston Red Sox: On the DL since April 10 with a sprained left thumb, Lowell still has the finger in a splint and hopes to be able to start movement exercises in a few days. He is not swinging a bat, however, and still seems to be at least a week or two from returning.
  • Erik Bedard and J.J. Putz, Seattle Mariners: Bedard’s hip injury will likely nag him on and off during the season, but he is on pace to return from the DL and make his first scheduled start April 24, the first day he is eligible to come off the DL. Putz can come off the DL today, but won’t. He will be pitching a simulated game Saturday and could return next week when the Mariners get back from their current road trip.
  • John Lackey, SP, Anaheim Angels: Lackey is working his way back to form after throwing against batters for the first time since going on the DL in late March with a strain in his right triceps. He is scheduled to pitch a simulated game Saturday and then should begin a minor league rehab assignment next week.
  • Scott Kazmir, SP, Tampa Bay Rays: Kaz is expected to return to the Rays lineup on May 3, assuming his three scheduled minor league rehab starts go to plan and there are no setbacks.
  • Pedro Martinez, SP, New York Mets: Pedro wants to be back in the Mets rotation by the end of the month, which is in contradiction to GM Omar Minaya’s prediction that he would be back in late May or June. He will return to the US on Wednesday and the Mets will know more about his status then.
  • Rafael Soriano, Closer, Atlanta Braves: The other Soriano is making progress on his right elbow tendinitis and seems confident he will come off the DL April 22 after recently throwing on flat ground.
  • Joe Borowski, Closer, Cleveland Indians: After pitching for a month with the same triceps strain that finally sidelined him April 15, Borowski will miss up to four weeks. Rafael Betancourt should be on the radar of all Borowski owners.
  • Rich Harden, SP, Oakland Athletics: File this one under the category “Annual April Injury News.” Harden found his yearly spot on the DL after his April 3 start, and hasn’t begun throwing yet. Of course, the A’s don’t want to rush him back (they never do with Harden). With no timetable for a return to throwing, it’s awfully tough to project when Harden will be back in the A’s rotation. When will they move this guy to the bullpen or trade him to a team that needs a closer?
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