The long baseball season tends to take a toll on bodies, but with just a handful of weeks remaining, there is hope to be had for those looking to replace injured players. Alternatively, some owners may be looking to scoop up a currently injured player to make a push in the final weeks. Every player listed has sub-50 percent ownership in Yahoo! formats — so maybe they’re available in your league. As always, for more injury news, Jeff Zimmerman’s MASH Report is excellent.
Matt Adams, 30 percent owned
Count me among those surprised to see Adams expected to play again this season. After experiencing a tear of his right quad, Jenifer Langosch reports Adams seems set to return to action around the first of September. I’d expect his playing time to come at the expense of Brandon Moss, as both are left-handed hitters, though Moss owners may not see a dip in his plate appearances as he can shift to the outfield.
Joe Panik, 41 percent owned
Currently on the 15-day disabled list due to lower back inflammation, he could be back in action as soon as September 3 for a series against the Rockies. If Panik is activated for the Rockies series, he’d have a full month of playing time for you. He’s hit almost exclusively from the No. 2 spot in the solid Giants lineup, so make sure to pick him up where available.
Steven Souza, 32 percent owned
My fondness of Souza is well known, so of course I had to mention him here. My pre-season 20-20 candidate pick, Souza’s season was sidelined after he broke his left hand thanks to a Joe Kelly pitch that tailed in, Souza should be back in a week or two. His 35.1 percent strikeout rate is tough to stomach in the rate stats department, but his 15 home runs and 10 steals are helpful. As with wrist injuries, broken hands worry me with power hitters, though the Rays opposing pitcher schedule isn’t too bad for him, squaring off against the relatively unintimidating rotations of the Orioles, Red Sox and Yankees a combined 19 times in the final weeks.
Marcus Stroman, 11 percent owned
Similar to Adams, I’m pleasantly surprised to see Stroman likely to play this season. When he underwent knee surgery back in March, myself and many others basically wrote off this season. Stroman and the Blue Jays clearly had other plans as he’s been aggressively rehabbing, with a likely September payoff for the effort. His minor league rehabbing has been geared towards starting over relieving, and despite the acquisition of David Price, the Jays do need help in the rotation. Stroman is expected to toss a simulated game on Saturday, and I’ll be picking him after his outing, assuming it goes well.
Steven Matz, 43 percent owned
A partial lat tear has kept Matz on the DL for six weeks now, however he is excepted to make his third rehab start overall and first at Double-A Binghamton today. If he doesn’t hit a setback, I’ll be looking to see him in the Mets rotation probably around the first of the month. Our own Eno Sarris speculated on the Mets going to a six man rotation, something I agree would make sense.
Rick Porcello, 27 percent owned
He’s making today’s start against the White Sox, so he’s not technically still injured, but I’m counting it because he was on the DL when I wrote this. Like Billy Beane in Moneyball, I’m a believer in the power of the ground ball. That said, Porcello’s 43.2 percent GB% is the lowest of his major league career. He’s relied on the four-seamer at a 30.68 percent clip (his highest rate) and his sinker at the second lowest frequency, a mere 34.34 percent thus far. Porcello has managed to post a higher swinging-strike rate and strikeout than his career average, so hopefully he can find a balance of generating whiffs and ground balls going forward.
You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.