If you follow me on Twitter or have ever played around with the Data Monster, chances are you’ve come across the Prospect Model before. Back at the end of 2019, I began working on a model to help me better understand and project the hundreds of minor league baseball players. I found myself joining a 30 team dynasty league where I drafted a terrible team. As a result, I found myself scraping the wire trying to find any player who may have the upside to eventually help my team win. Like many other things in my life, this led me to math and to building a model. However, I wanted to make my model a little bit different than all of the others, I wanted it to focus specifically on future fantasy value.
Finding A Sample
The first step of any model-building process is identifying the number you want to predict and then a sample surrounding it. For my purposes, I wanted to focus strictly on future fantasy value. For me, that meant SGP or standings gain points. For those who do not know what I am referring to, SGP is a measure that takes into account the inherent value of each statistical category, as in how many Runs Scored are equal to 1 HR or 1 SB? This then allows you to build one single number of each player’s value over a given season.
To determine my SGP coefficients, I used the 2018 Rotowire OC leagues as a base. These are 12 team leagues run by NFBC and due to the number of leagues that exist, it allowed me to get a solid baseline and a representative sample to determine value. Then I went and downloaded the career data of all players in the 20 or so seasons (with more than 600 PAs) from Fangraphs and scaled it to 600 PAs. I scaled it because I wanted to take every player into effect and didn’t want to overweight players with long careers, I wanted to also account for players who had the fantasy value, but might not have gotten the MLB PAs to make it work.
There were a few small changes that needed to be made to some numbers. Mainly steals. I developed a way to account for the league-wide trend away from SBs so that I was not overvaluing early 2000’s seasons with big steals totals that we would never see today.
What Leads to Success
Now that we have built a representative sample, I wanted to see how each of those players performed at various levels in the minors. I went to FanGraphs again and downloaded all minor league seasons going back to 2007. This gave me a series of metrics both performance-based and underlying to help me compare to current players.
Then for each level, I ran correlations on all of the metrics and a given player’s future fantasy value and determined what actually signals future success or failure. At Single-A certain skills matter more than they do at Triple-A and each level weights different metrics accordingly. Additionally, each level also includes age as a factor as age is a massive factor to consider when seeing how a given player is performing relative to his level.
The next step in the process was actually building and generating the model. For this purpose, I used a concept called Mahalanobis distance. The actual math behind the concept does not matter, but it is a distance calculation that allows me to weigh the different parameters based on their relative value. What does this mean? Let’s say a particular player has a perfect match to Mike Trout in every metric except for K%. If the correlation step indicates that K% at that particular level is a massive indicator of future success, despite the other five metrics being a perfect match to Trout, his overall distance or similarity will be further away than it would be if we used a straight distance formula.
Using this distance formula, I am able to generate a list of the 100 most similar minor league seasons, and weighting those results for the closeness I am able to generate a singular value of a given player at a given level. I can run these for every single player with at least 50 PAs at a given minor league level to determine an overall value. If a given player played at multiple levels, we can then weigh these individual results based on PAs at each level.
So let’s talk a little bit about the output of the model and what that shows in 2021 so far. The model results can be interpreted in three ways, which you can see in the screenshot from the Data Monster below. Here are the top 10 prospects (who have not yet reached the majors) thus far by Elite Rate.
Value – This is the pure weighted result of the model. This tends to favor prospects who are closer to the majors as they have a lower rate of never making it to the majors
Adjusted Value – This value takes the given level into account. It is essentially a measure of how much better a given prospect is compared to the average prospect at their level. So getting a Value of 5 in Double-A is better than a value of 5 at Triple-A
Elite Rate – This is the percentage of a given prospect’s weighted outcomes that fall under “Elite”. This means the percentage of weighted outcomes for a given prospect that are greater than 11, which is approximately a 90th percentile MLB outcome
This chart above is the crux of the model output and within the Data Monster, you can sort by these columns and search for a particular player. Additionally, there is a filter to show only the prospects who have yet to debut or all players who had at least 50 PAs at a given level.
Range Of Outcomes/Prospect Compare
However, in my opinion, the most valuable aspect of the model and all of the artifacts it produces is the comparison chart. For example, let’s compare two of the Rays’ best prospects: Wander Franco and Vidal Brujan at the Triple-A level.
Here we can see the weighted distribution of the range of outcomes for these two future superstars. As you can see around the middle sections of the chart, Brujan seems to have a greater chance of middle-range production than Wander, but as you move towards the right-hand side, you start to see Wander outperforming Brujan in certain spots. To better highlight these items there is a filter within the Data Monster that allows you to only see the non-zero outcomes for a given player.
Some quick final thoughts before wrapping this piece up completely. This takes into account strictly 2021 data. I will be working to include previous seasons in my analysis but for now, it looks only at a singular season. Additionally, this is a pure stat-line scouting endeavor. The model does not know anything about these players beyond their actual stats. Therefore it will miss on prospects who show flashes or have great potential and may overvalue players who are more advanced than their counterparts, but lack projection. Additionally, this works strictly for hitters. A pitching model is in my plans, but I have not had the time to really dive into one. I am always working to make minor improvements and have a few other features, like a list of the player comps, adding in OBP instead of pure average, and other model-based tweaks. Due to the nature of the model, I’ll be updating the Data Monster with this every Friday morning as opposed to daily. Like always please do not hesitate to reach out on Twitter with any questions you may have.
Here is a prospect question that applies to those of us who play in redraft, keeper, and dynasty leagues: Which rookie pitcher will be the most valuable fantasy player in 2021?
The triumvirate of Ian Anderson, Trevor Rogers, and Casey Mize continue to hold onto the top three rungs of the ladder. Injuries to Sixto Sanchez, Michael Kopech, and Adbert Alzolay have opened the door to some new guys starting to climb. All that and more in this week’s update!
Brent Honeywell Jr.
News and Notes
Ian Anderson has labored through two starts since our last update, only pitching a combined 8.1 innings between the two starts. He had trouble locating his stuff each time, leading to a poor strike% and requiring him to throw a lot of pitches to get outs (87 and 98 pitches thrown over the last two appearances). Still, I don’t think there’s a reason to push him off the top spot on the ladder. We might just need to recalibrate expectations to that of a 3.50 ERA pitcher from that of a 3.25 ERA pitcher moving forward.
If you’re a Trevor Rogers owner you’re dancing so far this season. He put up two quality starts since our last update. Just monitor his fastball velocity chart as the season wears on, as he’s had two lower velocity blips over his last three outings:
Casey Mize has posted quality starts in each of his last two outings and eight consecutive above average game scores. His strikeout stuff hasn’t been all that we’ve hoped for (yet), but I think that could improve as he works on harnessing his arsenal.
Since the last update Sixto Sanchez was shut down from throwing, and then started throwing off flat ground again. The team is probably going to continue to be cautious with him moving forward, meaning he’s holding little to no value as a redraft stash at this point. He’s sliding way down the list this week.
Michael Kopech is on the IL with a hamstring injury, but it sounds like he’s making good progress toward returning in the next week or two. No need to press the panic button with him.
Dane Dunning bounced back from a rough outing on May 26 to post two consecutive game scores above 50. He should continue eating innings in a back-end rotation role for your fantasy squad.
Adbert Alzolay was lifted from his last start and placed on the IL with a blister.
Tarik Skubal looked pretty strong in his last outing against a White Sox offense that usually chews up left-handers. He punched out eleven hitters during five innings of work. His four-seam fastball was touching 97 and working up in the zone. His slider and knuckle curve presented hitters with two distinct breaking ball shapes to change eye levels. And his changeup came in at 83 mph to keep hitters off-balance. He’s sliding above the injured Alzolay this week. If he keeps it up, he will be above Dunning in the next update.
Tarik Skubal sets a career-high with 11 strikeouts.👏
Cody Poteet is off to the IL with a knee injury. The team is calling it a sprain, so hopefully he won’t miss too much time.
Nate Pearson has been way better than his 7.24 Triple-A ERA would suggest. He’s been BABIPd to death (.440), but his K-BB% is an elite 32.8%. I think he’s the next SP up for Toronto in case of emergency.
Garrett Crochet has a career 0.37 ERA in 24.1 innings. The White Sox will still probably try to move him to the rotation, but he’s already an effective bullpen weapon.
Luis Patino is back from the IL, but has been sent to Triple-A Durham to stretch out into a more traditional starter’s role.
Sam Hentges had a rough start on May 30 and then an even rougher (1.2 innings, 5 ER) relief appearance on June 6. The Cleveland rotation is kind of taking on water at this point, so Hentges could still be in the mix for starts in the short run. Long term, I still think he’s probably best as a relief option.
Spencer Howard is being used in short bursts as the Phillies remain committed to keeping his innings down this year. Don’t expect much fantasy production from him until 2022.
Logan Gilbert shook off some of the rookie dust since the last update. He posted game scores of 62 and 55 in his last two outings. I moved him irrationally low in the last update, he’s swinging back up into the Top-10 of the ladder for this update.
Alek Manoah has basically given us the rookie rollercoaster. The first outing was good and gave us a glimpse of a future front line starter, the second outing was a total dud, and the third outing was a middling performance that we should expect from him for the remainder of the season. Pearson has better stuff, but Manoah is probably the steadier option for the Blue Jays rotation at the moment.
Dean Kremer got optioned back down to Triple-A Norfolk.
Chris Rodriguez avoided a long IL stint and is back in the Angels bullpen.
Eli Morgan – RHP – Cleveland Indians
As I noted earlier, the Cleveland rotation is kind of taking on water at this point. The team called up Eli Morgan on May 28 to help plug a hole before optioning him back down to Triple-A. However, a quick look at the club’s Roster Resource page shows upcoming rotation holes against the Mariners on Saturday and the Orioles on Tuesday. Morgan made a Triple-A start (3.2 innings) on Tuesday June 8.
Morgan played his college ball at Gonzaga. He’s never been a high-pedigree prospect, and relies on command, control, and pitchability to get things done. He’s effective in that role, however, posting a 3.16 ERA over 336.1 innings at the minor league level. He’s fantasy irrelevant for all but very deep dynasty players right now, but if he can lock down a rotation role then he could become a possibly streaming option depending on the matchup.
#Indians 25yr old RHP prospect Eli Morgan was dealing last night for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. Video of 5 of his 6 strikeouts vs the Mud Hens.
The Royals are seemingly hell-bent on breaking in all their promising young pitchers at the MLB level this season. The latest call-up was RHP Jackson Kowar. Kowar was part of the Royals’ pitching-focused 2018 draft, where the team took him alongside Brady Singer, Daniel Lynch, and Kris Bubic. He blew up like a bargain-basement M-80 in his debut (current ERA 54.00). However, he is scheduled to get another start this Saturday against Oakland.
I’ve prefered Kowar to fellow Royals’ draft-mates Lynch and Bubic since their professional debuts. His fastball-changeup combo should work at the professional level, as I believe the changeup can be used as a true out pitch against MLB hitters. His weakness has always been the breaking ball, which he will need to make himself into something more than a back-end rotation piece going forward. He seems to have the feel for spinning a breaker. The problem is his command and feel for the pitch wanes. The team seems to be confident enough in his abilities to let him try and figure that part out at the highest level. If he can, then there’s still big upside potential here.
One of my favorite things about Jackson Kowar is that he’s not going to have too many issues against LHH. His changeup is a great equalizer.
He doesn’t even throw it here against one of Cleveland’s best prospects, Nolan Jones. Curveball looks fantastic. Using his fastball well. pic.twitter.com/encnih65S2
And then there’s THIS guy. He made his MLB debut in a bulk relief role for the Giants on June 8 and looked just fantastic. The fact that he made it to the Show is a testament to his mental fortitude. Long was released by both the Rays and White Sox before joining the Giants organization. He’s been supremely good at both Double-A and Triple-A in 2021, earning the call up to San Francisco this week.
Long looked electric in his MLB debut. He went 4.0 innings in a bulk relief role, striking out seven batters and inducing 10 swinging strikes. His fastball touched 98 mph and he dotted it around the zone. His curveball generated some particularly uncomfortable swings, leading to a 37.5% whiff rate for the pitch in the outing. He also sprinkled in a changeup, sinker, and slider, giving him the potential for a starter’s repertoire. I think he’s probably going to stick at the MLB level given his stuff, and there’s even a decent chance he gets the opportunity to start the next time the rotation swings around to the ‘bullpen game’ spot.
In this week’s GPS Location Report we are going to take a slightly different approach. Recently, Matt Williams approached me asking if it would be possible to track some of the Data Monster metrics on a game-by-game basis. As we all know pitchers can evolve mightily over the course of a season and he was wondering if we would be able to build a tool to help track that. So I decided this week to build a proof of concept of sorts to see if there are some interesting trends that we can parse out of the data.
In order to do this, I decided to take a look at one of the hottest pitchers in baseball over the last month, Tarik Skubal. If you go by season-long numbers, you’ll be mightily disappointed by Skubal. However, the young left-hander has been absolutely dominant in his last four starts. He has posted a K% over 30% in his last four starts and has also hit that number in five of his last six. He has allowed five earned runs in 21 innings in that same span. Quite frankly he has taken a massive step forward. So the question is, have any of his underlying Data Monster numbers changed as well?
When you look at Skubal’s numbers on a game-by-game basis, one big trend jumps out, his SwStr% is up.
As you can see outside of a random spike early in the season, his last four starts have easily been his best with an SwStr% well above his season average. This has been a huge reason for his success and has led to a massive jump in his strikeouts. So what exactly is causing this jump? Pitch mix change, stuff improvement, or pitch locations?
Looking at his 2021 pitch mix chart, we don’t see any major changes in his profile recently. His fastball percentage is dropping but instead of offsetting that with more breaking/offspeed pitches, he seems to replace some four-seamers with sinkers. So nows let’s see if there’s a change in “Stuff” mainly by looking at his vertical movement charts.
Again, looking at this we don’t really see anything beyond the normal variation for a pitcher showing that this has held fairly steady. So this leaves us with one final explanation for the improvement, location.
If you look at the chart above which plots his location-based xWhiff by game, you’ll see that it generally follows the trends of his actual SwStr%. Early in the season, Skubal saw a big spike, and then over the last four games, he has been above his overall average. This leads me to believe that the recent success that Skubal has had, has been due to improvements in his ability to locate for whiffs. While the overall shape of the pitches has not changed, the execution has been much better helping to lead him to a big jump in K% and overall success. In terms of the underlying results, the xWhiff difference is not much, however, locating pitches better can also cause a particular pitch to “play up” and can allow it to be even more successful. This will be the key with Skubal, can he continue to locate better than previous starts in order to generate more and more whiffs.
Based on this simple proof of concept I think there’s a ton of value in a game log type of catalog and as a result, the ability to generate graphs like these will be added to the Data Monster shortly.
Let’s lead off this week of “Closing Remarks” with some excellent reader questions from the Twitterverse. I am excited that people have these questions and will start each week by answering them to the best of my limited ability.
Which closers are most likely to be traded at the deadline? Matt @SonofMarlinsMan
Hey @SonofMarlinsMan, the most obvious candidate is Richard Rodriguez from Pittsburgh. That said, I would be surprised if a contending team acquired him to use in the closer role; he’s likely better-suited to a setup role. But there are a host of other guys who could move depending on their team’s fortunes in the coming month: Greg Holland, Ian Kennedy, Hansel Robles, maybe Daniel Bard if he rights the ship. If Washington doesn’t get moving, Brad Hand could be on his way out the door too.
How do you rank the guys in KC? Holland is getting the saves, but Zimmer and Barlow have better stuff? @mattmaison
What a nightmare this bullpen has become. We hear that Josh Staumont threw at the end of the week, testing his sore knee, and could be activated as early as today. Should that happen, it seems clear that Staumont would be the closer. But to your point, the issue for me with the current incarnation of the KC bullpen is that Greg Holland does not profile well as a seventh or eighth inning guy based on his stuff. Keep in mind also that many managers love closers with experience in the job regardless of the skill level of other arms in the bullpen. Your point is correct: both Zimmer and Barlow have better arms than Holland, but both can be used in multiple roles too, which adds to the murkiness of this bullpen. Forced to choose, I would go Staumont/Holland/Barlow/Zimmer. I would not be surprised if that changes; I would also not be surprised to see Zimmer being used as a popular multiple inning weapon as the season wears on.
I’m in a H + S league. Any minor league arms that you expect to make an impact soon in those categories? @dapscout
Always a good question. Who could make an impact in the next wave of closers and setup guys? I will admit I am not your best resource on prospects, and will tag @pmamminofantasy and @MPRichards1981 to ask for their help. Guys please chime in here. I have mentioned Andres Munoz in Seattle as a guy I love, and also DeMarcus Evans in Texas. I know he’s not a minor league arm, but Brusdar Graterol will get an advanced role with health in Los Angeles. Matt Cronin is a name I have earmarked in Washington.
Struggling with finding solid, consistent hold guys. @inthedugout
Hey @inthedugout, I feel your pain. It’s hard to project holds in many pens after you get past the usual subjects. As always, I feel this depends on league context and depth of the league. How deep are we talking here? I am guessing the leaders in the category, guys like Andrew Chafin, Adam Ottavino, Blake Treinen and Victor Gonzalez are stashed on rosters. Some could be flying under the radar in your leagues though: Genesis Cabrera quietly has 10 holds, Devin Williams has eight, Codi Heuer has eight as well. Other targets: Sam Howard, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Jeffrey Springs and Pete Fairbanks in Tampa. The thing for me is, I try to look at winning teams to maximize my opportunity to cull holds. Good luck and DM me if you have more specific questions.
As the world turns to another week, we are back here at “Closing Remarks” taking a look at each bullpen situation. Things seem to be stabilizing in some of the pens we have been watching for weeks. One thing is for sure: things will always be changing, sometimes subtly, and we will monitor each situation to give you the most current information we can give you as you set rosters for the coming week. Happy summer!
The following is a list of relief pitchers who earned their first saves this week: Aaron Bummer, Cole Sulser, Chris Stratton, Michael Feliz, Connor Brogdon and Jose Cisnero. That brings the total number of pitchers who have saved games to 108 on June 6th.
Mastery: the best. Nothing else to be learned here. Move forward with confidence.
Distinguished: just a notch below mastery, excellent work, but still some room for improvement.
Proficient: is average. Think of this as a solid “C” on your term paper.
Marginal: poorly constructed, issues with organization, and unclear what is happening.
Unacceptable: failure due to lack of planning or execution.
Boston Red Sox: Matt Barnes continues to be terrific. We were not sure he would have the job by now, yet he has 14 saves and a whopping 50.6 K%. Run with it. He has shaved his walk percentage down under 6%, and it looks good on him.
New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman is the guy here and will be until he loses his fastball and slier, neither of which appear to be happening. Four wins, 12 saves, and an eye-popping 51.9 K%, with 42 Ks in 22 innings. Staggering. Use without reservations.
Tampa Bay Rays: Is it J.P. Feyereisen? Is it Diego Castillo? Is it someone else that no one wanted coming in from the streets? It doesn’t matter who closes in Tampa Bay; they get the job done. What a fun and remarkable team they are at 37-23 and in first place in the AL East. Castillo got his ninth save Saturday night. Who knows? Both will likely continue to get chances and don’t count Pete Fairbanks out of the mix either. While a boon for the Rays, it’s a headache for us. I think Castillo is by far the best arm in their pen, but we all know how this plays out…
Chicago White Sox: We knew Liam Hendriks would round into shape, and he was named AL Reliever of the Month for May. He has 14 saves and two wins for the Sox, and 38 Ks in 23.1 innings. A key for him is avoiding walks, and his BB% is 3.3 right now, putting him in the top 2% of the league. It’s safe to say that those who invested heavily have gotten a workhorse. That being said, Aaron Bummer did earn a save this week on a night when Hendriks was unavailable due to heavy usage, which is a situation to monitor on the South Side.
Cleveland Indians: This is one of the most heavily monitored bullpens in baseball. It’s been interesting to say the least. James Karinchak earned his seventh save in an uneven outing against the White Sox last week, and has been shaky over the last two weeks. Walks have quietly become a bugaboo for him, with 11 in his last 14.1 innings. That is something to watch and may limit his ninth inning usage. The K numbers are video game worthy; 44 in 25 innings. Emmanuel Clase has nine saves and has been steadier, but did not get a save opportunity this week. No matter, this is a bullpen with two stalwart options, especially in deep leagues.
Houston Astros: Ryan Pressly quietly has become one of the most consistent closers in the game. It’s quiet because his save numbers are lower; he only has eight so far this year but I expect that number to climb. The BB% is a paltry 4.3 and the peripherals are very good as well. If a manager has soured on him because of the lower save totals, pounce on him.
Texas Rangers: I admit to having taken a flyer on Kennedy in some deep leagues, but my expectations were far lower; I hoped for 5-6 saves and ratios that wouldn’t sink me. Was I wrong. Kennedy thus far: 12 saves, a 2.53 ERA, 29.8 K%. That will play well in most fantasy league bullpens. Tip of the cap to Kennedy.
Milwaukee Brewers: Most of the superlatives we could use for Josh Hader have already been circulated here. He’s just ridiculous with 14 saves while adding in three wins, ERA and WHIPS of .76, and 41 Ks in 23. 2 innings. He continues to be one of the best weapons in baseball.
Chicago Cubs: Craig Kimbrel continues to roll on the North Side. He has 13 saves and 39 punch-outs in 23 innings, and he’s controlling his ERA and WHIP too. Those of you who drafted for this rebound, good for you. Let’s hope he keeps it going.
St. Louis Cardinals: Alex Reyes is second in MLB with 16 saves. He only pitched once this week but converted a save. I am a little concerned with the recent injuries in the St. Louis rotation and how this may impact Reyes moving forward, as in, will he continue to get many opportunities with a makeshift rotation? Stay tuned but use him until we know more. The 40 Ks in 29 innings help, too.
San Diego Padres: What a world we live in! Mark Melancon has 19 saves in the first week of June and shows no signs of slowing down or surrendering the job. What a remarkable year for a guy who wasn’t promised the job in Spring Training. Another option here, Drew Pomeranz, suffered a stet back in his recovery from a lat injury, and is not expected back until the end of June at the earliest. Continue to ride with Melancon. Look at the consistency we crave from Melancon below, although the Ks are not a source of help for us:
Los Angeles Dodgers: So Kenley Jansen is always thought to be slipping, but he has 12 saves and a 1.88 ERA. A deeper diver reveals cracks though: a19.1 BB% is frightening, but he’s only allowed seven hits all season. So he limits the damage but how long can he walk that tightrope in a bullpen stacked with options? Stay tuned but he is the guy. For now. He just keeps getting he job done.
Kansas City Royals: This one is messy. With Josh Staumont on the IL (although perhaps soon to come off it), Greg Holland got the opportunity and converted earlier in the week. The Scott Barlow got a gleaming six-out save on Thursday night. Please recall that Mike Matheny is the manager here, and context matters, which means this will likely be a committee until Staumont is back. Thus, this will be a headache for you.
Oakland Athletics: The Lou Trivino/Jake Diekman debate has been discussed multiple times. Two weeks ago, Diekman got three saves in a week; last week, Trivino got both opportunities and converted both. With the return of Jesus Luzardo to the bullpen, could he become their closer? Also, A.J. Puk is supposedly near a return as well. This appears to be a committee that could become more interesting as fresh arms return; reflect on the fact that this bullpen has been used more than others.
New York Mets: It’s Edwin Diaz and will be, but there has been some shuffling of the chairs behind him. Trevor May has looked fatigued, leading to opportunities for Miguel Castro and Jeurys Familia. Also, be reminded that Seth Lugo is back, and that he could wrestle a significant role in this bullpen before too long if he proves healthy.
Washington Nationals: Brad Hand is steady and never spectacular, but has 10 saves on the year and seems to be right again after a tough end of May. Tanner Rainey was activated off the IL but was ineffective, continuing a troubling trend, so look for Daniel Hudson to be the next in line and at the very least get holds.
Miami Marlins: Yimi Garcia was great to start the year, but the shine has dimmed on him. While he does have nine saves, he also has four losses. If you haven’t moved on yet, it may be time depending on your options. Anthony Bass lurks as an option, as does Dylan Floro, who got a save last week. Watch this one.
Baltimore Orioles: Did you pick Paul Fry as the closer? He may be now although this could get murky quickly with committee work. Hunter Harvey returned this week from the IL, and do not be surprised is he gets a smattering of chances as we move along here. Tanner Scott has the most arm talent in the pen. And then, we get Cole Sulser with a save this week. Ready to pull out what is left of your hair? Egads! I would go with Fry right now based on what we are seeing but keep in mind this one is likely to stay in flux. Hey, remember Cesar Valdez? The dead fish changeup is being tuned up to a 5.16 ERA. While you may have interest in Fry, keep in mind the Orioles just lost 14 straight. Fry is getting it done. See below:
Toronto Blue Jays: It’s Jordan Romano. In May he was 2-0 and three saves, and he is the best option even as Rafael Dolis and Tyler Chatwood seemingly lurk behind him.
Atlanta Braves: Will Smith has 10 saves but a 4.09 ERA. But here’s the thing: his xERA is 2.73, and he’s had some touch luck that appears to be normalizing for him now. Could be worth an add if some impatient owner has dropped him or wants to move him cheaply. The 34.4 K% also speaks to me.
Philadelphia Phillies: The oft-maligned Hector Neris has nine saves for the Phillies. Connor Brogdon, often mentioned as a closer-in-waiting, earned his first save Saturday night. Neris was on the paternity list, so do not read too much into it right now. It should continue to be his job.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Richard Rodriguez is likely to be traded before the July deadline, and he’s been good: three wins, seven saves, a 1.85 ERA and .70 WHIP. Chris Stratton picked up a save this week on a three-inning job, so do not read too much into that at this point. The Pirates do have options behind Rodriguez if they do move him: Howard, Bednar, Crick.
Detroit Tigers: Just when it appeared that Michael Fulmer had the job, he went down with arm fatigue. What that means for you is the committee is back for now between Gregory Soto, Bryan Garcia (who seems best suited for a middle relief role) and Jose Cisnero, who closed out the White Sox on Saturday afternoon. I want no part of this unless it is Fulmer, in all honesty. UPDATE: Fulmer went to the IL this morning with a shoulder strain.
Minnesota Twins: It’s a committee between Taylor Rogers and Hansel Robles. Rogers has four saves, Robles has five. Alex Colome could re-emerge down the road, but it’s been a rocky one for him. It would not surprise me if Rogers secured the job at some point, but Robles has saved them (see what I did there) in the last month.
Seattle Mariners: If it’s not Kendall Graveman, I do not have interest. Looks like he is off Covid-19 protocols now, but may need a couple of days to get up to speed again.
Los Angeles Angels: Raisel Iglesias has been pitching with vigor again, he’s got the ERA under 4.00 again, and has converted three spotless saves in a row. Your time to buy low could be closing, so get in on this if you can. Because here’s the thing: he has no real competition in Los Angeles for the job.
San Francisco Giants: We have discussed this here before, and right now, it is Tyler Rogers and his frisbee getting outs in San Fran. Jake McGee has faded into relative obscurity again after a hot start, although he did earn a save last week. Rogers is up to eight now, and depending on your league context, could be worth an add for cheap saves. Look at this interesting Statcast data here:
Cincinnati Reds: Here comes Lucas Sims with two saves this week for the Reds. Tejay Antone has been a revelation but does not appear to be the closer, and Amir Garrett appears to be in the rearview mirror right now. If you have been stashing Sims, use him now if you have a space for him. He has gotten the save opportunity in four of his last five appearances.
Arizona Diamondbacks: I said no last week, and this week, I say it again. If you’re trying to win, just no. Please.
Colorado Rockies: Daniel Bard has been better, but the moribund Rockies are not going to give him many opportunities. I am still not comfortable with this one and won’t use him at this time.
Welcome to the Infirmary Report, a place where all Injury List designations will be listed by team, in an effort to help you organize all of the fantasy relevant injuries that are happening in the world of baseball in 2021. Each week, I’ll be updating the list with the status of players who can help you with your fantasy baseball teams, as well as listing those long term injuries. Here’s hoping that the list of players here doesn’t get too extensive at times, but if it does, here at RotoFanatic we have got you covered.
Kole Calhoun – Hamstring: 60 day-IL (April 27, 2021)
Weekly Update: Calhoun was transferred over to the 60 day-IL over the weekend, and will miss extended time.
Tyler Clippard – Capsule sprain in his right shoulder: 60 day-IL (March 29, 2021)
Original: Clippard said his arm felt weak in his final Spring outing where he didn’t return a batter. His velocity was low and he said that he felt weird. He has since been shut down for six weeks, with a re-evaluation forthcoming. Clippard was going to be a late inning option for holds and some saves, but now his value will have to be waited upon.
Weekly Update: Clippard underwent a small procedure in his knee earlier in the month, and has since continued his throwing program.
Madison Bumgarner – Shoulder inflammation: 10 day-IL (June 3, 2021)
Original: The good news for his IL stint is that it is for inflammation with no structural damage. It’s something that flared up a few weeks ago that Bumgarner thought would go away and that he could work through. It helps explain his decrease in performance as of late. Consider it a short stay on the Injured List unless you hear otherwise.
Zac Gallen – UCL strain: 10 day-IL (May 12, 2021)
Original: Gallen started to feel tightness after pitching in late April, and again after his next two starts, however, in that final start that tightness extended itself towards the elbow, rather than just his forearm. As a precautionary measure, he went for an MRI and the results indicated a minor strain of the UCL. While this normally leads to the dreaded Tommy John surgery, subsequently ending his 2021 and most of 2022 seasons, the Diamondbacks feel that because they discovered this so early, a two week rest period will be the first step in the recovery process to see if it can heal and get better on its own. For now, he will not throw at all and will be re-assessed after those two weeks to see if and how the healing process transpired. For now, though, consider his 2021 season over and begin to plan for post-Gallen life.
Weekly Update: Gallen threw his first bullpen session earlier in the week and attempted another one before the weekend began. While this looks like progress, tread lightly here with Gallen. All signs are pointing to a long term injury here that could require surgery. Still, the Diamondbacks were initially pleased with the diagnosis and were optimistic that he would be fine much sooner than others projected.
Luke Weaver – Shoulder discomfort: 60 day-IL (May 18, 2021)
Original: Weaver suffered the injury after pitching on Sunday, and despite optimism that we would return for his next start, the Diamondbacks are playing it safe and giving him ten full days with which to recover. The Arizona rotation is a mess with their current rash of injuries and should likely be avoided.
Weekly Update: Weaver was transferred to the 60 day-IL earlier in the week after being diagnosed with a subscapularis strain in the rotator cuff of his right shoulder. The plan for him is to be shut down for one month, then re-evaluate the situation. He’ll then need at least another month of rehabbing in order to be ready for game action. What this means is he won’t be pitching for the Diamondbacks for quite some time and his 2021 season may be a lost cause. Merrill Kelly has done a nice job filling in at the rotation.
Weekly Update: d’Arnaud was transferred to the 60 day-IL, almost immediately, and will require surgery on the thumb. In the meantime, William Contreras has done an admirable job, albeit in a small sample size.
Mike Soroka – Achilles tendon, right foot: 60 day-IL (April 7, 2021)
Weekly Update: It was announced late in the week that Soroka’s 2021 season would be over as his recovery from Achilles tendon surgery didn’t go as planned. Later, however, manager Brian Snitker back-tracked on his words and said that he would be re-evaluated in two weeks, thus negating his previous statement. Still, the likelihood of him returning is minimal, and all expectations need to be diminished for him going forward until next season. He will be re-evaluated around the middle of June.
Touki Toussaint – Right shoulder strain: 60-day IL (March 27, 2021)
Original: The promising pitcher suffered another setback and was moved to the 60 day-IL with a right shoulder strain. He may have to wait yet another year before showing anything near the potential he’s thought to have had all these years.
Original:Ozuna hurt his hand while sliding into third base this week, and will miss extended time as a result. While surgery isn’t necessary, it will be a long road back to recovery for him, and the Braves will undoubtedly miss his bat in the lineup. Guillermo Heredia takes over for now, but keep an eye on prospect Drew Waters to see is he gets called up as an extra bat as well.
Weekly Update: Davis underwent arthroscopic left hip labrum surgery and projects to be out for the remainder of the season.
Austin Hays – Hamstring: 10 day-IL (May 26, 2021)
Original: Hays has been dealing with this for a while, and since a day or two off wasn’t healing it, the Orioles decided that almost two weeks might do the trick. A returning Santander looks poised to be a solid bat in the outfield for now.
Weekly Update: Hays has begun his weekly running progressions, but isn’t yet at full strength.
Boston Red Sox
Ryan Brasier – Left calf strain: 60 day-IL (April 1, 2021)
Original: Brasier would be an option for the shaky Red Sox bullpen, and may be down the road, but even when returns, it’s up to Matt Barnes and Adam Ottavino to battle it out for saves. Brasier is a deep deep add for potential opportunities should the inconsistent Red Sox closing options falter, albeit well down the road, however. He could be a speculative candidate for holds as well.
Weekly Update: Brasier was evaluated at a local medical facility after being hit in the head by a baseball during a simulated game. He is currently recovering from a concussion.
Chris Sale – Tommy John surgery: 60 day-IL (April 1, 2021)
Original: As of now, Chris Sale has advanced to throwing from the mound, showing some progression. Pitching coach Dave Bush said that the goal is for Sale to pitch at some point this year, which is a very vague outlook. He has thrown from 120 feet, thus showing some progress, but he is a long way away from contributing on the field. He could very well pitch one inning on the last day of the season, given that quote, or he could be back after the All-Star Break. He is behind schedule, and thus, your expectations of him need to be lowered.
Weekly Update: Sale threw 20 pitches off of the mound this past week, in his next step back from injury. The long road to recovery continues.
Rowan Wick – Oblique: 10 day-IL (April 1, 2021)
Original: Wick has begun ramping up activity as he tries to come back from the injury to his ribs. He’s trying to ramp up his arm for the season, and manager David Ross said that he looked pretty good. When healthy, expect him to be the top setup man, and possibly the next in line for saves should Kimbrel falter. He looks to follow up on last year’s career-best 27% strikeout rate.
Austin Romine – Wrist: 60 day-IL (May 4, 2021)
Original: Due to a significant sprain to his wrist, Romine was transferred to the 60 day-IL and will be gone for quite a while. Tony Wolters will be the backup to Contreras in the meantime.
Original:Hoerner hurt himself while trying to outrun a bunt, and subsequently fell over and injured himself. It’s unclear whether or not he will miss extended time with the injury, but the Cubs currently have Eric Sogard as their starting second baseman and could use Hoerner’s speed and power.
David Bote – Shoulder: 10 day-IL (May 30, 2021)
Original: Bote hurt himself last week sliding into second base, but an MRI showed no fractures, leading the Cubs to believe it will be short term. The Cubs are mixing and matching to see what works in their lineup, with Patrick Wisdom emerging as someone to earn extra playing time due to his recent output. Keep an eye on him and ride the wave until he ultimately comes back down to earth.
Trevor Williams – Appendectomy: 10 day-IL (May 31, 2021)
Original: Jimenez suffered the injury while leaping in an attempt to catch a home run ball in a Spring Training game. The timetable for a full recovery is estimated at costing him much, if not all, of the 2021 season. A crushing blow for the White Sox and those who invested an early-round pick in the slugger. He is expected to be fully healthy come 2022. Options for a replacement for the White Sox include Andrew Vaughn, Leury Garcia or Adam Engel. They could go the free agency route too. Until anything is solidified, expect some sort of a platoon with inconsistent playing time.
Adam Engel – Hamstring: 10 day-IL (April 1, 2021)
Original: Engel hurt himself while making a play in the outfield, and is expected to miss a couple of weeks, which should include the beginning of the season. Look for him to try and win a shot as an everyday outfielder for the White Sox, but is also someone with minimal upside.
Weekly Update: It is expected that Engel will begin a rehab assignment next week.
Jace Fry – Back: 60 day-IL (April 8, 2021)
Original: Fry was transferred to the 60 day-IL when he was eligible to return because he needs more time to recover. The White Sox bullpen is deep enough to give Fry more than enough time to get things right.
Weekly Update: Fry was set to begin a rehab assignment this week, indicating that he’s close to a return. It might be a longer rehab assignment, given the severity of his issue right from the start.
Luis Robert – Hip Flexor: 60 day-IL (May 4, 2021)
Original: The budding superstar hurt himself while running to first base and suffered the worst-case scenario. He seems likely to miss three to four months and could even require surgery to fix his leg if the tear if in fact there was a de-attachment of the bone. Definitely not what the White Sox would have wanted and it almost ends his season, making him a nice buy-low in 2022. Still, with the two top White Sox outfielders gone for (possibly) the season, the White Sox have remained competitive. It wouldn’t surprise me if they made a trade to acquire someone else to help replace what they have lost.
Weekly Update: Robert was officially transferred over to the 60 day-IL this week. He has opted against surgery, and an update on his recovery process will be provided in eight weeks.
Michael Kopech – Hamstring strain: 10 day-IL (June 1, 2021)
Original: Kopech injured himself while pitching and landing awkwardly, hurting himself on the play. It is not considered to be too serious, as it is a Grade 1 sprain, but it is uncertain as to whether or not he will return right away following his ten day stint. The White Sox bullpen is deep enough to carry the load until that time.
Michael Lorenzen – Shoulder strain: 60 day-IL (April 14, 2021)
Original: Originally thought to be minor, Lorenzen was transferred to the 60 day-IL for his shoulder, thus putting a huge delay in his debut for the Reds. He has since received a platelet-rich plasma injection into his shoulder and giving it the rest it needs. While a return is very likely, the glass-half-empty in me thinks there’s a chance he gets shut down for the season. In the meantime, Jeff Hoffman has been inserted into the starting rotation, and his re-introduced slider has him finding early-season success.
Weekly Update: Lorenzen himself said that he hopes to return by the end of June.
Original: Aquino fractured the hamate bone in his wrist this week while swinging a bat, and thus will be out multiple weeks. While he was a reserve bat, he does possess power potential when healthy, so an injury to his wrist could sap his power potential for a while.
Weekly Update: Aquino’s rehab assignment began on Thursday and will continue until he is healthy enough to return. While he may not be with the big league club this week, the time is getting closer for activation.
Joey Votto – Thumb: 10 day-IL (May 3, 2021)
Original: Votto fractured his thumb and is set to miss about a month of action. It remains to be seen who his replacement will be, or if the Reds just mix and match for the time being.
Weekly Update: Votto has begun a rehab assignment and could be back within a week or so. Be prepared to get him back into your lineups.
Mike Moustakas – Heel contusion: 10 day-IL (May 20, 2021)
Original: Moustakas left a game last Friday and hadn’t played since then before the move to the Injured List. While reports say that he was feeling better each day, ultimately the decision was made to give him extra time in which to recover. Tyler Stephenson has played 1B a few times since this injury while batting third in the lineup.
Weekly Update: Moustakas was running the bases ahead of a game earlier this week, but he still hasn’t been cleared. That said, get ready to activate him.
Nick Senzel – Knee: 10 day-IL (May 21, 2021)
Original: Senzel was expected to be back in the lineup by the weekend, but the Reds opted for the Injured List instead. Tyler Naquin should see more consistent at-bats in the meantime and could be a nice little addition if he’s available.
Weekly Update: Senzel’s injury is serious enough that it warrants surgery, which was a successful operation earlier in the week. His projected absence will be four to six weeks in length. Jonathan India and Tyler Naquin continue to get at-bats while he is gone, which is disappointing for Senzel and his owners given his versatility and his talent.
Roberto Perez – Finger: 10 day-IL (May 7, 2021)
Original: Perez will undergo surgery on his right ring finger and will be out for months. It’s a big blow for the team as it will be down to Austin Hedges and Rene Riviera to breakthrough behind the plate.
Weekly Update: With no official timetable in place, manager Terry Francona labeled it as a monthly injury, rather than a weekly one, so don’t expect Perez to be back anytime soon.
Original:Plesac injured himself while aggressively taking off a shirt, and will miss multiple weeks with a broken thumb. While no surgery will be required here, he still will be reassessed every seven to ten days and will begin a throwing program in three weeks time. Other than Bieber and Civale, you can feel confident streaming hitters against the Indians’ rotation.
Scott Oberg – Blood clots: 60 day-IL (March 27, 2021)
Original: Desmond opted out for the season due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Chris Owings – Left thumb strain: 60 day-IL (April 10, 2021)
Original: Injured during a swing, Owings was placed on the IL for his ailing thumb and will miss some time. It’s disappointing for the veteran who was trying to carve himself a spot in the Rockies’ lineup after a hot start to the season. He’s very streaky and inconsistent, so when he returns, play him when he’s hot (or at home) and cut him when he’s not.
Weekly Update: He is getting closer to a return, though no specific date or timeline is in place.
Trevor Story – Elbow inflammation: 10 day-IL (May 27, 2021)
Weekly Update: Story looks poised to return to the Rockies this Tuesday. Be prepared and have him ready.
Jon Gray – Right flexor strain: 10 day-IL (June 4, 2021)
Original: Gray left his start on Friday with tightness and had an MRI reveal that there was no structural damage to his elbow. Still, the Rockies will be without one of their best pitchers for at least ten days, though anything longer than that can’t be ruled out.
Julio Teheran – Shoulder strain: 60 day-IL (April 11, 2021)
Original: Teheran’s time missed rose quickly, as we went from a possible two-week absence to now at least two months.
Weekly Update: Teheran has not yet resumed throwing and has a long way to go to being anywhere close to healthy.
Wilson Ramos – Spine strain: 10 day-IL (May 24, 2021)
Original: This is the second time Ramos has gone on the IL for a back injury, though it is expected that this one will be for an extended amount of time. Jake Rogers and Eric Haase are the two catchers on the Tigers right now and look for Haase to be the more productive one. If you are in need of catcher help, specifically in two catcher or AL-Only leagues, you may look to give Haase a chance.
Victor Reyes – Intercostal strain: 10 day-IL (June 3, 2021)
Original: Reyes looked to be getting back on track after recovering from a pectoral injury the previous week, but now he finds himself on the IL with an intercostal strain, providing yet another hurdle for him in 2021. The Tigers offense is clicking for now, so no hurry back is needed.
Original: Baez had a setback this past week while awaiting a return to action. He felts some tenderness in his shoulder and was subsequently transferred to the 60 day-IL. Ryne Stanek is an add-only in holds leagues as he will take over with semi-high leverage situations.
Weekly Update: While Baez has now evolved to throwing from 90 feet away, he has not yet begun to throw from a mound, so his return isn’t anything close.
Original: McCullers went on the IL with a shoulder issue.
Weekly Update: He’s already thrown a side session and apparently feels great. He plans on throwing a simulated game over the weekend in Buffalo, which is encouraging too. It is looking optimistic that a quick return from the IL is happening.
Forest Whitley – Tommy John surgery: 60 day-IL (March 17, 2021)
Original: The promising prospect suffered yet another setback in his young career, this time requiring surgery to fix his UCL, and costing him his entire 2021 season. He’ll look to get back on track for next year, but he may never live up to the hype that followed him to the Astros.
Weekly Update: Whitley was officially transferred over to the 60 day-IL this past week.
Josh James – Hip: 10 day-IL (April 1, 2021)
Original: The ever-so-promising yet often-injured pitcher will miss some time due to a hip injury and a physical setback he suffered recently. Upon returning, look for him to gain the role of a multi-inning reliever to start his season.
Weekly Update: Josh James has begun throwing off a mound and is looking to be back with the team within the next two weeks.
Justin Verlander – Tommy John Surgery: 60 day-IL (March 17, 2021)
Original: In an attempted comeback, Verlander has started throwing, but is still nowhere near pitching again. He will likely pitch again in 2022 and thus needs to be dropped in all redraft formats for this year.
Weekly Update: Verlander has thrown from 90 feet and feels good. Progression…..but still a long way to go.
Michael Brantley – Hamstring: 10 day-IL (May 28, 2021)
Weekly Update: Brantley is expected back in this upcoming week and needs to be activated in all lineups.
Jason Castro – Achilles tendon 10 day-IL (May 28, 2021)
Original: Castro will head to the IL to help heal his Achilles which was bothering him for the last little while. Martin Maldonado should see an uptick in at-bats, while Garrett Stubbs gets called up to be his backup.
Weekly Update: Castro did some fielding work over the weekend and is apparently getting close to returning.
Weekly Update: Staumont threw a side session earlier in the week and has been looking as great as he feels. He could be back sooner than expected.
Danny Duffy – Forearm: 10 day-IL (May 18, 2021)
Original: Duffy experienced soreness in his forearm, and the worst was feared before an MRI came back negative. Still, he is on a five-day rest period before a reassessment of his return will be planned. Expect more than the minimum ten days, and to not see Duffy back until at least June.
Weekly Update: Duffy has progressed to throwing from 90 feet, but is still a ways away from being back with the Royals. While the original estimated return time was set fro June, the latter half of the month is likeliest.
Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout – Calf: 10 day-IL (May 18, 2021)
Original: Trout hurt himself while running the bases on a popup to end an inning. He immediately had to go to the dugout and knew it was the worst. This injury could cost him six to eight weeks of action, leaving the Angels with a massive hole to fill. Their makeshift outfield right now consists of Justin Upton, Taylor Ward, and Josh Rojas. While all three are players that should be added, that reason is purely based on the quantity of games projected to be played rather than the quality of their performances. Speculation has risen about prospects Brandon Marsh and Jo Adell getting the call to take over in the outfield, but both have problematic holes in their games that must be fixed before arrival. It’s not an ideal situation, but we could see Ohtani gain OF eligibility soon too, due to their impending road trip to the National League and their lack of bodies with a bat.
Weekly Update: Trout is no longer wearing a protective boot on his injured lower leg. While this is a positive step, he still is not close to returning, as manager Joe Maddon recently said that he doesn’t see Trout returning before the All-Star Break.
Franklin Barreto – Tommy John Surgery: 60 day-IL (March 31, 2021)
Weekly Update: Seager will be traveling with the team on an upcoming road trip, as he’s had no problems with his broken right hand and its recovery. Definitely a positive sign, but nothing definitive with regards to a specific target date has been set.
Original: He is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery and is unlikely to pitch in 2021 as a result.
Tony Gonsolin – Shoulder Inflammation: 10 day-IL (April 4, 2021)
Original: Gonsolin’s pain had been lingering for a while, so the Dodgers were cautious with their promising pitcher and put him on the injured list. There has been little mention of any progress thus far.
Weekly Update: Gonsolin will make his debut this week in Pittsburgh at some point versus the Pirates. Needless to say, be prepared to activate him.
Weekly Update: Knebel was transferred over to the 60 day-IL this week as his injury will take a while to heal.
Dustin May – Arm: 60 day-IL (May 2, 2021)
Original: May felt a shooting sensation in his arm following a pitch, and was taken out of the game as he couldn’t continue. He was immediately placed on the IL and will undergo an MRI on Monday. It remains to be seen how the Dodgers address this situation going forward within their rotation, as now all of Gonsolin, Price, and May are on the IL.
Weekly Update: May will undergo Tommy John Surgery on May 11, thus ending his 2021 season and putting a major dent in his 2022 value. He was officially transferred over to the 60 day-IL as a result.
Edwin Rios – Right shoulder: 10 day-IL (May 7, 2021)
Original: Rios was placed on the IL to deal with the pain in his shoulder. This being completely healed may give Rios the spark he needs, as he was thought to have been a major threat to Justin Turner at third base, but has instead hit .078 to start the year.
Weekly Update: Rios has undergone his surgery and is recovering from home.
Original: After making his return from a bicep injury, Hernandez subsequently hurt his right quad while running the bases and will go back on the 60 day-IL for a different ailment from his first. While it’s encouraging that his previous injury wasn’t the result of this IL time, it’s discouraging because he has yet to stay healthy and prove how talented he can truly be.
Brian Anderson – Right shoulder subluxation: 10 day-IL (May 25, 2021)
Original: Anderson will miss multiple weeks after the MRI on his shoulder showed significant damage. He may be out until at least June, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s gone into the All-San Break as well. Look for Jon Berti to get some additional at-bats and play at third base for a while. His speed could come in handy if owners are looking for steals.
Miguel Rojas – Finger: 10 day-IL (May 28, 2021)
Original: Rojas suffered a dislocation of his left index finger, and will miss at least ten days. In his absence, Isan Diaz will get some more at-bats, while Jose Devers could also get some playing time. For now, play the game of monitoring the situation to see who emerges as the front runner.
Weekly Update: X-Rays showed a small fracture in his finger, though nothing more was said as a result of this diagnosis.
Original: Poteet left his game on Friday night, and was immediately diagnosed with an MCL sprain, though the severity wasn’t known. It’s a big blow to the Marlins who need healthy bodies in their rotation after having lost Elieser Hernandez for a long time just a few days earlier. While they have three stellar pitching options at the top of their rotation, for now the bottom two pitchers, currently unknown, may be pitchers to target with your hitters and hitting streamers.
Kolten Wong – Oblique: 10 day-IL (June 4, 2021)
Original: This is the second time that Wong has been placed on the IL for an oblique injury, and this one could be for a longer IL stint. Luis Urias is the benefactor of this, and should probably be rostered almost everywhere as he’s been swinging the bat much better as of late.
Lorenzo Cain – Hamstring: 10 day-IL (June 1, 2021)
Original: Cain will require some time to heal with a hamstring strain. One would think a year off from playing compounded with age has something to do with this.
Edward Colina – Inflammation, right elbow: 60 day-IL (April 1, 2021)
Original: The hard-throwing bullpen piece for the Twins felt inflammation and hasn’t yet pitched in 2021. Thought to be a setup man, he will need additional time before making that a reality. The Twins have plenty of other bullpen options and can afford to wait.
Weekly Update: Colina underwent arthroscopic debridement of his posterior elbow, but remains out indefinitely.
Jake Cave – Back: 60 day-IL (May 15, 2021)
Original: Cave was placed on the 60 day-IL, almost immediately, due to a fracture in his back. As such, this accelerates the impact both Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach will have on the Twins’ roster going forward, as there will be more opportunities to play and shine.
Byron Buxton – Hip Strain: 10 day-IL (May 7, 2021)
Original: Buxton, who struggles to remain healthy, will be out for weeks following his injury. It is significant enough where it appears he will be out for weeks. Trevor Larnach is up as his replacement on the roster and should be considered in the deepest of leagues, with a watchful eye because he has the potential to be huge.
Weekly Update: Buxton has had difficulty decelerating, and thus isn’t ready for a rehab assignment.
Luis Arraez – Shoulder: 10 day-IL (May 26, 2021)
Original: Arraez had been dealing with a shoulder injury, and it looks like he will miss more than the ten-day minimum. Jorge Polanco and Andrelton Simmons look to gain additional and consistent time in the infield, while Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach look to gain an uptick in playing time in the outfield.
Weekly Update: Arraez is having difficulty throwing from the higher arm slot position, and thus will require additional time off to heal.
Kenta Maeda – Groin: 10 day-IL (May 25, 2021)
Original: Maeda heads to the IL to deal with a groin injury. One has to wonder if it is something that has been lingering for a while, as his 2021 struggles seem out of character. Still, it’s encouraging that he has thrown a bullpen session already, so his absence may not be overly stretched past the two-week mark. If he struggles upon his return, it may be time to cut bait altogether in redraft leagues.
Weekly Update: Maeda recently threw a 20-pitch bullpen session, and seems to be heading in the right direction. While the Twins definitely need him in the rotation, this could be a lost season for them and they may ultimately take their time with him to ensure he is right next season with no log term injuries occurring along the way.
Max Kepler – Hamstring: 10 day-IL (May 30, 2021)
Original: Kepler has been scuffling through this injury for awhile and the decision was ultimately made to give him extended time off to heal. He looks on track to make his return next week at some point.
Mitch Garver – Groin: 10 day-IL (June 2, 2021)
Original: Garver hurt his groin in a game late last week and subsequently received surgery for it almost immediately afterwards. While a 60 day-IL stint hasn’t officially been ruled out, it seems unlikely at this time. That said, it’s serious enough to say that he will be out for weeks. Look for Ryan Jeffers to get himself back on track with this bump in playing time.
New York Mets
Carlos Carrasco – Hamstring: 60 day-IL (April 1, 2021)
Hurt during some conditioning drills, Carrasco was set to miss 6-8 weeks, which translates to 4-6 weeks of the actual season when it’s all said and done. He threw two innings in a simulated game, which showed some progress. David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi will have a chance to take over in the rotation and attempt to solidify themselves as a long-term solution in the meantime. Here’s hoping the best for Carrasco, who has overcome so much in order to be back in baseball.
Weekly Update: A timeline of late June or early July seems to be in the cards for Carrasco, though he has started throwing bullpen sessions once again.
Noah Syndergaard – Tommy John Surgery: 60 day-IL
Original: Syndergaard recently threw off a mound to a live batter, with no swings, in his latest step forward to a full recovery. In that bullpen session, he hit 97mph on the radar gun. While a June return seems optimal, a post-All-Star Break seems likely, though it remains to be seen how he continues to progress.
Weekly Update: Syndergaard went from a possible four-inning rehab outing to having to pause after just one inning, after experiencing discomfort. He will stop throwing altogether for the next four to six weeks and will be reassessed then, though MRI results indicate that there was no structural damage to the UCL. Still, he seemed to be rushing a return as many Tommy John injuries require closer to the 18-month timeline to maintain status as “back to normal” and Syndergaard was along with the 14-month schedule. If anything, this sets him back at least to not contributing at all in 2021, and possibly some of 2022.
Jose Martinez – Torn meniscus, left knee: 60 day-IL
Martinez tore his meniscus at first base and is expected to miss up to four months as he recovers. Without a DH in the National League, Martinez seems destined to remain on the waiver wire while playing for a deeply talented Mets team.
Dellin Betances – Shoulder: 60 day-IL
Weekly Update:Betances was placed on the IL after experiencing soreness following a rough start to the season. He has yet to begin throwing, as an extended absence seems likely here. While Trevor Hildenberger took his spot on the roster, it’s Trevor May that’s the one to keep an eye on for occasional saves and holds.
Weekly Update: Betances was transferred to the 60 day-IL, as his injury will require extended time to heal. He recently threw a side session but is still a long way away from returning.
Brandon Nimmo – Finger: 10 day-IL (May 6, 2021)
Original: Nimmo hurt his hand during an at-bat earlier in the week, and he was thus placed on the IL, retroactive to May 3. Kevin Pillar has benefited from more playing time thus far, and that’s a trend that could continue.
Weekly Update: There is no timetable set for any rehab assignment, which is concerning given how fickle that fingers can be.
J.D. Davis – Finger: 10 day-IL (May 5, 2021)
Original: Davis hurt his hand and will be out for at least ten days. Jonathan Villar has been spread out even more all over the field as a result and is gaining eligibility fast. If he ever puts it all together, he’s a weapon for sure.
Weekly Update: Davis was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this past week, but that has since been delayed as he experienced discomfort in his wrist. No word yet on if and when said rehab assignment will take place.
Jeff McNeil – Hamstring: 10 day-IL (May 17, 2021)
Original: McNeil injured himself last weekend, and after an MRI, it was determined that he would need at least ten days to properly heal up. Jose Peraza will help mend the fences here, but the Mets are not in a good situation at all anywhere on the field.
Weekly Update: McNeill looks to be about a week or two away from entering a rehab assignment. A post All-Star return seems likely at this point, though anything is possible.
Michael Conforto – Hamstring: 10 day-IL (May 17, 2021)
Original: Conforto pulled up lame while running out a ground ball against the Rays and will miss time on the IL to heal up.
Weekly Update: The hamstring strain is significant enough to keep Conforto out of the lineup until at least late June.
New York Yankees
Aaron Hicks – Wrist: 60 day-IL (May 15, 2021)
Original:Hicks heads to the IL after tearing the tendon sheath in his wrist. He has been taking anti-inflammatory medication to stop the pain, and is doing better, but will still require some time off in order to let it heal. Clint Frazier is likely to see an uptick in at-bats here with more of an opportunity to prove his worth. He’s worth an end-of-the-bench stash.
Weekly Update: Hicks was officially placed on the 60 day-IL earlier this week, and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. Look for Clint Frazier to be given the opportunity to prove to the team that he’s got what it takes.
Zack Britton – Elbow: 60 day-IL (March 31, 2021)
Original: Britton had surgery in March to remove a bone chip in his elbow. There is no timetable for a return to action, but he is going to be playing catch sooner rather than later. There is some speculation has him returning at some point in June, upon which he may record the odd save with plenty of holds opportunities. Until then, look for a returning Chapman to record a majority of the saves for the Yankees, while Chad Green gets the odd save.
Weekly Update: Britton had a successful inning pitched in a rehab game earlier this week. While he was originally expected to need at least five total appearances before even being considered ready for a return, he recently said himself that he may return this week when the Yankees travel to Minnesota to begin a road trip. Take that for what it’s worth.
Luis Severino – Tommy John Surgery: 60 day-IL (March 16, 2021)
Original: Severino has been throwing off a mound, and has started to throw sliders, which is the next step in his progression. Still, while he’s looking to return at some point this year, but really shouldn’t be counted on for too much.
Weekly Update: Severino looks to be starting for the Yankees’ single-A affiliate on Sunday of this weekend.
Clarke Schmidt – Elbow: 60 day-IL (April 3, 2021)
Original: He’s likely to begin throwing again soon, but he won’t be rushed.
Weekly Update: Schmidt has progressed to throwing bullpen sessions, which is encouraging for him and the Yankees. He still needs considerable time before a return.
Original: Kluber is expected to miss at least two months after an MRI revealed a strain of the subscapular muscle of his right shoulder. He will be shut down from throwing for at least four weeks before being ramped back up. This is assuming that he suffers no setbacks at all. Deivi Garcia will start inches place in the meantime but will need to prove that he is better than what he;’s shown thus far in order to be counted on.
Weekly Update: Kluber will begin a throwing program shortly, though the original timeline for his eventual return hasn’t yet changed. He was officially placed upon the 60 day-IL over the weekend.
Luke Voit – Oblique: 10 day-IL (May 26, 2021)
Original: Voit will go back on the injured list after he suffered a Grade 2 oblique strain. The Yankees have enough depth to cover their infield, while Mike Ford could see an uptick in playing time.
Weekly Update: Voit is scheduled to miss multiple weeks before returning from this injury. He has since participated in fielding drills as well as some dry swings, but is still far away from a return. You can bet that the Yankees will be extra cautious with one of their best hitters, since this will be their second time around having him return from an injury.
Original: A devastating blow to the Athletics, Rosenthal contracted the rare baseball injury and will need an extended time in order to recover from it. He will now wait an additional eight weeks for a follow-up to see if there has been any progress in his recovery. In the meantime, the A’s will be mixing and matching while employing some sort of a closer-by-committee. Look for one of Trivino, Diekman, or Romo to emerge as the safest option of all, but it’s hard to tell who will.
Ramon Laureano – Hip: 10 day-IL (June 4, 2021)
Original: Laureano had been struggling with a hip injury, and the decision was made to let him heal on his own. What’s conquering is that this effects everything about his game, which is speed, and he will likely miss extended time. While he is eligible to return early in this upcoming week, he won’t be activated, despite there being no structural damage.
Original: Dominguez may pitch again in 2021, but it’s not set in stone. He may have been an option for some saves had Neris faltered, but now getting healthy is his number one priority.
Scott Kingery – Concussion: 7 day-IL (May 18, 2021)
Original: Kingery left a game against the Blue Jays with dizziness, but the scary part was that the cause for it was unknown. He was placed on the Concussion Protocol Injured List as a safety precaution, but it doesn’t bode well for someone struggling so much. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him released or traded at some point before 2022.
Didi Gregorius – Elbow Impingement: 10 day-IL (May 18, 2021)
Original: Gregorius was hoping that this would heal itself sooner, but alas he was placed on the IL after three days of sitting out. Nick Maton has filled in for Gregorius in his absence, but the Phillies will need Didi’s bat if they are to compete.
Weekly Update: While Gregorius is eligible to return on Monday, he isn’t close to being back with the team. On a positive note, he did take part in batting practice over the weekend, but it is unclear as his return could still be delayed for some time.
Steven Brault – Lat strain: 60 day-IL (April 1, 2021)
Original: Brault will be shut down from throwing and baseball activities for about a month after suffering the injury in a Spring game. Likely non-surgical, it is a procedure that will take about 10 weeks to heal before a return. He may go into the Pirates’ rotation when he starts up again.
Weekly Update: Brault is now throwing from 105 feet, as he gets closer to a return.
Blake Cederlind – Tommy John Surgery: 60 day-IL (March 24, 2021)
Original: After suffering a UCL strain, Cederlind had Tommy John Surgery and will miss the 2021 season.
Philip Evans – Hamstring: 10 day-IL (May 13, 2021)
Original: Evans heads to the IL with a hamstring injury, and will miss some time. It’s an unfortunate turn for the youngster who started off the season so well.
Weekly Update: Evans is still rehabbing, despite the fact that he was eligible to return almost a week ago. His official rehab assignment begins on Tuesday.
Colin Moran – Groin: 10 day-IL (May 12, 2021)
Original: Moran went on the IL this week after experiencing some stiffness in his groin area. He will be replaced by Adam Frazier.
Weekly Update: Moran will begin a rehab assignment this Tuesday.
Original: Pomeranz will head to the IL after experiencing the injury earlier in the week. While he wasn’t officially placed on the IL until later in the week, the move is retroactive to the date above. He has suffered through many injuries before, specifically before the Eason with said shoulder, so this is a bit more concerning than it would be something else.
Weekly Update: Pomeranz seems like he will be returning early July, if not a little bit sooner. He is still considered week to week.
Adrian Morejon – Tommy John Surgery: 60 day-IL (April 22, 2021)
Original: More significant than soreness, Moronta looks destined to miss extended time as he now finds himself sidelined with another injury after missing all of 2020. Tyler Rogers is now the setup man to Jake McGee in a bullpen with more questions than answers.
Weekly Update: Moronta was transferred over to the 60 day-IL, delaying his 2021 season even more, and which could make him irrelevant for fantasy purposes in 2021.
Tommy La Stella – Hamstring Strain: 60 day-IL (May 3, 2021)
Original:La Stella hurt himself while diving for a ball, and will one out for quite some time, with a four to six-week timeframe being suggested. The Giants have plenty of resources on their roster as they are known for having a ton of flexibility throughout their team. Look for any one of them to emerge with the hot bat and pounce on it.
Weekly Update: LaStella has resumed running, which is a positive step forward in his recovery.
Brandon Belt – Oblique strain: 10 day-IL (May 26, 2021)
Original: Belts will likely miss more than the minimum ten days in order to recover from this injury. He’s struggled this year to maintain last season’s positive momentum, and this won’t help. Still, he’s capable enough to help owners down the stretch should they need him.
Weekly Update: Belt is practically ready for a return at anytime as was a full go at batting practice recently. It remains to be seen exactly when he will return, but be prepared to activate him.
Mike Yastrzemski – Thumb: 10 day-IL (June 3, 2021)
Original: Webb has been picking well after looking like he had recovered from the same injury before, but will now require time off to let it fully heal. It is expected to be a lengthy one that will be timed by weeks, though it’s uncertain if that will transpire into months.
Weekly Update: Shed Long Jr. looks good while playing in Triple-A, so his call up could be any day now.
Andres Munoz – Elbow, 60 day-IL (March 18, 2021)
Original: Following his Tommy John Surgery in March 2020, Munoz was set to make his return at some point this season. He will have to wait a while to attempt to do so following his setback in early March.
Weekly Update: Munoz has yet to start throwing at all, halting any plans for a comeback in 2021. He remains a likely 2022 rebound candidate in fantasy.
Ken Giles – Elbow, 60 day-IL (April 1, 2021)
Original: Giles seems unlikely to pitch in 2021.
Justin Dunn – Right shoulder inflammation: 10 day-IL (June 2, 2021)
Original: Dunn hurt himself during his latest outing versus the Rangers, and will now take some time off to heal his shoulder. It’s very disappointing for him and the Mariners, as he was Seattle’s best starter this season. Nothing has been said about this being long term, so the hope now is that it was merely precautionary.
Weekly Update: Dunn is expected to be activated for a start later this week, possibly even closer to the weekend.
James Paxton – Tommy John Surgery: 60 day-IL (April 8, 2021)
Original: Paxton got the bad news and was told that he will need to will have Tommy John Surgery, thus ending his 2021 season. Though he is looking for a second opinion, an extended absence from the team is likely.
Evan White – Strained right hip flexor: 10 day-IL (May 14, 2021)
Original: White hurt himself while trying to catch a foul ball, and will rehire time to heal up. Jose Marmolejos will take over for now at first base but isn’t worth rostering.
Weekly Update: White will start a rehab assignment once the Mariners return home from their road trip.
Weekly Update: Moore is almost ready for a rehab assignment.
Kendall Graveman – Covid-19: Out indefinitely (May 23, 2021)
Original: Graveman is on the Covid-19 IL and will be out indefinitely.
Weekly Update: Graveman is out of quarantine and has rejoined the Mariners, though he hasn’t yet played.
Kyle Lewis – Right meniscus tear: 10 day-IL (June 1, 2021)
Original: Lewis hurt himself earlier this week and will now look for a second opinion on his knee. It is feared that he will miss significant time with this injury, with season-ending surgery a possibility. Still, as a second opinion is in the wings, be prepared to be without him for quite awhile. Taylor Trammell looks to get back on track after being recently called up to the big league team.
St. Louis Cardinals
Dakota Hudson – Tommy John Surgery: 60 day-IL (March 28, 2021)
Original: Hudson is unlikely to pitch in 2021.
Jordan Hicks – Elbow Inflammation: 60 day-IL (May 14, 2021)
Original: His latest injury will keep him out of action for multiple weeks tampering with any chance he had of being the team’s closer this season. Alex Reyes has done an admirable job instead.
Weekly Update: Hicks was transferred over to the 60 day-IL, delaying his return even more, which could now lead into August. He received an injection in said elbow and will need a month of rest before anything else. Alex Reyes has been succeeding as the Cardinals’ closer in 2021.
Paul DeJong – Fractured rib: 10 day-IL (May 14, 2021)
Weekly Update: DeJong will begin a rehab assignment this weekend, in the hopes of returning to the Cardinals later in the week. Get ready to put him back into your lineups.
Miles Mikolas – Forearm: 60 day-IL (May 28, 2021)
Original: Despite graduating from this list, Mikolas is back on it with a more serious injury. This week he received a stem cell injection to help treat a small calcification in his right flexor tendon. As a result, he will be reassessed in four to six weeks. One has to wonder if he was rushed back, or if his body just wasn’t ready after missing so much time, as he was recently transferred over to the 60 day-IL. He is droppable in any and all redraft formats.
Jack Flaherty – Oblique: 10 day-IL (June 2, 2021)
Original:Flaherty was removed from his latest outing, after experiencing pain late in the game. He will miss some time with an oblique injury, that manager Mike Shildt called a real strain and a tear. The Cardinals’ rotation is a mess without their ace.
Original:Bader exited a game recently after diving for a fly ball. He will miss significant time dependent on how well he heals, but it is encouraging that he was practicing with a glove on and doing some light throwing before a recent game. With backup Justin Williams sent to the IL as well, Tommy Edman looks to be playing a lot more in the outfield while Matt Carpenter finds his way back into the infield for more playing time. The Cardinals are a mess for the time being.
Original: Kim was forced from his start with lower back tightness and was placed on the IL as a result. This is the same injury that forced him to miss time earlier this season, and he may require a longer stint in order to ensure he’s fully recovered. There remains a hole in the Cardinals’ rotation that needs to be filled, and it’s unknown how they will do so.
Tampa Bay Ray
Nick Anderson – UCL torn ligament: 60 day-IL (March 26, 2021)
Original: Anderson, who is shut down for eight weeks, will be re-evaluated past the All-Star Break, though right now, surgery doesn’t seem necessary. Peter Fairbanks and Diego Castillo look to get the load of save opportunities for Tampa in the meantime.
Yonny Chirinos – Tommy John Surgery: 60 day-IL (February 22, 2021)
Original: Chirinos will miss the entire 2021 season after having Tommy John Surgery last August.
Chris Archer – Forearm tightness: 60 day-IL (April 10, 2021)
Original: Archer experienced the tightness in the middle of his performance on the mound versus the Yankees and was immediately sent to the injured list. While it doesn’t seem too serious an issue, the Rays are playing it safe. Brent Honeywell has been called up as a corresponding move.
Weekly Update: Archer’s throwing program was halted after experiencing tightness in his forearm, leading one to speculate the worst. He is trying his best to strengthen his arm. He should not be counted on for anything in the near future.
Ji-Man Choi – Groin: 10 day-IL (June 4, 2021)
Original: Choi goes on the IL for a groin strain that is retroactive to June 3. Yandy Diaz gets a chance to shine as a result, though with it being the Rays, anyone could.
Jose Leclerc – Tommy John Surgery: 60 day-IL (March 31, 2021)
Jonathan Hernandez – Tommy John Surgery: 60 day-IL (March 30, 2021)
Original: Hernandez was shut down at the beginning of March for four weeks due to a low-grade UCL sprain in his elbow. He was shut down and will be out until June. Projected to be the closer earlier this offseason, Matt Bush and Ian Kennedy will be battling it out to see who gets the most saves. It is by no means a group of players worth rostering since there are so many unknowns.
Weekly Update: He underwent successful Tommy John Surgery.
Matt Bush – Elbow Inflammation: 60 day-IL (April 9, 2021)
Original: This is yet another roadblock for the Rangers and their attempt to save games this year. Look for Ian Kennedy to get the bulk of the opportunities.
Ronald Guzman – Right knee meniscus cartilage tear: 60 day-IL (April 13, 2021)
Original: Guzman hurt himself while trying to get out of the way on a pop fly. After being carted off, he was diagnosed with a meniscus tear and will be out for a while.
Weekly Update: Guzman was transferred over to the 60 day-IL this past week and will miss the rest of the 2021 season. Adolis Garcia has taken over and should be added due to his production so far.
David Dahl – Cracked rib: 10 day-IL (May 26, 2021)
Original: Surprising to nobody, Dahl will spend some time on the IL, this time with a cracked rib. Whatever the timeline is, it’s safe to say that would be optimistic for Dahl, who has a history of injuries and has called the IL his home away from home.
Toronto Blue Jays
Kirby Yates – Tommy John Surgery: 10 day-IL (April 1, 2021)
Original: Hatch will miss some time with non-UCL-related elbow inflammation. The MRI showed no real signs of this injury being as serious as it could have been. Once healthy, he may either be a long reliever out of the bullpen or fighting for a spot at the end of the Jays’ rotation. He has resumed throwing on his way back to the club.
Weekly Update: Hatch will continue to rehab with the Jays’ Double-A affiliate, though it’s been reported that he is not close to a return yet.
Original: It’s a disappointing development for someone who looked incredible while saving games for the Blue Jays. He should slot back as their closer when he returns, though the injury is predicted to be a long-term issue. Until then, Rafael Dolis seems like the next man up.
Weekly Update: Merryweather was transferred over to the 60 day-IL, and will be shut down as a result. He is nowhere near a return to the Jays, and may have been an afterthought in the bullpen with regards to saves in 2021.
Alejandro Kirk – Hip: 10 day-IL (May 4, 2021)
Original: Kirk remains out with a hip injury that is likely to last at least four weeks. Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire will split time for the Jays, but both are the ugliest of fantasy options.
Weekly Update: Kirk has resumed throwing and is also hitting off of a tee. He still has a long time before he makes any return. All Jays’ catchers, however, shouldn’t be trusted for fantasy prowess.
George Springer – Right Quadriceps Strain: 10 day-IL (May 6, 2021)
Weekly Update: Springer ran the bases and took fly balls recently, but still isn’t ready at all. While has was also seen sprinting before a game earlier in the week, it remains to be seen if and when he is able to return. Randall Grichuck remains the beneficiary of this injury.
Weekly Update: Biggio is considered day-to-day in that when he feels good enough he’ll probably be activated.
Stephen Strasburg – Neck: 10 day-IL (June 2, 2021)
Original: Strasburg pitched earlier this week and his velocity was down. He was seen rubbing his arm too, and it was revealed that his neck would keep him off the mound for awhile. While it’s unknown how long he will need to return, it’s looking more and more like a lost year for the constantly injured star. Look for Eric Fedde to take his spot in the rotation.
Welcome to Week 11 of the 2021 MLB season. The schedule factors below are based on the published schedules for each team as of 12:00 PM CT on Friday, 6/4/21.
How Do Schedule Factors Differ From Park Factors?
Park Factors are an evaluation of how each stadium performed over the last three seasons (2017-2019) whereas Schedule Factors are a weighted measure of all of the stadium’s Park Factors that each team plays during the upcoming week. As far as what single metric is the best overall measure of a team’s schedule factors I personally use RBIcon for pitchers (Expected RBI generated by contact) and wOBAcon for hitters (Expected weighted on base average generated by contact).