Caution! DON’T DRAFT WITHOUT READING THIS UPDATED INJURY REPORT. It’s the first installment where we take a look at injured or recovering catchers heading into the 2017 MLB season.
This is your one stop shop for all of your updates on player injuries, whether minor or major. I will go position by position, starting with catcher, and discuss all of the major injuries and how it affects each player. An injury to one player that you are unaware of while you are setting your pre-draft queues can completely change how your team is constructed, particularly in re-draft leagues. You should be up-to-date and aware of all of the current injuries, to both the stars and to the depth guys. One injury to a star, like a top 50 player, can have a significant impact on not only the MLB team but also can have a trickle-down effect on the fantasy team that has him as well. Knowing who to pick up and when will help you stay ahead of your competition. While I know this is very difficult, here at The Fantasy Doctors, we can keep you in the know with a quick glimpse of the top stories of the day.
Salvador Perez is expected to miss about a week due to a hyperextended elbow, after sustaining the injury in the WBC. Initially the injury appeared to be Perez’s knee, which he underwent not one but two MRIs for, both sound like they were negative. His elbow should be ok, with minimal issues, but Perez typically gets worn down as the year goes on – just look at his first and second half splits.
Catcher is always a shallow position in fantasy, and this year is no different. Perez trails only Buster Posey for the amount of games played over the past 4 seasons, with 569. That’s impressive, but those innings are starting to add up. His BA is declining each of the past 5 years (.301 to .292 to .260 to .260 to .247), his strikeout rate continues to go up. He does have one thing going for him, he has been showing more power, increasing his HR production each of the past 5 years, hitting 22 HRs last year. Perez is now your typical catcher, all power, no average, as he is someone who rarely walks (only 22 in 2016) with no speed. He’s going as the 8th C off the board, with an ADP of 147.5. Unless you are in a two-catcher league, let someone else pay up for Perez; instead grab someone like Brian McCann or Russell Martin.
Matt Wieters signed a 2-year, $21 million deal with the Washington Nationals this offseason. A year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, he managed to play in 124 games last year, tallying a .243 average, 17 HRs, and improving his strikeout rate from 23.8% to 18.3%. With another year under his belt after his TJS, Wieters is a sneaky-sleeper pick this year. He is currently being drafted as the 14th catcher, with an ADP of 233.
Early in spring training, Rockies’ catching prospect Tom Murphy had the potential to start as the Rockies’ starting catcher, displacing Tony Wolters. Then, on March 14, while trying to throw to second base, Murphy hit Anthony Rizzo’s bat with is arm. Despite staying in the game, Murphy was later diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his right forearm, and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Tough break. There goes your catcher sleeper pick; he had Trevor Story-like potential this year before this injury. Now Wolters will see the first month of action behind the plate, pushing Murphy’s 2017 debut into at least May. In only 25 games in 2016, Murphy managed to hit 5 HRs, albeit with a 38.8% strikeout rate. That’s a wRC+ of 145. Draft him towards the end of the draft and hide him on your DL until he gets healthy. He could help you big time in the second half of the season.
What a rollercoaster ride 2016 was for Wilson Ramos. After several injury-plagued season, Ramos posted a year of career highs. He hit 22 HRs with a very solid .307/.354/.496 slash line. Then, on September 27th, Ramos tore his ACL in his right knee – for the 2nd time. Just like that he went from a top 5-fantasy catcher to signing a potential bargain deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. The good news is that Ramos moved to the AL, where he can serve as the DH while working is way back from the ACL injury. It sounds like Ramos is on track to make his Rays debut in late May to early June. So who is Ramos? He’s a very risky pick in 2017. Don’t draft him as your primary catcher; draft him as a lottery ticket. Slide him to a DL slot, and hope that by mid-July Ramos is mashing HRs in homer-prone AL East ballparks. He’s currently being drafted as the 17th catcher, with an ADP of 267.
-Don’t miss tomorrow’s installment where we look at injured first baseman entering the 2017 season!