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As we enter the first week in May many teams start making their prospect call-ups. We’ve already seen the likes of Cody Bellinger, Christian Arroyo, Dan Vogelbach, Gift Ngoepe, Jesse Winker, and basically the whole San Diego Padres roster. Some of these players were called up to replace injured players, and some were summoned just because their teams needed the help right now. Either way, they can definitely help Fantasy teams in the immediate future. In MLB, depth charts are constantly shifting; people get injured, others step up and get hot, minor leaguers start entering the mix, and they all form the ever-changing major league landscape. The following are some updates on injuries, call-ups, platoons, and anything else that might seem minuscule right now but could end up being huge down the line.
OF/1B Ian Desmond just returned to the fold this past Monday, making his season debut. Desmond’s a guy who many drafted before the season; some may have stashed him in their DL slot waiting for this moment. He’s obviously a must-have player sitting in the middle of a potent Rockies lineup, so those of you who have an opportunity to grab him in free agency should do so. He’s less than 84 percent owned in ESPN Leagues right now. Eventually, he’ll start taking playing time away from Mark Reynolds as well.
RP Zach Britton and SP Chris Tillman – Both of these Baltimore Orioles pitchers are on track to return to the fold within the next week or two. This is great news for Orioles fans, but not so good for the rest of the AL East, especially considering how well Baltimore has been doing without those two key relievers.
I don’t think a single person in the entire world would have predicted that utility infielder Jedd Gyorko be the best Fantasy asset among St. Louis Cardinals position players right now… But, of course he is. Gyorko is batting almost .370 with six homers and 10 RBIs in 65 at bats. Maybe it’s time to take a chance on the guy, especially with his multi-position eligibility… Just saying.
SP Joe Ross hasn’t been performing up to expectations in his latest starts and will be sent back down to the minors, keep him off your radar for now.
3B/OF Jurickson Profar hasn’t been close to the player the Rangers thought he’d when he came up through their system years ago. He’s been relegated to Triple-A and will play shortstop, something the Rangers are doing to increase his value and potentially use him as trade bait for something the team needs.
1B Greg Bird was literally just placed on the 10-day DL for a bruised right ankle which should give Chris Carter an opportunity for everyday playing time. There was so good news for the Yankees, as Gary Sanchez is expected return as soon as this weekend’s series against the Cubs.
SP Shelby Miller was moved to the 60-day DL and will miss the rest of the season to undergo Tommy John Surgery… Like I mentioned last week, his career is rapidly on the decline.
The debacle that is the New York Mets has seen a whole slew of injuries recently. As we all know by now, Noah Syndergaard will be out for a while, Lucas Duda had a setback with his elbow injury, and Yoenis Cespedes tweaked his hamstrizng which could stand to be a lingering issue. For the short-term this will give Michael Conforto everyday playing time, and even when Cespedes comes back, Conforto needs to be an everyday starter in this Mets lineup.
OF Byron Buxton has been a bust to start the 2017 campaign, to say the least. He was hitting so poorly that even his stellar defense couldn’t keep him on the field every day. He started to get benched more and more as of late, but within the last couple of series Buxton seems to have found his stroke. This is a player so highly touted, with so much talent, that any sign of a breakout is something worth noting. Buxton is only owned around 22 percent in ESPN leagues; for people who play in AL-only or deep leagues this could be a complete steal, so monitor the situation closely.
Horrible news in Washington as OF Adam Eaton had his knee mangled in multiple different areas, a terrible occurrence for a player who uses his legs as a main weapon in his arsenal. OF Michael Taylor will presumably be his replacement, but Eaton will be out for a long time so it’d be smart to follow this situation to see if anyone steps up in this role for the rest of the season, possibly even making a trade to solidify it.
SP Aaron Sanchez split his fingernail recently and landed on the 10-day DL. Although a quick return seems possible, this could be a situation that can turn ugly in the long run because he wasn’t pitching well thus far anyway.
The uber-hot rookie OF Mitch Haniger will miss almost a month with an oblique strain. It’s rough to see something like that happen to a young player doing so well, especially when the Mariners have been dealing with a bunch of issues and team woes as it is- King Felix is also on the DL with a shoulder ailment.
Other Notable Platoon/Depth Chart/injury Updates
With some of the Pittsburgh Pirates infielders getting injured, SS Gift Ngoepe has been called up to the big club. Although not known for his offense, Ngoepe already had good at bats in the majors and should see playing time due to his great defensive skills.
3B Pablo Sandoval is still far from coming off the DL and will most likely need more than the allotted time to recover. 2B/3B Marco Hernandez has surprisingly been hitting well in his stead and could be useful in the immediate future for those in AL-only and deep leagues.
SP Tyler Skaggs and RP Cam Bedrosian both hit the DL for the Angels recently. Skaggs could miss a few months, diminishing his Fantasy relevance for a while. Bedrosian was supposed to come back soon after he was eligible but hasn’t started any baseball activity, leaving the door open for Bud Norris to continue his hot run as the interim closer… Something for those in need of saves to keep a close eye on.
The LA Dodgers have quite a few position players on the DL and recently called up their number one prospect, Cody Bellinger. Bellinger has come out the gate hot for his debut, batting .320 with two homers in his first seven games, but OF Joc Pederson should be back from the DL soon and Bellinger could be sent back down to Triple-A unless 1B Adrian Gonzalez is forced to miss time due to forearm tendonitis.