If you’re like me, you may as well give up right about now. Sure, we’re only in the third week of the Major League Baseball 2013 season, but injuries are destroying my fake hopes and dreams for my fake teams right now. I play in a dynasty league at Ultimate Fantasy Sports (ultimatefs.com, still teams available if you want a challenge), where you have a 25-man roster and 7 minor league spots. You can also have up to 10 players on your disabled list, which is nice for stashing players coming off of surgeries. Regardless, this is where I am right now for my two teams that matter the most to me:
Courtesy: Dayton Daily News
Starting pitchers (start five): Jered Weaver, Johnny Cueto, Roy Halladay, C.J. Wilson, Ryan Dempster, Jeremy Hellickson, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Roberto Hernandez;
Relief pitcher (start one, make it a closer): Aroldis Chapman;
Catchers (start two, one of them is a backup): Carlos Santana and Wilson Ramos
Corner Infielders (start one 1B, one 3B, and one 1B/3B): Ike Davis, Pablo Sandoval, Lyle Overbay, Adam Dunn, Chris Johnson
Middle Infielders (start one 2B, one SS, and one 2B/SS): Brandon Phillips, Ben Zobrist, Yunel Escobar, Gordon Beckham
Outfielders (one LF, one CF, one RF, two backups): Jason Kubel, Dexter Fowler, Jose Bautista, Carl Crawford, Denard Span, Michael Saunders
Utility (start one as a DH and one backup DH), where I have Dunn at DH and Johnson as my backup DH right now.
With this club, Weaver could be out for two months, Cueto just left his start Saturday with tricep soreness, Ramos pulled his hamstring and will miss a couple of weeks, Beckham broke his hamate bone and is out for two months, Kubel is out with a strained left quadricep, and Saunders is out with a sprained right shoulder. Add in Halladay’s ineffectiveness, Bautista and Crawford coming back from serious injuries, and Jimenez and Hernandez being terrible options, and you have a looming disaster.
Starting pitchers (start five): Jordan Zimmerman, Matt Moore, Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Tom Milone, Josh Beckett, Edinson Volquez, Jhoulys Chacin, and Matt Harrison;
Relief pitcher (start one, make it a closer): Jim Johnson;
Catchers (start two, one of them is a backup): J.P. Arencibia and Kurt Suzuki
Corner Infielders (start one 1B, one 3B, and one 1B/3B): Joey Votto, Manny Machado, Brandon Belt, and Lyle Overbay;
Middle Infielders (start one 2B, one SS, and one 2B/SS): Brandon Phillips, Asdrubal Cabrera, Yunel Escobar, and Mark Ellis;
Outfielders (one LF, one CF, one RF, two backups): Andy Dirks, Dexter Fowler, Carlos Beltran, Cody Ross, Carlos Gomez, Franklin Gutierrez, Ryan Ludwick, and Avisail Garcia;
Utility (start one as a DH and one backup DH), where I have David Ortiz on the disabled list and Travis Hafner at backup, with Belt manning the starting DH spot right now.
Harrison is out with a back issue and the Ludwick injury was about as big for my team as it was to the Reds, as my LF options were so weak. I knew Ortiz and his heels would be an issue this season, while I hoped that Garcia would win a spot on the Tigers opening day roster after a solid showing late in 2012 before he had heel issues, as well. This is my first year with this team and I was focused on getting some solid young players. During the spring, Belt looked like a steal, and I feel like Machado could become a superstar. I gambled on Fowler in both leagues and it has paid off to this point, and I traded for Votto in this league because of the homer in me (Go Reds!).
Needless to say, injuries have been absolutely awful for a lot of fantasy baseball teams this season. While you can draft depth, it is nearly impossible to overcome significant injuries in any fantasy sport format. Dynasty leagues make those injuries hurt a bit longer because someone out there is the proud owner of Alex Rodriguez, rather than just waiting to draft him late in a one-year league draft; however, the list of injuries seems to be getting out of control right now. Look at the players on each team’s disabled list (as of Saturday, 4/13):
Arizona Diamondbacks: Jason Kubel, Didi Gregorius, Willie Bloomquist, Adam Eaton, Daniel Hudson;
Atlanta Braves: Freddie Freeman, Cristian Martinez, Jonny Venters, Brandon Beachy, Paul Janish, Brian McCann;
Baltimore Orioles: Brian Roberts, Wilson Betemit, Steve Johnson, Tsuyoshi Wada;
Boston Red Sox: John Lackey, Craig Breslow, Franklin Morales, David Ortiz, Ryan Kalish;
Chicago Cubs: Kyuji Fujikawa, Scott Baker, Darwin Barney, Arodys Vizcaino, Matt Garza, Ian Stewart;
Chicago White Sox: Gordon Beckham, John Danks, Leyson Septimo;
Cincinnati Reds: Sean Marshall, Ryan Ludwick, Nick Massett;
Cleveland Indians: Lou Marson, Scott Kazmir, Frank Herrmann, Blake Wood, Josh Tomlin;
Colorado Rockies: Edwar Cabrera;
Detroit Tigers: Avisail Garcia;
Houston Astros: Travis Blackley, Josh Fields, Alex White, Fernando Martinez;
Kansas City Royals: Danny Duffy, Felipe Paulino;
Los Angeles Angels: Kevin Jepsen, Erick Aybar, Jered Weaver, Ryan Madson, Andrew Taylor;
Los Angeles Dodgers: Zack Greinke, Ted Lilly, Scott Elbert, Hanley Ramirez;
Miami Marlins: Casey Kotchman, Jose Ceda, Logan Morrison, Alfredo Silverio, Henderson Alvarez, Nathan Eovaldi, Joe Mahoney, Jeff Mathis;
Milwaukee Brewers: Chris Narveson, Aramis Ramirez, Mark Rogers, Jeff Bianchi, Taylor Green, Corey Hart, Mat Gamel;
Minnesota Twins: Cole De Vries, Tim Wood;
New York Mets: Frank Francisco, Shaun Marcum, Jenrry Mejia, Johan Santana;
New York Yankees: Cesar Cabral, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Michael Pineda, Alex Rodriguez;
Oakland Athletics: Yoenis Cespedes, Scott Sizemore, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Adam Rosales, Fernando Rodriguez;
Philadelphia Phillies: Delmon Young;
Pittsburgh Pirates: Brandon Inge, Jeff Karstens, Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton, Chase d’Arnaud;
San Diego Padres: Casey Kelly, Cory Luebke, Logan Forsythe, James Darnell, Chase Headley, Joe Wieland;
San Francisco Giants: Tony Abreu, Brett Pill, Eric Surkamp;
Seattle Mariners: Michael Saunders, Josh Kinney;
St. Louis Cardinals: Rafael Furcal, Jason Motte, Chris Carpenter;
Tampa Bay Rays: Juan Carlos Oviedo, Jeff Niemann, Luke Scott;
Texas Rangers: Justin Miller, Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz, Colby Lewis, Martin Perez, Joakim Soria;
Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Reyes, Dustin McGowan, Drew Hutchison, Brett Lawrie, Michale Schwimer, Kyle Drabek, Luis Perez;
Washington Nationals: Christian Garcia;
That would be 122 players currently on the disabled list, which is nearly five teams worth of shelved talent. Outside of all of the injured players, you have to add in the struggling players to the frustrations of current fantasy baseball owners. Matt Kemp, Allen Craig, Victor Martinez, Nick Swisher, Pedro Alvarez, Jason Kipnis, Ichiro Suzuki, Giancarlo Stanton, and how about all of those proud Mike Trout owners, not the start you were seeking, out of him or any of the others named, right?
I can’t remember a time where the early season leaders consisted of so few “normal” superstars. Chris Davis and John Buck…enjoy your moment in the sun.
It has truly been a strange start to the 2013 MLB season. Injuries and struggles have a lot to do with thatin the early going, and while it’s easy to wave the white flag, remember that there are only 151 games remaining this year. Suck it up and deal with it…like a Cubs fan does every year.