You know, there was a time in my fantasy career when news of yet another Jose Reyes injury might have motivated me to take serious action, like perhaps volunteering my own hamstrings to the Mets' training staff. (Or, alternately, developing a plan to subdue a blog commenter and harvest their hamstrings, but that's a logistical nightmare. I'd need a van, a lab, a disgraced ex-surgeon. And then I'd have to find a commenter with suitable hamstrings�? a nettlesome issue, let's face it, because you guys do not maintain a high level of fitness. Except you, Johnnyinabucket. So that idea is a nonstarter). These days, all I'm willing to do is pass along the news. Here it is: Reyes has hit the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, again.
Missing three weeks earlier this season with a strain of the same hamstring, Reyes felt another tweak running to first base in the second inning Sunday. Though an MRI taken later that evening revealed that this tear occurred on a different part of the muscle, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said that the injuries are not necessarily unrelated.
"That can happen to anybody ? you're running and you pull a hamstring," Reyes said. "That's part of the game, so I don't worry about what people think. The only thing I worry about is trying to get healthy again and trying to finish the season strong."
The Mets will use Ruben Tejada as a placeholder. Hopefully your fantasy team can find a different sub, but the widely available shortstop options aren't spectacular. At this position, it never takes long before we're kicking the half-filled tires on Jason Bartlett, Darwin Barney, Cliff Pennington, Dee Gordon (speedy, 4 percent owned), Marco Scutaro, and Alcides Escobar. Jed Lowrie just returned from the DL, too. But you're not going to find anyone who can deliver a respectable Reyes impression. Next year, when you draft him, remember to select a caddy in the mid to late-rounds, some SS-eligible player who can cover the absences.
Incredibly enough, we're not finished discussing broken Mets infielders, and we haven't even hit Monday's game action yet...
? Daniel Murphy takes his .320 average to the DL after suffering an MCL strain. He's expected to miss the remainder of the year. Atlanta's Jose Constanza slid through second base on a steal attempt on Sunday, colliding with Murphy. Tough end to a promising season. It sounds like Murphy will avoid surgery, so that seems like decent news.
There's been no end to the second base prospects this year ? Ackley, Kipnis, Lawrie, et al ? so I'll assume you can cover for Murphy at that spot. But at third, where he's also eligible, things are a bit messier. Lawrie will qualify with two more starts (and yes, to me there is no problem that cannot be solved by adding Brett Lawrie). Beyond him, you're probably looking at Justin Turner, the recently not terrible Edwin Encarnacion, or perhaps Cincinnati's Todd Frazier, who ain't here to paint. Wish there were better answers out there, but they're all owned or injured. Like this guy...
? Chase Headley will reportedly miss most or all of the remainder of the season, due to a fractured finger. The replacement options for the Pads include prospects James Darnell (23 HR, .317/.415/.573 at two hitter-friendly levels) and Logan Forsythe (.326/.445/.528 in the PCL). Realistically, these are names that only an N.L.-only manager could love.
? Hanley Ramirez (shoulder) couldn't go for the Fish on Monday, and the Miami Herald suggests that "it appears he'll miss at least a couple of more games based on comments he made to reporters this afternoon." Uh-oh. Fun fact here via the Herald: Florida's record with Hanley in the lineup this season is 50-39, and without him it's 5-21. So the MVP is obviously in the bag, no room for debate. Done. Over.
? One last injury note before we hit the Monday schedule: Carlos Beltran is headed for a precautionary MRI on his right hand/wrist. No one seems to expect terrible news, but the test is cause for concern. [Update: Strained wrist, but should play Tuesday or Wednesday. No need to panic]. In better news for Giants fans, Ramon Ramirez and Eli Whiteside were merely fined for their not-insignificant roles in Friday's melee, while Shane Victorino drew a three-game suspension (which he'll no doubt appeal, just in case all the video of his post-plunk fit is ruled inadmissible).
? Sergio Santos struck out the side in a perfect ninth for the White Sox, earning save No. 23. You'll recall that Chris Sale took the last save chance for Chicago, for lefty-vs.-lefty reasons. Baltimore's JJ Hardy was Santos' first victim on Monday night, but the shortstop still finished 3-for-5 with a double and his 20th homer of the season, a missile down the left field line.
? The Rays edged the Royals on Monday night, 2-1, but let's acknowledge the fine work by Luke Hochevar in a no-decision. He went 7.0 innings, allowing five hits, two walks and one run, striking out seven. That's five straight solid efforts for Hochevar; he entered the night having won his previous three starts. I gave that guy a long look in a few weekly-transaction leagues, scouting the two-start pitchers, but was too cowardly to pull the trigger. Shame.
? Boston's lineup roughed up Joe Nathan and Glen Perkins in the ninth at Minnesota, pulling ahead in the final frame for an 8-6 win. Jason Kubel tried to carry the Twins, going 3-for-4 with a home run. He's just 50 percent owned, which seems a bit light. Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 2-for-5 with a double and a homer for the Red Sox. He also caught a live base-runner (Matt Tolbert) attempting to steal with Tim Wakefield on the mound, a notable achievement. Scott Baker took a no-decision for Minnesota, and the post-game notes suggest that he could be returning to the DL with lingering elbow discomfort.
? If you could just toss out the first four months of the season, the Padres would look like a run-scoring juggernaut. (Also, if you discounted April-July, the Cubs would totally be pennant contenders). San Diego put another eight runs on the board on Monday night in a loss to the Mets, giving them 43 in their last four games. Cameron Maybin went 3-for-5 and swiped his 27th base; Jesus Guzman kept his streak alive, going 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs, lifting his average to .339.
? Matt Harrison earned a layup win against the punchless Mariners, working 7.0 innings, allowing two runs, striking out six. I'm reluctant to give too much credit here, given the low degree-of-difficulty. But you can't really argue with Harrison's run support and his fantasy ratios (3.06 ERA, 1.25 WHIP), and he's got the A's on deck.
? Just to throw in a note that we should have maybe covered a day ago, Rays prospect Matt Moore delivered another brilliant line at Triple-A Durham on Sunday: W, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 10 Ks. That's 39 strikeouts and five walks over 24.2 innings with the Bulls. The lefty's record is now 11-3 across two levels, his ERA is 1.98, and his K:BB ratio is 170:33. Not bad. Whenever he gets the call, it will be an actionable event.
? If you started a Colorado hitter who somehow didn't have a useful fantasy day ? reaching base multiple times, scoring and/or driving in runs ? then we must be talking about Chris Iannetta (0-for-5). All other Rockies helped us in Monday's 10-7 win over the Reds. The first six hitters in Colorado's lineup all had multiple hits, and they all crossed the plate at least once. Todd Helton went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs, just like old times. Dexter Fowler stole his eighth base of the season, and Carlos Gonzalez hit a looooonnng home run, deep to center. If you started Homer Bailey here ... well, that was not one of your better fantasy decisions.
? The Astros used up their weekly allotment of runs on Monday (9), so you should be able to pick on that lineup without fear for a few days. The only Houston batter who failed to get a hit in the win against the D-Backs was Jason Bourgeois. August hasn't really been his best month so far (3-for-26), but it's early. Jose Altuve went 3-for-5, raising his major league average to a Bourgeoisian .348.
? Ryan Madson converted save No. 20 without much difficulty for Philadelphia (1.0 IP, H, 0 R, K). Brad Lidge managed to retire two hitters in a sloppy eighth, giving up a walk, a hit and a wild pitch along the way.
? Charlie Morton held a weakened Giants lineup scoreless over eight innings, allowing six hits and three walks, striking out four. He lowered his ERA to 3.56 and his WHIP to a still-awful 1.50. Morton's K/9 is just 5.6 and he's issued 54 walks, but the league's second-highest ground ball rate has certainly helped his cause (59.6 percent). Ryan Vogelsong had a rare off-night, allowing five runs to the Bucs in as many innings. He allowed nine hits and struck out eight batters, both season highs. The way the scheduled sets up for San Francisco, Vogelsong should get the Marlins next, then the Astros twice, and then the Cubs. Can't complain about that setup.
Photos via US Presswire