- Matt Kemp -  photo by: Keith Allison
– Matt Kemp –
photo by: Keith Allison

Here is TheFantasyFix.com’s week fifteen update on all notable injured players, right here in one spot. Here you will find an update on a player’s progress as well as my spin on their expected return dates and fantasy impact upon return. The players are listed by expected return date.

The big addition this week is Matt Kemp.  Kemp is back on the DL when it seems like I just took his name off the list.  This time it’s not a leg injury, it’s his shoulder.  He as been nothing but a disappointment for fantasy owners this season.

NEW ON THE SHELF: Matt Kemp, Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Howard, Neil Walker

BACK IN ACTION: Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Derek Jeter, Carl Crawford, Dan Haren, AJ Burnett, Dexter Fowler, Michael Pineda

KEEP AN EYE ON: Matt Cain left his start after just 2/3 of an inning and there are rumblings that the Giants think he may have an injury he isn’t admitting to. Keep an eye on that.

PLAYER EXPECTED RETURN DATE LATEST UPDATE
Jedd Gyorko 7/13/2013 Gyorko went 2-3 with a double in his rehab game Wednesday night.  He may play in another rehab game but it appears he could be ready to go when the Padres want to make the call, so this weekend seems likely.
Brett Lawrie 7/19/2013 Lawrie appears to be switching over the second base and  has been working there in his rehab games.  This changes the game for him for fantasy purposes as he may have increased value to help someone who needs a 2B.  He has been terrible this season even when healthy but the talent is there.  He should be back after the All Star break.
Melky Cabrera 7/19/2013 Melky will start rehab games this weekend which will take him into the All Star break.  If all goes well he should rejoin the Blue Jays shortly after the break.  I didn’t see Melky as an impact fantasy OF this season. I never saw him as more than a replacement OF before his roid stats showed up.  He will likely have a suspension announced during the second half, if that does happen, it will probably be appealed and wont affect his 2013, not nearly as much as his disappointing numbers will.
Jake Peavy 7/19/2013 Peavy is set to pitch in a rehab game on Sunday and assuming all goes as planned he should be back with the White Sox the weekend after the All Star break.
Alex Rodriguez 7/19/2013 ARod got his first RBI on a single in his most recent rehab game and is progressing his innings in the field per game.  He is scheduled to join the Yankees after the All Star break, perhaps as soon as a week from now.  He will likely have a suspension of some sort announced for him due to the biogenesis scandal, but it wont affect him for this season.  There is no telling what kind of affect Alex will have in terms of production for the Yankees but they are currently throwing no-names out there on the hot corner so he will surely take over and the Yanks will just hope they get something decent out of him.
Matt Kemp 7/21/2013 Donnie Baseball believes Kemp should be back after the 15 day stint expires, which would be the 21st.  Buy low if you want, but Kemp seems shot this year.  Usually when i say that I reverse jinx a player though, so now you don’t know what to do!
Alexi Ogando 7/21/2013 Ogando will be pitching in his second rehab start today (Thursday) and his next and final start would take place on Tuesday the 16h, which would prime him for a return to the Rangers on Sunday the 21st, barring any setbacks.
Neil Walker 7/22/2013 Walker is battling a mild oblique strain that is affecting him from the left side of the plate.  The switch-hitter is eligible to come off the DL after the All Star break on the 22nd, and I think that is quite possible.
Clay Buchholz 7/24/2013 Buchholz is scheduled to make his first of two rehab starts Sunday.  This sets him up to come back around the 24th for Boston.  Fantasy owners, myself included can only hope he returns to his first half form.
Brandon Beachy 7/24/2013 Beachy had his first successful rehab start since his June setback, and by successful I mean no soreness was reported.  He gave up 2 runs in three innings splitting a walk and strikeout.  He could rejoin the Braves rotation in about 2 weeks if all goes well.  At this point it is looking like the bell is tolling for Paul Maholm as he has been the “weakest” if you can even say that, of the Braves excellent rotation right now.  So Beachy could return around a week after the All Star Game.
Ryan Vogelsong 7/26/2013 Vogelsong continues to throw before games in the outfield without any problems.  From there he will need to go to extended long toss (120-150 feet), then to a mound for bullpen sessions, then simulated games, and of course rehab games.  He is still probably three weeks away.  He could rejoin the Giants at the end of the month and they could certainly use him.  There are rumblings about Matt Cain possibly being hurt and we all know about the inconsistency of former ace Tim Lincecum so the Giants will welcome Vogelsong back with open arms once he is ready, regardless of his early season performance.
Curtis Granderson 7/30/2013 Granderson’s only progress since my DL report last week is that he is swinging a bat under water.  That’s a pretty limited “step forward” if you even want to call it that.  It appears he isn’t healing as quickly as anticipated although the Bombers hold out hope he can return before the calendar turns to August.  It doesn’t appear to be an issue with the bone but the muscles/tendons around it.  Fantasy owners would sure love boosting their offense with some power if and when he comes back.
Michael Morse 7/31/2013 Morse isn’t progressing as he had hoped and he is due back much later than initially expected.  His injured quad is still quite sore and due to this he is not being cleared to play in rehab games.  He probably wont see a rehab game until after the All Star Break.  He could be out until the end of the month.  If you asked Morse if his quad hurt I wonder if his response would involve a bear and the woods.
Aramis Ramirez 7/31/2013 Ramirez has been battling a knee injury all year but he apparently aggravated it bad enough on a diving play to send him out of the game and to the DL.  There really is no timetable for his return but considering it has been a lingering injury and he has now hurt it bad enough to hit the DL, he could be out a while.  I am guessing when I saw end of the month because I really don’t know.  The severity of the injury hasn’t been reported.  Try and fill your 3B spot if you can, it could be a while.
Colby Lewis 7/31/2013 Lewis has thrown a BP session, and should throw another this weekend.  Depending on how he feels from that will determine if he can finally pitch in rehab games. He will likely need a few rehab games to build up his pitch count and strength so late July is the optimistic side for his return.  It could most certainly be later, as Lewis has already had setbacks trying to come back from this injury.
Paul Konerko 8/2/2013 The ageing first baseman has been battling back issues all year.  This looks like it might be the end of the road for Konerko.  He wont be back until at least a week after the All Star break, but I am figuring early August.
Johnny Cueto 8/2/2013 Cueto is still at least a week away from throwing.  The Reds will nurse him back being that this is the third time he is on the DL this year for the same lat injury.  Even if he does begin throwing next week he is still weeks away.  The Reds are going to take their time so early August is the earliest, that’s my guess.  What aids that theory is that Tony Cingrani has been very good since Cueto returned to the DL so the Reds have no urgency to rush their ace back from this third DL stint.  Any way you slice it, Cueto has been a fantasy nightmare this year.
Brandon Morrow 8/2/2013 Morrow has progressed to bullpen sessions, albeit only 25 pitches.  He needs to increase that, and throw several before he can be cleared to either throw to hitters or start a lengthy rehab assignment.  Early August seems too optimistic, but its possible.  Morrow has never thrown 200 innings in a season and this is his fourth year as a full time starting pitcher.  He is on the lower end of the reliability totem pole for fantasy starters as far as I am concerned.
Alex Cobb 8/2/2013 Cobb cleared all concussion tests and is already throwing bullpen sessions. I am not sure, but I would assume he needs to get in a rehab game to make sure he can handle the full experience.  It should like he is about 3 weeks away from returning to the Rays rotation.
Chris Carpenter 8/2/2013 The Six Million Dollar Man (TV Show reference, not his contract) was apparently looking stellar in a simulated game and may hit the rehab trail early next week.  After a few successful rehab starts, barring any setbacks, he could join the Cardinals in about 3 weeks. There are no guarantees he will hop into the rotation, but if he is classic Carpenter you can bet he will.  Tracking his path back this year has been interesting to say the least. Amazing comeback if it happens.
Ryan Madson 8/2/2013 Madson may hit the rehab trail after the break, and being that he is a 1 inning pitcher it shouldn’t take long.  As insane as this sounds, he could actually return at month’s end at the earliest.  However, Ernesto Frieri has converted 22 of 24 save opportunities and has struck out 60 batters in under 40 innings so its safe to say the job will remain his.
Josh Willingham 8/9/2013 Wllingham’s surgery must have been very successful in that he is already working out.  He is still not expected to be back until mid-August.  He had not performed well before the injury, although to his credit he apparently was playing with the knee injury for some time which certainly can hamper a power hitters ability.  You can’t assume he’ll be back to his old self when he’s activiated, but time will tell. Either way, he is still about a month away from returning at best.
Jon Niese 8/20/2013 Niese has been cleared to begin the “rehab process”.  The rehab process starts with exercise, throwing, long toss, bullpen, rehab starts.  He is long away from returning.  Noone wants to give a return timetable for Niese but I am taking a shot in the dark and based on the typical pitcher rehab schedule I think he’ll be back in the third week of August.  If you need a pitcher around that time he is worth a shot.  A healthy Niese is an effective third starter and fantasy owners often find themselves staring at a ghost town free agent list towards the end of the season.
Ryan Howard 9/3/2013 Howard had surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus.  His left knee is his power leg, his push off leg.  This is not very good news.  even if he does come back for your team for two or three weeks in the fantasy playoffs, I don’t think he’ll be much of a factor for you.  Howard is becoming one of those one-dimensional bloated contract players as he enters his mid-thirties.
Angel Pagan 9/17/2013 Considering Pagan had such a severe hamstring injury that he needed surgery, he will be on the shelf for a while.  Even a serious strain shelves players, like Giancarlo Stanton earlier this year, for a month.  I have read he could be back in the early part of September, but I think even that is too early.  I have been wrong before, but I just don’t see Pagan having any fantasy value left for 2013.
Cory Luebke UNKNOWN – OUT INDEFINITELY Luebke is convinced he will be able to pitch before the season is over, but there has been no progress nor proof to support that.  I don’t see him having fantasy relevance for this season but if he gets everything together he’ll be a nice late round snag for 2014.
Roy Halladay UNKNOWN – OUT INDEFINITELY Halladay’s on the 60-day DL. He could be back for the last month of the season, but thats impossible to determine until he starts some form of throwing after he rehabs post-surgery. Based on how he has pitched this year, his age, and the surgery, his fantasy value for this season is very low.
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