The Doctor’s Room will, for the duration of the season, examine the game’s most notable injuries and the expected recovery times for the stars in question.
Chris Bassitt, SP, Oakland Athletics
After suffering multiple facial fractures by virtue of being hit by a line drive in the head, Oakland Athletics’ pitcher Chris Bassitt had to miss several weeks and his season was in jeopardy. Surprise! he threw another 30-pitch bullpen session on Monday and has been activated to rejoin the A’s rotation today, on Thursday, against the Mariners, per manager Bob Melvin.
Bassitt has been a valuable mixed league asset this season, with a 12-4 record, a 3.22 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP in 151 innings, with 154 punchouts.
He had been sidelined since mid-August after the unfortunate incident, but him being back after just five weeks makes for a nice story, and a boost for fantasy managers in the playoffs.
Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati Reds
After struggling with an intercostal injury for weeks, Winker made his return on the weekend in the Reds’ series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Unfortunately, he re-aggravated the injury on Friday while swinging the bat, and was placed on the 10-day injured list once again with an intercostal strain.
The 28-year-old doesn’t have a clear return date, but at this point, it might be 2022. The Reds are now 4.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot, with only three series left to play. He may not make it back on time.
If his season is indeed over, Winker would end it with a fine .305 average, 77 runs, 24 homers, 71 RBI, and a superb .950 OPS.
Yordan Alvarez, DH/OF, Houston Astros
The Houston Astros had to remove designated hitter/outfielder Yordan Alvarez from Wednesday’s game with what they called “general soreness”, without providing more specifics about the exact zone or body part.
Alvarez’s surgically-repaired knee has been under scrutiny all season long, and the Astros don’t want to take chances. They did say the reason why they removed him wasn’t his knee, though.
The slugger had hit a mammoth home run earlier in the game. “He was sore. We just could not take a chance,” Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters. “We had to protect him. We just can’t lose him. He probably won’t play tomorrow.” Monitor his status through the week but this doesn’t sound like anything major.
Wade Miley, SP, Cincinnati Reds
Wade Miley has been a force for the Reds, and fantasy owners, all season long. He has a 3.37 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP in 28 starts and 163 innings, adding 125 strikeouts. He has struggled in recent outings, though, and it may be because of a stiff neck.
The Reds announced this week that Miley would be skipped on his next turn through the starting rotation, which is a crushing blow for owners in the fantasy finals.
There is still a good chance he makes one more start in 2021, but it won’t come this week. Plan accordingly.
Cody Bellinger, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers placed outfielder Cody Bellinger on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to September 18, with a left rib fracture. He will reportedly try to play through it but he won’t be eligible to return until September 28.
He would then use those six remaining games on the Dodgers’ calendar to prepare for the playoffs. At this point, however, Bellinger is not a fantasy option, unless you play a dynasty format.
The season from hell continues for the much-maligned former MVP: he underwent shoulder surgery during the offseason and has been placed on the injured list three times, with calf, hamstring, and now rib ailments.
Willy Adames, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
After going down with a quad injury on September 4, Willy Adames’ dream season with the Brewers hit a bump. Thankfully for fantasy managers that were able to endure the semifinals without him, he was activated on September 20.
As of Thursday afternoon, he still hadn’t earned his first hit since coming back, but they should come in no time. Between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Brewers, Adames is hitting .262 with 68 runs scored, 22 blasts, 67 RBI, five thefts, and a .815 OPS.
Last Week’s Doctor Room:
Mike Trout, right calf strain: Won’t return in 2021
Blake Snell, adductor strain: Still not ready to return
Michael Brantley, knee discomfort: Getting closer, but not quite ready to return
Jo Adell, abdominal strain: Won’t return in 2021
Jose Berrios, abdominal tightness: Already back in action
David Bednar, oblique strain: Will throw live batting practice this week, could return before the end of the regular season