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Fantasy Baseball Injury Report and Pickups | Week 2

We may only be five days into the 2021 MLB season, but the injuries are already starting to mount. Of course, over the 162-game regular season, it’s pretty safe to say that any and all players will face at least one ailment. That said, the injury bug seems to be impacting notable fantasy baseball players in the early stages of this season. Monitoring fantasy baseball injury reports is critical to your success throughout the season, and Opening Week is proving to be no exception. 

The goals of this weekly fantasy baseball injury tracker column are twofold. First, we will give a breakdown of the most notable position player injuries that are affecting lineups. Second, we will try to offer a band-aid of sorts for those managers who might be affected by discussing the in-house replacements for each injury. 

There certainly are enough fantasy baseball injuries to talk about after five days of baseball, so let’s dive into our Week 2 update.

Fernando Tatis injury fantasy baseball injury report MLB
Credit: Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Fantasy Baseball Injury Report | Week 2

Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, San Diego Padres

Injuries have been about the only thing seemingly capable of slowing down the ascent of Fernando Tatis Jr., a bonafide baseball star in the making. Unfortunately, his status is once again cloudy following the Padres game on Monday. Tatis injured himself on a swing in the third inning. He immediately crumpled to the ground in pain and was forced to exit on the spot. It was later ruled that Tatis suffered a subluxation (partial dislocation) of his left shoulder. He is scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday after which his status will be updated further by the team.

Fantasy Baseball Pickups + Injury Replacements

As far as filling the void in Tatis’ presumable absence, the Padres have a number of directions they can choose to go. Ha-Seong Kim is listed as the second shortstop on the team’s depth chart. He could be worth a look in fantasy baseball leagues. This could come either at the shortstop position or at second base if San Diego opts to slide Jake Cronenworth over to the left side of the infield. Jurickson Profar is another player with experience at second base and could be involved in the infield shuffle.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates

The favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award, Pirates’ third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes hit a major speed bump in the very first series of the year. Like Tatis, Hayes appeared to sustain his injury on a swing. In this case, the left wrist is the body part in question. While x-rays did come back negative, an MRI revealed significant inflammation and resulted in Hayes landing on the 10-day IL. It’s a major bummer for both Hayes fantasy baseball owners and Pirates fans, who don’t exactly have much else to get excited about this season.

Fantasy Baseball Pickups + Injury Replacements

Phillip Evans replaced Hayes at third following the injury in Sunday’s game. He also drew the start in the Pirates’ game on Monday against the Cincinnati Reds, finishing with a hit, run and RBI. Expect Evans to remain Pittsburgh’s primary third baseman during Hayes’ absence with Erik Gonzalez only occasionally mixing in.

Tim Anderson injury fantasy baseball MLB injury report
Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox

There’s a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding the White Sox this season. One of the key pieces to a team that many believe will win the AL Central is shortstop Tim Anderson. Unfortunately, Anderson exited Sunday’s game in the first inning with hamstring tightness. While manager Tony LaRussa was initially optimistic, it appears this may impact more games than originally expected. Anderson was not in the lineup for Monday’s game and is not expected to play at all in Chicago’s series this week against the Seattle Mariners. While the new target date for return is Thursday’s home opener, it doesn’t seem that the White Sox are holding their breath.

Fantasy Baseball Pickups + Injury Replacements

Leury Garcia predictably drew the start for the White Sox at shortstop on Monday and figures to continue filling in for Anderson going forward. Because of this, his usual position in leftfield is now occupied by Andrew Vaughn, who served as the team’s DH on Friday and Saturday. 

However, you slice it, someone will be seeing extra at-bats until Anderson returns. 28-year-old Yermin Mercedes has been a popular name in the fantasy baseball world. He came up huge in drawing the start at designated hitter on Monday with three hits and two runs scored. The chain reaction of moves to fill the void at shortstop makes Mercedes the name to target in fantasy baseball.

Austin Hays, OF, Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles began their 2021 season with a sweep of the Boston Red Sox in their opening series. Unfortunately, they lost one of their most dynamic young players in the process. Austin Hays strained his right hamstring while diving back into second base during Sunday’s game. The injury has led to a stint on the 10-day IL.

Fantasy Baseball Pickups + Injury Replacements

Baltimore isn’t exactly brimming with fantasy baseball talent, but there are names for managers to watch. Prospect Ryan McKenna was recalled from the taxi squad in the wake of Hays’ injury designation. He drew the start in right field for the O’s on Monday, walking once in three plate appearances in his MLB debut. Whether or not that sticks remains to be seen, as Anthony Santander held down rightfield during the opening series. After designated hitting in Sunday’s game, Ryan Mountcastle started in place of Hays in left on Monday. He and centerfielder Cedric Mullins should remain regular starters with most of the shuffling surrounding the Hays injury coming in rightfield.

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