Brian McCann (C, Astros) – Cautious Start – McCann has finally returned to the Astros lineup after spending two months on the disabled list with a knee injury. McCann remains at High Risk for injury despite it being well past his August 18 return to health date. His Health Performance Factor (HPF) remains below average as well. McCann is batting just .203 with five home runs but he will play several times a week because the Astros need him behind the dish for his influence on the pitching staff. Hopefully, you have a better catcher on your fantasy team.
Gary Sanchez (C, Yankees) – Cautious Start – Sanchez surpassed his Return to Health date on August 21 but finally returned to action on September 1. He remains at High Risk for Injury with a Below Average HPF. The Yankees are fighting for a wild card spot in the playoffs, so they will play Sanchez and his impact bat as often as he can tolerate. He’s batting just .186 for the season with 14 home runs.
Salvador Perez (C, Royals)- Sit – Perez suffered an injury to his thumb last Tuesday and has remained out of the lineup since. The Royals have called up a number of minor leaguers including catcher Meibrys Viloria, so they have no need to put Perez on the disabled list. If you own Perez, he belongs on your bench this week, as he is not likely to play until he is completely healed.
Shohei Ohtani (SP, Angels) – Sit – Ohtani returned to the mound for the Angels with mixed results. His first two innings were electric, but his velocity dropped noticeably in the third inning and he was removed from the game. Manager Mike Scioscia said the velocity drop was due to a tight back and a problem with his ring finger. Regardless of the cause, Inside Injuries maintains their position that Tommy John surgery is a necessity for Ohtani to return to the mound fully healthy. He remains at High Risk for injury with a Poor HPF. Those of you in leagues with daily moves can use Ohtani as a hitter but keep him benched as a pitcher.
Marcell Ozuna (OF, Cardinals) – Cautious Start – Marcell Ozuna returned to action for the Cardinals on Sunday after missing about a week with a sore shoulder. The injury has bothered Ozuna for most of the season, but he’s been able to play through it. Ozuna returned before his September 5 Return to Health date so he remains at High Risk for injury with a Below Average HPF. It might be best to bench him until he shows he can hit with the injury. He went hitless in his first game back.
Martin Prado (IF, Marlins) – Cautious Start – Prado returned to the Marlins’ lineup over the weekend after missing a couple of weeks with a hamstring injury. Prado is past his Return to Health date, but while he is still at High Risk for injury, his HPF is Above Average. Prado may only play on a limited basis during the final month because the Marlins have a bench loaded with youngsters they would like to evaluate against Major League pitching. As such, Prado will have limited fantasy value outside of deep NL-only leagues.
*By Tim McCullough