*By Tim McCullough
Jeurys Familia RP, Mets
The Mets activated relief pitcher Jeurys Familia on Sunday after a one-week trip to the disabled list with a sore shoulder. The Mets placed Familia on the DL after a stretch of six tough outings in which he gave up four earned runs in seven innings for two losses and a blown save. Inside Injuries pegged June 21 as Familia’s Return to Health date, so he came back from the DL a little earlier than he should have. Indeed, he gave up a run in his first outing after returning that tied the game after eight full innings. Fortunately for Familia, the Mets’ offense bailed him out and got the win for him. Familia’s fantasy owners should keep him active but keep a wary eye on him; his Health Performance Index remains Poor and he is at High Risk for injury for the time being.
Kevin Kiermaier OF, Rays
The Rays accelerated Kiermaier’s planned rehab assignment and activated the outfielder for Tuesday night’s game. Kiermaier injured ligaments in his thumb in mid-April, which required surgery to repair the damage. While Kiermaier is still experiencing pain at the surgical site, he insists that he can play through it. During his rehab assignment he went 7 for 17 with four walks and a stolen base, but in his first game back in MLB he went 0 for 5. Kiermaier surpassed the June 3 Return to Health date calculated by Inside Injuries’ algorithm, but he remains at High Risk for injury and carries a Poor Health Performance Index. Hand and thumb injuries typically impact a hitter’s power, so fantasy owners need to realize that Kiermaier may not hit many home runs during the first few weeks he’s back.
The Giants’ ace has struggled in his three outings since returning from the disabled list. He’s pitched a total of 17.1 innings and allowed nine runs on 19 hits and five walks. Bumgarner has struck out nine, allowed three home runs during that span, and opponents are batting .270 against him. Although the injury to his shoulder wasn’t considered major, he missed two months at the beginning of the season. His rehab assignment carried him well past his May 3 Return to Health date. Right now, more than three months since his injury, Inside Injuries has his Health Performance Index dialed in as Above Average. Bumgarner is still trying to iron out his mechanics after a long layoff. He’s been laying off his fastball in favor of his changeup, which he is using three times more often than in the past. Overall, he’s getting fewer swings and misses, fewer swings at pitches out of the zone, and fewer first pitch strikes, as all three metrics are at career lows. At some point, assuming he remains healthy, regression to the mean will kick in and we will start to see Bumgarner pitch like the ace he’s been. Hang in there with him.