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Fantasy Fix: Notes From The Hurt Lockers

A disturbingly large number of star players are currently on the disabled list or have been on and off the DL all season.

And having a player drafted in the first- or second-round out of the lineup for weeks, or in some cases, months, is a sure way to land in the bottom half of the fantasy baseball standings.

Here's a brief list of stars with scars, and what we can expect for the rest of the season:

Matt Kemp: Arguably the biggest fantasy disappoint of the year even before he got hurt, Kemp originally was thought to be coming back from a hamstring injury by next week. The latest report is that there is still no timetable for a rehab stint. My money says he won't be back until after the All-Star break, and he won't be stealing bases as often as he did before he got hurt.

Bryce Harper: Harper might be a bigger disappoint than Kemp simply because the hype machine nudged him from a fourth-round pick to a second-round pick before the season started. Harper may be that good, but his recovery from a knee injury has been touch-and-go. He could be back by the end of this month, but Harper owners were expecting him back sooner.

Jose Reyes: Reyes is already playing rehab games in the minors, so he's very close to returning from a bad ankle sprain. When's he's healthy, he's electric, and could have a stellar second half for a team just beginning to find itself, but he's also injury prone.

Hanley Ramirez: More a fallen star than a star, since he was ranked outside the top 100 before the season. There was a good chance for him to succeed as a sleeper pick, but he has spent almost all season on the DL, or playing half-time and at half-speed because of lingering injury issues. Not a bad bet for a second-half breakout, provided can stay off the DL.

David Price: It was looking like he could be out until early July, but might be back sooner based on good reports from his simulated games. However, he had been pitching very poorly - a 1-4 record - before a triceps strain in mid-May. Can he get back to Cy Young form in the second half?

Ryan Braun: A nerve problem in his right hand shut down the alleged cheater, and Milwaukee, well out of contention, will give him all the time he needs to recover. Just guessing, but this one has the vibe of a problem that could linger well into the second half.

Troy Tulowitzki: The injury prone shortstop is out again with a rib fracture. He had been having arguably a career-best season at the plate thus far, and he'll probably be great when he returns around the end of July, but how long until the next injury?

Roy Halladay: Another fallen star who didn't even get drafted in some leagues. Everyone is rooting for one of the hardest-working players around to make a big comeback. There is no guarantee he will be back in 2013, but sounds determined to make it happen, which could make him an interesting waiver wire pick-up during fantasy baseball postseason.

Expert Wire
* likes Hector Santiago - eligible as both a starter and reliever in most leagues - as a waiver wire pick. You can't pick up Sox pitchers for victories these days, but Santiago may deliver in every other stat field.

* Bleacher Report notes that Stephen Strasburg is no longer an injured star.

* throws cold water on the Wil Myers hype.


Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

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