Fantasy Baseball 2023: 5 Injury-Risk Players to Avoid in Your Drafts
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros, Left Hand Soreness
Last year's postseason hero has not had the proper time to ramp up in Spring Training because of lingering soreness in his left hand. It is better that the issue is with his top hand, but this is an issue that has carried over from last season.
The fact that he has already required rest to manage the issue is not an encouraging sign and our panel of doctors cannot rule out at least one trip to the 15-day IL this season.
Alvarez is likely not worth his top-10 ADP if he will require more rest days than other top hitters.
Kris Bryant, Colorado Rockies, Lingering Back Issues
Bryant played just 42 games for the Rockies last season due to a back injury that repeatedly caused stiffness and soreness.
That back stiffness has already re-emerged in Spring Training and has a high possibility of popping up during the regular season.
A gamble on Bryant could pay off, but there are other talented outfielders available near his ADP like Nick Castellanos and Taylor Ward.
Raisel Iglesias, Atlanta Braves, Right Shoulder Inflammation
Last year’s trade deadline acquisition will start the season on the 15-day IL due to “shoulder inflammation.” The Braves are reportedly optimistic he will return soon after the minimum 15 days, but that depends on the cause of the inflammation.
If the root of the problem is not addressed, Iglesias could easily miss more time during the regular season.
A.J. Minter, who converted 15 of 17 save opportunities during his rookie season, will likely take over the closing duties with Iglesias out. Minter had 49 holds and 5 saves last season in 70 appearances.
Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins, Left Knee
Polanco will start the season on the 10-day IL after experiencing left knee soreness during Spring Training. Left knee issues limited him to 104 games for the Twins last season as he hit a career-low .235 with just 3 stolen bases.
Although the team is downplaying his recent knee soreness, our panel of doctors never like when an injury stretches across two seasons.
With the bigger bases, a second baseman who can steal bags shouldn’t be hard to find around his ADP. Look to Jonathan India, Jeff McNeil or Jake Cronenworth to provide more value.
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals, Groin Strain
The 41-year-old righty made it through the World Baseball Classic unscathed but reportedly suffered a groin strain while training in the weight room on Tuesday. He will start the season on the 15-day IL and will likely take weeks before he’s ready to begin ramping up again on the mound.
Durability issues are already a concern for most pitchers over 40 and the Cardinals will surely be cautious in easing him back into the rotation and building up his arm.
Although Wainwright has proven that his stuff remains effective this late in his career, the lifelong Cardinal isn’t worth the risk.
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