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Clinical Notes: Votto, Bautista, Ortiz and Lowrie
Nate Springfield | Friday July 20th, 2012
Joey Votto's routine surgery should not worry owners too much. (US Presswire)
Joey Votto's routine surgery should not worry owners too much. (US Presswire)
This past week has been tough on fantasy owners as they deal with injuries to their star players. No matter what type of league you play in, you've likely had to make changes due to injured players.

Below are some brief round-ups and details of the recent developments, as well as some analysis of what the injuries could do to fantasy rosters.

With the trade deadline looming, a few owners maybe looking outsides of their current options to fill the voids left by their players hitting the disabled list.

Joey Votto - 1B, Cincinnati Reds
National League MVP candidate Joey Votto hit the disabled list this past Tuesday after having surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus.  This injury should sideline the productive first baseman for three-to-four weeks.  Before the injury Votto was on pace to duplicate his counting stats from last year, but was hitting for a much higher batting average at .342, which makes a huge difference in his fantasy value.  There is no way a fantasy owner can replace that kind of production by scouring the waiver wire, but there shouldn't be an urgency to make a trade to replace him in your lineup.  Because this was a routine procedure, expect the three-to-four week timetable for return to be accurate barring any setbacks, and ride out the injury with replacement players like Luke Scott (available in 87% of Yahoo! Leagues), Adam Lind (available in 66% of Yahoo! Leagues) or Votto's soon-to-be-eligible at first base replacement Todd Frazier (available in 93% of Yahoo! Leagues).

Jose Bautista - 3B/OF, Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto slugger Jose Bautista suffered an injury to his left wrist on Monday night on a swing that sent a foul ball deep down the third base line and into the stands.  An MRI revealed there is no significant structural damage to the wrist, but the discomfort and inflammation was enough to land Bautista on the disabled list.  As with any power hitter, an injury to the wrist or hand is worrisome - especially for a hitter with such a violent swing as Bautista.  There isn't necessarily a time table for his return, but the Blue Jays and fantasy owners alike are hoping for a minimum stay on the DL.  It is hard to predict what kind of production Joey Bats will have when he returns because of the nature of the injury, but in the mean time owners can look at call-up Anthony Gose (featured in this week's AL/NL-only Under the Radar), Lorenzo Cain, or Delmon Young (both featured in this week's Mixed League Under the Radar) as possible replacements while Bautista is out.

David Ortiz - DH, Boston Red Sox
Just when it appeared the Red Sox were getting healthy with the recent return of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford , their designated hitter David Ortiz suffers an injury to his right Achilles tendon while rounding the bases on another player's home run, landing him on the disabled list retroactive to July 17th.  Ortiz has quietly put together a great and consistent season with a triple-slash line of .316/.414/.609, hitting 23 home runs, and plating 58 RBI.  Big Papi is currently in a walking boot, and expect the Red Sox to make sure he is close to 100-percent healthy before making a return since an injury like this has a tendency to be re-aggravated easily.  With Ortiz being only DH eligible in most leagues any names already mentioned would be good choices to replace him, but you could also look at his teammate Cody Ross who is currently on a nice hot streak at the plate.

Jed Lowrie - 3B/SS, Houston Astros
Even though his name does not carry the same weight as the previous three players mentioned, Jed Lowrie's production while being shortstop eligible has been a big boost to most fantasy owners this season.  The former Red Sox prospect suffered a high ankle strain, with ligament damage, while turning a double play at the end of last week.  A four-to-six week timetable has been put on his return, but expect him to miss at least six weeks with the nature of this injury and the injury history Lowrie has over his career.  This will be the second trip to the disabled list this season for Lowrie, who is ranked 15th overall among shortstops in standard Yahoo! 5x5 leagues.  If you are in a jam roster wise he is probably droppable at this point in time.   
Nate SpringfieldNate Springfield joined the Baseball Press crew for the 2010 season and hosts the site's podcast. His love for the game has grown thanks to fantasy baseball, with a specialty in NL-only auction leagues. You can contact him at nate@baseballpress.com or follow him on Twitter @NateSpringfield.