Another day, another elbow injury, but this time it's not a pitcher hitting the shelf.
Carlos Beltran was placed on the disabled list by the Yankees on Wednesday with bone spurs in his right elbow. Beltran hyperextended the elbow while taking swings in the batting cage between at-bats during Monday's game, and a cortisone shot didn't prove effective enough to save him from the DL.
It may also not be enough to save him from a more serious outcome. Beltran will continue to take cortisone in pill form while on the disabled list in hopes that it will help his elbow heal, but surgery to fix the elbow remains an option.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi suggested such a decision could be made at the end of his initial DL stay.
"I think you have to give the treatment and medicine some time to work, but I guess if it gets to that point, they'll make the decision when they think its right," Girardi said. "How much better it's going to get over the next 13 or so days, none of us really know until we go through it."
Beltran is likely to be examined by Dr. James Andrews -- who will likely enjoy the temporary reprieve from prescribing Tommy John surgery to all his pitching patients -- at some point over the 15-day stint, a visit that will help guide Beltran's decision.
If Beltran does opt for surgery, his stay on the disabled list could last a while. On Thursday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said surgery could sideline the 37-year-old for anywhere from six to 12 weeks. Six weeks would put him on target to return shortly after July's All-Star break, and the full 12 weeks would mean we likely wouldn't see Beltran back on the field until September.
Beltran's absence, however long it might be, opens the door for Ichiro Suzuki to once again become fantasy relevant. (This may be the first time in history that an injury to a 37-year-old creates an opportunity for an older player.) Suzuki has appeared in 30 games this year but has just 55 at-bats. He's made the most of them, though, batting .364/.397/.436 with two stolen bases.
Assuming he's healthy himself -- he hasn't appeared in a game since Sunday after attempting a dive left him with a sore knee and back -- Ichiro is definitely a must-own in AL-only leagues if he isn't already, and he'll likely have some mixed league value as well in deeper leagues.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $45,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Friday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Friday. Here's the FanDuel link.
O's To Use Committee To Close?
With a one-run lead in the ninth inning Thursday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter turned to Britton, not Hunter, to close out the victory over the Royals. With Hunter having allowed runs in each of his last four outings, it's a move that could become a pattern going forward.
“We're going to use whatever gives us the best chance to win,” Showalter said. “The best chance to put guys in the best spot to be successful and to be healthy. That's the way we are looking at it.”
That Britton was given the chance to earn his first career save in a one-run game -- while facing right-handed hitting Danny Valencia and Johnny Giavotella, no less -- says more about Hunter's struggles than anything.
The 27-year-old flirted with disaster but managed to get the job done in saving his 10th and 11th games last week, but Hunter has blown his last two save opportunities, allowing six runs while striking out one over 1 1/3 innings. The outings raised his season ERA to 6.60 and WHIP to 1.87.
Britton appears to be just one of the options to save games for Showalter, as does Hunter, assuming the matchup is right. At this point, it's hard to put too much faith in anyone pitching in the ninth inning for the Orioles.
Will Kole Remain Hot?
Just over a month later, Kole Calhoun will look to build on his best game of the season when he takes the field Friday.
Calhoun will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday, a month and a day after he sprained his right ankle in an extra-innings loss to the Athletics.
In that game, Calhoun had his strongest performance of the young season. After scuffling for much of the season's first two weeks, the 26-year-old finished the game 3-for-6 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored. Calhoun had seven hits in 15 at-bats over a three-game stretch, including three doubles and a triple to go with the home run.
Calhoun's owners will hope that performance continues over when Calhoun is activated early next week. The outfielder is scheduled to rejoin the Angels for their series against the Astros starting on Tuesday, and he'll likely be reinserted atop the Angels' lineup as well. Upon reinstatement, Calhoun should be active in all fantasy formats as well.
National League Quick Hits: Tim Hudson will miss his scheduled start on Friday due to a strained hip. The injury isn't serious enough that the Giants will need to place him on the disabled list, fortunately, and he should be ready for his next start. Yusemiero Petit will instead face the Marlins on Friday ... Johnny Cueto threw a three-hit shutout against the Padres on Thursday afternoon, striking out eight. He now has a video game-like 1.25 ERA, 0.71 WHIP and 76/18 K/BB ratio over 72 innings of work -- an average of eight innings per start -- this season ... Travis d'Arnaud was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list Thursday. D'Arnaud was clocked in the head by Alfonso Soriano's backswing during Tuesday's game, and he felt some concussion symptoms on Wednesday as a result. He'll be re-evaluated after the seven days are up ... CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that Hanley Ramirez is looking for a deal in "excess of $130 million" to stay with the Dodgers. The only risk would be health -- when healthy, Ramirez is worth that kind of money and then some ... After being outrighted off the Mets' roster on Wednesday, Kyle Farnsworth has elected free agency. Farnsworth saved a game as recently as Monday for the Mets, and a reliever-needy team could give him a look ... Anthony DeSclafani will remain in the Marlins' rotation for the time being. DeSclafani allowed two runs over six innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday to pick up his first major league victory. Newly signed Randy Wolf and uber-prospect Andrew Heaney will have to wait for their shots.
American League Quick Hits: A day after dislocating his left thumb sliding into second base, Ben Zobrist was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Rays. Sean Rodriguez, Logan Forsythe and Cole Figueroa will fill in at the keystone in Zobrist's absence ... Martin Perez (elbow) has opted to undergo Tommy John surgery, an outcome that seemed likely after it was reported Wednesday that the 23-year-old had a partial tear of his UCL in his left elbow. Perez likely won't be back in the majors until the middle of the 2015 season ... Michael Brantley (back) missed Thursday's contest against the Blue Jays. Brantley left Wednesday's game with mid-back tightness, and he should be back in the Tribe's lineup on Friday ... Edwin Encarnacion hit two more home runs Thursday, giving him eight in his last 23 games after going homerless over his first 19 games. His 30 RBI are good for eighth in the majors ... Heath Bell could soon join the crowded Orioles closer committee, as the O's are one of four teams reportedly showing interest in the 36-year-old. The Mariners are also known to be interested, as are two unkown clubs ... Chris Sale (elbow) had his rehab start with Triple-A Charlotte bumped from Thursday to Friday due to rain. Sale is expected to need two starts to get his arm into shape before returning to the White Sox.