Fantasy impact of Chapman's injury 

March, 20, 2014
Entering Thursday, there was only one relief pitcher being selected ahead of Cincinnati Reds lefty Aroldis Chapman in ESPN standard drafts. Unfortunately, this will change now that Chapman is likely out until mid-May at least after a scary incident Wednesday night when a line drive off the bat of Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez struck him in the face. While our first thoughts should always be about the player and his health, of course there are fantasy implications. Chapman has facial fractures in his nose and near his left eye, and surgery to insert a metal plate is pending.


While there’s little reason to be concerned with how the electric Chapman performs once he returns to active duty, the fact is he could miss one-third of the season -- or perhaps more -- and that is a big deal. Again, we all want him healthy and thriving, and that’s the first concern, but 6-to-8 weeks is quite a while in a season that lasts perhaps 24 weeks at the most, depending on your league rules and format. While I am certainly not the fellow that selects one of the top closers in the first place -- along with catchers and one-dimensional stolen base guys -- in the top 100 overall, this news does push Chapman down the rankings quite a bit, and there’s always inherent risk in the unknown timetables for injured folks as opposed to safer, healthier choices.