The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim placed outfielders Torii Hunter (oblique) and Vladimir Guerrero (knee, hamstring) on the disabled list Friday, July 10. Hunter is out with an adductor strain in his right side. Guerrero is on the DL with a strained muscle behind his left knee and a lower hamstring strain.
In a related move, the team recalled shortstop Brandon Wood and catcher Bobby Wilson from Triple-A Salt Lake.
Hunter last played on Tuesday, July 7, and he will miss the All-Star Game next week. He has been favoring his right side for roughly two months. Hunter initially injured his right rib cage while slamming into the wall May 22 and re-injured the area crashing into the outfield wall June 15. He is batting .305 with 17 home runs and 65 RBIs to go along with 13 stolen bases.
This will be Guerrero's second trip to the DL this season; he missed 38 games earlier this year with a strained pectoral muscle. He was playing in only his second game in the outfield when he injured his left knee. Vladdy is hitting .290 with four home runs and 21 RBIs while mostly serving as the designated hitter this season.
There is no skirting around the issue: The injuries to Hunter and Guerrero are a huge blow to the team. They take out the heart of the order for a big series against the New York Yankees this weekend. Luckily, they will receive some rest without missing any games during the All-Star break.
Outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. figures to benefit by receiving extra playing time. Wilson will serve as the backup catcher to Jeff Mathis, which will free up Mike Napoli for designated-hitter duties. Wood could be used at third base if the team decides to shift third baseman Chone Figgins to the outfield.
Wood, once considered one of the team's top prospects, was hitting .313 with 17 home runs and 52 RBIs in 70 games for Salt Lake. Wilson hit .261 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs in 65 games with Salt Lake.
Fantasy owners of Hunter and Vlad should reserve their outfield stars, on DL spots if possible, and wait for their return, which could be sometime shortly after the break. Owners of Vladdy should be very concerned, given his recent physical breakdown and offensive decline. He was just starting to show signs of turning things around before the injury occurred.
Matthews should be given consideration in all leagues, especially deep mixed and AL versions. He performed well while Guerrero was sidelined earlier this year. Mathis and Wood could be considered in AL-only formats, and Wilson should be ignored.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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