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Injury Watch: The Returns Of Salvador Perez and Stephen Drew

Today's Injury Watch will focus on a few players with low ceilings, but high floors. These recovering players can definitely help your squad in a few small ways, just don't expect them to go bananas and kickstart your frantasy squad.

Salvador Perez, Royals

Royals fans were awfully happy to see Salvador Perez return from his knee injury earlier than expected this week. Fresh off a nice little six-year contract extension and a promising rookie season, Sal promptly busted his meniscus in his left knee and required surgery and physical therapy to repair the damage. But now, as of June 22, the Royals catcher of the present-and-future is back. Perez has only seen action in three games (as of the writing of this article), but he's already shown promising returns by garnering four hits in 12 PA and belting a homer.

What does Sal Perez mean for your fantasy team? Well, he's worth a provisional add in almost every league -- so long as you know what you're getting. If you're playing traditional 5x5, expect him to help you in batting average...aaaaannd that's about it. In the Royals lineup (where he usually hits either seventh or eighth) he's not going to kick out big R and RBI numbers. And you better believe he's not stealing any bases with the surgically-repaired wheel. Given that Perez hasn't yet grown into any substantive power (3 HR last year in 158 PA), you're basically paying for batting average. But that's ok, because lots of catchers are pretty terrible, and your team's batting average probably isn't as good as you want it to be.

Perez looks best as a backup backstop, seeing use as a hedge against a Mike Napoli or Jesus Montero type of catcher who brings power and RBI, but can hurt your BA. And if you're still running Josh Thole or Ramon Hernandez or someone else who you thought would be good, but really isn't, out there, then pick up Perez on the wire and plug him in. He's unlikely to burn you.

Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks

I'm tempted to use a find-replace function to swap "Stephen Drew" with "The Perennially Disappointing Stephen Drew". Despite being one of my favorite non-Metropolitan players (we share the same alma mater), Drew has consistently burned me when I draft him for a fantasy squad. This year, of course, was no different. I drafted him thinking that he'd be out maybe a month at most to kick off the 2012 season as he recovered from a really, really rough ankle injury in the middle of the 2012 season. Instead, it took him about three months to get ready. Set to make his debut on or around June 27, it's time for him to get back in the game, and to replace the black hole (read: Willie Bloomquist) that the Diamondbacks have at shortstop.

Drew's had one very good season (2010), but hasn't ever consistently delivered on his potential with the bat. Even his best season was more of a great "real life" season than a fantasy season...Drew only managed 15 HR and 10 SB, to go with respectable R and BA totals. At shortstop, these are pretty good numbers, but they probably reflect the high-end of what you should expect from Drew, and that's over a full season! My expectations of Drew are realistic, but a bit on the optimistic side. I have a feeling that Drew will hit for power, and his ballpark in Arizona should help him out there. Eight or ten homers isn't impossible for Drew, and I figure that pretty soon, he'll hit in a spot in the lineup that will give him the ability to steal a few (maybe four or five) bases, and be driven in by AZ's bigger boppers.

All in all, I'm not dropping Jed Lowrie or Derek Jeter for Drew, but he'll land firmly in the tier where players like Yunel Escobar and Ruben Tejada make their time, and he's got more homer potential than most SS options. You may want to be patient with this one, and see how he starts before giving him an add.

Quick Hits: Because the Blue Jays needed more bad luck with their rotation, Henderson Alvarez underwent an MRI in his injured right elbow, and is currently day to day. You can tell things are getting desperate because they went out and signed Jamie Moyer. ... The Phillies are phinally ready to bring Chase Utley back to the majors. Chase says his knees feel better than they have in years, which is great - but I still think you have to be cautious in your expectations for both performance and playing time with him. It may get a little dusty for Philadelphia fans when he finally knocks one out of the park next week, though. ... Frank Francisco is out as closer for the Mets thanks to an oblique strain. Dan's got the in-depth info here, and I wouldn't expect the chicken-caller back until mid-to-late July. ... Matt Joyce is dealing with an oblique strain and was placed on the DL on June 20, but fortunately for the Rays, Luke Scott should be back in action on Wednesday. That should ease a little of the sting, provided Scott hits like he's supposed to. ... Nolan Reimold had season-ending surgery on June 25. In case you were wondering, that sound you heard was a thousand fantasy players who had pinned their sleeper tag on him slapping themselves on their foreheads. ... Yonder Alonso has been out of the lineup since the 23rd for the Padres. I'd give you more info, but no one in their right mind puts a Padre hitter on their fantasy team anyways. (Just kidding! I love you, Chase Headley!) ... The Rockies now aren't expecting Troy Tulowitzki back from his groin injury until August. And if that's not a depressing way to end this Injury Watch, I dunno what is.


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