Swine Flu was the trendy ailment in 2009, but seems to have curtailed. Bird Flu and SARS are no longer the spreading epidemics that engulfed the evening news several years ago. In the last week, a new condition has hit the world of Major League Baseball by storm. In fact, two of my fantasy team’s top bats have now been sidelined with this predicament.
Both the St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Holliday and the Chicago White Sox’s Adam Dunn were stricken in Major League Baseball’s inaugural week with appendicitis and have undergone appendectomies. Appendectomies are sudden, emergency procedures performed when one’s appendix is removed after a sharp pain is felt in the abdomen region. Both San Francisco Giants’ outfielder Andres Torres and San Diego Padres’ pitcher Tim Stauffer went under the knife for similar operations last season and rehabilitated fairly quickly.
In fact, 20 players have been placed on the disabled list (DL) since 2002 for appendectomies. Although the timetable of recovery may be relatively brief, players often still experience discomfort and pain for a few weeks, which may hinder their mobility. In the NFL last season, Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Matt Cassel was also subject to an appendectomy. Cassel healed in a matter of days and was cleared by doctors to play the following week. Nevertheless, the Chiefs were conservative, especially in lieu of their playoff berth, and resorted to keeping their signal caller out for another week as a precautionary measure.
The only good news in the fantasy world is that both Holliday and Dunn’s procedures were successful and they are expected to return to their respective lineups in the next week or so. Although it is comforting to know that both fantasy studs will be avoiding the disabled list, the decision has also prevented owners from slotting them into their DL spot resulting in some teams being understaffed, including mine.
The Cardinals have been splitting time between Jon Jay and Allen Craig. Craig has taken advantage of the extended playing time and is currently the Cardinals’ leader in runs batted in and stolen bases. While Dunn is recovering, the White Sox will likely rest a few players’ legs on the defensive end including Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko by allowing them to serve as the designated hitter. Fortunately for the Cardinals, the White Sox and your fantasy team, both Holliday and Dunn should return very soon without any lingering repercussions.
We should all be thankful that both players will make a full recovery. Frankly, the first week is the most opportune time during the season for these issues to occur. Good luck to both players as they prepare for life without an appendix.