This shouldn’t come as a big surprise for readers, but Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic recently wrote that injuries in baseball increased by 15 percent in April 2021 compared to April 2019. There are a lot of reasons that can be attributed to this, but it just shows the importance of roster management.

I bring this up as the fantasy baseball world lost another top performer to injury this past weekend. Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager broke his hand after being hit by a pitch and will be sidelined for at least four weeks. This is another tough blow for fantasy owners in what has been a tough start to the season with the number of injuries.

Three Up:

1. New York Yankees Outfielder Aaron Judge — The power hitter loves facing the Baltimore Orioles, as he has hit seven home runs against them this season. Unfortunately, Judge won’t face the Orioles again until August. However, he is tied for the most home runs in baseball with 12 after a week that saw him hit five over the fence. Judge collected 12 hits along with six RBIs and eight runs scored. Judge is one of the most prolific power hitters in baseball but has battled injuries. If he can stay healthy, he will continue to make a huge impact for fantasy owners.

2. Milwaukee Brewers Starting Pitcher Freddy Peralta — It was a very impressive week for Peralta, as he did not allow a run in two starts. In 13.1 innings pitched, Peralta finished with 16 strikeouts and only three hits. That’s domination, and it’s been a strong season overall for the right-hander. He has a 2.49 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 69 strikeouts. Fantasy owners hitting on pitchers like Peralta goes a long way in winning a fantasy championship.

3. Seattle Mariners Outfielder Mitch Haniger — Don’t look now, but Haniger is tied with Judge and others for the most home runs in baseball with 12. The slugger finished the week with four home runs to go along with seven hits that resulted in five RBIs and seven runs scored. Haniger already has 30 RBIs and is on pace for more than 100 this season, which would be the first time he would accomplish that in his career.

Three Down:

1. Los Angeles Angels Designated Hitter Shohei Ohtani — Ohtani continues to impress, but even the best players can have a bad week. That was the case for Ohtani, as he only collected five hits while striking out 13 times. Ohtani did hit two home runs, but his impact with the bat was minimal. Ohtani is still hitting .262 and is tied for the most home runs in baseball with 12 along with his pitching responsibilities. He continues to be one of the best stories in 2021.

2. Kansas City Royals Second Baseman Whit Merrifield — It’s been a strong season for Merrifield as he leads baseball in stolen bases with 12. However, this past week, the infielder was only able to steal one base due to collecting just five hits. Merrifield was only able to score four runs and drive in one, but overall, he is still playing well with a .261 batting average.

3. Colorado Rockies Shortstop Trevor Story — It was an extremely disappointing week for Story. The Rockies played all their games at home, but Story was only able to collect four hits while striking out nine times and did not finish with a home run. Story is a very talented player, but he gets drafted high because of his ability to rack up stats at Coors Field. This was a big miss by Story this week, which can leave a sour taste for fantasy owners.

Phil Backert

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