I promise there will be a time when I don’t start by writing about another big injury, but this is not the time. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout landed on the injured list after suffering a calf strain. The fantasy baseball star will be sidelined six to eight weeks, which is the biggest blow we have seen this season.

The injuries we have seen this year have largely been temporary and we just try to survive for a couple of weeks. It’s impossible to do that this time. There is no replacing Trout, but we just hope that we can grind for two months until the star is back.

Waiver-Wire Targets:

Chicago Cubs Infielder/Outfielder Ian Happ — The 26-year-old has been a popular target off the waiver wire, so depending when your league runs waivers, he may already be gone. However, if he’s there, he’s a perfect player to target. Since returning from injury May 15, Happ has collected eight hits, four of which have been home runs. Happ is hitting in the middle of the Cubs’ lineup, which we love in fantasy, and he is eligible at multiple positions, also an added bonus. I have always been a fan of Happ, so I’m hoping this isn’t just a hot streak but rather something fantasy owners can bank on for the remainder of the season.

San Francisco Giants Shortstop Brandon Crawford — Another popular target and depending when waivers run in your league he may be gone, but Crawford currently sits in the top 10 in home runs in baseball with 11. The shortstop has hit four in his last six games while accumulating nine hits during that span. The Giants have the best record in baseball, which is a surprise, and Crawford is a big reason why.

Kansas City Royals Reliever Josh Staumont — We haven’t recommended many closers, which is unusual, but we finally have one who should be available in most leagues in Staumont. The reliever has earned two saves this week and five this season, so he is fully trusted in that role. I don’t love that he doesn’t have the greatest control, but he has shown the ability to get strikeouts and not allow any runs. If you’re chasing saves or just want a boost, Staumont is a great target.

New York Mets Infielder Jonathan Villar — I’m curious to see where Villar settles in with the Mets when players return from injury, but I’m willing to roll the dice to find out. Villar has hit leadoff in recent games, making him an attractive option for fantasy owners. The infielder has collected seven hits and two stolen bases since May 11. This is a player who has finished with 40 stolen bases or more twice in his career. If the playing time stays consistent while the Mets are dealing with injuries, there’s no doubt in my mind Villar will start stealing more bases. He makes for a nice waiver-wire option.

Phil Backert

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