Gerrit Cole, one of the better young pitchers in the game, landed on the DL Sunday with “right shoulder fatigue”. What does this mean for the Pirates? Well, they have been playing much, much better of late, and this is gonna put a wrench in their chances of making a run at first place in the division. Yes, they are still eight games back, but with Gregory Polanco likely getting called up this week, if they had a push in them, now was the time they were going to have to make it. Instead, 2013 All-Star Jeff Locke, who was so bad post-break that he finished the year in the minors, will fill the void left by Cole and his 6-3 record.
Fantasy baseball owners are also going to be affected by this. The Pirates hope Cole will only miss one start, but this sounds like it could develop into a multi-week recovery. Concern arose when Cole, who normally throws in the 95-98 MPH range, was showing decreased velocity in the mid- to-late innings of games. Assuming the Bucs fall further out of contention, the team will be in no rush to bring back their 23-year-old stud. For what it’s worth, the Reds’ Tony Cingrani landed on the DL in May for the same reason (left shoulder fatigue) and missed just the minimum time, but he hasn’t been good at all in the weeks since. For now, fantasy owners will just have to stash Cole on their DL and hope for a speedy recovery.
Mitch Moreland, Rangers: The hits just keep on comin’ for the seemingly plagued Texas Rangers. Moreland will undergo ankle surgery and be out three months, which essentially makes it a season-ending injury. The Rangers are likely to use a combo of Donnie Murphy, Robinson Chirinos and even Geovany Soto (when he returns from his own surgery) at 1B. Michael Choice will continue to get even more playing time and should be added in deeper leagues. Super-prospect Joey Gallo was promoted to Double-A Sunday, but does that mean he’ll reach the majors by September? Will Chuck Norris, the ultimate Texas Ranger, be called upon to lead the team to the World Series? Only time will tell.
Michael Cuddyer, Rockies: Cuddyer is 35, and with age comes injuries. Cuddy was seemingly on the verge of acquiring 3B eligibility, but looks like he could be headed to the DL — again. A pulled hammy kept him sidelined for 28 games earlier this year and it’s possible a shoulder injury could force a similar outcome. When he plays, he rakes, but if he needs an extended recovery period, owners with minimal bench allotments and just one DL slot may have to consider dropping him at some point. The Rockies are fading fast and have too many outfield options to warrant rushing him back.
Jeremy Hellickson, Rays: The 2011 AL Rookie of the Year is making his away back from elbow surgery and should be back by the end of the month. He made his first rehab start on Saturday, pitching three innings of two-hit, shutout ball. The 27-year-old left a lot to be desired last year (5.17 ERA, 1.35 WHIP), but he is fine DL stash if you have the space.
Jedd Gyorko, Padres: If you haven’t cut him yet, it’s time do so in all formats except keeper leagues. Plantar fasciitis takes a long time to heal (just ask Albert Pujols), and it’s not like Gyorko was doing dick before he landed on the DL. Hopefully the Gyork Store doesn’t keep restocking their shelves with this guy.
Eric Young, Mets: Those of you SAGNOF sluts waiting to grab a cheapie off the wire once he returned are gonna have to look elsewhere . It was assumed that E.Y. was going to come off the DL when first eligible, but he’s had a setback with his hamstring injury and has been shut down. No steals for you! (sorry, now I’m in a Seinfeld mood)
Joey Votto, Reds: Votto went out on a rehab assignment Sunday and should be back manning first base in Cincy by the end of the week. That’s good news, but what is more concerning is that GM Walt Jocketty said he doesn’t expect Votto to be 100 percent at any point this season. What’s even more concerning is that a simple “quad strain” kept Votto out three weeks. What’s even more, more, more concerning is that Votto had surgery on his left knee in 2012, the same side his quad injury is on. Why is this worth noting? The knee is directly below the quad and often times the two are congruent to one another. If I’m a Votto owner I’m looking to sell, but, I’d also be looking to buy Votto if I can get him at a very discounted price. His injury, plus his .257 average, should make that easier to do.
Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays: There hasn’t been a lot of news coming out of the Rasmus front, but it was announced Saturday that the Jays’ center fielder could begin a rehab assignment early this week. If all goes well, that could put him on track to return by the weekend or the beginning of next week. Rasmus has nine home runs in just 135 at-bats. He’s owned in just 27 percent of ESPN.com leagues. He needs to be added and stashed if you’re in need of power and are okay sacrificing batting average and your team’s overall good looks.
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