After hitting 6 HRs and stealing three bases with a .254 average in his first 17 games, Franchy Cordero (OF, Forearm Strain) has slowed down considerably hitting only 1 HR and stealing 2 bases with a .222 average over his next 23 games with a 30:9 K/BB ratio. With Hunter Renfroe returning and Wil Myers due back soon — I’m afraid it’s the guillotine for Franchy. Stash or Trash: I’d be thinking of trashing him unless you’re in a deep league with not a lot of options. Fill In: Daniel Palka (2.1%.) Palka has been filling in for an injured Leury Garcia for the Chi-Sox and has been doing pretty well lately. Who is Daniel Palka? He’s a former third round pick who hit 34 HRs in 2016 in the Twins AA and AAA program. He’s also a guy who hit 29 HR and stole 24 bases the year before that. What the hell? Why isn’t this guy being added in all leagues? Well throughout his minor league career he’s had a strikeout rate in the high 20% with a contact rate in the 60’s. So far this season in the majors he has 23 strikeouts to only 3 walks so he’s performing pretty on-brand. After an 0 for 8 start to his major league career, Palka has 26 hits in 85 at bats with 4 HR, 15 RBI and 2 SB. If you need help in deeper leagues take a chance on Al Palka.
- Ronald Acuna Jr, OF, ACL Sprain and Contusion: That strange breeze you felt Monday night was the collective sigh of relief from the people of the greater Georgia area. What looked like a disgusting season ending knee injury end up just being a little boo boo. Acuna is only 20 years old — when we were all that age our bodies were mostly made of rubber too. Now I sit for too long and my achilles needs 10 steps before it functions. Stash or Trash: Stash. Don’t really even need to go into why. He’ll be out for approximately two weeks just to make sure he is back to one hunnet. Fill In: Gorkys Hernandez (10.7%) is not someone I would really recommend anywhere — but he has multiple hits in six of his last seven games and has hit safely in his last 10 games with 4 HRs and a stolen base. He won’t keep this up. But maybe he can for a bit. Hell if I know. Baseball’s a helluva drug. He’s getting lead-off ABs in San Francisco and is making the most of that opportunity. If you’re in a deep NL-only eat at Gorkys while he’s hot.
- Yu Darvish, SP, Triceps Tendinitis: Darvish is capping his disappointing season so far with a scary injury to his throwing arm. Early reports are that there isn’t much concern, but his timetable is uncertain right now. Stash or Trash: You didn’t draft Yu Darvish as a sub-ace level pitcher just to drop him. Stash. Fill In: Marco Gonzales (13%.) Who the hell is Marco Gonzales? He’s the guy who hasn’t allowed an ER in his last three starts (19 ? IP.) He’s the guy with a GB/FB ratio over 2.00. He’s the guy with a surprisingly low 3.37 FIP which makes me believe that he might not be a complete fluke. He’s also facing a Tampa Bay team in his next start that has struck out to lefties the 5th most in the MLB. He could be in for another low scoring game.
- Matt Davidson, 3B, Back Spasms: Davidson was finally placed on the DL after not playing in a game since May 22nd. There hasn’t been a timetable established quite yet, but this doesn’t sound like an injury that will last too long. Maybe a few days over the 10 day minimum. Stash or Trash: Stash. He’s having a solid season, despite having an unreasonably high 32.2% K/rate. He’s drastically improve his walk rate from 4.3% last season to 15.8% this year. If he can keep up that plate discipline he’ll be a great late round third basemen. Fill In: Jeimer Candelario (23.7%.) If Jeimer’s ownership slipped when he was on the DL himself, grab him now while you still can. In his four games back from the DL he’s gone 4 for 14 with 2 HRs and a 3:3 K/BB ratio. He’s been hitting either 2nd or 3rd for the Tigers and is one of the few low-owned third basemen worth grabbing for your team.
- Khris Davis, OF, Strained Groin: Davis was placed on the DL with a grade 1 strain of his groin which means he wasn’t really trying hard enough. All reports are that Davis will return when eligible tomorrow. Stash or Trash: stash. If you absolutely need 1 player for the 1 day until Davis comes back, grab Mac Williamson (9.2%.) He was a home run machine in AAA before his call up and will be playing Wednesday night in Colorado so there’s a high likelihood he puts one over the fences.
- Jake Faria, SP, Strained Oblique: Well this opening headline on ESPN isn’t encouraging “Faria maybe out until August.” Faria hadn’t been pitching extremely well anyway so you know what that means… Stash or Trash: Trash. Fill In: Jordan Lyles (8.4%) has had a rough go of things since his brilliant 10 K performance against Colorado a few weeks ago. Well good news! Lyles has a chance to redeem himself on Thursday night against a Miami team that has the second-lowest OPS against righties in the bigs. They’ve also struck out the sixth most so he could reach a high K total as well.
- Greg Holland, RP, They’re Calling It “Hip Impingement”: He’s got a 9.45 ERA. Stash or Trash: I repeat: He’s got a 9.45 ERA. Replacement: I’m going to list a few replacement options at the end of this article since there are so many injured RPs this week.
- Raisel Iglesias, RP, Strained Biceps: Iglesias was placed on the DL the day my last Ambulance Chasers article went to print so unfortunately he wasn’t in that article. Due to this DL stint being backdated, Iglesias could return Wednesday night. Stash or Trash: Stash. Fill In: He’s probably coming back tonight so just wait it out.
- Andrew Miller, RP, Knee Inflammation: This is already Miller’s second DL stint this season and it seems like he’s been snake bit this year. His 4.40 ERA and 1.60 WHIP are the highest since his starting pitching days with the then Florida Marlins. Stash or Trash: Stash because he’s the best. But brace yourself for the worst. Fill In: I’m going to list a few replacement options at the end of this article since there are so many injured RPs this week.
- Ivan Nova, SP, Sprained Finger: Nova is out here pitching like a crappy New York Yankee starting pitcher again instead of a league-average Pittsburgh Pirate starting pitcher. After looking like his average self with a 3.32 ERA in 6 April starts, He’s gone completely off the rails with a 7.61 ERA in 5 May starts. This leads me to believe that maybe he’s been dealing with this injury for a while. A DL stint could do him a whole lotta good. Stash or Trash: You’re stashing him in deep/NL-only leagues, but trashing him everywhere else. Replacement: Hector Santiago (0.6%.) This is the gambler’s play of the week. Since his 8 run blow up on May 5th, Santiago has allowed 8 ERs over his next 19.1 IP. In his next start, Santiago gets the Brewers which on paper looks like a nightmare until you see that they have been abysmal against lefty pitchers this season putting up a .217 average against them which is good (or bad?) for second worst in the majors.
- Adam Ottavino, RP, Oblique Strain: Ottavino was out here trying to do his best Josh Hader impersonation with an ERA close to 1.00 and a K/9 over 14, but unfortunately this old dog is back to his old injury tricks. Stash or Trash: Stash. He’s been one of the best non-closer relievers and has to definitely be helping your ratios so far this year. No reports on a timetable just yet, but expect an oblique injury to clear up in 2-3 weeks. Fill In: I’m going to list a few replacement options at the end of this article since there are so many injured RPs this week.
- Steven Souza Jr, OF, Strained Pectoral Muscle: Oh you mean the Steven Souza who I traded for on May 16th to attempt to buy low on his .163 average with only 1 run and 1 RBI on the season? Only to have him go on the DL 6 days later? Stash or Trash: In my 14 team league I’m stashing because of my foolish pride. In your league you can safely trash him. Replacement: Not a lot of outfielders left owned less than Souza because you all have more self respect than I. Jon Jay (8.8%) doesn’t hit home runs or steal bases because he hates us and this silly game we play, but he does hit close to .300 almost every year while scoring enough runs to be moderately relevant in deeper leagues. This year he’s hitting .305 with 23 runs scored with 0 HR and 3 SBs while batting leadoff for the Royals because someone has to.
Relief Pitcher Fill In Options:
- Jose Alvarado, TB, 13.6%: Expect Alvarado’s ownership to go up after Alex Colome was traded to the Mariners last week. Alvarado was one of Colome’s primary set-up men before the trade and performed admirably in that role. He has a 1.015 WHIP, a 9.5 K/9 and somehow hasn’t allowed a HR this entire season. With a 2.13 GB/FB ratio it’s obvious to see why.
- Joe Kelly, BOS, 11.9%: Kelly has 0 chance to oust Craig Kimbrel from the closer role, but the former wildman starting pitcher has turned into a lights out wildman set-up guy to Kimbrel. He’s only allowed 5 ER in 24 appearances and has a 9.9 K/9. If anything should unfortunately happen to Kimbrel they have a great fill in option who is rewarding their 4 years of patience with him.
- Daniel Winkler, ATL, 8.6%: Finally, the future closer king Daniel Winkler has been crazy good so far this season. He’s only allowed 2 ERs in 21.1 IP with 30 strikeouts to only 6 walks. He is the heir apparent in the ATL if Arodys Vizcaino gets traded/injured/struggles. A.J. Minter called dibs on that role before the season, but the lefty has allowed 5 ER in his last 6 appearances and has allowed baserunners in 21 of the 24 games he’s appeared in this year.