Shades of Freddie Freeman… Pedro Strop might want to hire security for his home in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic because bitter Nationals fans are going to be hurling lots of huevos from Trea Turner‘s broken wrist. Nationals fans are an interesting lot to begin with. Many of the people who attend Nationals home games are transplanted fans of other teams who are only in DC temporarily for business or pleasure. I went to a Nationals game once where a woman was reading and knitting the entire time. I don’t think she witnessed a single out. Back on track! Trea! Of course his amazing stats are only told to you AFTER he is set to miss about two months. In June he had 22 stolen bases. 22. By himself. And yes, I did list Trea as a bust in the 2017 Razzball Writers Predictions. But here’s what I wrote to Jay as justification: “Turner has skills—no doubt. But he has less than 1,000 at bats since he entered professional baseball in 2014. He is going to be this year’s Carlos Correa—drafted in Round 1 or 2 and not earning back that cost.” Steals will be there. Runs too. Everything else? Ehhhhhh. Stash or Trash: Stash. Please. Fill In: So there is no replacing 22 stolen bases in a month. But you know that, right? Hell, over the last 30 days there are only 4 players with over 10 stolen bases. So I’m going to recommend one of them: Cameron Maybin (61.9%.) This is more of a shallow league add, but he’s one of the few players that can even give you part of Trea’s stats. Maybin is always a risk to find himself in an issue of Ambulance Chasers, but right now his 24 SB and 49 runs aren’t bad.
Chase Anderson, SP, Oblique Strain
Another dreaded oblique strain. Anderson is projected to miss a month and a half, but with obliques it could always be more. I’d guess a mid-August return. Stash or Trash: Stash the heck out of this guy. Chase was one of the biggest surprise names in the Cy Young conversation this season with a 2.89 ERA and 85 K’s in over 90 innings. Hopefully he can come back healthy and finish strong in the second half. Fill In: If Sean Newcomb (31.9%) hasn’t been swiped up in your league, now is your time to strike. Newcomb has made 4 starts — all of them quality with a nice 1.07 WHIP. It should be noted though that Newcomb really has really only faced one above-average offense (Marlins) and three below-average (Mets, Padres, Giants.) Hopefully he can continue his production against the top-tier offenses in the National League.
Michael Conforto, OF, Bruised Left Hand
Conforto had already been missing a hand full of games so it was about time the Mets placed him on the DL. This comes at an unfortunate time as Conforto had the whole world in the palm of his hand this season earning his first All-Star game selection. But it makes sense for the Mets to handle one of their top players with kid gloves going forward. Stash or Trash: Stash. Don’t let your league opponents get their paws on a player hitting .285 with 14 HR, 47 runs and 41 RBI. Fill In: In deeper leagues you should try to wrap your paws around Nick Williams (2.9%.) Williams is himself an NL-East farm hand who has a great track record in the minors. He is a career .286 hitter in the minors with double digit HR in each of his last 5 seasons (including 15 so far this year.)
Ian Desmond, 1B/OF, Calf Strain
What a shame, Desmond is going to miss some time again after missing the first month of this season with an injury. How much time is still unknown, but we should hear soon. Side note: it is impossible to write “what a shame” without sounding sarcastic. Stash or Trash: Stash. Desmond in the heart of the Rockies amazing line-up is not someone you want to lose. The 5 HR in 219 at-bats isn’t great so far, but he still has a .286 average with 10 steals and the RBI totals will come easily hitting mostly behind Nolan Arenado and Mark Reynolds. Fill In: I figured I’d treat Desmond as a first basemen since I already just made an outfielder recommendation for you. I’d take a shot on Yuli Gurriel (31.3%) down in Houston. He has a .292 average on the year and over his last 15 games he’s been hitting out of his mind: 64 at bats, 10 runs, 3 HR, 10 RBI, and a .359 average. He’s been batting mostly 6th behind Carlos Correa, Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran so the RBI potential is huge here, just like with Desmond. And if Alex Bregman gets hot batting behind him his value could only get higher.
Brandon Finnegan, SP, Strained Trapezius Muscle in Thowing Shoulder
Well that sucks. We waited 2 months for Finnegan to make his return from his previous injury and he only lasted 3 innings. The Reds immediately put Finnegan on the 60-day DL which means we won’t see him until late-August at the earliest. Stash or Trash: Trash. This is looking like a lot season for him. Fill In: To be honest, you probably didn’t even pick up Finnegan as you wanted to see his results before grabbing him and well, you saw them. I’d grab Luis Castillo (5.1%) now that he has a bit of job security with Finnegan out. Castillo hasn’t pitched out of the 6th inning yet in the major leagues, but does have a pretty solid minor league pedigree. In 80.1 IP for the Reds AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos (GOD I LOVE MINOR LEAGUE TEAM NAMES!) he had a 2.58 ERA with a 9.1 K/9. He’s a boy among men so expect some up and down games, but start him against weaker opponents.
Matt Holliday, OF, Virus
Holliday was struggling through some fatigue that they were calling a viral infection, but I’m going to call it playing 1,841 games over 14 seasons. It’s funny that Holliday is suffering from a viral infection because Baseball Reference is telling me that from 1889 to 1898 there was a player named Bug Holliday who for the Cincinatti Red Stockings. I could lose hours combing through Baseball Reference pages. Stash or Trash: Stash, but this is weird. Holliday is thriving in this young Yankees line-up with 15 HR and 47 RBI so far, but who knows what bug Holliday is suffering from. Hopefully he can get back out there quickly. Fill In: Joc Pederson was my 2017 Razzball Most Valuable Fantasy Hitter prediction so he needs to step it up or I’ll get mocked in the Razzball Podcast’s season wrap-up in November. Luckily, over his last 48 at-bats he has 13 runs, 6 HR, 12 RBI, 11 BB with a .333/.475/.792 slash line. Where his speed has gone after averaging over 30 steals per season in the minors? Come on Dave Roberts you of all people can’t teach this kid to run?
Keone Kela, RP, Throwing Shoulder Soreness
Mamma mia! What a waste of an add. My main league limits us to three adds per week due to a particularly frustrating season that saw an owner streaming EVERY PITCHER AVAILABLE EVERY WEEK. I took a chance, took a chance, took a chance on Kela as the potential new closer in Texas. Now I’m going to change my mind, he’s not the first in line. When he comes back I hope he does his very best and it ain’t no lie. The Rangers will put him to the test, if they let him try. Stash or Trash: If you grabbed him like I did, this was a good time to do it with the All-Star Break coming soon. He should be back right after the break and taking over the closer role. Take a look at the closing options in Texas. Go ahead, I’ll wait. There’s no one doing anything useful. It is Kela’s to lose. Stash. Fill In: He is completely blocked from the closer role, but this is as good a time as any to talk about Joe Kelly (5.8%.) Kelly has been a fool on a fool’s journey up until this season. Over the past three season he has a 4.66 ERA over 270+ innings. This year, as a reliever, he’s only allowed 4 ER in 33.2 IP. Should anything ever happen to Craig Kimbrel, the Red Sox might have a great fill-in option themselves in Joe Kelly.
Howie Kendrick, 2B/OF, Strained Hamstring
If I had to use one complimentary word to describe Kendrick this year it would be this: ownable. He has a .349 average this year on the back of a unsustainably high .433 BABIP. Turning 34 next week, Howie must’ve sold his soul to Ty Cobb for those numbers. He was never going to keep this up obviously, but it was fun while it lasted. Stash or Trash: MRI results are not yet in, but he is a trash for me. Kendrick hasn’t hit over 10 HR since 2013 and hasn’t been a consistent 10+ SB threat since 2012. Fill In: Tyler Wade (2.8%.) Full disclosure, Wade is only eligible at SS right now, but with Starlin Castro being placed on the disabled list, Wade could begin racking up games played at second. He’s also made three OF starts with Matt Holliday and Aaron Hicks on the disabled list. But back to Wade: he was hitting .313 with 24 stolen bases and 59 runs for the Yankees AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (another amazing minor league team name!) If you were in a deeper league owning Kendrick grab Wade as the Yankees youth movement is in full effect.
Mark Melancon, Throwing Elbow Strain
Melancon found himself in the Week 6 edition of Ambulance Chasers in mid-May with this same injury. Here’s what I wrote then, “Melancon has his highest ERA and WHIP since he became a full-time closer in 2013.” Since that point until this latest DL-stint he has allowed 7 ER in 10 IP. However, to be fair, those 7 ER were only allowed in 3 appearances (of his 11 total appearances.) Stash or Trash: Melancon himself has admitted that he may have come back too soon from his first elbow pronator strain so this info combined with the Giants being almost out of contention already, expect a longer DL stay for him. Melancon got himself one of those platelet-rich-plasma injections that everyone’s been talking about after his MRI results returned clean. I’d stash for now. Giants should be getting Bumgarner back soon which will mean more low scoring games for MM to close out. Fill In: The obvious answer is the Giants fill-in Sam Dyson, but looking at his game log in Texas you will see that you don’t want anthing to do with that. The whacky tossing Carter Capps (1.0 %) has been regaining his ridiculous mechanics with the El Paso Chihuahuas (again with these minor league baseball team names — outstanding) and should be back up soon. The Padres current closer, Brandon Maurer, seems to have gotten more lucky than anything as he is 16 for 18 in save opportunities, but still has a 6.12 ERA. Capps will find his way up to San Diego as he hasn’t allowed a run in his last 9 appearance as a Chihuahua.
I’m writing this on Monday night on the off chance I go full Jason Pierre-Paul on Tuesday night. If any injuries happen late Monday or on Tuesday I will post updates in the comments. Not my injuries mind you — baseball player injuries.
If you have any specific injury questions for your league please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Unless I do go full Jason Pierre-Paul…in which case it’ll take me 4 days to type back to you.