Can you imagine if Kevin Pillar (OF, Sprained Shoulder) played in Boston? Yeesh. Boston Radio would be the most unlistenable noise ever recorded. “You see dat catch by Kevin Pillah?! I almost friggen ran outta my pahlah!” Pillah is going to be out 4-6 weeks after injuring the area near his collarbone. Shame. His 19 HR+SBs were looking pretty good and I think there was a good chance his run production numbers would’ve gotten a boost if he got traded to a competitor. Stash or Trash: Stash. He was having a pretty good year so far and will be back to help you for your stretch run. Fill In: Kevin Kiermaier (8.4%.) “Wait Klug. You want me to replace one injured guy…with THE injured guy?” Yea I know, Kiermaier, Shmiermaier. “I don’t want to pick that clown up just to read about him in next week’s Ambulance Chasers!” I know it’s been a lost season for KK, but he’s hit safely in 9 of his last 11 games and has a HR and two SBs in that time as well. He’s got 10 HR/10 SB capability in the second half even though, yes, he also has DL-60 capability in the second half as well.
- Francisco Cervelli, C, Concussion: Man you gotta feel bad and worried about Cervelli. He’s going on the DL again with concussion symptoms. I have a feeling this is going to end in a Justin Morneau type of situation. Never the same. Stash or Trash: Stash for now. I don’t know if he’s going to be the same guy this year, but he’s helped you out so far. Fill In: Austin Hedges (6.0%.) It’s been insanely hard trying to find replacement catchers this year — but Hedges is a pretty viable option. In July he’s hitting .382 with 2 HRs and 6 RBI. As a replacement catcher you’re not going to find anyone better than Hedges right now.
- Rafael Devers, 3B, Shoulder Inflammation: Apparently this is an injury that the 21 year old has been nursing for a little while. However, there is no structural damage which means he could be back in time for the start of your matchup next week. Stash or Trash: Stash. Devers isn’t setting the world on fire — but he’s still starting a flame in Red Sox fans hearts. Fill In: Scott Kingery (17.2%.) In the beginning of the season we all had but one desire, Kingery. However, through the end of July his .231 left a lot to be desired. Maybe Kingery is now starting to catch up with big league pitching. In his last 12 games before the break he was hitting .313 with 10 runs scored. Patience is a virtue everyone.
- Albert Pujols, 1B, Knee Inflammation: Comparing Pujols 2018 to Pujols 2008 is a fool’s errand. If you judge a fish based on his ability to climb a tree he’s going to fail. That being said 16 HRs and 52 RBI is really not that awful for a guy with a 222 ADP. Good ratios are dead and gone — but Pujols can be a valuable UTIL guy. Stash or Trash: Stash. He’s not expected to miss too much time. Fill In: Kendrys Morales (6.1%.) Speaking of valuable UTIL guys — here’s THE UTIL guy. Morales’s ratios are on par with past performance — but the power production has dipped a bit (11 HRs/30 RBI.) ALERT: I think that is about to change in a big way in the second half. Morales is making the hardest contact of his entire career (44.1%) and hitting the most flyballs in his last 7 years (36.9%.) I think he makes a fantastic buy low candidate at only 6.1% owned.
- Garrett Richards, SP, Elbow Surgery: In the April 12, 2017 edition of Ambulance Chasers here’s what I wrote about Garrett Richards’s bicep strain: “Well that wasn’t the injury I was expecting. After healing his partially torn UCL with an ancient Chinese secret (huh?) I thought for sure it was going to completely tear after his first fastball. There seems to be some be some nerve irritation going on here too so who knows what the real story is. Right now, the Angels are saying he’ll only miss one start. Stash or Trash: Stash for now. Be ready for the other shoe to drop or in this case, the other half of his UCL to pop.” Here’s the other shoe. Stash or Trash: Trash. He’s done for the year and most of next year too. Fill In: Dan Straily (3.7%.) Straily really is the league average major league pitcher. Over the past two seasons he’s put up a 4.01 ERA in 64 starts. His FIP was a 4.73 which isn’t great, but somehow the guy just manages to occasionally string together enough good starts to stay in the major leagues. His last 4 starts have been one of those strings. He’s pitched 4 quality starts in a row with 21 Ks in 25.1 IP. His next start comes against Tampa Bay who have scored the 7th fewest runs against right handed pitchers. His string might just continue.
- Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, Sprained Ankle: That dang Lourdes Gurriel. He slid into first and took out E-Rod’s ankle! They keep throwing around words like “serious” and “severe” when they’re talking about E-Rod’s sprain which is always comforting so don’t expect to see him for about a month or two! Stash or Trash: I’d still say stash. Rodriguez was in the midst of the best season of his career. He has a 3.44 ERA/ 3.56 FIP and a 9.5 K/9. I’m hoping he’s a fast healer and comes back quickly. Fill In: Eric Lauer (8.1%.) Don’t look at Lauer’s last start — I SAID DON’T! Before that start I told you not to look at Lauer was on quite a run. In the 8 starts before the unspoken one he pitched 46+ innings only allowing 12 ERs (2.33 ERA) with 36 Ks. Though the 11 HRs allowed this year aren’t great (4 in one game.) Lauer’s next start should come against the Mets who are dead list in batting average and OPS against lefties. Enjoy!
- Jeff Samardzija, SP, Shoulder Inflammation: This is slowly shaping up to be the one Samardzija tells his grandkids was his “lost season.” He’s barely made 10 starts and has a 6.25 ERA. This is his third DL stint of the year, but the Giants have announced that he might return to pitch on July 25th. Why? Give him another week or 5. Stash or Trash: I drafted Samardzija in my 14 team mixed league and I’m stashing him. My safe word is ‘Oklahoma.’ You can trash him if you don’t get off on this type of torture. Fill In: Carlos Rodon (15.1%.) I’m surprised Rodon is still only owned in 15% of leagues. I get it, he’s coming back from a big injury, but he’s made 7 respectable starts so far and is a former #3 overall pick. There’s a lot of crooked numbers in his game log this year, but he’s pitching pretty deep into games (8 IP, 2 ERs against OAK on June 24th and 7.1 IP, 0 ERs in his last start.) You need to fix this in your league — go grab Rodon ASA-quick.
- Eric Thames, 1B/OF, Strained Hamstring: What an unfortunate time to get injured. Ryan Braun went down last week leaving a few more ABs for Thames to take over. However, big bad Jesus Aguilar has taken Thames’s main first base gig and sprinted away with it. Thames is having an awful injury prone season after missing a lot of time earlier in the season with a torn thumb ligament. Stash or Trash: Stash in deep/NL-only leagues, but Trash if you’re in a 10-team or less league. Fill In: Joe Mauer (7.4%.) Don’t scoff. Poor little Joe Mauer doesn’t mean to hit for no power. He came up a decade before this whole launch angle revolution nonsense. Mauer’s been doing what Mauer do over his last 9 games before the ASB.. He’s 14 for 37 (.378) with 8 runs, a HR and 8 RBI with a 4:5 K/BB ratio. He won’t hurt you in the interim as you wait for Thames to get healthy.
- Jonathan Villar, 2B, Sprained Thumb: 14 stolen bases and…. 14 stolen bases and…. That’s all folks. Stash or Trash: Trash. You can do better. Replacement: Joey Wendle (3.7%.) Am I saying Wendle is better? Not necessarily. But he is better-ish. He has a little bit of pop (15 in AAA) a little bit of zip (19 in AAA) but his calling card has always been a solid batting average (.288 in 2,562 minor league ABs.) Wendle has gotten on base in 15 of his last 16 games and has a 7/2/9/1 line over that period.
- Arodys Vizcaino, RP, Shoulder Inflammation: Second time going on the DL with this injury. I’m not even going to waste your time too much on this blurg. Stash or Trash: Stash. Fill In: Run to your waivers and grab AJ Minter (13.7%.) This shoulder issue for Arodys doesn’t seem to be going away which will open up a LOT of save opportunities for Minter in the second half. Minter hasn’t been completely lights out this season (3.20 ERA but a 2.51 FIP,) but he has a K/9 close to 10 and limits HRs (0.2 HR/9 this season.) The Braves have won 52 games this season and will be fighting for a playoff spot the entire second-half which will open up a metric buttload of save opps for Minter. What are you still doing here?! I said go run to your waivers!