Valar morghulis. Who could predict that throwing over 150 innings every year since Felix Hernandez turned 18 would be dangerous? Oh, everyone? In pitcher years I’m pretty sure King Felix is 63 years old. Stash or Trash: Trash. He’s predicted to miss 3 or 4 weeks and I’d hate for you to stash Felix and miss your playoffs. This is the 3rd year in a row that Felix’s ERA has risen and it is now at the point where he should yield his “Mariners Ace” crown to the Kingslayer James Paxton. Fill In: German Marquez (44.7%.) It’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: “What Are This Colorado Pitcher’s Splits?!” Home: 4.31; Away: 3.86. Actually not that bad! Marquez has allowed more than 3 runs in only 4 of his 18 starts this season including his last 5 starts being quality starts.
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Aaron Altherr, OF, Strained Hamstring
This injury already made Altherr miss time in mid-July. In his 8 game return Altherr went 8 for 31 with 2 HR so we should all be so lucky to strain our hamstrings. Stash or Trash: I’ve read reports that Altherr might miss the rest of August with the re-emergence of this injury. Since this is the pretender or contender time in fantasy baseball you might need to trash him for someone who can help you now. Fill In: Keon Broxton (16.4%) is back up with the big club and has to prove he belongs in the Brewers OF next season. In the 22 at-bats since his return he has 6 hits, 1 HR, 3 RBI 2 SB…..and 10 K’s. Broxton could really be a 25/25 threat if he can earn consistent playing time by bringing down that ugly 38.1% K rate.
Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, Concussion
Belt entered the concussion protocol after getting hit in his helmet by a pitch during the Giants August 4th game. Luckily for Belt it was a slow curveball that struck him or we’d be looking at a more serious concussion stay. Stash or Trash: Belt has dealt with concussions before so the Giants and Belt might need to take this injury extra seriously. The perennial break-out candidate, Belt has put up a disappointing .241 average this year. The 63 runs, 18 HR and 51 RBIs are still nice, however. Stash unless we hear more reports regarding Belt’s status Fill In: Rhys Hoskins (3.2%.) Yes his first name just looks like an onomatopoeia and he’s not yet in the big leagues, but consider this one a long-term keeper play. Hoskins hit 38 HRs in 135 AA games in 2016 and followed it up with 27 HR this season with the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Unfortunately for Hoskins, he has blocked by the .249 AVG and 16 HR of Tommy Joseph. Makes sense. Hoskins is now playing left field for the IronPigs instead of 1B in anticipation of a call-up soon. My un-professional prediction? Hoskins is up with Philadelpha for the start of their 4-game home series on August 10th with their rival Mets.
Matt Davidson, 3B, Wrist Contusion
Davidson is one of the leading challengers to Joey Gallo’s “Steve Balboni MVP” award. 22 HR from the hot corner is great to see but the .238 AVG and 124:17 K/BB rate is just yucky. Stash or Trash: Trash. There has to be a better option available to you. Fill In: His real life replacement Little Nicky Delmonico (0.5%) is available in almost every league and he’s hitting pretty well so fuhgetaboutit(.348 AVG.) In AAA Delmonico was only a career .255 without too much boom or zing, but if you’re in a desperate AL-only league leave the gun, but take the Delmonico.
Kyle Freeland, SP, Strained Groin
Freeland has been an Ambulance Chasers Fill In All-Star all season due to his low ownership and surprising performance even in Colorado. Hell, I even recommended him two weeks ago after pointing out his ERA home at Coors is actually lower than his ERA away! Stash or Trash: Early reports out of the Freeland camp are good — he’s throwing from 80 feet without pain. Stash him. Fill In: Rookie flamethrower Dinelson Lamet (17.2%) is going to be up and down until next season, but his elite 11.9 K/9 rate is helpful in all leagues. He’s been pretty great over his previous 3 starts. He’s thrown 18.1 innings, allowing only 4 ER while striking out 18 batters.
Michael Fulmer, SP, Elbow Neuritis
Elbow neuritis might sound scarier than it actually is. The nerve affected here is typically known as your funny bone. It can cause numbness and weakness in the hand. However, Fulmer is expected to have a catch on Wednesday so he might be back sooner than you think. Sounds like he might have been Fulmer of it with this injury. Stash or Trash: Stash. Fulmer has done nothing to earn this level of disrespect to consider dropping him. If he could up his 6.41 K/9 rate Fulmer might find himself flirting with fantasy baseball ace territory in 2018. Fill In: If you’re lucky enough to not lose Fulmer for long, grab Steven Matz (39.8%) who is set to face the Phillies in his next start. Yes, he has a lot of crooked numbers in his earned run column over his last 6 starts, but a matchup against the Phillies who are ranked 27th in batting average vs. LHP could help him figure things out.
Evan Gattis, C, concussion
Gattis was hit in the head by a bat on August 3rd and immediately entered the MLB’s concussion protocol. As of August 8th Gattis was apparently still feeling concussion symptoms. Stash or Trash: This sounds like a pretty serious concussion. If you don’t have any better catcher options on the waiver wire you should stash Gattis. Gattis has cut his strikeout rate from 25.5% in 2016 to 15.9% in 2017 and upped his contact rate from 72% to 83% which has aided his career high .278 batting average. You’d expect more than 11 HR from Gattis, but if he comes back alright he could really hit them out in a hurry. Fill In: Catcher more than any other position sees the wildest fluctuation in ownership based on a player having one hot week. The latest catcher to experience this fluctuation is James McCann (21.6%) who has seen his ownership raise 17.3% over the past few days. With the trade of Alex Avila, McCann now has the Tigers catching job all to himself.
Matt Holliday, OF/DH, Strained Back
This sounds like the type of backyard injury a 37-year-old guy with the nickname “Big Daddy” would suffer while gardening. Stash or Trash: Trash. Aaron Hicks is returning to the Yankees soon, the Yankees want Clint Frazier to get meaningful at-bats, Jacoby Ellsbury still exists I guess. Holliday might be the odd man out of this equation. Fill In: Stolen bases could be the difference maker in you winning your league this year. With that in mind, grab Jarrod Dyson (16.5%) who is criminally under-owned for what he’s best at — stealing bases. He has 27 on the season including 5 over his last 10 games.
Andrew Miller, RP, Patellar Tendinitis
Fantasy owners who haven’t converted their leagues to Saves + Holds as a category instead of just Saves must be disappointed at taking Miller around his 118.2 ADP since he only has 2 saves so far this season . However, all of his other numbers are phenomenal so I guess it all comes out in the wash. Has anyone ever reclaimed their career better than Miller? His first 5 seasons saw him put up a 5.79 ERA in 359.1 IP, mostly as a starter. Since converting to a reliever full time in 2012 his ERA is a beautiful 2.06 in 323.1 IP. Stash or Trash: Stash obviously. Reports are that he could return around his expected date of August 12th or shortly after. Fill In: After the trade deadline we’ve seen a lot of changes in closer jobs. One of the biggest beneficiaries has been Shane Greene (38.8%) who took over the Tigers closer gig after the trade of Justin Wilson to the Cubs. Greene is 3 for 3 in saves since Wilson skipped town.
Salvador Perez, C, Strained Intercostal
Anatomy lesson! Your intercostals are the muscles located between your ribs. This injury can be a real pain in the…rib because you never realize how often you use these little muscles in daily life. Laughing, sneezing, coughing — any actions that involve breathing can irritate this injury. Stash or Trash: Perez is in the top 5 amongst catchers in hits, runs, HR and RBI. Fill In: Another catcher whose ownership has seen a boost is Christian Vazquez (13.4%.) With a minor injury to fellow Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon, Vasquez saw himself get 7 starts in a row. In those 7 starts Vazquez went 14 for 29 with 7 runs, 1 HR and 6 RBI. If this affords him some additional starts you should take advantage.
Matt Shoemaker, SP, Forearm Surgery
Shut it down. Another season Shoemaker won’t finish out. His 2016 ended after getting hit in the head by a Kyle Seager line drive. Stash or Trash: Trash. Fill In: If you’ve completely blocked Hyun-Jin Ryu (39.0%) from your fantasy baseball radar, you might want to take a second look. (But don’t look too long — he’ll probably be in “Ambulance Chasers Week 20: Another Game of Thrones Reference.”) Over his last 6 starts he has a 2.08 ERA with a 10.0 K/9. The first 4 of those starts he didn’t pitch out of the 6th inning, but in his last 2 starts he’s thrown 7 innings and allowed 0 ER.
Edinson Volquez, SP, Tommy John Surgery
Shut it down. It has been a season of highs and lows for Volquez. He lost two close friends in Yordan Ventura and Jose Fernandez in the off-season, pitched a no-hitter in early June, and now unfortunately his season is over. Stash or Trash: Trash. Fill In: Collin McHugh (37.5%) has only made 3 starts this entire season and while his debut wasn’t great after an almost 4 month absence. But his last 2 starts have seen him allow 1 ER in 6 IP. He’ll face the White Sox in Chicago in his next start on August 9th which should provide another opportunity for a quality start.