This is the last issue of Ambulance Chasers for the MLB! I’ll be switching over to the NFL starting next week on Razzball Football. I’ll be trading in my DL-60’s and DL-10’s for PUP’s, Q’s, O’s and D’s. Lots and lots of big ol’ D’s. If you have still have fantasy baseball injury questions you can find me on Twitter and ask me: here.
Nine starting pitchers got bit by the injury bug this week, most of them Dodgers. I feel like there’s been a Dodger in every issue of Ambulance Chasers this year. Since there are so many starting pitchers on the DL I’ll be giving you three fill in options at the bottom of this article rather than struggling to find nine viable starters on your waivers. What? You want me to recommend Clayton Richard? Let me have my pride!
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Yu Darvish, SP, Back Tightness
Dodgers aces can’t catch any break-ces. However, in case you haven’t noticed, the Dodgers have been gaming the disabled list all year to essentially have a 6-man rotation. Darvish is throwing bullpen sessions and reports are that he’ll be making a start against the Brew Crew on Sunday, August 27th. Stash or Trash: Stash. Boy the NLCS pitching match-ups of Max Scherzer vs. Clayton Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg vs. Darvish and Gio Gonzalez vs. Alex Wood are going to be something to behold, huh? (Weird — of those six pitchers only Gonzalez has avoided the disabled list this year.) Fill In: Check the bottom of this article for my pitcher fill in recommendations for this week!
Jarrod Dyson, OF, Strained Groin
Of course! Right after I recommended him Dyson goes down with a groin injury. The nerve of this guy. His DL stint was backdated to August 17th which sets him up for a return on Sunday. Hopefully this is a minor injury and he’s back out there. Stash or Trash: Stash. He’s one of only 8 players with over 25 steals. Fill In: Let’s make this quicker than Dyson. Grab Delino DeShields (8.5%.) He has 6 steals in his last 9 starts and has multiple hits in 4 of those games.
Jacob Faria, SP, Strained Abdominal
Faria has been a revelation for the Rays rotation this year so it’s a shame to see him hit the DL. He rifled off 7 straight quality starts to start his career, however hasn’t been great post-All Star break (4.46 ERA post-ASB vs. 2.11 pre-ASB.) Stash or Trash: I would trash him right now. We don’t know when he’ll be back and you need starts now to get those fat W’s to make/keep your playoff spot. Fill In: Check the bottom of this article for my pitcher fill in recommendations for this week!
Carlos Gomez, OF, Shoulder Discomfort
Another backdated DL stint so Gomez can return Saturday the 26th. If Gomez runs a bit more when he returns he’s got an outside shot at a 20/20 season. Stash or Trash: Stash for now. Gomez’s best years are behind him, but he’s not having a terrible year. Fill In: Kevin Kiermaier is back and swinging a hot bat. He has hits in every one of his 4 games back including 2 hits in his last 3. Kiermaier is only owned in 11.2% of ESPN leagues so grab him now while you still can.
Odubel Herrera, OF, Strained Hamstring
One of the second-half’s best hitters now finds himself on the DL. In his 29 games since the Mid-Summer Classic Odubel has 19 runs, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 2 SB and a Votto-tian .450 OBP. Stash or Trash: Stash until we know more. Another guy with a backdated DL stint, Odubel can return August 29th. If he comes back healthy and hits the same, he can help solidify your playoff weeks. Fill In: Leury Garcia (4.6%) is probably unowned and forgotten in your league, mostly because no one knows how to pronounce his first name. In the 22 games since his DL return he has been killing it just like Odubel. He has a 11/2/10/2/.264 line and is getting at-bats as the White Sox lead-off man.
Jon Lester, SP, Strained Lat/Shoulder Fatigue
Lester got lit up by the…Cincinnati Reds (?!) in his last start so you know something was wrong. Lester is up and playing catch so maybe he’ll be back soon. Stash or Trash: Lester might be one of the best SP2’s of the last decade; consistent and reliable. However, his 4.37 ERA is his highest since 2012, which might mean Father Time’s punches are finally starting to land. His peripheral numbers really aren’t too far off from his norms so it might be bad luck except his 1.21 HR/9 is a career high and continues the trend of that figure going up every year over the past 4 years. Stash or Trash: I’d still stash him. He might miss one more start, but should be ready to go after that. Fill In: Check the bottom of this article for my pitcher fill in recommendations for this week!
Reynaldo Lopez, SP, Strained Back
Hot prospect Reynaldo made 2 big league starts before hopping on the DL bandwagon. Being that the White Sox are 15.5 games out of the Wild Card picture and have the second-worst winning percentage in all of baseball, his DL stay was clearly mostly kinda probably precautionary. Like Lester, Lopez is playing catch and could be back after missing one more start. Stash or Trash: Stash. The kid has a great pedigree and might be back next week. Fill In: Check the bottom of this article for my pitcher fill in recommendations for this week!
Steven Matz, SP, Elbow Surgery
The UN should levy sanctions on the Mets training staff after all the injuries the team has suffered these past two seasons. Name a Mets starting pitcher that has been healthy for the past two seasons — I’ll wait. Stash or Trash: Trash. Done for the year (and part of next year too.) Fill In: Check the bottom of this article for my pitcher fill in recommendations for this week!
JC Ramirez, SP, Strained Elbow
Nobody expects the Nicaraguan acquisition to perform this well. Playing with his 7th franchise since 2009, Ramirez accidentally found himself in a starting pitcher role with the Angels after the holistic healing for Garrett Richards’s torn elbow ligament failed. It hasn’t been all roses with JC all season. According to Baseball Reference he’s made 10 starts with a game score below 50 (pitchers start with a 50 score and can go up and down based on their performance) and 14 starts above 50. Stash or Trash: There’s no timetable for JC’s resurrection from the DL, so that means there’s no need to have him on your roster right now. Unless you’re safely in your league’s playoffs and there are no better options — you can trash him. Fill In: Check the bottom of this article for my pitcher fill in recommendations for this week!
Trevor Rosenthal, RP, Elbow Irritation
The Cardinals most recent closer is seeking a second opinion after his first doctor looked at his MRI and vomited in the trash can in his office. Stash or Trash: I know I sound like a broken record but if you can safely stash him: fine. But it doesn’t look good for Rosenthal and you need to win NOW! Trash. Fill In: Cam Bedrosian (33.9%.) You can never tell what the Sciosciopath is going to do, but right now it’s seeming like Bedrosian is the closer in Anaheim/LA. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 10 games and has 12 strikeouts in those games.
Miguel Sano, 3B/OF, Stress Reaction in Shin
Say it ain’t Sano! This injury only occurred on Sunday so we’re still waiting for more news, but the earliest Sano can return is August 30th. Stash or Trash: Sano is having a low key great season so far. He’ll probably top 35 HR, 90 runs, and 90 RBI. Mix in all that with his 11.4% walk rate and baby got a stew going! Stash! Fill In: Is it lazy to recommend little Nicky Delmonico (14.5%) again? I don’t care I’m doing it anyway! Badabing! How has Nicky Blue-Eyes done since I recommended him last week? 9 runs, 5 HR, 6 RBI, 2 SB and a .304 in 7 games? Get outta here!
Max Scherzer, SP, Neck Inflammation
Everybody chill. Scherzer ain’t worried, so I ain’t worried. And I also ain’t worried about your thoughts on the word “ain’t.” Stash or Trash: Stashzer. Might only miss one more start and he’ll carry you to your league championship. Fill In: Check the bottom of this article for my pitcher fill in recommendations for this week!
Adam Wainwright, SP, Elbow Impingement
Wainwright impinged upon his elbow on Friday, August 18th and got a plasma rich platelet injection the next day. He won’t throw again for 10-14 days. No full timetable yet. Stash or Trash: What’s he worth to you? How much time do you have left? This isn’t Cy Young Adam Wainwright anymore. I think you can move on from him. Fill In: Check the bottom of this article for my pitcher fill in recommendations for this week!
Alex Wood, SP, Sternum Joint Issue
Maybe the Dodgers are gaming the DL system to use a 7 man rotation? Wood’s been dealing with this joint issue for a while and the Dodgers don’t want to mess with one of their potential playoff starters. The Dodgers are World Series or bust this year and don’t want to muck it up by rolling this joint issue. Stash or Trash: Stash. Another guy saying that he’ll only miss 10 days. He’ll get the Padres on September 2nd. Lucky. Fill In: Check the bottom of this article for my pitcher fill in recommendations for this week!
Starting Pitcher Options:
Miguel Gonzalez (7.7%):
I don’t want to recommend Miguel Gonzalez, but against my better judgement I’m going to do it anyway. Taking away his 1.2 inning, 7 earned run disaster against Boston — Miguel has been unbelievable over his other previous 6 starts. He’s thrown 39.1 innings and only allowed a piddly 7 earned runs. Yea, his K/9 is not great, but as long as he’s throwing quality starts you can make up those K’s elsewhere. One last thing to note — Gonzalez’s 6 great starts were against: Dodgers, Cubs, Indians, Astros, Dodgers and the Rangers in that order. Every one of those teams is in the top 10 in runs scored this season.
Chris Stratton (10.4%):
In his 3 August starts, Stratton has been lights out. 17.2 IP, 2 ER and 15 K’s. This wasn’t against chumps either: he’s faced the Diamondbacks, Nationals and Brewers respectively. Stratton will face off against the D-Backs again on August 27th, this time under the hot Arizona sun. Stratton hds a 4.19 ERA in 53 career games with the Giants AAA affiliate in the PCL. Really not that bad considering how much the PCL is a hitters league.
Mike Leake (48.4%):
This is a spot start option more than anything because Leake really hasn’t been great over his last 2 starts (7.1 IP, 14 ER) and isn’t even guaranteed this next start. However, Leake is scheduled to face the Rays on August 26th. In the second-half the Rays are dead-last in runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Could be a great bounce-back game for Leake.