Jeremy Hellickson, SP, Wrist Sprain: After missing most of June with a DL stay, Hellickson finds himself back there again, this time with a more serious wrist injury. Hellickson has had an interesting season — he’s allowed more than 3 ERs just once in his 18 starts, but has also only pitched 6 innings twice. Stash or Trash: The Nationals are being optimistic in their hopes that Hellickson will only miss one start. A pitcher with a wrist injury to their throwing hand? I’d expect a longer stay. I’d still stash him though until we hear more. Fill In: Last week when I had to make a lot of starting pitcher recommendations, the guys I recommended with an ERA of 15.00. So this week with so many starting pitchers placed on the DL I’m going to make all my SP recommendations that I truly believe in at the bottom.
James Paxton, SP, Left Forearm Contusion: Well the good news is that Paxton has matched his career high in starts with 24 so far this season. Every season experts list Paxton as the “What If” Cy Young. Sorry to break to everyone, but it seems like Paxton will never have a healthy season. Paxton is throwing, but has yet to throw a bullpen session. I think we’re going to be another 10 days or so until we see Paxton on the mound for Seattle. Stash or Trash: Stash him. Even after I said all that. Fill In: Last week when I had to make a lot of starting pitcher recommendations, the guys I recommended with an ERA of 15.00. So this week with so many starting pitchers placed on the DL I’m going to make all my SP recommendations that I truly believe in at the bottom.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Strained Hamstring: Just like Jim in American Pie, “Not again man.” Devers has missed a pretty large chunk of time with three separate DL stints, but even when he has been healthy he’s been underperforming. Stash or Trash: I’d stash him in deep leagues depending on your options. But in 10 team leagues or less I think you can start entertaining the possibility of releasing Devers to the waivers. Fill In: Wilmer Flores (11%.) I’ve been making this recommendation a few times these past few weeks, but it doesn’t appear to have sunk in just yet. Since the start of August, Flores is hitting .305 with 7 runs, 2 HRs and 13 RBI. Not spectacular numbers for sure, but really not bad as a fill in option if you’ve grown tired of Devers.
Didi Gregorius, SS, Bruised Heel: Luckily this injury is just a bruise or the Yankees will really be struggling without Didi AND Aaron Judge. Among shortstops Didi is top-5 in runs and top-10 in HRs and RBI. Stash or Trash: Obvious stash. When he returns Didi has a realistic chance to end the season with a 90/25/90/15/.270 line. That’s a second round talent in 2019. Fill In: Amed Rosario (20.5%.) “Another Met replacement? Are you mad?!” I know a lot of my Met fan friends who were ready to give up on a 22 year old prospect with less than 600 ABs to his name. To be fair, Rosario wasn’t performing that great yet this season, but boy is he heating up in August. He’s got 16 runs, 2 HRs, 13 RBI, 5 SBs and a .286 AVG since August one.
Brandon Nimmo, OF, Bruise Index Finger: Bruised finger might be the most pathetic injury I’ve ever covered. This injury came at an awful time for Nimmo who is 15 for his last 31 with 12 runs and 7 RBI after batting an ice cold .172 over his previous 36 games. Stash or Trash: Nimmo is eligible to return on August 27th and hopefully this bruised little fingy doesn’t affect him too much. Fill In: Cedric Mullins (9.7%.) Mullins has been an intriguing power/speed prospect in his minor league career. So far this season alone in AA and AAA, he had 11 HRs and 21 SBs with a .288 AVG. Mullins has yet to capture a stolen base in the bigs, but he does have 1 HR and a .343 AVG. The Orioles seem committed to giving some young guys at bats to see what they have for the future and with Trumbo on the DL (see below) Mullins is one of those young guys.
Chris Sale, SP, Shoulder Inflammation: Oh great! Red Sox manager says Alex Cora is in “good spirits!” Which just so happens to be a category in my home league! Stash or Trash: Stash. We don’t know when we’ll see Sale on the mound again, but we know when we won’t see him: this Saturday. If everything goes well I think we could see Sale sell seashells on the sea shore in the following week. Fill In: Last week when I had to make a lot of starting pitcher recommendations, the guys I recommended with an ERA of 15.00. So this week with so many starting pitchers placed on the DL I’m going to make all my SP recommendations that I truly believe in at the bottom.
Ervin Santana, SP, Middle Finger Pain: Uh-oh. Twins manager Paul Molitor said that Santana might be shut down for the year and that he doesn’t “know when the next time he’s going to pitch will be.” Stash or Trash: That sounds like a trash to me. Fill In: Last week when I had to make a lot of starting pitcher recommendations, the guys I recommended with an ERA of 15.00. So this week with so many starting pitchers placed on the DL I’m going to make all my SP recommendations that I truly believe in at the bottom.
Marcus Stroman, SP, Blisters on Right Hand: Stroman’s mom always warned him this would happen if he played with it too much. As of me writing this on Tuesday evening Stroman hasn’t thrown a ball yet so you can imagine he’ll be out for at least another week. Stash or Trash: I’d trash him at this point. This isn’t the Stroman we all know and love. He’ll follow up back to back solid starts with a 4 IP/5 ER performance or a 5 IP/7 ER game. Fill In: Last week when I had to make a lot of starting pitcher recommendations, the guys I recommended with an ERA of 15.00. So this week with so many starting pitchers placed on the DL I’m going to make all my SP recommendations that I truly believe in at the bottom.
Mark Trumbo, OF, Knee Inflammation: Trumbo has to be one of the most frustrating fantasy baseball players in dynasty leagues. Early on you got three seasons where he averaged 72 runs, 32 HRs, 94 RBI, with a .251 AVG. Then in his next two seasons he averaged 50 runs, 18 HRs and 62 RBI. Then in 2016 came the league leading 47 HRs/108 RBI season. And the last two years have been trash again. Stash or Trash: I can’t seem to find a time frame for Trumbo yet, but the Orioles have nothing to play for they could just let Trumbo relax and enjoy his DL stint. Trash. Fill In: Greg Allen (3.5%) needs to be on your radar right now. Over his last 11 games he has 16 hits in 41 ABs with 5 SBs. Every owner needs speed and Allen seems to have the green light (and the playing time) in Cleveland right now.
Joey Votto, 1B, Lower Leg Contusion: Votto is in the midst of his worst season not counting his injury stricken 2014 season. His .422 OBP is still elite, but the .284 AVG is the lowest of his healthy seasons. Stash or Trash: There’s no timetable for his return, but it’s Joey Votto. You can’t really drop him — you just have to hope he returns before your fantasy season is over and you get your money’s worth. Fill In: Tyler Austin (2.9%.) The former Yankee looks really motivated to make Brian Cashman look like a fool. In the 8 games since he’s made his Twins debut, Austin has 10 hits in 27 ABs with 3 HRs and 6 RBI. In the last two seasons Austin had pretty solid seasons in AAA for the Yankees. In 2016 he hit 13 HRs with a .323 AVG over 201 ABs. In 2017 he hit 10 HRs with a .275 AVG in 171 ABs. Austin’s full potential looks like a guy who could hit 20-25 HRs in a season with a .270ish average. Now with a new opportunity on a less stacked team, Austin could live up that potential.
Starting Pitcher Recommendations:
Jaime Barria (18.2%): The 21 year old rookie should sneakily garner some rookie of the year votes at the end of this season. In his last 5 starts Barria has thrown 26.2 innings with 22 Ks and a 2.36 ERA. Barria has struggled going deep into games only pitching 6 full innings twice since June 1st. You might want to bench Barria in his next start against the Astros — although he did hold them to 1 ER in 7 innings back in mid-May.
Austin Gomber (15.4%): I find it hard to recommend a man named Gomber, but the kid has earned it recently. In his last three starts, Gomber has pitched 16 innings and allowed only 2 ERs with 13 Ks. Yes, one of those games was against the Royals, but the other two were against the Nationals and the Dodgers. Gomber has had a solid, but unspectacular minor league career. Although in 68.1 innings in the PCL this year Gomber does have a 3.42 ERA which you know is impressive considering how much the PCL favors hitters.
Alex Cobb (11.9%): Cobb’s ERA after his 5 inning, 5 ER performance on July 8th was 6.67. Now, 7 starts later it is down to 5.09 — the lowest it’s been all season. Of those 7 starts, 5 have been quality including a complete game, 2 ER performance against the Indians on August 18th. Cobb has really tapped into his reserves these previous 7 games with a .237 BAA and 2.14 ERA. And take a look at the caliber of his opponents recently: Yankees: 6 IP/1 ER; Red Sox: 7 IP/1 ER and the aforementioned complete game against the Indians. Cobb has been reborn and you should help that 11.9% ownership skyrocket.