Good lord — Curt Schilling and his bloody sock are looking up from hell at the starting pitching landscape and just cackling. There are so many injured SPs this week that I’m going to just give you three solid recommended adds at the bottom of this article. Otherwise, I’d end up recommending Jordan Zimmermann and Homer Bailey. Who would ever add them to their team in a two week period? Me. I did that.
Wait — is Curt Schilling dead?
Carlos Carrasco, SP, Knee: Still early on this one — but it didn’t look too great as Carrasco was rushing over to cover first base on Tuesday night and was removed from the game. He was struggling to start the season allowing 14 ERs in 10 IP, but had an 11 inning scoreless streak going for him before he was removed. Stay tuned and say 59 hail marys.
Jacob deGrom, SP, Elbow: Over the span of a week deGrom went from done for the year to throwing without an MRI and Mets Twitter cursing the Mets training staff to being able to pitch this Friday. These guys are flip-flopping more than John Kerry! #timely
Nathan Eovaldi, SP, Loose Bodies in Elbow: Eovaldi is getting his long IL stint out of the way early this year! He’s got some loose bodies living rent-free in his throwing elbow. This happened last year as he was recovering from TJ surgery — but this recovery will be shorter. He’s aiming for early-to-mid June.
Kyle Freeland, SP, Finger: He’s only going to miss one start with blisters. The Rockies have called in Moises Alou and a couple of water jugs for a blister prevention training session for the whole team.
Odubel Herrera, OF, Hamstring: Cabrera left his game early while you were reading last week’s edition of this column (Wednesday 4/17) so he’ll be back before you know it! Oh wait — you know it — Sunday. Fill In: Don’t give up hope on Dexter Fowler (1.9%) entirely. Fowler has 17 hits in his last 11 games with 8 runs, 1 HR and 6 RBI. In his prime, Fowler was just like Herrera is now: 15 HR power, 15 SB speed — respectable average, solid counting stats. Don’t forget the old dog returning to his old tricks.
Aaron Judge, OF, Oblique: Judge was missing all of his Yankee friends — literally all of them — and decided to get himself a spot on the IL too. Boone is calling this a “pretty significant strain” and based on the number of obscenities I’ve been seeing from Yankees fans on Twitter I’m inclined to agree with him. Look, if you’ve ever read this column you know that I hate oblique injuries more than any other injury. What starts out as one month quickly turns into two, three and then an entire lost season. Fill In: Josh Reddick (5.8%.) Reddick is going on one of his trademark hot streaks and you should get on board while you can. Over the last 8 games, he’s hitting .441 with a 1.104 OPS with a pair of HRs. Reddick is hitting behind 7th behind 6 amazing hitters so if he keeps this hitting up he could net you a lot of RBI.
Starling Marte, OF, Abdomen: Marte collided with some other jabroni on his team while pursuing a shallow pop fly. That other jabroni broke his clavicle, but that got us Cole Tucker. Marte is dealing with an abdominal wall injury and an injured quad. Early reports are inconclusive with no timeline being determined just yet. If he had a 12-pack like me he’d be able to shrug off this injury and Erik Gonzalez would have shattered every bone in his body. Look at me writing like Tehol! Fill In: Mike Tauchman (3.8%.) Since every Yankee OF from single-A all the way up to Bernie Williams is injured you might as well take a shot on a guy who is guaranteed playing time for the next few weeks. So why should you care about a guy with a career .173 average over 98 ABs? Because in 1,298 AAA ABs he was a .312 hitter and even hit 20 HRs last season in the Rockies minor league system. Yes, that was in the Pacific Coast League, but still — nothing wrong with those bat to ball skills. And again, it’s about ABs right now — and he’s getting them.
Jean Segura, SS, Hamstring: Segura suffered this injury back on April 16th, but wasn’t expected to miss more than 3-4 games. He’s now expected back Saturday. Fill In: Cole Tucker (6.9%.) Tucker is here and I think he’s here to stay. Pirates shortstops have the 4th worst WAR at the position in all of MLB. Tucker to his credit stole 82 bases over the last two seasons in the Pirates minor league system. He’s never been much of a power threat (career high of 6,) but had 3 HRs to start this season in AAA. This is his job and I bet he’s going to hang on to it. Maybe he could reach 10 HRs with the chance for 20+ SBs.
Matt Shoemaker, SP, Knee: Ah man. The baseball Gods do not want the maker of fine footwear to play. He’s made 26 total starts in the past three seasons. Now — he’s going to miss another full season with this torn ACL and you have to wonder if he’ll return to normal for 2020.
Michael Wacha, SP, Knee: If it was a slight sprain or soreness I’d feel a bit better about this injury — but tendinitis? That’s gonna probably linger. He’s going to miss more than one start, but that’s all we’ve heard for now.
Starting Pitcher Fill In Suggestions
Frankie Montas (34.0%): In the under 50% owned category we have Montas. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 ERs in any of his 4 starts and has 20 Ks over 23.1 IP so far. Montas has been killing it with his upper-90s fastball which could lead to more Ks if he incorporates and improves his secondary pitches more. Montas has been doing a great job keeping the ball on the ground leading the league with a 59.4% ground ball rate. Last year’s leader, Dallas Keuchel, had a 53.7% ground ball rate. If Montas can continue to keep the ball out of the air — he could really be a true break out going forward.
Luke Weaver (15.3%): Under 25% owned there’s the third Weaver brother Luke. Weaver had a rough opening two starts allowing 7 ERs in 9.1 IP, but he’s settled in his three most recent starts. Weaver was a top 50 prospect according to Baseball America heading into 2017 and had a minor breakout that season with a 3.88 ERA with a 10.7 K/9 in 60.1 innings with the Cardinals. 2018 — was a totally different story. So far Weaver, like Montas, is keeping his contact on the ground with a 53.4% ground ball rate. His 3.12 xFIP and .321 BABIP so far makes me feel like Weaver can keep this quality start train going forward for the rest of the season.
Jerad Eickhoff (7.6%): If you need one good start this week, grab Eickhoff. Eickhoff is facing off against the Marlins on Friday night. The Marlins are 28th in the bigs against righties in batting average, 29th in OPS near the bottom in almost every other offensive category against righties too. Eickhoff should further secure his starting spot in place of the nightmare that is Nick Pivetta.