“Little Chris Archer sat under an arch–er watching a high pop fly. He stuck out his thumb until it went numb and said, “Onto the IL go I!” Early reports are that he won’t miss more than 1 or 2 starts with this thumb injury. Replacement: Spencer Turnbull (3.6%) is someone you should be keeping an eye on right now. He’s made 5 starts so far and hasn’t allowed more than 3 ERs in any of them. Included in that is a recent 11 inning scoreless streak. I don’t know about you, but I like to give the fringey starting pitchers on my roster audition days to see if they’ll stick around or find themselves back in the waiver heap. Turnbull’s most recent start was an audition day and I think he passed. Last night he threw 6 innings with 5 baserunners, only 1 ER and 5 K’s. I’d say he passed his audition and needs to be on your rotation especially since he’s facing the Royals next — a team he struck out 10 times and held to 2 ERs back in early April.
Cody Allen, RP, Back: He should be on the IL for SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! Having your in-game ERA as letters is bad once — but on back to back appearances? SHAME! No word on the Twittersphere about how long he’ll be out — but if the High Sparrow Brad Ausmus has his way, it’ll be a while. Replacement: I don’t know if he’ll be getting a ton of save opportunities, but I like John Gant (19%.) He’s only allowed 2 ERs this season in 18.2 IP. He was a little wild in the early going with a 9:7 K:BB ratio in his first 9 appearances. However, over his last 6 appearances, he has 8 strikeouts and 0 walks. Jordan Hicks has a pretty firm grip on the Cardinals closer role, but there’s nothing wrong with a ratio and K guy like Gant if all the other closers have been swiped up. And you can’t tell me you’re not worried that one of these days Hicks is going to throw his entire arm with one of his 105 mph fastballs?
Willians Astudillo, C, Hamstring: El Tortuga left his game on 4/27 after displaying his signature hustle running home on a sacrifice fly. No word on how long he’ll be out yet, but I’d imagine he’s spending his time in Cabo with the same harem of women that always follow him. Replacement: Everyone knows I hate finding catcher replacements. Might as well just play with a blank roster spot! Take a chance on Robinson Chirinos (10.6%.) He’s hitting .273 which is good for 8th among catchers with at least 60 plate appearances.
Clint Frazier, OF, Ankle: I originally accidentally wrote his name as “Flint Crazier” and worried that Razzball couldn’t survive the wave of this article showing up on liberal media search pages and quickly corrected it. The image of this injury made me Ralph Nader all over my favorite shirt, but apparently, he’s progressing well so far. Oh no! I did it again! Replacement: Danny Santana (13.1%) was called up to fill in for Rougned Odor when he went down with his injury, but has done such a good job that the Rangers are finding any way to keep him in the lineup including playing him at first in his last 3 games. Santana has hit safely in all but 2 games that he’s played in and has 13 runs and 9 RBI in only 14 games played. He’s got the added bonus of already having 2B and OF eligibility with the possibility of gaining 1B in 7 or so games.
Eloy Jimenez, OF, Ankle: Alright so he didn’t set the world on fire as we all expected — but maybe we all should’ve tempered our expectations anyway. Right now he’s going to be carried around by teammates around the clubhouse and the medical team will poke around at his ankle again in two weeks. Replacement: Kole Calhoun (15.8%) can be one of the most frustrating players to own in all of fantasy. In his opening series against the Athletics he had 5 hits in 4 games including a HR and 2 doubles. Then, he had only 6 hits in his next 13 games. Then over his next 9 games he had 10 hits, 4 of them being HRs. He’s been swinging that good wood over the past few games so grab him if you’re desperate.
A.J. Pollock, OF, Elbow: Now I’ve seen everything. The heir apparent to Cal Ripken Jr. is set to undergo some of his own poking and prodding around his elbow to see if surgery is necessary. You all deserve this for drafting Pollock. Replacement: I know his sexy numbers aren’t great right now (1 HR, 1 SB) but Dexter Fowler (3.7%) is still doing enough to earn your attention. He has a .313 AVG and .415 OBP and 12 runs scored. He’s nowhere close to his old form or close to sniffing the leadoff spot, but he is a won’t-hurtchya OF addition if you just lost Pollock.
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Elbow: Rendon suffered this injury wayyyy back on 4/20, but we were all too whacked out on jazz cigarettes to notice. This IL stint is backdated all the way to 2015 since it took so long. He’ll get some (more) time to recover and could come back when eligible on May 7th. Replacement: It appears not enough of your leaguemates have added Michael Chavis (10.8%) to their rosters yet. Be the change you want to see in your league. Chavis has two hits in each of his last three games and is hitting as high as 6th for the Sawx. I know you’re worried about Dustin Pedroia. But he’s a few weeks away. And here’s my Doctor Strange prediction: I’ve seen 14 million six hundred and five different outcomes of Pedroia’s return. Only 1 of them did he stay healthy.
Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Hamstring: Yeesh. Angry San Diegoites crossed their legs after seeing Tatis make a stretch at second base to try and snag a ball that was thrown by his pitcher. San Diegan yoga instructors are coming out of the woodwork now to teach the rest of the team their best downward dog. Replacement: I’ll trade you one sexy top prospect for another, Carter Kieboom (18.2%.) The Nationals are giving the SS reigns to the Kieboom kid in the absence of Trea Turner. Then, once Trea comes back, expect Kieboom to replace Brian Dozier who is not what he used to be. Kieboom is a top 20 prospect who could eventually develop into a decent 30/10 power/speed threat once puberty is behind him. Get in on the ground floor now.
Joey Wendle, 2B, Wrist: Helluva 4-game ride for Wendle. Just as he returned from a hamstring injury, Wendle is out again now expected to miss 6-8 weeks after getting hit by a pitch in a game on April 24th. Replacement: Is little Tommy La Stella (15.1%) joining the fly ball revolution? After putting up a launch angle of 8.1 in 2018 La Stella is up to 13.5 this year. His XSLG% is up to .472 this year from .373 last year. Do I believe a man named Tommy with a previous MLB high of 5 HRs is now going to hit 20? No — but he’s getting ABs and he’s getting some good cuts on the ball right now. He’s also seeing the ball extremely well as seen by his 5:10 K/BB ratio. You could do worse.