It is an inevitable part of the baseball season, but injuries continue to affect fantasy teams significantly. ESPN.Com is reporting that Jacoby Ellsbury will be out for "weeks" after another MRI revealed that he had a new crack in one of his ribs. To me, this is probably the most significant fantasy injury of the season. There is simply no one out there that is going to replace the production that you were expecting out of Ellsbury, especially the speed.
Alex Rodriguez has scared a lot of owners, as he was pinch-hit for in his first at bat of the game. It sounds like it is just a recurrence of a groin injury, but it is definitely something to be monitored for the time being. The Yankees are hosting Houston this weekend, so if he's not well enough to play the field he could still DH.
It was also announced that Angels' 1B Kendry Morales would indeed miss the remainder of the season after having surgery on his injured ankle. Could this revelation lead to more trade rumors about some of the first basemen that may be available? Like Lance Berkman, Derrek Lee, or even Paul Konerko?
Another Player A/Player B comparison today:
Player A: .261/.337/.592, 16 HR, 39 RBI, 26 R, 3 SB
Player B: .274/.357/.543, 10 HR, 37 RBI, 32 R, 2 SB
Which of these two players would you rather have for the remainder of the season?
Well, Player A hit a home run yesterday to bring his total to 16 for the season, and his name is Corey Hart. Player B has not played since Monday, and it's Jayson Werth. To me, the fact that Hart is not 100% owned in ESPN leagues is amazing at this point. He clearly appears to be back, and is definitely on a very big hot streak right now as well.
Mike Leake finally appears to be human, giving up 5 earned runs and 15 base runners in only 4 1/3 innings pitched yesterday. The Giants aren't exactly tearing up the world with their lineup, so this is a bit concerning to me. His next start is at home against the Dodgers, so he's one to watch in his next matchup. That said, his ERA for the season is still only up to 2.68. He was due for a regression of some sort, but overall I still think he's going to continue his overall excellent performance.
Mat Latos continued his solid performance, striking out 8 batters over 6 innings en route to a victory. Latos is said to be on an innings limit this season, and has already thrown 72 1/3 innings so far. He's also struck out 64 batters in that time. Can't get enough of Padres' pitchers with high strikeout rates.
Despite taking the loss, Max Scherzer pitched pretty well for the second time in his last 3 starts. He struck out 7, allowed only 3 earned runs and 6 base runners over 7 1/3 innings pitched. Unfortunately, someone forgot to bring the bats for the Tigers as they were shutout. I think the window to buy low on Scherzer may be closing very soon, as he seems really unlikely to continue to be as unlucky (61% strand rate, .347 BABIP) as he has been to this point.
Roy Oswalt continued his brilliant performance yesterday, striking out 9 over 7 innings en route to a victory. He remains one of the most attractive starting pitchers out on the trade market, but the sheer amount of salary he is owed is going to make it difficult to trade him.
Mike Lowell was inserted into the game yesterday as an injury replacement for Kevin Youkilis, who left due with a knee problem. I know Youkilis has been carrying at least one of my fantasy teams, and am really hoping that this won't be a particularly serious injury.
Dontrelle Willis made his second start with the Diamondbacks, and it looked a lot like his last starts with the Tigers. 4 innings pitched, 2 earned runs, 2 strikeouts, 6 walks. Yuck. On the other side of the matchup, Tommy Hanson struck out 10 in only 5 1/3 innings pitched, but took 121 pitches to get through those innings. Not exactly what anyone wanted to see either. Neither pitcher was cursed with a loss, but neither of them really look like they were all that effective either. Frankly, I'm not sure what league Willis is relevant in at this point.
Roy Halladay only gave up 1 run over 8 innings, and it was still too much for the struggling offense of the Phillies as they were shut out by Josh Johnson and the Marlins. I don't know what is causing the Phillies to hit so poorly at this point, but hopefully they figure it out soon, because this race could get away from them fast if they don't.
Another top prospect, Jake Arrieta, pitched well enough in his debut to get a victory over the Yankees. He struck out 6 in 6 innings, but did walk 4. He's someone to watch for keeper leagues, as he has been considered a top prospect for awhile now, and hopefully will be able to build on this performance. David Hernandez ended up getting the save in this game, the first of his career. You don't want any part of that, at least not yet.
Quietly, Brett Cecil won his 7th game of the season last night, and no small feat against the red hot Rays. On the season, he has posted a 3.22 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Amazingly, he has actually been better than his ERA coming into last night's start (3.43 ERA vs. 3.13 FIP). I tried to trade for him last season in my main keeper league, but the owner (rightfully so) wanted too much for him.
The Mariners' struggles continue, as they dropped to 23-37 and quite a ways back in the AL West. The Cliff Lee rumors have already started, and I have slowly started to hear David Aardsma rumors as well. Could the Mariners pack it in for the season in the next week? And if so, who else gets moved for prospects?
Ah, what could have been if the A's had been able to get Adrian Beltre to sign on the dotted line? Beltre hit his 8th homer of the season last night, a very clutch 2 run homerun to give the Red Sox the lead in the 9th inning.