I have a new "dude I feel bad for" this week.
I don't like having dudes I feel bad for. I want to be happy for everyone. But Daniel Hudson, man. Daniel Hudson. He was building toward a midseason comeback, writers and podcasters were discussing where he would rank among starting pitchers, everything was looking good. And then, in his first rehab start on the way back from Tommy John surgery, Hudson re-tore his UCL, and it looks like he's on his way to a second surgery and another year away from the game.
This ought to be a lesson, a parable if you will, for many of us. We have grown used to viewing Tommy John surgery as a fix - a guy's out a year or so, he comes back and he's good as new. Maybe he has to work his way gradually back up to 115-pitch outings, sure, and maybe there's the occasional bump in the road, but in essence, he is who he was. But, as we watch Hudson lose another year, as Cory Luebke stops his throwing program because of elbow "discomfort," we should remember that these are still major injuries, still surgeries. I'm as big a Brandon Beachy fan as anyone, and he's in rehab now, maybe back as soon as next week. Fingers crossed he is back, and he is as good as he was. But the Braves have five starting pitchers already, and there's been a lot of talk about how they'll handle the addition of a sixth. Assuming nothing changes, Beachy is the guy I'd have in the ‘pen. We want to assume they'll be great. But we can't assume that. He's the biggest wild card arm on their team. Don't forget that.
Anyway, that was Daniel's Lesson of the Week. On to the regular stuff.
Giancarlo Stanton - thankfully, for his owners - is due back, possibly today, for the Marlins. If he's back, you have to play him. Don't get cute or let him languish on your bench until he shows he's all the way there. Stanton is a must-start. Welcome back.
On the other side of the coin, Johnny Cueto, after a three-start return from the disabled list, found his way back there last week, with the same right-shoulder ailment that landed him there the first time. The move is retroactive to June 1, and it doesn't sound like he'll be out much longer than the minimum time, so sit tight. In the meantime, I (and everyone else in the world) expect Tony Cingrani (I almost called him Nick Cingrani, like I did last time he was in this space; not sure why I want him to be named Nick) to replace Cueto in the rotation. He is also pretty much a must-start while he's around.
At least Cueto got three starts before returning to the DL; Alexi Ogando only made one. The Rangers have called up Josh Lindblom to replace him. At this point, I don't think either guy is worth owning in just about any league. Lindblom is just the next guy up, as Texas has gone through a billion-and-a-half pitchers this season, and it's looking more and more like Ogando might need to be a reliever, as his times in the starting rotation have not promised durability. Look outside Texas for your next pitcher.
Texas also put Mitch Moreland on the 15-day DL, suffering from a right hamstring injury. As a Rangers fan, I'm sad. As a guy who missed out on Moreland in every league, I'm...well, I'm never happy with an injury, but you get my point. Anyway, Moreland's injury doesn't sound serious, either. If you need someone in the interim, I wrote a while back about Jeff Baker, and I think it even more now. With Moreland out, Adrian Beltre a bit hobbled, David Murphy still not hitting as well as we might expect, I expect Baker to get quasi-full-time play for the next little while, and he hasn't cooled down.
And now (please don't hate me, Ray Guilfoyle), I just need to point this out. Sunday, this was the Dodgers' starting lineup: Yasiel Puig, Nick Punto, Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Van Slyke, Luis Cruz, Skip Schumaker, Tim Federowicz, Mark Ellis, Matt Magill. The Dodgers - the most expensive team ever, as I understand it - started that lineup. I took the lineup from the box score, and there were four guys there whose first names I had to confirm. Now, there are a lot of reasons for that, but the biggest one is...maybe really expensive (aka, older) guys that other teams want to get rid of aren't going to be the most durable? To that end, Carl Crawford became the latest Dodger DL'd, stove up with a left hamstring strain. You have to wait on his return, but between his and Matt Kemp's injuries (now with new, improved setback!), Andre Ethier's general awfulness and Puig's hot start, the long-term impact of this move is that Puig is likely to be up for a while. Enjoy, those of you who won the Puig Lottery.
The Indians put Asdrubal Cabrera on the DL with a right quad injury. The ensuing shuffling means that Mike Aviles gets basically full-time play at shortstop while Cabrera is out, and I'm on record as thinking he's a sneaky-good play. Meanwhile, Mark Reynolds' move to third base full-time allows the Indians to half-rest guys like Carlos Santana, Yan Gomes, and Nick Swisher with occasional DH days, which theoretically could keep all of them fresher, though that hasn't helped Swish, whose single Sunday snapped an 0-for-26 skid.
Though at the time that I write this nothing has happened officially, Bruce Bochy said Sunday that the Giants might put Pablo Sandoval on the DL with a foot injury, according to a tweet from ESPN's Matthew Berry. If that happens, I expect Joaquin Arias to fill in, which means...your fantasy fill-in shouldn't be a Giant. That is all.
Ryan Braun's fate is also uncertain (and no, I don't mean Biogenesis, and I think enough has been written on that to date, so I'm done with it for now), as he is dealing with a sore right thumb. If the injury forces him to the DL, Logan Schafer is the likely fill-in. He's fine, if you're desperate, but again...outside the organization.
Finally, Brandon McCarthy reportedly suffered a seizure while dining out last week. He's already on the DL with shoulder inflammation, but is on record (both to reporters and on Twitter) as saying the seizure won't have any effect on his return plans, so this seems like it was scarier than it was serious, baseball-wise. Let's hope that's the case.
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