Garrett Richards injures his knee, out for year?
Angels starter Garrett Richards has been one of the biggest surprises of the season, helping the Angels compete for the AL West division title. Last night, though, his season probably came to an end, as he suffered a left knee patellar injury when his knee gave out when covering first base.
Richards had given up 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk in 1.2 innings before the injury. We should learn more about the extent of his injury sometime today, but he will probably miss the rest of the season, leaving a gaping hole in the Angels rotation, especially with Tyler Skaggs out for the season due to Tommy John surgery. Richards ends the season with a 13-4 record with a 2.61 ERA, 2.61 FIP, 3.17 xFIP, a 1.04 WHIP and a 164-51 strikeout to walk rate in 168.2 innings.
I ranked Richards in my early 2015 top 20 starter rankings over the weekend, and hopefully he will be fine come spring training.
For more on Richards injury and the Angels, make sure you check out Halos Heaven, SB Nation's Angels fan site.
Coming into the season, Mets first baseman Lucas Duda was ranked pretty low in our consensus first base rankings, as he had never been given a full-time role until this season. Duda has responded to the starting role by having a breakout season at the plate. Yesterday, Duda went 2-4 with a home run and 3 RBI in the Mets 8-5 win over the A's. For the season, Duda is hitting .255-.364-.487 with 23 home runs, 57 runs scored and 69 RBI, and is on pace for 29 home runs and 87 RBI. He is tied for 12th in MLB in home runs and in the top 30 in slugging percentage. His ranking heading into 2015 will reflect the power he provides fantasy owners.
Duda's teammate Zack Wheeler is enjoying a solid season for himself as well. Yesterday, Wheeler limited the A's to 4 runs, 2 of which were earned, on 4 hits, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts in 5.2 innings to earn the win. Wheeler improved his record to 9-8 with a 3.48 ERA, a 3.55 FIP, 3.57 xFIP, a 1.32 WHIP and a 148-65 strikeout to walk rate in 152.2 innings. He has given up two runs or less in nine of his last ten starts, lowering his ERA from 4.45 to 3.48. He still walks too many batters, but once he can harness his control, he could move up most starting pitcher rankings in 2015.
Another starter enjoying a breakout season is Tigers starter Rick Porcello. Last night, Porcello shut out the Rays on 3 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts in a complete game shutout of the Rays. Porcello moved his record to 14-8 with a 3.10 ERA, 3.58 FIP. 3.68 xFIP, a 1.12 WHIP and a 100-32 strikeout to walk rate in 165.1 innings this season. He has given up three runs or less in eight of his last ten starts, and is on pace for 18 wins. He will certainly receive a bump in our offseason starting pitcher rankings.
Coming into Wednesday's game vs the Braves, the Pirates had lost six straight games and needed a solid outing from Gerrit Cole, who was making his first start since returning from the disabled list. Cole did just that, albeit with some control issues, as he limited the Braves to 2 runs on 5 hits, 4 walks and 6 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Pirates 3-2 come from behind win last night. Cole has made just 15 starts this season due to injury, with a 7-4 record with a 3.69 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and a 84-33 strikeout to walk rate in 92.2 innings this season.
One of the more underrated starters this season has been Nationals starter Tanner Roark. With all the big names in the Nationals rotation, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez, Roark has been better than all of them in 2014. Last night, Roark shut out the Diamondbacks on 5 hits, a walk and 2 strikeouts in 7 innings but did not figure in the decision. On the season, Roark is a surprising 12-7 with a 2.80 ERA, a 3.42 FIP, 3.82 xFIP, a 1.07 WHIP and a 118-36 strikeout to walk rate in 160.2 innings this season. He has given up one run or less in six of his last eight and in 14 of his 25 starts this season.
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