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Roto Roundup: Alex Bregman, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner and others

Ray offers his thoughts on the possible promotion of Astros uber-prospect Alex Bregman, the injury news on Clayton Kershaw and others.

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Clayton Kershaw: Out for the year?

This time last week, Dodgers fans and fantasy owners were looking forward to the return of the best pitcher in the game, Clayton Kershaw. He was to pitch a simulated game over the weekend and depending on how he came out of that, he would be activated this weekend in St. Louis. Well, apparently he was still sore after the simulated game, and now there is talk that he could have season ending surgery.

What should we expect if he has season ending surgery? It doesn’t look good. Here is more from Will Carroll, aka @injuryexpert on Twitter, in his FanDuel article yesterday:

The fact of the situation is it likely will be an extended period, another four-to-six weeks, and surgery is more on the table, though that is less of a chance than most think. The injury remains the same, a common disc herniation in the lower back that is causing severe back spasms exacerbated by activity. Kershaw made it through the initial shutdown, therapy and ramp up to getting on the mound without major issue, so that’s a positive. Nothing really cropped up until he got on the mound and threw at a higher level. That’s a bad sign, but it doesn’t mean his next stop is a surgeon’s table. It means they’ll revisit the therapy, try some new things, and see if there’s things they can do short of surgery to fix this.

If they can’t, surgery is a terrible option. There aren’t many pitchers that have had this kind of procedure and come back well. Bending the back is obviously a key to the delivery and Kershaw’s no different, at least in this respect. The likely option would be a microdiscectomy, where they would drill out a small tunnel in the inflamed disc that allows the nerve to get un-entrapped. This has a pretty significant failure rate and surgeons seem to be moving away from it in all but athletic contexts, but for Kershaw, it’s likely a worthwhile option. The 8-12 week recovery period would end his season if he has it, but anytime before January would mean he would be on track for starting next season.

Back surgery of any kind doesn’t sound good, especially for a pitcher. I don’t even want to imagine a Dodgers team without Kershaw at the top of the rotation. You can’t replace him in any way, shape or form.

But, apparently, the Dodgers front office is trying, as rumors are surfacing that they are in on Ray’s starter Chris Archer, who Dodgers President Andrew Friedman has already traded for once in his front office career. Could he trade for him a second time? I highly doubt it, as Archer is cost controlled through the 2021 season. That’s a long ways off. Then again, the Dodgers have a ton of prospects that, if any team trades for Archer, they certainly have the goods to make a deal happen.

We will know more by August 1st, the trade deadline. Until then, let’s say some prayers that Kershaw’s back responds to treatment and he never needs to discuss surgery in his career.

Alex Bregman finally getting the call?

The Astros send struggling first base prospect A.J. Reed down to Triple A last night, and initial reports indicated they were NOT calling up Alex Bregman. Then we got this via Twitter:

I have never heard of this site or Twitter account, but time will tell if they are accurate. It is a foregone conclusion that Bregman is ready. He is hitting .388-.414-.746 with 6 home runs, 17 runs scored and 15 RBI in just 70 plate appearances since his promotion to Triple A. This is after hitting .297-.415-.559 with 14 home runs, 54 runs scored and 46 RBI in just 285 plate appearances in Double A. ESPN's Keith Law ranked him as his #1 prospect in his Midseason Top 50 Prospect Rankings last week.

Bregman has been playing third base and outfield in Triple A to get accustomed to the position he will play upon his call up to the big leagues. That said, Law had this to say in his chat yesterday:

Max G.: While I agree with you that the Astros should move Correa to third and put Bregman at short, It isn't going to happen. Do you think Bregman could handle CF?
Klaw: No. I think he could handle 3b or 2b but really right now he is their best SS option, and they're going to have to have that conversation with Correa this winter.

So, expect Carlos Correa at third base next season.

Now, whether this report is accurate, only time will tell. Hopefully it is.

Roto Roundup

It seems the Dodgers are circling the wagons amidst all the injuries their pitching staff has sustained over the last few days. Along with the Kershaw news, Alex Wood will have surgery on his left elbow and will, effectively, miss the rest of the season, and Hyun-Jin Ryu was placed on the disabled list with left elbow tendinitis. There is no timetable for his return. So, Ryu has a bad shoulder and a bad elbow. Hopefully his arm can stay attached. So with all this bad news, the Dodgers finished up a three game series in Washington yesterday, and Justin Turner had a big day at the plate vs National ace Stephen Strasburg. Turner went 2-3 with a walk, 2 home runs and 5 RBI in the Dodgers 6-3 win. Turner has been on fire over the last month and half, and is now hitting .267-.345-.482 with 17 home runs, 45 runs scored and 55 RBI in 92 games played. He is on pace to hit 28 home runs and drive in 92 runs at the moment. Pretty damn good for a third baseman drafted very late in drafts.

Pirates starter Francisco Liriano has disappointed fantasy owners to date, but last night, he throughly dominated the Brewers for six innings, before running into trouble in the seventh inning. He finished the night giving up 3 runs, 2 earned, on 4 hits, no walks and 13 strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Assuming he earns the win, his record will stand at 6-9 with a sub-par 4.96 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and a 106-62 strikeout to walk rate in 105.1 innings. He has been so inconsistent this season, prone to the disaster start, that he is owned in just under 52% of leagues right now. Justifiable, but maybe he should be owned in far fewer leagues. He is not an asset right now.

You don't need me to tell you that the Red Sox lineup is one of the more dangerous lineups in the game, and they could cause problems for teams in the playoffs. Last night, they continued their hot hitting, knocking around Twins pitchers for 13 runs on 17 hits through 8 innings as I write this. Leading the Red Sox attack was second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who went 5-5 with 3 runs scored and an RBI. Pedroia has been healthy all season, and the five hits raised his triple slash line to .304-.372-.444 with 9 home runs, 61 runs scored, 39 RBI and 5 stolen bases. He mentioned he would run more this year back in spring training, and he has. I just expected a little MORE running. He is putting up a normal Pedroia type season at the plate thus far.

The most amazing Red Sox hitter thus far has been DH David Ortiz. How is this guy retiring after the way he has dominated at the plate this season? Last night, he went 3-5 with a home run and 4 RBI, and is now hitting .330.-.423-.670 with 24 home runs, 46 runs scored and 79 RBI this season. He is on pace to hit 42 home runs and drive in over 130 runs. Both would be career highs. Ortiz is 40 years old. No way this guy retires. No way.

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