Fantasy Baseball Week in Review: Garrett Richards needs Tommy John

Garrett Richards

The baseball season is flying by, and we’re already approaching the mid-point of May. We’re starting to see patterns emerge and it’s not easy to say, “Well, it’s still early at this point”. While it is relatively early in the season, there are a lot of star players that haven’t found their footing yet. Conversely, there’s plenty that have been big surprises and can continue to be valuable pieces for the rest of your season. Let’s get into the news and notes from the week.

 

Injuries

 

Garrett Richards, SP – Anaheim Angels – The Angels and fantasy owners alike suffered a big blow when it came out that Richards has a torn UCL ligament and will require Tommy John surgery. Owners lost a rock solid #2 in their rotation, and Richards may not pitch again until very late in the 2017 season.

 

Mike Moustakas, 3B – Kansas City Royals – Kansas City lost its starting third baseman this week to a thumb injury. The reports are Moustakas will miss 2-3 weeks, and it’s always hard to tell what a player will be when he comes back from an injury that can ruin his swing.  Owners will miss his power and his great BB/K ratio while Moustakas heals up.

 

Carlos Martinez, SP – St. Louis Cardinals – Martinez left his start on Friday night before completing 4 innings, and owners most likely feared the worst. The Cardinals say it’s just the flu, but it seems a touch scary that they felt the need to perform an MRI on his pitching arm. An X-ray to check for pneumonia also came back negative, so it’s possible Martinez is close to being out of the woods.

 

Who’s Hot

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo, 1B – Chicago Cubs – Rizzo had a difficult start to the season from a batting average perspective, but it’s climbing quickly. The Chicago 1B is 12 for his last 29 to go along with 2 home runs, 4 RBI and a 3/3 BB/K ratio. The All-Star is well on his way to another great all around year, and could very easily be a league MVP by the end of it all.

 

Rougned Odor, 2B – Texas Rangers – Odor is white hot and is now batting leadoff for the Rangers. He is 11 for his last 33, scoring 6 runs while adding 3 home runs and 6 RBI. This is mostly what people were expecting when many called for a breakout in pre-season, and the believers are being rewarded. Odor brings a little of everything to your lineup and even chips in an occasional stolen base.

 

Aledmys Diaz, 2B/SS – St. Louis Cardinals – Diaz has been out of this world the entire season to this point. I admit I was one who easily dismissed him at the start of the season. His last 7 games has seen him accumulate 8 hits, 5 runs, a home run and 3 RBI. He has a .402 batting average and 1.135 OPS. Obviously, these will drop as 2016 progresses. He can still be a big time help for owners moving forward.

 

Who’s Not

Can David Price be the ace that wins both the heart of Red Sox nation and fantasy owners?

Can David Price be the ace that wins both the heart of Red Sox nation and fantasy owners?

 

David Price, SP – Boston Red Sox – Price only lasted 4 2/3 innings in his last start, and his ERA is up to 6.75 for the year. Many of his periphery numbers look very close to his career numbers, and his struggles are puzzling. He still has a ton of strikeouts so far, but this isn’t what owners signed up for when drafting him. It would be nice to see Price start to turn things around his next start.

 

Max Scherzer, SP – Washington Nationals – Another big name star pitcher who is not living up to his expectations is Scherzer. He was smacked around by the Cubs his last time out. There is no shame with how good the Chicago lineup is, but Scherzer now has a 4.60 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He also is still striking people out, but really needs to start turning the corner soon.

 

Todd Frazier, 3B – Chicago White Sox – Frazier was one of the biggest names to be traded in the offseason, but he’s still spinning his wheels  in his new home. While he does have 8 HR for the year, he’s also batting just .200. This past week saw him collect just 2 hits and rack up 7 strikeouts. Frazier usually slows down in the second half of the year, so this isn’t the start anyone was hoping for.

 

Free Agents to Add(Ownership in Yahoo)

 

Ron Carr, Getty Images

Ron Carr, Getty Images

Byung Ho Park(48%), 1B – Minnesota Twins – Park is acclimating to the MLB game nicely, already hitting 7 home runs. He also is up to a .263 average to go with a .933 OPS. This past week was a good one for Park; he collected 7 hits and only striking out 5 times. The power upside is well worth chasing, and it really helps that 1B is a very thin position after the top 5-7 players.

 

Denard Span(50%), OF – San Francisco Giants – Span is a very vanilla option to a lot of people, which explains why he is only owned in half of Yahoo leagues. He does a little of everything and really only will hurt you in home runs. Even if he spends part of the week on your bench, Span deserves to be owned at a higher rate than he is right now.

 

Zack Cozart(22%), SS – Cincinnati Reds – Shortstop isn’t the easiest spot to fill in your lineup, and it’s very odd that a guy hitting .344 with a .845 OPS is owned in under a quarter of leagues.  He tweaked his surgically repaired knee early in the week, but has since returned to action. This is another player that will help you in almost all facets of the game.

 

Trade Candidates

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres

Matt Kemp, OF – San Diego Padres – Kemp is the quietest top 20 outfielders in baseball and is well on his way to doing it again. He has a .280 average with a .844 OPS and 8 home runs to go with 23 RBI. He is a player that can usually be dealt easily; he’s not a star player anymore(especially with what he used to produce), but he is useful on an everyday basis.

 

Yu Darvish, SP – Texas Rangers – Darvish is on his way back from Tommy John and it is hard to predict what he’ll be capable of when he takes the mound again. Any owner who drafted Darvish did so for a reason, but it won’t hurt to see if you can swing a deal now. Darvish is the kind of talent that can really help, even if he may not be the ace pitcher right off the bat.

 

Lorenzo Cain, OF – Kansas City Royals – Cain really scuffled out of the gate, but is gaining steam in a hurry. 6 of his last 9 games have been multi hit efforts, raising his average to .250 but with just a .614 OPS. The power isn’t there at all, but that will keep the price tag on Cain low. Strike now before the Cain from 2015 shows up; he has been through his worst part of the year.

 

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