SP DL rankings: Go get James Paxton!

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Right now in the MLB there is somewhat of a pitcher crisis as highlighted by the fact that as of May 9th there are 48 starting pitchers on the DL! It seems as if every day another pitcher is either struggling with an injury or is going on the DL. Some of them are legitimate pitching issues and some are just sheer stupidity. Yes I am looking at you Madison Bumgarner! To try and help all of the owners out there I decided it was time to rank the SP’s on the DL based on how I feel about them rest of season.

The guy on this list who intrigues me the most from a buy low point of view in redraft leagues is James Paxton who it looks like should only miss a couple of starts and could be back. If you can get him for a top 30-35 pitcher right now then I think I would do it because he has pitched like a top 20 guy. Equally if I need someone to help me soon then I would look to offer up someone like Bumgarner or Noah Syndergaard to the Paxton owner and see if name value can that deal done.

I have ranked players based on who I would rather have if a 1 for 1 trade was on the table. I haven’t prioritised win now or win later but have simply tried to judge would player X + X weeks of replacement level option be more valuable than player Y + Y weeks of replacement value. For replacement level I have looked in the 14/15 team mixed league level of replacement value to try and get some sort of balance. If you play in shallower leagues (10/12 team) then I might push the guys like Syndergaard and Bumgarner up a spot or two because replacement level in those leagues isn’t a disaster zone. Equally if you play in deeper formats (16+ or NL/AL only) then you might consider pushing the guys who are out for longer down a couple of spots as replacement level in those leagues can be pretty scary!

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PlayerTeamInjuryExpected Back
Corey KluberCLELower back strainMay 13th
James PaxtonSEAStrained left forearmPossibly mid May
Felix HernandezSEARight shoulder bursitisLate May
David PriceBOSLeft elbow strainPossibly late May
Madison BumgarnerSFLeft shoulder strainPost All-star break
Steven MatzNYMLeft elbow irritationPossibly late May
Noah SyndergaardNYMTorn right latLate June/Early July
Jon GrayCOLBroken bone in left footPossibly late May
Rich HillLADRecurring blister on left handPossibly early May
Aaron SanchezTORSplit right fingernailPossibly mid May
Sean ManaeaOAKStrained left shoulderPossibly mid May
Hyun Jin RyuLADLeft hip contusionPossibly mid May
Aaron NolaPHILower back strainLate May
Brandon McCarthyLADLeft Shoulder sorenessMid May
Ian KennedyKCStrained right hamstringTBD
Cole HamelsTEXStrained right obliqueEarly July
Edinson VolquezMIABlister on right thumbMay 13th
Wei-Yin ChenMIALeft arm fatiqueMay 12th
Junior GuerraMILStrained right calfPossibly mid May
Collin McHughHOUPosterior impingement, right elbowMid June
Daniel MengdenOAKFractured right footPossibly June
Tyson RossTEXRecovery from thoracic outlet surgeryPossibly early June
Seth LugoNYMPartially torn UCL, right elbowPossibly late May
Drew SmylySEALeft arm flexor strainPossibly June
Chris BassittOAKRight elbow surgery recoveryPossibly June
Scott KazmirLADSore hipTBD
Carlos RodonCWSLeft biceps bursitisTBD
JA HappTORLeft elbow inflammationJune
James ShieldsCWSStrained right latTBD
Brett AndersonCHCLower back strainTBD
Homer BaileyCINBone spurs, right elbowPossibly mid-late June
Garrett RichardsLAARight biceps strainTBD
Brandon FinneganCINStrained left shoulderTBD
Chi Chi GonzalezTEXPartially torn UCL, right elbowPossibly mid-late June
Roenis EliasBOSRight oblique strainTBD
Tyler SkaggsLAAStrained right obliqueTBD
Christian FriedrichSDStrained left latTBD
Robbie ErlinSDLeft elbow surgery recoveryPossibly late June
Anthony DeSclefaniCINSprained UCL right elbowLate 2017
Chad BettisCOLRecovery from cancer treatmentLate 2017
Clay BuchholzPHIFlexor tear in right forearmLate 2017

Notes

  • Corey Kluber should be back at the end of the week and is by far the number one here
  • James Paxton and Felix Hernandez should give Seattle and fantasy owners a boost by both being back around the end of May. However, Paxton has now jumped above his team mate for me.
  • David Price is a tentative 4th in these rankings. I have seen the three guys above him this season all look solid so if I was offered one for one right now he would be just below those guys for me but its close.
  • The Bumgarner, Steven Matz and Syndergaard group were tough to rank. I expect all three to be effective when they return and among the top 20 on a per game basis. All three + replacement level, in a 12 or 14 team league, in the interim is better than those below in the rankings.
    • Bumgarner is not back until the all-star break at the earliest but from then on in could easily be the 2nd or 3rd best pitcher.
    • Matz will probably be back first but can he stay healthy all year is an issue.
    • Syndergaard’s concern is that he isnt even going to throw a baseball until mid-June at the earliest so we are talking early July at the best for his return and I think it may even be later than that. Once things become a little clearer this could change but ROS give me the Mets pitcher who is going to be back first.
  • Jon Gray should come straight back into action firing but any pitcher who I’m nervous about half his starts has a ceiling in my rankings.
  • Rich Hill and Aaron Sanchez have nagging injuries which could dog them all year. If both can show relative pain free then they are right around the Bumgarner group. In fact Hill would be above Bumgarner and Sanchez would be above Matz if you could assure me they won’t keep missing time.
  • I think the Sean Manaea, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Aaron Nola group can be solid when they return
  • Brandon McCarthy was pitching great before this injury but a shoulder issue is always a concern so he slips below the Manaea group because of it.
  • Not sure what to make of Ian Kennedy and his hamstring strain. Should be short term and unlikely to be anything that dogs him all season so hopefully he can get right back to being a 5th/6th starter in 12 team leagues.
  • Cole Hamels has the upside to be much higher but he hasn’t been great this season and so I’ll take Manaea through Kennedy over Hamels plus replacement level right now. The deeper the league the even more this is the case.
  • Daniel Mengden, Tyson Ross and Seth Lugo were interesting to rank. I like Mengden and Ross but they don’t have the upside of Lugo. However, the Mets are staring at a lost season and therefore may keep being careful with Lugo. On the counter they need pitching and if Lugo is there they will have to use him.
  • Carlos Rodon and JA Happ will move up this list when there are firmer dates for their return. If we knew their dates and it was early June then I would rank them right around Hamels.
  • James Shields and Brett Anderson are guys I would consider moving up if we knew their return schedule a little better. However, they would be closer to Drew Smyly and Chris Bassitt.

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