Fantasy Baseball recap: Elvis Andrus injury rocks Rangers and fantasy owners

1. Elvis Andrus fractures elbow

In the ninth of innings the Rangers loss to the Angels Andrus was struck on the arm by a pitch from Keynan Middleton. X-Rays demonstrated that Andrus suffered a fractured elbow that should keep him out at least 4-6 weeks. More information will be known after further tests but for fantasy owners this is a disaster. Andrus had the potential to be a five category contributor at the weakest position. Any replacement from the waiver wire will only serve to give a fraction of the value Andrus provided. In terms of the Rangers replaces Isiah Kiner-Falefa should get first shot at the second base role with Jurickson Profar shifting to SS. However, the Rangers may decide to play Carlos Tocci in the outfield and shift Drew Robinson to second base. Andrus’ upside when he returns means he shouldn’t be dropped even if you do not have the DL space to stash him.


2. Turner hitting second, Cordero called up

Two other DL moves that have impacted fantasy baseball are Adam Eaton and Manuel Margot to the DL. Neither should be on the DL for long but in the meantime two players should benefit and could have increased value. With Eaton out it appears Trea Turner may hit second for the Nationals which will be a big relief for his owners but it doesn’t affect many fantasy players. The call-up of Franchy Cordero is one that could cause ripples in most leagues. Cordero led off yesterday for the Padres. Last year in Triple-A Cordero stole 15 bases and hit 17 HRs. In the majors his strikeout rate was 44.4% in 99 PAs. He will strikeout a ton but a player with 20/20 upside is a rare waiver wire find and someone you should consider adding in deeper leagues.

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3. Injury concerns for Price

The season went from dreamland to nightmare for David Price owners. Price sailed through 14 shutout innings against the Tampa Bay Rays striking out 10 and walking just three. Yesterday against the Yankees was always going to be a tougher test. Price gave up four earned and walked two in just one innings before leaving the game with a numb left hand. The Red Sox may have just been being cautious but given Price has only just returned from injury this is a big concern. If he does make his next start it will be interesting to see if the performance in the first innings is a sign of him struggling against better line-ups, the Yankees line-up is set up to mash lefties, or if the numbness was the real issue that caused this line.

4. Bad night for mid-range pitchers

Last night four pitchers whose general pre-season rank was somewhere between 20th and 40th had rough outings. Jon Lester followed up from a bounce back outing with another rough start, this time against the Pirates. He gave up four earned runs in five innings and managed just three strikeouts. Perhaps the most concerning thing is that this was his second three walk outing of two. There is no immediate panic because he showed against Milwaukee he can bounce back but there is definitely some concern here with the 34 year old.

Alex Wood gave up seven earned runs in 3.2 innings. This follows off the back of a meh pouting against the Diamondbacks. The positives were he struck out five and still has not walked anyone this year. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back.

Lance McCullers went one better and gave up eight earned in 3.2 innings in Minnesota. McCullers however, walked six to take his total to 10 walks in 14 innings this year. McCullers has the high strikeout ceiling but he is prone to odd blow-up outing when his control deserts him.

In contrast to the two above Robbie Ray was just a bit meh. He gave up three earned in 4.2 innings. The issue for Ray owners is that this comes just two starts after he gave up six earned in five innings at home to the Rockies. The strikeouts are still there but Ray has now walked 11 batters in 15.2 innings so there should be some alarm bells ringing for owners who invested heavily in Ray in drafts.

5. Success for lower end pitchers

Nick Pivetta backed up his good outing against the Marlins with a successful performance against the Reds. Pivetta struck out seven in seven innings, walking none and giving up just two earned runs. His only bad start came against the best offence he has faced so it will be interesting to see if Pivetta’s performances in his last two starts are the sign of things to come or just a product of his opponents.

Zack Wheeler made his first major league start of 2018 and struck out seven in seven innings with just one earned run given up. Wheeler was brilliant in 2016 but struggled in 2017 and his season was ravaged by injuries. This start was against the Marlins so we cannot read too much into it but Wheeler is a good speculative add just in case this is the beginning of a 2016-like season.

6. Saves saves saves

Josh Hader started ninth innings, with a two run lead, having pitched the eighth. He got one out and gave up a run, a Tommy Pham home run. Matt Albers then came in and got the save. Hader has been amazing this year with 17 strikeouts in 7.2 innings and it was interesting he got the shot to go two innings for the save. If this becomes a trend the Hader is a must-add and could end the season a top 10 fantasy closer.

Fernando Rodney blew a save for Minnesota against Houston. The Twins then won the game anyway meaning Rodney got the awful blown save win statistic that should be abolished. Addison Reed is looming in that pen but Rodney has a knack of holding onto these jobs. If you are the Rodney owner then Reed might be a good insurance add if you can spare the space in your pitching staff.


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