Buster Posey said just enough for us to hang on to that last, desperate smidgen of hope following his horrific injury at the plate. But on Sunday he went under the knife to repair the three torn ligaments in his ankle, which put him out for the season for sure. That’s probably a good thing for fantasy owners, because now it’s much easier to just eject him without having that potential for late-year regret lurking for the rest of the campaign. Posey may be able to return by Opening Day next season, but it’s a long time until then and anything could happen.
It has been pretty quiet since last week’s Posey bombshell, so we’re going to do something a little different this time around and talk about a group of starters that are on the comeback trail. We’ve also listed a couple guys that can serve as plug-ins in the coming weeks, just in case someone suffers a setback.
Oh, and don’t forget to drop Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jorge De La Rosa. They’re both bound for Tommy John.
These guys have all been out for a few weeks but seem primed to step back into action soon. Here’s the skinny:
Josh Johnson – (15 day DL – right shoulder inflammation)
Johnson was pitching better than anyone in baseball before hitting the DL in mid-May. We still don’t quite know what’s up with him, who has been experiencing setbacks throughout the stint. Johnson has yet to throw off a mound, though he has played catch a few times.
The Marlins were hoping to have their ace back on Tuesday, but now it appears that won’t be happening either, though reports say that the possibility is still there. Everything we’ve heard about him so far hasn’t been very meaningful, so Johnson owners have no choice but to just wait it out until we see some tangible results in his recovery.
Wandy Rodriguez – (15 day DL – fluid in left elbow joint)
The best pitcher in the world named Wandy is still having trouble with his elbow, but he should be ready by the time his DL term ends next week. He has been regularly firing off bullpen sessions, but hasn’t been able to throw his curve yet — which was the likely cause for his elbow problems in the first place.
It’s certainly cause for concern since its doubtful that the Astros will let him return to action until he can throw that breaker at 100%, but the fallout in the wake of his injury has been surprisingly large. Wandy’s dropped down to just 74% owned, so if he’s available in your league, snatch him before somebody else wakes up.
Francisco Liriano – (15 day DL – left shoulder tendinitis)
The enigma also known as Francisco Liriano is recovering well after being the 97th Twin (or something like that) to get banged up this year. The Twins are planning to stick him back into the rotation Tuesday.
Like Wandy, Liriano’s also been jettisoned by many owners, and has seen his ownership base drop all the way down to 76%. Unlike Wandy, many owners probably let him go because of his terrible start to the season (with a 5.73 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP bloated by 32 BBs in 48.2 innings this year).
What are we going to do with him? Three of his last four starts before the injury were stellar, including that no-hitter against the White Sox at the beginning of May. Liriano’s proven that he’s impossible to predict nowadays, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Matt Garza – (15 day DL – right elbow bone contusion)
Good news out of Chicago for Garza, who has been stuck on the DL since May 24 (retroactive May 18) with an elbow contusion. He’s back on the mound throwing, and has another session planned sometime over the weekend. Look for him to return to the Cubs rotation against Cincinnati next week.
His elbow will be fine since it’s just a contusion. What Garza owners really have to worry about is his performance when he returns. Though he hasn’t been bad, he hasn’t quite fallen into a groove yet this year, and this latest injury didn’t help. Folks had big pre-season expectations following his move from the AL East to NL Central, and he hasn’t met them yet.
Now here are the sub 30%’s that could help you if one of the guys above has a setback:
Mixed league options: Rick Porcello (20% owned), Kyle Drabek (26% owned), Clayton Richard (15% owned), Nick Blackburn (8% owned), Charlie Morton (30% owned), Randy Wolf (26% owned)
Deep league potshot: Juan Nicasio (4% owned)
Kim writes for Business Insider's sports page and runs a sports business blog at Spizness.com while attending NYU as a graduate student in Business and Economic Reporting. Catch up with him at the Cafe as Kim Bhasin, and follow him on Twitter (@KimBhasin).
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