Injury Outlook- It’s Time to Sell Kershaw; Senzel Concerns
The biceps tendonitis that led to Kershaw’s DL placement has nothing to do with this article. In fact, I believe the Dodgers are using the DL to give him a breather. Such an injury would usually warrant rest, not a clean MRI & resuming throwing the next day (as per recent reports).
Kershaw recently turned 30-years-old, which is by no means old for a pitcher. However, he debuted as a 20-year-old and is approaching 2,000 innings, and the mileage on his arm is adding up. His velocity has declined three years in a row. His K/9 is still over 9, but also down. Walks are up. I believe Kershaw’s reign as the top fantasy ace ended last season and next year he will find himself in tier 2 of SPs, not tier 1.
Chronic back problems will undoubtedly keep his innings closer to 140-160 compared to the 200 plus he gave us from 2010 to 2015. He is still an outstanding pitcher, but his dynasty value will decrease every year. Even if you are competing for a title this season, is likely that once he is healthy, you can flip him for several valuable pieces to make your push for a championship.
As a Dodgers fan, it pains me to give this advice. But as a dynasty player, it’s time to sell while you can still bring a good return. You are not banking 200 strikeouts every season anymore. 150-180 yes, but father time is undefeated, and a sub-3 ERA isn’t a lock either (3.11 FIP in 17’, 3.77 FIP in 2018).
I’m officially worried. Senzel’s season ended prematurely last August due to vertigo, also known as dizziness. Unfortunately, last Thursday the Reds shut him down after experiencing dizziness. Senzel said he didn’t know what caused the vertigo in 2017 but was able to cure the ailment by working with a physical therapist with vestibular (inner ear) exercises. That a 22-year-old battled chronic vertigo is not the type of news you want coming out about your future third baseman. Monitor the situation with caution, and let’s just hope something more serious is not going on with the top-5 prospect.