ULC pitcher check-in and Dynasty Risers/Fallers
Let’s check in with some of the pitchers that have been rehabbing from the dreaded UCL injuries, as well as checking in on some other injury risers and fallers.
UCL Injury Pitchers
Brent Honeywell, Tampa Bay Rays
He resumed very light throwing on July 17th, which indicates his recovery is right on track. He’ll be ready for 2019. Granted the Rays won’t bring him up for Opening Day, but he’ll be prepared.
A.J. Puk, Oakland A’s
In Puk’s case, no news is good news- we should hear an update toward the end of the season. Puk won’t be ready until mid-to-late 2019, and won’t see the majors until 2021. 2020 might be on the table if he forces the issue, but I doubt it.
Michael Pineda, Minnesota Twins
Pitching progression starts with increasing distance and volume, then it moves to throwing off a mound, and then again increasing in intensity and volume.off of that mound. Pineda’s progression has gone smoothly and in a few weeks he’ll head to the minors. He will likely pitch for the Twins in September, but his value may be relegated to Dynasty formats. If you’re building for 2019, need strikeouts and can handle a 4.2-4.6 ERA, Pineda is worth a look.
Drew Smyly, Chicago Cubs
As with Pineda, Smyly has not suffered any significant setbacks and is on track to return to the majors in late August. Before 2016, he was a sub-4.00 ERA guy and could be useful in redraft leagues for a late push. If you have a DL spot to burn, he’s worth adding and may be more valuable in dynasty formats if he was dropped. Like Pineda, his value is tied more to 2019;-he’ll need a few starts to return to form.
Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds
Two relatively unexplained and lengthy trips to the DL for a guy who is only 23-years-old? Now a finger fracture and an emerging player with a long, team-friendly contract blocking him at third base? Another interesting player signing a long-term deal at second base? Consider my spidey-sense tingled.
Sixto Sanchez, Philadelphia Phillies
Medical studies show that velocity has a higher and higher correlation with UCL injuries. Sanchez throws a 100 mph and is very, very small at 5’10” and 160 lbs. I love his stuff, but you may as well bake in a year off for Tommy John into any future projection, in my opinion.
Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals
I thought Murphy still had a few good years left, even with the knee surgery, but I may be wrong. He has started 22 out of 32 games since he returned from the DL. I knew he’d need regular time off, but hitting just .253, he is losing playing time a bit too. Add an expiring contract to the mix and where does he play in 2019?
Kyle Lewis, Seattle Mariners
He had an unlucky start to his career by suffering a significant knee injury, but is rebounding nicely this season. He’s not tearing the cover off the ball at High-A, but he’s staying healthy and showing definite signs of progress. He was a top-5 rookie draft pick, boasting a rare power/speed combo. Keep an eye on him, because if he can fully return to health, he may become relevant again in dynasty leagues.