Nathan Grimm

Baseball Daily Dose

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Dose: Two Birds, One Stone

Monday, June 23, 2014


One day, two-fifths of the starting rotation lost for the Cardinals.

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Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said after Sunday's game that both Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia are headed to the disabled list, both due to shoulder injuries. Wacha, according to Mozeliak, is dealing with a "stress reaction" in his scapula in the back of his right shoulder. The issue is a bone issue and not one with the muscle itself, offering hope that Wacha may not miss more than a few weeks.

Garcia's injury is less promising. The left-hander reaggravated the left shoulder injury that forced him to miss the first month and a half of the season, leaving the severity of the injury and his timetable up in the air. Mozeliak simply said Garcia tried to throw a bullpen session on Sunday but "it didn't go well."

The move to put Garcia on the DL was also the more unexpected of the two. The Cardinals skipped Wacha's scheduled start on Sunday, calling it fatigue, but the irritation in his should was something that had been bothering him since May. At a certain point, Mozeliak said, the best move was to be cautious with the 22-year-old.

"Based on what the doctors are telling me, they believe it's in his best interest to shut down for a little while and let this quiet," Mozeliak said. "He's just too young and too valuable."

The silver lining, if such a thing exists when a team disables two pitchers simultaneously, is that the Cardinals have reinforcements for this type of situation. The most obvious and immediate one is Carlos Martinez, who started in place of Wacha on Sunday after starting for Adam Wainwright earlier in the week. Martinez allowed three runs, all on one swing from Cody Asche, over five innings to earn his first win of the season in that start, and he'll simply remain in the rotation going forward. As such, El Gallo is a strong add in mixed leagues while he's holding down a rotation spot.

The other spot may take some creativity. Joe Kelly is the obvious candidate, but he's still building stamina as he makes rehab starts at Triple-A Memphis. Tyler Lyons, Tim Cooney and Nick Greenwood exist as spot start options, but none are terribly exciting for the purposes of fantasy.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere's the FanDuel link.


Cashner Scratched From Monday Start

The cause of a skipped start for another National League pitcher is also in question after Sunday.

It came out late Sunday that the Padres would skip ace Andrew Cashner's scheduled start against the Giants on Monday. The team will instead turn to international free agent signee Odrisamer Despaigne, who will make his major league debut in the start.

The reasoning for the move is in question after Padres general manager Josh Byrnes was fired on Sunday. There was some speculation that Cashner could be on the move in conjunction with the regime change, but MLB.com's Corey Brock said no trade is currently in the works.

It's unclear, then, what may be the issue with the 27-year-old. Cashner missed three weeks in late May with a sore right elbow, but he's showed no signs of the injury since returning on June 8. In his last start he struck out just two but allowed only one run over seven innings of work. Fantasy owners will have to stay tuned to find out if the injury -- or whatever the reasoning is for the skipped start -- will force Cashner back to the disabled list.

In Despaigne, fantasy players have a huge risk/reward situation. The right-hander has struck out 41 batters over 31 1/3 innings in the minor leagues this season, but that also comes with a 6.03 ERA and 1.85 WHIP. If he can harness the good, he's capable of being a high-strikeout difference maker; if he remains wild and unpredictable, he's much less attractive as a fantasy commodity. Daring owners are encouraged to take a flyer on the 27-year-old, but start him against the Giants in his debut at your own risk.

Ibanez Out, Cron In For Halos

The Angels decided to get a little younger at the designated hitter position on Saturday.

After using a platoon of the 24-year-old C.J. Cron and the 42-year-old Raul Ibanez for much of the season, the Angels released Ibanez on Saturday. The left-handed hitter was hitting .157 with a .523 OPS before being released.

The move forces Angels manager Mike Scioscia to rely heavily on Cron at the designated hitter position, something he's shied away from to this point. Cron, whose natural position is first base, is hitting .286/.310/.536 with six home runs and 18 RBI in 37 games this year. He owned a .289/.332/.501 career line in the minor before being recalled.

Cron's position limitations and the fact that first base is deep means he doesn't qualify as a must-own, but teams in need of pop that have a CI or utility spot open could do worse than the Halos hitter.

National League Quick Hits: Wacha and Garcia weren't the only Cardinals to find their way to the DL over the weekend. Kolten Wong also hit the shelf with a left shoulder injury. The injury is one he's dealt with for a few weeks, and considering he was able to play through it for a while it may not require more than the minimum stay ... Rafael Furcal returned to his second home on Saturday, when the Marlins placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain. The initial prognosis is a three-week stay on the sidelines for Furcal ... Wilin Rosario had a big day at the plate Sunday. The catcher went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBI in a loss to the Brewers ... Johnny Cueto allowed just one earned run over eight innings of work on Sunday. The right-hander leads the league with a 1.86 ERA ... Sunday was a busy day for the National League saves leaders -- Francisco Rodriguez, Kenley Jansen, Trevor Rosenthal and Sergio Romo all notched saves. The last three all have 22 saves, three behind K-Rod for tops in the NL.

American League Quick Hits: Norichika Aoki couldn't dodge the disabled list after trying to get over a groin injury. Jarrod Dyson is the best bet for playing time in the Royals outfield -- and possibly atop their lineup as well -- during Aoki's absence ... The Rays used all three of Grant Balfour, Jake McGee and Joel Peralta in Sunday's game, with Peralta getting the call for the ninth. It appears Joe Maddon likes the idea of a closer-by-committee for the time being, making it tough to peg any of the three as most likely to get the next save opportunity ... Joe Mauer had a pair of RBI singles in Sunday's game. Mauer now has seven RBI in the last week after collecting just 15 RBI through the first two and a half months ... Joe Smith appears to be the guy saving games in Anaheim these days. Ernesto Frieri is out, and Kevin Jepsen blew a save opportunity on Saturday. Smith pitched the ninth inning Sunday in a non-save situation, giving up a solo home run to Brad Snyder ... Koji Uehara allowed two solo home runs for his first blown save of the season on Sunday. The strange stat: he's allowed just five runs all year, and all five have come by way of the solo home run.



Nathan Grimm is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. He can also be found on Twitter (@Nate_Grimm).
Email :Nathan Grimm



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