The 2018 season is careening around its final turns until the The season is over for Ervin Santana (hand), Michael Kopech (elbow – TJ), Dustin Pedroia, Mark Trumbo, Gregory Polanco, Jarrod Dyson and Jimmy Nelson,
Chris Sale (SP, Red Sox) – (SIT)
Sale is scheduled to be activated from the disabled list for Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays. Over the weekend, manager Alex Cora told reporters that Sale will be limited to 40 pitches or two innings, whichever comes first. Sale has made just three starts during the second half of the season due to a shoulder injury. Fantasy owners should keep Sale benched, especially since two innings are not worth the six potential strikeouts they might garner, and he won’t be eligible to notch a win regardless of how he pitches.
David Hess (SP, Orioles) – (SIT)
After putting up a solid August, during which Hess posted a 3.54 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .214 BAA with 22 strikeouts over 28 innings (which qualifies him as an O’s ace), Hess has been an unqualified mess in September. In addition to his 6.00 ERA and .381 BAA effort over two starts, Hess appeared on Twitter:
Not many highlights for us in #Birdland this season. However, when rookie David Hess took a football to the face during batting practice, then responded by doing this in the dugout during the game, it certainly made us laugh! pic.twitter.com/K8YlAG8C2f
— Dan Clark (@DanClarkSports) September 8, 2018
Now that Hess has solved his football on the face problem, perhaps he’ll come up with something for the egg.
Marwin Gonzalez (IF/OF, Astros) – (CAUTIOUS START)
Marvelous Marvin posted his best month of the 2018 season in August with a .303/.361/.606 triple slash and eight home runs, 20 RBIs, and 19 runs scored. September has started a bit slower, though, with a .273 effort over three games played. He was also benched for the three games over the weekend, an effort to give him more rest according to manager Torey Lovullo. According to Inside Injuries’ injury calculator, Gonzalez has returned to action well ahead of his September 24 Healthy Return date, which places him at High Risk for injury along with a Below Average Health Performance Factor (HPF). Start him but be aware that he could drop out with a re-injury to his core, or an injury to another area of his body.
Miguel Sano (Twins, 3B/DH) – (SIT)
Sano sustained an injury to his lower leg and had to leave the game on Tuesday, September 4. He has not returned to action as yet. While the injury is not considered dangerous, Inside Injuries’ algorithm assigned him a September 18 Optimal Injury Recovery Date, with a High Overall Risk of Injury and a Poor HPF. Mixed league owners should consider dropping Sano at this point. Since the beginning of August, Sano has posted a .198/.299/.406 with 39 strikeouts over his 117 PA during the span. That’s a 33.33% K rate, which can really put a damper on a player’s productivity.
Charlie Morton (SP, Astros) – (START)
Morton’s detractors are concerned that the right-hander might be headed for the disabled list. Morton had maintained an ERA below 3.00, but it steadily rose in late July/early August and currently sits at 3.15. In addition, Morton’s strikeout rate has plummeted, dropping from 11.55 K/9 during the first four months of the season to just 7.45 K/9 in July and August. Still, Morton’s deeper metrics indicate that this is just a blip on the radar, and we can expect Morton’s performance to bounce back to nominal rates in short order.
Matt Wieters (C, Nationals) – (SIT)
Wieters has been dealing with a hip flexor injury that bothers him most when he crouches in the catcher’s position. He was sidelined from September 1 through 7, limited to just five plate appearances without a hit during that span. He finally hit a single in Saturday’s game before sitting out Sunday. In addition to the injury, Wieters is facing competition from rookies Spence Kieboom and Pedro Severino, with both of them getting starts in his absence. It appears that manager Dave Martinez will be starting the two rookies often to get a sense of how well they will play at the Major League level, so Wieters’ playing time will be curtailed regardless of the injury.
It’s also worth noting that Inside Injuries’ algorithm calculated a September 15 Return to Optimal Health date for Wieters, and he’s a High Risk for injury with a Poor HPF. Fantasy owners should strongly consider other options if available and either bench or drop Wieters accordingly.
*By Tim McCullough