Matt Harvey is likely done for 2013, and he could miss all of the 2014 season as well with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, an absolutely brutal blow to the Mets and Harvey owners. After breaking down the ramifications of that injury I'll touch on some other hurlers that are in the news from returning veterans, to struggling veterans to youngsters who are surging. HARVEY LIKELY TO GO UNDER KNIFE Matt Harvey is the truth. Over 26 starts for the Mets this season he's posted a 2.27 ERA, 0.93 WHIP 9.64 K/9 mark an a 6.16 K/BB ratio. If not for the insanely good Clayton Kershaw he'd have a legit shot to win the NL Cy Young Award. However, his forearm started barking, and this is what GM Sandy Alderson had to say at a press conference to discuss the issue. Partial tear of UCL. Harvey will be placed on the DL and likely be shut down for the rest of the season. Surgery has not been ruled out. Over the next 7-10 when the swelling goes down, more tests will be run to determine whether or not surgery will be indicated, though it might take a bit longer than that timeframe to make a decision on whether to go under the knife. My take? A partial tear of the UCL almost always leads to Tommy John surgery. Almost always. Could he try to rehab the injury and pitch through it? He could. Think of the case of Chad Billingsley this season. He tried to work through the partial tear, it didn't go well, and he ultimately needed the surgery. Regardless, Harvey will not pitch again this season, no matter what Mr. Alderson said or how he tried to show hope at the press conference (Carlos Torres will take his rotation spot and is a solid NL-only add) . The Mets cannot afford to take a chance on him throwing another pitch this season. This situation is exactly why I always suggest to folks that they think long and hard about drafting a pitcher early or in protecting hurlers in keeper leagues. One bad pitch can end a season and put the next one in jeopardy. That's right, don't overlook the outcome of the likely surgery. If Harvey does undergo Tommy John surgery he's very likely to miss all of the 2014 season as well. A crushing blow to the Mets and those that own Harvey. Crushing. OTHER HURLERS IN THE NEWS Mark Buehrle is 10—7 with a 4.08 ERA and 1.32 WHIP for the Blue Jays. Wow, how exciting. While that is totally true, it slightly misses the point with the veteran lefty who is 28 innings short of hitting 200 for a 13th straight season (let that sink in when you think about Harvey and all the hurlers who have surgery all the time). What is that point? He's been impressive over his last 10 outings – 6-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP with a 3.57 K/BB ratio. A lot better than you thought, right? Moreover, he's failed to last at least six innings just once since June 26th (11 starts) and over his last 10 starts he's allowed zero earned runs three times and one earned run twice. There's no appreciable upside but when he's pitching like these there really aren't many leagues where he isn't helpful (especially if you just lost Harvey). Steve Cishek closes games for the Marlins. That information caused many to run away at draft time this season as they thought 'the Marlins never will win games, so why bother drafting their closer?' They certainly aren't winning games, they are 28.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East, but guess how many of those 49 victories that Cishek has saved? Try 28 which is more than half of the wins. Cishek has only blown two save options all year, is the proud owner of a solid 1.09 WHIP, and that 2.65 ERA is nothing to sneeze at either. Toss in three victories and 55 punchouts in 57.2 innings and you've got yourself an imposing 9th inning option that likely cost you little on draft day. Marco Estrada had a 3.64 ERA, 1.14 WHIP an a 9.30 K/9 mark last season causing many to push him as a bit of a sleeper play in 2013. Injuries have just killed his season to this point, and so he's been a disappointment going 6-4 with a 4.44 ERA. However, he's posted a 1.19 WHIP over 93.1 innings, not bad at all, and though his K-ball has receded a bit, his 8.00 K/9 mark is still pretty darn solid. Now is the time to add him though as he's rolling. In four August starts Estrada has gone 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA, 0.71 WHIP an a 7.00 K/BB ratio. You might need to pick him up if you lost Harvey. Roy Halladay made a triumphant return to the big leagues over the weekend as he allowed just two runs over six innings in his first start since May 5th. “Each time out it’s getting a little better,” Halladay said. “I feel like I’m getting stronger and I look forward to continuing to build.” It appears that Halladay's shoulder woes may have been corrected by surgery, but it's still very difficult to trust him in mixed league given how unpredictable he's been in his eight starts this season. Here are the runs he's allowed in each start: two, nine, eight, one, two, one, seven and five. I can't trust him in mixed leagues at the moment. Jim Henderson has been flat out getting it done. Henderson has a 1.86 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 21 saves and 57 strikeouts over 48.1 innings. He's also has a save in each of his last 11 outings and over his last 15 outings he's allowed one run. Garrett Richards was beat up for five runs and 12 hits on August 17th but he rebounded in his last outing tossing 7.1 scoreless innings against the Mariners. He's also allowed three or fewer earned runs in five of his last six outings. He's well worth using in mixed leagues. CC Sabathia is 11-11 with a 4.81 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. He's been a league average pitcher. Most saw a pull back coming as the innings piled up, but I don't think anyone thought the regression would come this quickly. He's been a total disaster in the second half as well going 2-3 with a 7.30 ERA, 1.75 WHIP and 1.67 K/BB ratio. You cannot trust him in any league at the moment. Ryan Vogelsong came out of nowhere, actually Japan, to return to the team that drafted him in 1998. In his first season with the club he went 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA and 1.25 WHIP (2011). Last season he was pretty much the same hurler with a 14-9 record, 3.37 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. This season? Not so much. In nine starts this season before the calendar flipped to June he was 2-4 with a 7.19 ERA, 1.73 WHIP and .318 BAA. He was one of the worst starters in baseball. He injured his pinkie and was shelved for all of June and July before he returned in August. How has he done in his four starts since he returned to action? Well what do you know, he's looked just like the guy he was the last two seasons as he's posted a 2.55 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. So which guy is he? The man knows how to pitch, there is no debate there, but he doesn't own overpowering stuff. When he's off, he's likely to be hit hard. When he's hitting the corners and changing speeds, he can have success. Still, as a guy who strikes out about seven guys per nine and walks 3.30 batters per nine while posting a 1.04 GB/FB ratio... there's just not a lot to hang your hat on. A streaming starter in mixed leagues when he's rolling as he is right now sounds about right. Jered Weaver allowed 13 runs over two starts but in his last outing he rebounded to permit a single run over eight innings. He's not quite been at the level we've seen the past few years, but hard to be totally disappointed in a guy who has a 3.46 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Still, that 8-7 record just isn't getting it done, not when a guy has averaged 19 victories the last two seasons. FANTASY FOOTBALL Can The Machine take down The Oracle? Can a machine draft a better fantasy football team than I can? I doubt out. What do you think? Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Friday at 7 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answer everyone's questions.


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About Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.

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