Fantasy GMs suffered the loss of a top ace pitcher this week so chaos has ensued in most leagues.  It is virtually impossible to replace elite players’ production, so GMs need to be creative and proactive in order to tread water or focus on other aspects in order to stay competitive.  However, if you are going to start negotiating trades to replace your ace, remember that your counterparts will smell blood and try to take advantage of your desperation.  Do not cut your nose to spite your face, so negotiate as you normally would and focus on improving your team without sacrificing too much.  So without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.

Corey Kluber (SP-CLE)

The Indians ace pitcher suffered a fractured right ulna bone when he was hit in the arm by a scorching line drive against the Marlins earlier this week.  Kluber struggled through much of April going 2-3 with a 5.80 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and 38 strikeouts in seven starts.  However, there was no reason to think he wouldn’t turn things around at some point.  Now GMs will be without him for several months and quite possibly the entire season as this is a significant injury.  This also raises a difficult roster issue for GMs who will likely have to allocate a valuable IL slot for him as it is not advisable to simply drop him right now. 

Juan Soto (OF-WAS)

The reigning runner-up to the National League Rookie of the Year has missed the past couple games due to back spasms.  The Nationals sent Soto for an MRI which did not reveal any damage, so that is great news for fantasy GMs.  Soto is considered day-to-day right now and appears that he will avoid a stint on the injured list.  He is batting .248 with six home runs, 22 RBI, 16 runs scored and three stolen bases thus far and is a key cog in Washington’s depleted lineup.

Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS-SD)

The Padres predictably placed Tatis on the 10-day injured last after he strained his left hamstring making an impressive split while covering second base last weekend.  This move is precautionary as San Diego did not want to risk further injury by rushing him back.  It is possible he could miss more than the allotted ten days but he appears to have avoided any type of serious injury.  The rookie has been quite impressive thus far batting .300 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 14 runs scored and six stolen bases.  It is also possible that the Padres promote Luis Urías during Tatis’s absence which would make him an immediate waiver wire target.

Shohei Ohtani (DH-LAA)

Ohtani has been playing in extended spring training games as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery he underwent during the offseason.  The Angels expect him back in the lineup within the next week or two, so he will become the team’s designated hitter once activated.  Ohtani held his own offensively last year when he won the American League Rookie of the Year by batting .285 with 22 home runs, 61 RBI, 59 runs scored and ten stolen bases in 2018.  He should be targeted on the waiver wire if he is still floating out there as he will be a fixture in the lineup every day.  His return will likely cut into playing time for Albert Pujols and Justin Bour .

A.J. Pollock (OF-LAD)

The news went from bad to worse for the oft-injured A.J. Pollock .  He suffered an infection in his right elbow and underwent a surgical procedure this week to determine the extent of the infection.  It is also reported that the operation will include insertion of replacement hardware in his elbow following his last surgery.  Pollock is expected to have a significant absence now so this will give Alex Verdugo a chance to play every day over an extended period of time.  Pollock has been a major disappointment since signing a lucrative free agent contract as he is only batting .223 with two home runs, 14 RBI and 15 runs scored.  He is a candidate to be dropped if you need roster flexibility as it will likely be several months before we see him again.

Miguel Andújar (3B-NYY)

The Yankees could be getting a little healthier this weekend as Miguel Andújar may rejoin the team this weekend.  He has been on the shelf since the first week of the season with a shoulder injury but has been playing in minor league games lately.  He would provide a big boost to a severely depleted lineup but will need to improve on the slow start he had over the first few games when he batted .231 with no home runs, one RBI and one run scored in just 13 at bats.

Clint Frazier (OF-NYY)

Continuing the discussion about the Yankees getting healthier, they could also be getting Clint Frazier back in the lineup next week as well.  He has been on the 10-day injured list with a sprained ankle but was working with the team in Arizona this week.  Frazier has been looking for the opportunity to get regular at bats over the past couple years, and he showed what he can do when playing on a daily basis as he was  batting .324 with six home runs, 17 RBI and ten runs scored before suffering the injury.  He should be back on the field at some point next week barring any setbacks. 

Carlos Rodón (SP-CHW)

Rodon is one of the most physically gifted young pitchers in baseball, but he has been unable to stay on the field for most of his career thus far.  The young White Sox starter suffered swelling in his flexor mass tendon during his last start and is now on the 10-day injured list.  This injury will likely require an extended absence and could possibly even lead to surgery according to White Sox management.  Rodon was 3-2 with a 5.19 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 46 strikeouts in 34.2 innings over seven starts thus far, but he is not worthy of being stashed if you are limited with IL slots.  Chicago will turn to Dylan Covey to replace Rodon in the starting rotation.

Jeurys Familia (RP-NYM)

If not for Trevor Rosenthal , we could be talking about Jeurys Familia as being the worst relief pitcher in baseball.  Despite being 2-0, he has a 6.28 ERA, 2.02 WHIP and 13 walks in 14 games.  He has had no command of his pitches and has not been throwing his sinker which made him a dominant reliever several years ago.  After blowing a save against the Reds this week, the Mets placed him on the 10-day injured list with a strained right shoulder.  It is not known how long he may be out, but it will likely be for at least several weeks.  He does not belong on anyone’s fantasy roster at this point.