The Philadelphia Phillies have placed their right-handed ace, Roy Halladay, on the 15-day disabled list with a grade 1/2 strain of his right latissimus dorsi. Multiple outlets suggest Halladay will be shelved for three weeks and will need six-to-eight weeks total before a possible return to the bump.
Prior to hitting the disabled list, Halladay didn’t exactly look like the former two-time Cy Young Award winner, which worried those who invested a second or third-round pick in him. Through 11 starts, Doc’s 4.00 K/BB looks to be down for the second straight year (7.30 in 2010, 6.29 in 2011) and Ptich f/x data indicates that his velocity is also down a tick over the same time span.
Hopefully, a few weeks of rest is the cure for Halladay to return his former self and nothing more serious is lingering.
Additionally, fellow ace Jered Weaver landed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain and back spasms. Weaver was removed in the first inning of Monday’s outing against the Yankees after feeling a “pinch” on the right side of his lower back. While there is no exact timetable for Weaver’s return, Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia suggested his starter “should be throwing in fairly short order if this thing calms down.”
It’s doubtful you will find an arm to fill the void left by these aces on your fantasy baseball rosters, but here are a few hurlers that may be available in your leagues to alleviate a bit of your pain:
Roy Oswalt (Tex-SP | 28% Yahoo! and 17% ESPN) The soon-to-be 35 year-old Roy Oswalt has officially signed a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers yesterday. Once he is ready to contribute, the veteran right-hander will likely take the spot of Scott Feldman in the Rangers’ rotation. Although Oswalt will be transitioning to the American League for the first time in his career and his velocity, ability to induce swinging strikes and strikeouts have declined over the last few years, he deserves a look for those who need to add an arm to their staff.
Dillon Gee (NYM-SP | 6% Yahoo! and 4% ESPN) Brett thoroughly discussed Gee in week seven’s edition of “The Rubber”, so I won’t go into depth here. However, know that the Mets’ hurler has increased his strikeouts per nine (8.26), reduced his walks per nine (2.54) and has an xFIP (3.25) that indicates his 4.92 ERA is due to improve.
J.A. Happ (Hou-SP | 5% Yahoo! and 2% ESPN) Happ is currently striking out a career high 9.05 batters per nine innings while surrendering the fewest walks per nine (3.43) since his 2009 campaign. The southpaw is inducing swinging strikes at a 9.3% clip — up from his career 7.8% — which could indicate the increase in strikeouts is real. If Happ can reduce the long balls (1.56 HR/9), continue to get ground balls at his current rate (45.8% GB%) and get some better luck on balls in play (.331 vs. .283 career), he could prove to be a well-plucked gem from your wire.
Felix Doubront (Bos-SP | 25% Yahoo! and 21% ESPN) Doubront is another lefty with a stellar whiff rate (9.48 K/9) who could assist those who lost Halladay or Weaver to the disabled list. Additionally, each of the ERA estimators (FIP, xFIP & SIERA) are hovering in the 3.50-3.75 range, which leads us to believe his current 3.86 ERA is approximately where it will fall. If your team can withstand the 1.36 WHIP (3.86 BB/9) and understand you will need to carefully choose when you start Felix as he battles through the AL East, Doubront may be the missing arm you were looking for.
Written by Alan Harrison for TheFantasyFix.com. Follow Alan's rants on Twitter @TheFantasyFix.