As we go into the stretch run, let’s look at some of the more important injuries:
- Earlier this week, Kelvin Herrera was carted off of the field after suffering a foot injury. Later, he was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his foot. While the Nationals had been essentially written off prior to this incident, this essentially seals their fate. The biggest impact that this injury will have on the team is that they will have one less trade chip as the waiver trade period nears a conclusion. Herrera’s stock on the free agent market probably won’t be affected, as it is not an injury to his arm, nor is it one that would require surgery of any kind. Herrera was solid in his walk season, posting a cumulative 2.44 ERA with a 3.94 FIP. While he struggled at times during his brief stint with the Nationals, he still seems likely to sit towards the top of the relief market this winter.
- Another fringe team will be without one of their best players for the remainder of the season, as Buster Posey will undergo hip surgery. The Giants are now through their second consecutive season of irrelevance, and arguably have the worst farm system in the league.
- While Posey will be ready to go for 2019, the Giants should be looking towards the future going into this offseason. This should include shopping ace Madison Bumgarner, along with other veteran players including Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and Joe Panik. Another thing that I would do would be offering Andrew McCutchen a qualifying offer. While he could accept it, the Giants have Hunter Pence and Nick Hundley coming off of the books and could very well utilize McCutchen as a trade chip at the deadline next season, assuming Cutch was able to post similar numbers to this season.
- We should get a good look at Giants catching prospect Aramis Garcia over the next few weeks. While he’s already 25, he looks like a very formidable guy to eat up at-bats during a rebuild. I see him as the Giants main back-up from this point on. He brings excellent defense and very good power but has a severe lack of plate discipline. Nevertheless, he will be able to spell Posey a few times a week as he gets older.
- Michael Pineda, who spent the 2018 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, will miss the remainder of the season with a torn meniscus. This isn’t the best news, but the Minnesota Twins signed Pineda knowing he would miss the majority of the season and join the rotation in 2019. He should be ready to go for the 2019 season, but meniscus injuries can be tricky.
- The Athletics have lost two of their starters at the worst possible time as Brett Anderson hit the disabled list with a forearm strain and Sean Manaea is out with rotator cuff tendinitis. Both pitchers are out indefinitely, but the A’s are hopeful that Manaea can be back by the end of the season. Anderson is still awaiting further testing, but forearm strains are always scary as they could be a precursor to Tommy John surgery. It is especially troublesome for Anderson, who has been baseball’s equivalent to the fish from Spongebob who was born with glass bones and paper skin, as he has had just one full season since 2011 (2015) while pitching fewer than 85 innings in every other season. A Tommy John surgery for the nearly 31-year-old could be career threatening. Hopefully it’s less serious and he’s back on the mound in short order. The A’s have already been active on the waiver wire this month, striking deals for Fernando Rodney and Mike Fiers. It isn’t inconceivable that they could make another move.
- The Mariners would also be prudent to capitalize on this unfortunate blow. With three days remaining in August, it’s conceivable that Jerry Dipoto could strike a deal or three to fortify the team, which currently stands just 4.5 out of the AL Wild Card. They could use some rotation depth after Marco Gonzales went down with a neck strain.