With Angels de-facto ace Garrett Richards going down in the second inning of Wednesday’s game against the Red Sox, this will leave a big hole in your fantasy rotation. Nearly everyone is hinting that this is much more than a knee sprain, so I will treat it as such. This would mean that Richards is done for the year.
So how do you replace his 13-4 record, 2.61 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 164 strikeouts? You don’t. At least not without making a trade.
That does not mean that I will give up and leave you hanging though. I will give you some players available on waivers that can help ease the loss.
The standard league replacements are available in 15-50 percent of leagues. The moderates are available in 51-90 percent of leagues. The deep league replacements are available in 90 percent of more of leagues.
Chris Tillman, Orioles: Every time you pass him by, he puts up another quality start. His streak is now up to 14 straight quality starts, and he has not allowed more than two runs in his last six starts. He should be owned across the board by now. His stats are close to Richards’ over the last three months.
Danny Duffy, Royals: People are finally taking note of Duffy. He has only allowed more than four earned twice since May 28th. He has his ERA down to 2.53 with a 1.08 WHIP. His strikeouts aren’t quite as high as Richards are, but everything else is close. And it’s not like he has trouble striking out batters. He has 98 K in 128 innings this year.
Mike Fiers, Brewers: Since his call up on August 9th, Fiers has given up just two runs in 21 innings pitched with 25 strikeouts. He has won all three of those starts. Sometimes you have to ride the hot hand when your ace goes down, and no one is hotter than Fiers right now.
Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles: After a rough start to the year, Chen has settled down. Over his last eight starts, he has allowed more than three runs just once during that span. That is about all you can ask for in a moderate league.
James Paxton, Mariners: I’ve been on the Paxton bandwagon since last September. There has been no reason to jump off. In ten career starts, he is 6-1 with a 1.91 ERA. 1.02 WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. How is that not good enough?
Collin McHugh, Astros: His ERA is just 3.00 on the season with a 1.10 WHIP. He won’t get the wins that Richards did being he plays for the Astros, but he does have 31 strikeouts over his last 31.2 innings, so he can help there are well.
Shane Greene, Yankees: His WHIP is still a bit high, but he does have 20 strikeouts in his last three starts. And his season ERA is a 2.91. He plays for a team that will score runs, so he will have a chance to win every time he takes the mound. He has not given up more than four runs in a start yet this year, so he seems like a safe option as well.
Hector Santiago, Angels: He likely will be the replacement for Richards for the Angels as well. Santiago doesn’t strike out many batters, and doesn’t go deep into games, but he has only given up five runs in his last 32.2 innings pitched.
Roenis Elias, Mariners: The Cuban rookie has had an up and down season so far, and right now he is on another upswing. He has only allowed six runs in his last five starts, but he has not gone six innings in any of them. He still allows quite a few baserunners, but is usually able to get out of jams, and piles up a decent number of strikeouts. Just beware of the occassional meltdown.