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Saturday, February 4, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: DON'T EVEN BOTHER WITH STEPHEN STRASBURG

Don't do it.  Don't even think about it.  Step back from the name "Stephen Strasburg" for good.  Do yourself a favor and don't torture yourself like that.  Don't give into the lure that is Washington Nationals ace Strasburg.  All right so with all of that out of the way, an annual tradition in this space is to tell you all once again not to touch Stephen Strasburg in drafts and that has never been more true as 2017 fantasy baseball moves closer.  The storyline remains the same here with Strasburg in terms of him being a breathtaking power pitcher who can rack up strikeouts like nobody's business but whose ridiculous health woes continue to undermine him and his owners.  2016 was no different here as Strasburg looked like the Cy Young favorite early on as he dominated through July.  That was when more injury woes surfaced as Strasburg came down with soreness in his pitching elbow that landed him on the disabled list.  While Strasburg did make it back, he lasted just one start in September before he was shut down with a very scary strained flexor tendon in the elbow which often has been a precursor to Tommy John surgery.  In between all that, Strasburg also hit the DL in June with a back strain.  Got all that?  In terms of the numbers, Strasburg was brilliant with the strikeouts as put up a stunning 11.15 K/9 rate (third straight season over 10.00) but his 3.60 ERA was the second year in a row he has gone over 3.40 which is high for someone who throws with such velocity.  We have cited on more than a few occasions how Strasburg's violent and far from smooth delivery puts undue stress on his elbow and leads to the injuries and that issue is not getting any better.  Strasburg already has a Tommy John surgery under his belt and another one seems likely.  The name brand remains potent though and there is always someone willing to chase the allure of Strasburg at your draft.  Don't be that guy though as starting pitching goes way too deep to make yourself have to deal with this giant headache.  The trends speak loudly here and in Strasburg's case, most of them are not good.


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