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Saturday, March 17, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: JHAREL COTTON TOMMY JOHN REMINDER OF RISK DRAFTING YOUNG HURLERS

The Tommy John elbow surgery epidemic among the youthful portion of the starting pitching fraternity has kept on going with no letup this spring training; with the latest victim being the Oakland A's' Jharel Cotton who will now miss the entire 2018 season as a result of the procedure.  Just 26-years-old, Cotton made up the classic Tommy John profile of being 28 or younger and one who throws an above-average fastball.  It is that combination that makes up the clear majority of Tommy John cases and so it is yet another reminder of the risk associated with drafting pitchers who are also from this classification.  Whether it is Noah Syndegaard, Carlos Carrasco, Lance McCullers, Alex Wood, Carlos Martinez, James Paxton, Luis Castillo, Michael Fulmer, or others; investing in these pitchers is taking a huge risk when it comes to early 2018 fantasy baseball selections.  So while we have always suggested being careful when weighing a selection from this group, we also are not saying you should avoid them altogether.  Instead, focus on maybe paying top dollar for one like Syndegaard and then complement him with some more stable veterans who have a better chance of holding up based on historical trends.  Of course, every starting pitcher carries a bunch of risk given how unnatural throwing a baseball is on the arm/elbow/shoulder but playing it cautiously here is certainly the best course of action to take.  Be careful out there.  


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