Entering Wednesday, five of the top 20 starting pitchers by ESPN average draft position this season -- a quarter of them! -- had that annoying asterisk next to their name denoting their place on the disabled list, and as we found out earlier this week, Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander could join them soon. On Wednesday afternoon, the news broke about two more unlucky members of the asterisk club, as Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish and Cincinnati Reds right-hander Homer Bailey hit the DL with elbow woes. Yep, it just never seems to end.
For now, just as with the other pitchers who have fallen before them, we analyze each pitcher separately, because there are always degrees of sprains and strains and inflammation and pain tolerance and, it's important to note, how teams view the situations. For example, the Rangers are one of the worst teams in baseball. Pushing Darvish back to the mound unless he's really, truly 100 percent just makes no sense. It's premature to call his elbow inflammation a season-ender, but why would the sad-sack Rangers risk anything? The Reds remain on the periphery of a division and wild-card race, so Bailey, degree of injury notwithstanding, appears more likely to contribute this month. Obviously, this all affects fantasy owners.