Darvish joins long list of aces on DL 

July, 11, 2013

The Texas Rangers don’t seem particularly worried about right-hander Yu Darvish, who has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a mild strain in his trapezius muscle in his upper back, so really, fantasy owners shouldn’t overreact to the news. After all, Darvish is expected to miss only one start, which puts him in basically the same position as awesome New York Mets right-hander Matt Harvey, in the same plight this weekend. Sure, Harvey’s issue is about starting the All-Star Game -- um, I mean, he has a blister -- and Darvish’s is more like shoulder fatigue, but still, the goal is the long term for these teams and fantasy owners. It’s not terribly uncommon for starting pitchers to get the brief DL treatment, or in the case of Oakland Athletics right-hander Dan Straily, to get sent to the minor leagues for a quick return after the All-Star break.

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AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez Because of the impending All-Star break, Yu Darvish's absence shouldn't affect fantasy owners as much as they think.

Of course, some fantasy owners just won’t see things quite that way, so now is actually a wonderful time to see whether the Darvish owner in your league is panicking, and perhaps you can work a deal for less than proper value. I have full confidence in the Japanese strikeout artist and, in fact, certainly wondered over the past fortnight whether his modest struggles were a result of a minor physical ailment. Darvish has managed only one quality start in his past four outings, pushing his season ERA to the other side of 3 and his WHIP over 1. Again, though, he’s been striking hitters out and he’s the No. 8 starting pitcher for the season, so it’s not like he’s been Joe Blanton of late. I blogged about Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander on Wednesday and noted that Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez and Darvish were the only three pitchers I’d choose over him for the rest of this season and for early 2014 draft purposes. This DL news doesn’t change that one bit, and the fact that Darvish leads everyone in most pitches per start (109.5), edging out C.J. Wilson, Chris Sale and Verlander, doesn’t worry me at all. Not all pitchers are created equal.