Adam Wainwright: How to Soften the Blow

Apr 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) sits in the dugout in the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, a theme throughout the early part of the 2015 season is that the injury bug has become rampant and striking some of the most valuable fantasy players in baseball. Adam Wainwright joins this list as he suffered an Achilles injury this weekend.

This will leave fantasy owners scrambling to find some kind of stopgap or a long-term option to lessen the blow that Waino’s loss causes. While there is no one on your waiver wire that will fully replace the fantasy #1 stats that Wainwright produces, there are some enticing options that could be supply you so long-term value.

I found 5 SP options that are still largely still free agents across most fantasy platforms, and may be able to help fill your SP hole.

Alfredo Simon– Simon really came on last year after being largely a journeymen for most of his career. He had an All-Star season last season, but struggled mightily down the stretch further raising some questions going into 2015.

So far this season he has reestablished his value (4 wins, 1.65 ERA, and 15 k’s) and looks just like that 1st half star from 2014. Grab him now and hope that you can continue to ride his hot streak to hopefully the break and maybe even beyond.

Archie Bradley– I would hope by now that most of us are familiar with Archie Bradley. He was a popular sleeper last year as he seemed to be the next hot pitching prospect to come up and dominate. However, he never really got his chance as his lack of control delayed his call up last season.

After some hesitation during the spring, Archie was finally named the Diamondbacks 5th starter and has flourished ever since. He has been a highly rated prospect for most of his career and it seems as though he has finally taken harnessed his command and has dazzled thereafter. Pick him up hoping that he could be this year’s rookie breakout.

Jimmy Nelson– Nelson’s season has flown under the radar as the Brewers struggles have overshadowed how effective he has been so far. He is another highly touted prospect and with his opportunity, and he has taken a step forward.

He actually has the lowest WHIP in all of baseball and his miniscule 1.35 ERA ranks among the best in baseball. He serves as a quiet addition that could stabilize your rotation for the time being, as he certainly one of the hottest pitchers in baseball.

Anthony DeSclafani– After Tony Cingrani was regulated to the bullpen, the door opened for DeSclafani to jump in and run away with a rotation job. He has done just that and has proved that the Reds made the right decision by inserting him into the rotation.

So far this season he has done nothing but continue to get outs and so far this season he has been downright unhittable. Over his 26 innings so far this season, he has held opponents to .125 AVG against him and holds an ERA close to 1.00. He seems to be a great addition as he seems to be certainly legit, plus he may also offer RP eligibility in some leagues, only furthering his value.

Danny Salazar– Salazar is another one of those guys that we should all be familiar with as last season most fantasy owners got caught up in the hype entering last season. He is frustrating at times due to his ability to look untouchable at time and then the very next start he will get knocked around like no other.

In his two starts this year we have seen the Danny Salazar that is so enticing. He has struck out 21 over his first two starts, and more importantly he has managed his walks to a controllable level. If there were one guy that I thought could possibly challenge Wainwright in terms of week to week value, it would be Salazar because the stuff is just that dominant.

I recommend snagging him now as he may have turned a corner and finally found some resemblance of control. If he can limit his walks to manageable level, he could provide immense value as the K numbers will always be there.