Starting pitcher Drew Smyly is the the latest player to be diagnosed with a forearm flexor strain injury, according to mynorthwest.com’s Shannon Dryer. The left-hander was acquired from the Rays this past offseason and was expected to be a member of the team’s rotation.
The Fantasy Doctor’s Dr. Selene Parekh calls the injury, “concerning.” This particular injury has a tendency to increase the likelihood that the player would require Tommy John Surgery. For now, Smyly will be shut down for six to eight weeks and will likely receive platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. But if he continues to have elbow issues, they will begin to worry about his UCL.
The Mariner’s had high hopes when they acquired Smyly prior to Spring Training. But his season may not be over. However, the team will opt to wait out the next few weeks with hope that Smyly’s elbow can regain enough strength to pitch again this season.
He can be ignored in drafts and dropped in all leagues. While he has almost always proven to be fantasy worthy when healthy, he has always had issues staying on the field. Seattle will look to Ariel Miranda to get the first shot at replacing Smyly in the starting pitching rotation, the team announced on Friday.
The left-hander made his debut last July at 27 years old, finishing the season with a 5-2 record and a 3.88 earned run average (ERA) in 10 starts. The late-bloomer had a 4-7 record and a 3.93 ERA while playing for Triple-A Norfolk within the Orioles system, prior to being traded to and called-up by the Mariners last season. However, Miranda has struggled this spring, posting a 6.14 ERA in five starts.
The Cuban export is not the flashiest pitcher but he is going to be in the rotation for the foreseeable future. The Mariners should have one of the better offenses in the American League this year, which will help Miranda gain footing in his new role. He is far from being a must-own player, but warrants a close eye in the first month of the season with that lineup supporting him.
Chris Heston and Chase De Jong may also see starts this season as well,. Ultimately, Miranda is the only one that is worth considering for 12-team leagues in the wake of Smyly’s injury.