Making the best of it without Jose Fernandez
You've likely lost Jose Fernandez for the rest of the 2014 season, so what are your best moves on waivers?
If you own Jose Fernandez in a Fantasy league, this has no doubt been a sad and frustrating day, as the Marlins ace appears headed for season-ending surgery. In this space, Scott White and R.J. White have respectively discussed the Fantasy value of Kevin Gausman and Andrew Heaney (a posssible real-world replacement for Fernandez). Both are worthy of a claim, and both could eventually be decent replacements in your Fantasy rotation, though neither may start on a regular basis in the near-term.
Whether you're thinking of speculating on a prospect like Gausman, Heaney or Rafael Montero or combing the waiver wire for a more establshed pitcher, you probably won't come close to replacing all of Fernandez's value. Those three may eventually help you to minimize your loss, but if you're looking for a starter with a firmer grip on a rotation spot, here are three other names to consider. Each is available in at least 40 percent of the leagues on CBSSports.com, but each has the potential to be a mainstay in your rotation.
Drew Pomeranz: The 25-year-old doesn't have the most impressive major league track record, but since all of it prior to this season occurred with the Rockies, we can give him at least a partial pass. Pomeranz followed up a solid stint in the bullpen with five scoreless innings in his first start for the Athletics. As a prospect, the lefty showed he was capable of getting strikeouts and grounders, though control was something of an issue. He may be a liability for your staff's WHIP, but he should be an asset for wins, strikeouts and ERA.
Drew Hutchison: The Blue Jays' hurler has turned in three straight sub-quality starts that have launched his ERA from 3.46 to 4.37, and that has contributed to his ownership rate falling from 56 to 47 percent over the last two weeks. His control has been erratic at times and he can be prone to allowing extra-base hits, as the 10 doubles and one homer over his last three starts have shown. Hutchison hasn't ceased to whiff batters, though, so if strikeouts are what you're looking for, he could be your best available target. He's certainly been a better pitcher than his 4.37 ERA suggests, as he is bound to improve a 67 percent strand rate and .275 opponents' batting average on grounders.
Dallas Keuchel: A Fantasy afterthought in his first two seasons, Keuchel has been a whole different pitcher this season. He has improved his strikeout, whiff and ground ball rates, so his 3.68 ERA and 1.18 WHIP look legitimate. Keuchel's greatest weakness may be something beyond his control -- namely, run support from the Astros' lineup -- but he should continue to be among the top 60 starters in Fantasy.
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