San Diego Padres starting pitcher Chris Young (oblique) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained oblique muscle. Manager Bud Black said the team expects Young to recover within two weeks.
The injury will likely cause Young to miss two or three of his starts, so the team called up pitcher Tim Stauffer from Triple-A. Stauffer has been merely average with Triple-A Portland as a starter this year. He has a 4.74 ERA, a 1.42 WHIP and 68 strikeouts in 89 1/3 innings as a starter.
Stauffer will start Sunday, July 29, against the Houston Astros. He hasn't pitched in the majors this year, and he has only started 15 games with the Padres in his career. Stauffer has a career 4-6 record with a 5.07 ERA in 16 games in the big leagues. In his last start with the team, in 2006, Stauffer lasted six innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits and one walk. He struck out two while earning the win.
Fantasy owners that have Young will obviously want to hang on to him. The Cy Young Award candidate has been great this year, leading the major leagues with a 1.82 ERA in 118 2/3 innings pitched. He has struck out 114 batters and walked just 39. That has led to a 0.99 WHIP on the year and helped him with his 9-3 record.
Owners now in need of a starter will have several options over the next few weeks, but Stauffer is not one of them. Boston Red Sox starter Jon Lester has returned to the team and pitched well in his season debut. Lester lasted six innings and gave up five hits and three walks while allowing two earned runs; he also struck out six in his win over the Cleveland Indians. He is available in approximately 89 percent of leagues polled.
Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Chris Capuano is another possibility. Many fantasy owners gave on the southpaw after his poor start to the season, which culminated in a trip to the disabled list for a groin strain. Before the All-Star break he put up a 4.79 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 79 innings. Since the break, he has shown signs of turning it around. In four starts he has a 4.44 ERA, a 1.32 WHIP and 21 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings. Capuano involves risk because of his poor performance in the first half, but he is too good of a pitcher to continue down that path. He is available in about 67 percent of leagues polled.
Colorado Rockies starter Aaron Cook (7-6, 4.22 ERA) is another solid option for fantasy league owners. The trick with Cook is to use him on the road, where he has a 3.00 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. With 51 strikeouts in 147 innings, his strikeout rate is far from ideal. However, he will be on the road for his next start and should be fine to use. He is available in roughly 98 percent of leagues polled.
About Michael Egnak
Michael Egnak is a Hot Off The Wire Analyst at KFFL and has been with the company since 2005. Covering both NFL and MLB, Egnak is also a key contributor to KFFL's fantasy services.
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