The Sports Network reports the Cleveland Indians have placed starting pitcher Fausto Carmona (hip) on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hip.
The injury occurred Friday, May 23, when he was trying to make a play at first base. There is not a clear timetable for his return.
Carmona has had a solid beginning of the season in 2008. In 10 starts, he has a 4-2 record with 3.10 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. One negative for Carmona is his incredibly poor strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 58 innings pitched, he has struck out only 23 batters while walking 38 batters. He has been pretty consistent both on the road and at home, posting a 3.12 ERA at home and a 3.09 ERA away.
Carmona had a tremendous season last year. He went 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 32 starts. He also struck out 137 batters while only walking 61 batters in 215 innings. He was one of the breakthrough fantasy performers last season and was considered a borderline top-100 player coming into this season.
Fantasy owners should definitely put Carmona on the disabled list because there is a chance he will not miss an extended period of time. Owners will have to keep an eye out for the next few days to see if a more defined timetable is announced regarding Carmona and his recovery from the hip injury.
One pitcher who may be worthy of a pickup in some leagues is starting pitcher Aaron Laffey, who is expected to remain in the rotation with Carmona's placement on the DL. Laffey was called up from Triple-A Buffalo late in April and has been in the starting rotation ever since. In his five starts, he is 2-3 with an impressive 1.60 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. He has struck out 20 batters and walked only six batters in 33 2/3 innings.
Another who may be an option for owners is starting pitcher Jake Westbrook (ribcage). Westbrook is currently on the 15-day disabled list but has been making rehab starts and should be activated relatively soon, likely this coming week. In four starts prior to the injury, he was 1-2 with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. He struck out 16 batters and walked five batters in 29 2/3 innings. However, he did give up four home runs in his four starts.
Between the two pitchers, Laffey, who is one of the Indians' top pitching prospects, might be the better option in shallow leagues simply because of his success on the mound in recent starts. Westbrook may need a start or two to re-adjust to the major leagues and, based on his history, is just an average pitcher. Either could make a solid addition because he pitches for a Cleveland team that has been getting great mound work while it waits for its dormant offense to wake up.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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