With Frankie Montas suspended for the balance of the season, here are five possible replacements off the waiver wire in your fantasy baseball league.
Frankie Montas had another strong outing Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing one run on four hits with nine strikeouts and no walks over eight innings. Over his last nine starts, the Oakland A’s’ breakout ace is 5-0 with a 2.54 ERA and a 67:11 K/BB ratio over 56.2 innings. Overall Montas is 9-2 with a 2.70 ERA over 15 starts this season (90 innings, 97 strikeouts and 21 walks).
On Friday, the worst kind of bad news came. Montas tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance, Ostarine, and he has been suspended for 80 games. That means he can return with six games to go in the regular season, but he won’t be postseason-eligible. The A’s are just two games back of the second Wild Card entering Saturday’s action, but their playoff chances look very slim now.
There’s no easy way to replace Montas, who is the 17th-highest scoring starting pitcher in Yahoo! fantasy leagues right now for the season as a whole. He has to be cut from rosters though, and his fantasy owners will have a spot to fill.
If you’re a Montas owner looking for a replacement arm, these five guys should be on your radar.
5. Jesus Luzardo, Oakland Athletics
Luzardo is working his way back from a shoulder injury, and he’ll move up to Triple-A for his next outing (scheduled for Saturday). If not for that shoulder issue late in the spring, he almost surely would’ve started the season in Oakland’s starting rotation.
The 21-year old left-hander pitched at three minor league levels last season, with a 2.88 ERA and a 10.6 K/9 over 23 combined starts (109.1 innings). As a result he rocked up prospect rankings, into the top-15 in all of baseball by Baseball America (#7), Baseball Prospectus (#13) and MLB.com (#12) heading into this year.
Luzardo’s next outing after Saturday may very well be his major league debut. He’s worth adding in mixed leagues right now, if only with an eye on a notable contribution a bit down the road.
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