Recapping The Recent Starting Pitching Injuries: Patrick Corbin, Jarrod Parker & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There has been a lot of injuries to starting pitchers over the past few days, so let’s give a quick recap of where things stand:


Patrick Corbin – Arizona Diamondbacks
The Situation – Corbin was forced from a start Saturday night due to stiffness in his forearm

The Latest – According to the team via a series of tweets (click here to view):

“Medical update: Patrick Corbin underwent an MRI last night that showed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.”

“The team will get a second opinion this week and Corbin will not make the trip to Sydney, Australia for the Opening Series.”

The Likely Outcome – While we can try to remain optimistic, Nick Piecoro (via Twitter) has reported that Tommy John surgery has already been recommended, costing him all of 2014.  If you already own him keep him stashed, just in case things change on a second opinion, but it doesn’t look good.  If you haven’t drafted yet, keep your distance (outside of dynasty formats).

Kris Medlen/Brandon Beachy – Atlanta Braves
The Situation – Both pitchers are in the same boat, so we’ll lump them together as they are both battling elbow injuries

The Latest – David O’Brien (via Twitter) reported:

“Medlen and Beachy will both see Dr. Andrews on Monday”

The Likely Outcome – We’ll know better later today, but quotes from Medlen have been that he’s resigned that he will be undergoing a second Tommy John surgery.  Reports also have Beachy ticketed for the procedure.  It’s a crippling blow to both pitchers, and both should be avoided.


A.J. Griffin – Oakland A’s
The Situation – Dealing with an elbow injury

The Latest – According to Susan Slusser (via Twitter):

“Griffin shut down for 3 weeks with flexor tendinitis.”

The Likely Outcome – Considering the news surrounding other pitchers, this isn’t the worst news.  While Griffin will open the season on the DL, he could return to the A’s rotation in late April or early May.  He’s shown strikeouts (8.46 K/9) and control (1.71 BB/9) in the minors over the past three seasons, but his potential to give up home runs (49.5% fly ball rate in 2013) is a big issue when pitching on the road.  He’s worth stashing in deeper formats, just keep in mind that he’s going to be a much better play at home and someone to likely sit on the road.


Jarrod Parker – Oakland A’s
The Situation – Tightness in his forearm

The Latest – Slusser tweeted the following:

“Parker will see Dr. Andrews on Monday in Alabama.”

The Likely Outcome – Any time we hear forearm tightness and Dr. Andrews put together, we are going to be highly concerned (just see Patrick Corbin above).  Tommy John surgery is a very real outcome, especially considering that Parker had tightness at the end of the 2013 season as well.  We’ll know more today, but at this point the risk far outweighs the potential rewards (he was our #91 ranked SP even before the injury).  Pass on him on draft day.


Jonathan Niese – New York Mets
The Situation – Left start over weekend due to hyperextended elbow

The Latest – According to Adam Rubin via Twitter:

“Jon Niese says he hyperextended elbow. Had been rehabbing it. Says back of elbow, not Tommy John ligament area.”

The Likely Outcome – Niese will have an MRI today, but by the sound of this the injury appears to be minor. We won’t know for sure and this is Niese’s second MRI on his pitching arm this spring (he also had one on his shoulder), so we still need to be cautious. If we do get the good news today Niese remains a viable sleeper for 2014 once healthy. Expect him to miss the beginning of the season (though that’s not even a given), but keep him stashed away in all formats.


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  1. Tuco says:

    I was going into the season with Corbin as my SP4.

    I had Alex Wood as my SP5. Do you have any suggestions on who to consider as my SP pickup?

    W, K, QS, ERA, WHIP, limited keeper (keep 12 of 22 man roster)

    The best available SP on the wire according to your guide are
    Jon Niese
    Josh Johnson
    Juan Nicasio
    Jose Quintana
    Jake Peavy

    Any suggestions?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’m a big fan of Niese, but the injury is obviously concerning.

      I also am a big fan of Nicasio, though few others are so you can probably continue to leave him out there and pounce on him off the waiver wire.

      If Niese was healthy, I’d go with him. Since the risk is there, I’d go with Johnson.

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