by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Earlier this week it was reported that David Dahl has suffered a stress reaction to his sixth rib (initially thought to be a back injury), resulting in him being shut down for the next two weeks. While there is no exact time table for his return, it would appear his availability for the start of the season should be described as unlikely.
According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com:
“A stress reaction can lead to a stress fracture if not managed properly, and the difference between the two is the degree of bone metabolism disruption, according to a general explanation from Princeton University Athletic Medicine.”
There’s no guarantee that Dahl will be cleared to return to baseball activities in two weeks, it will all depend on the healing process. Rib fractures could take 4-6 weeks to heal, if not more, and with Gerardo Parra and Raimel Tapia (among others) ready to step in the Rockies have no reason to rush the process. If they bring Dahl back too soon he could look at months on the sideline, as opposed to a few additional weeks.
At this point we wouldn’t anticipate Dahl playing for the first few weeks of the season, and depending on how things look upon reexamination he could conceivably miss all of April. For now we’ve readjusted our projection for 450 AB, dropping him to #42 on our rankings (though we’ll have a better grasp of what to expect once doctors take a second look). The upside is well worth the draft and stash, but you need to know the risks due to the potential absence.
We’d expect Parra to get the majority of the AB to open the season, with Tapia (who was our #4 ranked Rockies’ prospect, who you can read about by clicking here) the second choice should the veteran struggle this spring. The problem is that both of them swing left-handed, so sharing the spot isn’t an option.
We all know what Parra is at this point, and that’s an underwhelming veteran who catch fire short-term and make an impact (meaning in deeper formats, if you need help in the outfield he’s worth owning). Tapia is a similar player, though he has a bit more speed at this point and needs to improve on his efficiency (23-for-40 between Double and Triple-A last season). He likely could use more time at Triple-A (110 PA) and is more of a player to monitor, in case he gets the starting role.
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, Baseball Reference
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Make sure to check out our 2017 Rankings:
|Starting Pitcher||#1-20 |02/27/17|