Fantasy Baseball: Max Scherzer is injured;  here are the potential injury replacements and trade targets

Fantasy Baseball: Max Scherzer is injured; here are the potential injury replacements and trade targets

We were hoping for the best when Max Scherzer retired from Wednesday’s game. We were hoping he had caught the injury when it was just a twinge in the heart and nothing more.

Unfortunately, we now know it’s more: a tight, moderate-to-high grade oblique that will sideline him for the next 6-8 weeks. It’s possible we won’t see it again until after the stars break. And just like that, a pitcher known for his durability, one who seemed like the safest choice at an ever-unstable position, is out of commission.

And now? Look, the league is tilted towards pitching right now. It’s possible you’ve played the waiver thread enough to have a whole set of quality pitchers capable of filling the void. You’ll miss Scherzer, but you’ll manage. You wouldn’t be the first to lose a stud and live to tell the tale.

It’s the dream, anyway. More likely, however, the world seems rather bleak to you right now. You have lost your first or second turn. What’s the point of trying?

First of all, I remind you that even stallions go through periods of several weeks where they look like anything but. Think of Scherzer’s absence this way. You just have the warning to bench him for it.

Second, because the league is tilted towards pitching right now and because even the stallions go through multi-week stretches where they look like crap, but you have the opportunity to make a good trade if you have some sort of batting surplus to deal with.

What would it take, for example, to get Charlie Morton, a repeat ace who struggled to figure out his locations early on? His speed is normal, his turnover rates remain high and it looks like he may have gotten back on track in his last start, striking out nine innings on six hits. But it still has a 4.93 MPM and a 1.44 WHIP. I still had a timeline full of people begging for my blessing to drop it just a week ago. I’m confident of an 80-90% turnaround in Scherzer’s production, but skepticism abounds. This is a perfect buy low scenario.

Of course, Morton isn’t the only example of an ace with skewed numbers at this still early stage of the season, and the most effective way to make a trade is to find an opponent who needs what you’ve got. rather than the other. way around. So here’s a list of other struggling aces who could come close to producing Scherzer if they get back on track soon.


Brandon Woodruff has a 5.35 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, but still misses bats with ease, actually posting career-best strike rate while sporting a 3.38 xFIP. Someone asked me the other day if they should trade him for Zac Gallen, so yeah, faith apparently waned.


Cy Young’s follow-up by Robbie Ray has been a complete failure so far, with his ERA sitting at 4.62. But his strikeouts jumped in his last two starts, and his speed was back in his last. Because he still gave up five earned runs, the step forward may not be fully appreciated.


Shane Bieber’s velocity issues are well known, and although he navigated them quite well at first, his numbers started to erode. Your opponent may yearn for someone to step in and make an offer, presenting them with what they perceive to be a high selling opportunity. It’s a bigger bet than most, but the Guardians said Bieber is working on mechanical issues that could contribute to a drop in speed. There is still a chance for a significant turnaround.


Julio Urias also had to settle for a reduced speed this year but did so with more success, his ERA standing at 3.00. However, he’s been knocked down a bit in his last two starts and the strikeouts aren’t up to snuff. The advantage may not be as high for him, but with the Dodgers offense backing him, there’s no doubt you want him in your lineup.


Jose Berrios has been hit hard so far but has had similar stretches in his career and has bounced back to post essentially the same numbers year after year. If you’re willing to trust the track record of a pitcher whose speed and spin rates are more or less on point, it could pay off big.

Maybe you don’t have the business capital to make such a deal or you just prefer to do something less drastic. Here are some potential waiver wire targets, all listed in less than 80% of CBS sports leagues, ranked by my personal preferences:

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