Fantasy baseball news: Cliff Lee joins long list of injured starters

Cliff Lee's left-elbow sprain is reported to be mild, but the Phillies don't want to take any chances.
Darren Carroll/SI

It's obvious that good pitching is a must for a winning fantasy squad; many a team has fallen by going all-in with hitting, only to realize too late that pitching accounts for half of the categories and that their team is complete garbage. But this year, the scales have been tipped enough that teams with only one or two good pitchers are probably getting by much more than they might have in years past. These things are cyclical -- it was only a few years ago that we were stuck in the "Year of the Pitcher." It's still worth it to invest money in guys like Darvish and Kershaw who, when healthy, are stone cold locks to be great. But there are fewer stone-cold pitchers to rely on on these days, what with the injuries and the parity. Who knows if this will be a full-season trend or not, but if these injuries keep piling up, it might be time to look at this as a trend, and something to keep in the back of your head when it gets to draft time in 2015.

Carl Crawford swiped two bags versus the Mets on May 20.
Wilfred Perez Jr./Icon SMI

• Denard Span had a massive night, going 5-for-5 with two runs, two RBI and a stolen base. Even for a designated base-stealer, Span only gets about 20 in a year, and any home runs he hits are pure gifts. Even after a line like this, and even though he's locked in as the Nats' leadoff hitter, he just isn't a viable option in standard leagues.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.