These are interesting times in the world due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  The stoppage of all sports and entertainment as we know it has left a major void in our lives as we try to adjust to a new normal.  This pandemic will pass eventually and life will resume where it left off. However, it is anybody’s guess what the world will look like then and how quickly people will assimilate to what they once took for granted.  All we can do now is keep ourselves healthy, sane and occupied. While there are no sports games being played, we can at least still discuss what to expect when they eventually do resume. Granted, there is not much news to report since spring training was suspended, but it is worth looking at a couple of newsworthy items that took place this week.  So without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room for the 2020 season.

Chris Sale (SP-BOS)

Back in early March, the Red Sox shut down Sale after he was experiencing discomfort in his left arm.  He was diagnosed with a flexor strain and was recommended rest and rehab. Earlier this week, after spring training was suspended, Sale began throwing again in order to see whether he would be able to pitch at some point this season.  Unfortunately, he experienced additional discomfort in his left arm and will now undergo Tommy John surgery. It is not known when the surgery will take place as there are many elective surgeries being delayed due to the need for medical supplies and hospital beds during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Either way, Sale will miss the entire 2020 season whenever it begins, and he will also likely miss part of 2021. Sale has been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball when healthy, but he can now be crossed off the board for drafts that have yet to take place. This is not entirely surprising that Sale requires this surgery due to the awkward nature of his delivery and the lengthy injury history he has accumulated throughout his career.

Justin Verlander (SP-HOU)

We already knew that the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner was going to be questionable for Opening Day before the season was delayed due to a lat strain.  Verlander also was dealing with some groin discomfort, but since the season is delayed anyway he has opted to undergo surgery to address the groin issue. Verlander is expected to miss six weeks, so there is a chance he could still be ready for the start of the season whenever that happens to be.  GMs drafting before the shutdown were likely letting Verlander slip a round or two due to his injury. Now that we know the season won’t be starting until the end of May at the earliest, Verlander should shoot right back near the top of the list for starting pitchers and regain his status as a 1st or 2nd round draft pick.