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Dealing in the misfortunes of athletes is something you do without a heavy heart.  Players, like us, feel pain.  If you punch them in the face, do they not receive a cut under their eye?  If you stick them with a hypodermic needle, do they not bleed?  As fantasy baseball owners, we have less of a conscience.  If a player’s hurt, we basically employ a “screw you, get off my team” attitude — but not before we trade him to someone else in our league, of course.

I featured this column with suggestions last week of which injured or injury-prone hitters were worth buying low and selling high on.  Today, I’ll be delving into the pitchers that fall under those designations.

It’s not something Sister Mary Margaret would approve of, but taking advantage of injuries by either trading hurt players or speculating when one will become hurt, can be very beneficial to your fantasy team in the long run — so pay attention!

PITCHERS TO BUY:

Aroldis Chapman, Reds: The Reds’ fireball throwin’ closer had an unfortunate accident in the spring (a ball crushed his face), but he’s been throwing live BP and should be headed to a rehab assignment later this week.  If all goes well, expect the Cuban import to be pitching in the ninth for the Reds come mid-May.  It seems like baseball players are getting hurt every 10 minutes, so it’s likely Chapman owners have other injured guys to deal with and may be willing to ship him off in order to clear up some room on their roster.  Remember, his injury was to his mug, not his arm, so there should be no concerns about him regaining the form that saw him save 76 games and strikeout 234 batters over the past two seasons.

Alex Cobb, Rays: Cobb was one of my favorite pitchers going into this season.  For someone who loves catching some sweet rays while eating corn outside of a Tampa strip club (they’re the best in America, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!), there’s a lot to like.  Like Chapman, Cobb also had a scary ball-to-face incident last year, but he overcame that, pitching to a 2.43 ERA and 5-1 record over his final nine starts.  He’s now sidelined with an oblique injury, which can be a nagging thing to deal with.  Prior to going down he had compiled a sparkling 1.89 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 19 IP.  He was originally given a 4-6 week timetable to return, but there have been some hints he could be back on the earlier side of that.  The Rays have always been very cautious with injuries, so he makes for a good trade target knowing the team won’t likely let him pitch until they know he is 100 percent healthy.  That, and he is a great guy to introduce at BBQs.

PITCHERS TO SELL:

Chris Sale: White Sox: It’s pretty fitting that a guy named “Sale” is under the “sell” column, but this isn’t your run-of-the-mill Yellow Smiley Face Deal, or whatever those freaks at Wal-Mart call it.  Sale (Chris) is not your average marked down product.  He is a Cy Young-caliber starting pitcher who was taken in the 3rd-4th rounds of most fantasy league drafts.  He’s been on the shelf since last week with “elbow soreness”, and while doctors have deemed the condition of his UCL to be “excellent”, anyone who has watched him pitch over the past three seasons knows he’s a ticking time bomb.  His delivery to the plate is extremely unorthodox, although if you like hearing Hawk Harrelson say “he gone” multiple times, you could probably give a crap.  The baseball gods do give a crap, though.  The human arm was not designed to throw baseballs, so his herky-jerky motion only puts even more undue pressure on the elbow.  Sale, and the Sox, are saying he’ll be off the DL in the minimum time, but if I’m a Sale owner, I’m rushing to trade him.  He’s pitched well this season and if owners in your league aren’t spending their days mulling over pitching mechanics and medical oddities, they may be unaware of the fate that could soon be handed down to the White Sox’ ace.  Make trading him a priority, because once we hear the even slightest utterance of the name “Dr. James Andrews” in the same sentence as his, you’ll have a better chance of selling a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves.

OTHER INJURY NOTES:

Jason Grilli, Pirates: Things have been bad for the Pirates all season long. They have the fourth-worst record in baseball and now their closer has hit the DL with an oblique strain.  He wasn’t terribly effective prior to going on the shelf, having blown three saves in seven opportunities.  If Mark Melancon (44% owned on ESPN) is still available in your league, make sure you grab him.  He had 16 saves in fill-in duty last year and could remain the closer even when Grilli does comes back.

Devin Mesoraco, Reds: I was all over this guy throughout spring training and he certainly made me look good with that 1.297 OPS, but alas, he succumbed to a hamstring injury in Friday night’s game vs. the Braves.  If your DL spots are filled and you have another decent catcher, I hate to say it, but he’s droppable.  Catchers are gonna have an awfully difficult time returning quickly from a pulled hammy, you know, with all that squatting and stuff.  His replacement, Brayan Pena, is a must-add in NL-only leagues if he isn’t already owned.

Chase Headley, Padres: I feel like I’m a kid and some bully just asked me if I wanted a Hertz Doughnut.  Yep, it does.  Fresh off recommending him as an attractive “buy low”, Headley aggravated the calf injury that caused him to miss much of spring training.  According to Headley, though, it’s not as bad as the previous strain and he thinks he will only require a minimum stay on the DL.  I’m still a firm believer that if he can maintain health, he will have a decent year, but if you need the roster spot, he can be dropped.  On the other hand, if you have an open DL spot and he was let go in your league, he’s easily a top stash candidate.

Wilson Ramos, Nationals: Ramos played all of one game before undergoing surgery to remove a broken hamate bone in his left hand.  A top sleeper pick among many, he can be added in 62% of ESPN leagues.  With catchers like Mesoraco and Russell Martin going down, Ramos could be a viable replacement come May 5, which is when the Nats are hoping he can return.  There is 20-homer potential in his bat.

Oswaldo Arcia, Twins: Coming off a fantastic rookie campaign (14 HR, 43 RBI), Arcia didn’t make it past Week 1 of the 2014 season without getting hurt.  He’s been on the DL with a wrist injury, but has been cleared to go on a rehab assignment this week and could be back in the Twin Cities by the weekend.  Jason Kubel did an okay job of filling in, but Arcia is a big part of the team’s future.  Expect him to play full-time after he gets his feet wet.  He’s a nice pickup in leagues that carry five or more outfielders and is worth speculating on if you’re looking to add some sneaky pop to your lineup.

Mark Trumbo, Diamondbacks: Trumbo went down this past week with a stress fracture in his left foot.  It’s not good news, as he’s dealt with this injury before.  The timetable they’re giving for his return is six weeks, but I’m a little pessimistic about that.  Trumbo is a 6-foot-4, 240 pound man who already has a difficult time playing in the outfield.  Tack on a foot injury to his hulking frame, and that’s a recipe for disaster.  He was leading the league in home runs when he went down, so it’s kinda hard to drop the guy, but don’t be surprised if he’s still not back by the All-Star break.  In the meantime, Cody Ross, Gerardo Parra, A.J. Pollock and Tony Campana (SAGNOF special) are all worth looks in deeper leagues.

 

Follow SethDaSportsMan on Twitter at, you guessed it, @SethDaSportsMan, for quality fantasy sports advice and the deepest veneration of all things Nicolas Cage 

  1. Steve D. says:
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    Thoughts on Anibal Sanchez? Someone just dumped him and I scooped him up free and clear. Will it be the standard 15 days, or is there more to the injury?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Steve D.: Nice grab. Shouldn’t be more than that.

  2. Dubbs says:
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    Would you drop Fernando Rodney for Melancon?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Dubbs: That works for me. Don’t trust Rodney to retain role all year

  3. Gonzo_The_Great says:
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    So speaking of buying low and selling high- I’ve never cast a veto vote on a trade before, but I just saw this lopsided monstrosity pop up: Joe Nathan for Homer Bailey.

    Is it just me or is that horribly out of whack? So out of whack to cast a no-vote on it?

    • Bobby says:
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      @Gonzo_The_Great:
      May be a bit lopsided, but why would you veto? Should only veto if there is collusion involved.

      • David Niven says:
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        @Bobby: Not veto’able IMO. I seen worse. Hell, drunk I’ve proposed worse.

      • bterry says:
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        @Bobby: agree, only veto collusion.

    • microwave donut says:
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      @Gonzo_The_Great: There’s nothing wrong with that trade

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Gonzo_The_Great: Trade isn’t too bad, and I wouldn’t veto. Could likely be satisfying either team’s needs. I never veto a trade unless it seems collusive in nature or theres a clear plan to destroy the balance of the league. Any trade that don’t fall under those two things should be automatically upheld IMO

  4. kisses says:
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    would you drop tyler flowers for wilson ramos?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @kisses: works for me as long as you have a replacement at C until Ramos returns

  5. Jimmy says:
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    Would you drop Mesoraco from DL slot in exchange for adding Ramos (latter free in my league)

    • Jimmy says:
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      @Jimmy: separately and not injury related (unless you consider Salazar’s play so far injurious to fantasy owners): Play samardjiza tonight or take a chance on Salazar’s saturday start? (I am limited to 5 starts/wk so it is one or the other)

    • PaulieShore says:
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      @Jimmy: I just did that exact thing actually. Dropped Mesoraco and added Ramos, DL’d Ramos, and then picked up Pinto for the next few weeks.

      Nice to know someone else at least considered it.

      • Jimmy says:
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        @PaulieShore: I pulled the pin and did it too after all. Two of us can’t be wrong! also on other questions I decided to play both and changed another of my starts to accomodate. here’s hoping for more of recent salazar and less of early salazar in his start!

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Jimmy: I’m okay with that move. Ramos should be back before Mesoraco

  6. Picard56 says:
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    Drop Jesse Chavez for Chapman?

    • bterry says:
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      @Picard56: immediately

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Picard56: definitely

  7. Wboggs says:
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    Would u take masterson for zimmerman(3b)? I have arenado who would be my 3b. Or should I aim a little higher for a Sp?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Wboggs: tough to trade a guy who’s sitting on the DL, but, yeah, may aim a little higher

  8. Wacha Wacha says:
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    I know he is neither a pitcher nor injured but are you buying Cano after a slow start in Seattle? A guy in my 10 team categories non keeper league is trying hard to sell.

    Should I try to trade Abreu for Cano straight up or Marte + Altuve? Or do you see a better trade to offer?

    My team
    C Santana
    1b Pujols/Abreu
    2B Altuve/ Gyorko
    3B Miggy
    SS E Cabrera
    OF Marte/Myers/ B Hamilton
    OF Stanton
    OF Bautista
    Util Abreu
    Util Longoria

    Pitchers: Bailey, Wacha, Teherehan, Salazar, Gray, Liriano, Ventura, Perez
    Axford, Rosenthal

    Thanks!

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Wacha Wacha: I’d prefer to see if I could get him for Marte and Altuve. Neither of them are doing much but stealing bases. I wouldnt trade Abreu. If guy is trying to sell Cano that much, you should be able to get some sort of discount. I traded Cano in one league last night. Cano and Cashner for Kinsler and Ellsbury.

  9. Clyde Prompto says:
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    Are you buying Paxton, Walker or Iwakuma?

  10. Machado,Plouffe or Seager the rest of the season?.h2h points league

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Creepy Neighbor: I believe in Seag (er)

  11. Is Alex Wood on a innings limit?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @baby daddy: No, I don’t believe so.

  12. Would you do this trade: My Matt Carpenter and Fernando Rodney for their Homer Bailey and Rafael Soriano?

    Also, if I do trade Carpenter, which of these middle infield guys is most worthy of replacing him (note I have Beltre, Kinsler, and Ryan Zimmerman when he comes back, its a 6×6 12 team h2h category wins keeper league with R, HR, RBI, SB, OBP, SLG

    List:
    Connor Gillespie
    Brandon Hicks
    Brad Miller
    DJ LeMahieu
    Josh Rutledge
    Brandon Philips
    Danny Espinosa
    Derek Jeter
    Chris Owings
    Erick Aybar
    Asdrubal Cabrera
    Eric Sogard

    • @Goose!:

      I should mention that my pitching staff has been decimated my injury. I took a flyer on Josh Johnson (already dropped him), have Chris Sale, Matt Harvey in my DL slot (keeper league), Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, Mike Leake, Wade Miley, AJ Burnett, and my relievers aside from Rodney are Robertson and K-Rod

      the categories for pitchers are W, K, HR allowed, ERA, WHIP, NSVH

      • SethDaSportsMan

        SethDaSportsMan says:
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        @Goose!: Im not a Bailey guy, if you can get a better pitcher out of it, it’s not a bad deal, but I’d probably stay put if I were you. Should be some potential closers on WW to replace Rodney if you need to. If you do go thru with it, Phillips and Espinosa (esp as a Zimm owner) would be my top replacements.

  13. microwave donut says:
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    Ugh, had Ramos, then Mesoraco, now on to Montero. Probably back to Ramos when he gets active but they say hamate surgery saps power. Ugly all around.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @microwave donut: No fun. Im on the same boat on a couple teams. Hamate surgery does reduce power a little, yes. Pablo Sandoval had the same surgery in 2012. In 84 games following the surgery he hit .272 with 7 HR and 48 RBI. Keep in mind that the power got better the more he distanced himself from the surgery, hitting 2 of those HR and 8 doubles in September and then going on to hit 6 homers in the playoffs. He has his surgery right around the time Ramos is expected back. I think both players are similar power-wise, so I can see Ramos completely rounding into form around late July. Ramos is also in better physical condition than Sandoval was, which will also aid in the healing process.

  14. Your Mom says:
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    Flipped Lance Lynn, Zach McAllister, Dustin Ackley and Joc Pederson for Alex Cobb and Archie Bradley in a 12 team keeper. Feel pretty good about it. Pederson is the only true keeper imo. Lynn is hot right now but is so maddening to watch with his ups and downs. Thoughts?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Your Mom: I like it a lot, and I’m with you, Lynn will fall, and fall fast. April is the only month he’s been overly successful in. Pederson is solid but is gonna have a difficult time getting a path to the majors

  15. Mike says:
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    nice post Seth,

    i’m a little bit concerned about the productivity of Ramos in the future due to the nature of his injury. Hamate injuries do have a nasty knack of cutting some power off of hitters… any reason to be concerned for ramos?

    thanks,

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Mike: Thanks, Mike. You may find your answer in one of my responses above.

  16. JoeBoo says:
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    OMG, another ‘trade Chris Sale, his arm’s gonna blow up’ article? Ugh…..
    I blame Ventura and that crappy Sox bullpen for a completely unnecessary 127 pitch outing that led to his recent trouble.

    Seems to me any pitcher’s arm can blow up. Using this Chris Sale paranoia, I traded Kris Medlen last year for Sale in a keeper league. How’s that working for the other guy?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @JoeBoo: Can happen to anyone, of course, but like you said, poor bullpen management on top of his terrible mechanics definitely dont help the situation.

      I’d still say the Medlen guy is worse off ;)

      • JoeBoo says:
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        When healthy, and he has been for the most part, he is as dominant as any AL pitcher. If you can stand the possibility, I say you gotta grab him. If you can get him for 50-75 cents on the dollar, I feel like the risk is worth it. No guts, no glory.@SethDaSportsMan:

  17. Watson says:
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    For my catchers, I’ve got Castro with Mesoraco on my DL and Ramos a FA. Who do you like ROS? 12-Team H2H Redraft. Thanks!

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Watson: I’d hold on to what you have

  18. Chris says:
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    Hello Seth,

    Would you offer Tim Hudson or Kazmir for Alex Cobb?

    If Cobb’s owner prefers Kazmir?

    Thanks,
    Chris

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Chris: If you can do it for Hudson, I like it, otherwise I’d stick with Kazmir

      • Chris says:
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        @SethDaSportsMan: Thanks Seth. Forgot to mention, what about for Iwakuma, Same players?

        Regards

        • SethDaSportsMan

          SethDaSportsMan says:
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          @Chris: Would rather Kazmir than Iwakuma. Trading Iwakuma for Cobb wouldn’t be that bad if you can afford to wait a few weeks for him to return

  19. Bi-Felicia says:
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    Me Harper, Me hit ball, me run, me hit walls, me rip fingers off sliding…ME DUMB (Grunt Grunt) This dudes a fking clown! Never drafting him again!

  20. SMALLS KILLER says:
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    You think my swap of YoGa for Iwakuma was a good one? 12team QS k/9 roto

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @SMALLS KILLER: yeah I like that. YoGa bound to regress somewhat and in K/9 league I prefer Iwakuma

  21. Sparty Scott says:
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    Lost Grilli and Frieri last week so I’m hurting for saves with none on the wire. Should I drop Frieri for Farquhar (hoping Rodney loses the gig soon) or hold Frieri?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Sparty Scott: You can drop Frieri

  22. ron says:
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    was offered billy butler for sunny gray. thoughts?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @ron: Rather have Gray

  23. Jiggy Nits says:
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    5×5 NL only roto

    I am WORRIED about Shelby Miller, and I’m trying to shop him. Can you give me examples of starters you would target for him? Zack Wheeler? Homer Bailey? Cole Hamels? Estrada? Cingrani?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Jiggy Nits: The control issues are definitely concerning, but if you’re gonna sell nows the right time to do it, considering he’s allowed just 1 ER over his last 17 IP. Hamels is a good target. Maybe Gerrit Cole or Jon Lester

      • Jiggy Nits says:
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        @SethDaSportsMan: It’s an NL only. I cant see the Cole owner giving him up for Miller. Are there any pitchers with less value that you like, I could do a 2 for 2 or something because I’m also in need of an outfielder. Thanks for the reply… I sent the 1for1 offer for Hamels.

        • SethDaSportsMan

          SethDaSportsMan says:
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          @Jiggy Nits: oh my bad, didn’t catch that NL only note at the top…hmm maybe Haren or Samardzija

  24. J-FOH says:
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    so what you’re saying is Sale is done and I wasted a pick on him in the writers league?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @J-FOH: I can’t know for certain if he is done, but I believe we will come across this issue again later in the year. For keeper league owners especially, theres a lot to worry about here.

  25. Ron says:
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    James Paxton on waivers in really deep league and I have a pretty high waiver claim. I know he’s not back for a month but should I do it?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Ron: No, I’d save it. You’ll need that later in the season

  26. Czernobog says:
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    Scary ball-to-face incidents really need to go in the razzball glossary, and be called ‘Extreme teabagging’.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Czernobog: I heard The CW has a reality show of that very premise in the works

  27. Jack says:
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    I got R. Zimmerman off the waiver wire a week ago. I’m wondering if I should keep him stashed. My H2H league counts errors (yeah, I know, I hate it too). Any thoughts on whether his shoulder is going to effect his errors and his shoulder and thumb is going to effect his power?

    Also, what are the chance that Pujols foot comes back to bite me (hmmm…interesting picture eh?)?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Jack: Id def stash Zimmerman. I think you’ll eventually see a move to 1B for him. The Nats may be forced to trade LaRoche because of it.

      No, I’d say Pujols’ foot is looking pretty good right now

  28. stonepie says:
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    im trading sale after his first start back, plenty of pitching on the wire and a huge injury may be coming

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @stonepie: Smart move, you may have to wait till next week though, looks like we may not get to see him this weekend when first eligible.

  29. Clint says:
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    I haven’t seen much analysis on Grilli’s performance vs the injury. Smokey appeared optimistic a few weeks ago, saying he was looking good, but then he started blowing up and ended on the DL. So, are we to believe the downfall was injury-related and once back, he gets his job intact & will return to form (meaning snag him if he’s available as he is in my h2h pts league) or avoid him in favor of other question marks like Axford or Rodney because he’s on the downside & Melancon’s probably gonna pull a K-Rod on him?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Clint: I don’t necessarily believe he was hurting all season. He def had some decent outings amongst the blown saves. Oblique injuries aren’t something you can hide or pitch through very long. I think his value was just overblown cuz of one VERY good season. Never closed his entire career till last year and had great season when everything was going right for the Bucs. Unless Melancon completely blows it, I think he could stick. It’s not like they’re winning right now either.

      If its a deep pts league, def worth a stash if u have an open DL spot, but dont waste bench spot on him. Rather have Axford, who while he could very well lose the job, has it now and has been pitching okay.

  30. Dave F says:
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    What about Fister or Tijuan Walker? Along with Cobb, all three are currently stashed away. Which of those guys is worth selling if any?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Dave F: Walker

  31. UncleLarryWalker says:
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    I own Chapman, Cobb, and Sale…

    : (

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