Another Cuban has washed ashore, dreaming of American capitalism and getting seriously laid in Miami. The Cardinals signed shortstop, Aledmys Diaz. Let’s give you a comparison that may or may not do it for you. Diaz hit 12 homers and stole 11 bases with a.315 average in his last year in Cuban ball. Recent raftee by the Dodgers, Alexander Guerrero hit 21 homers, stole 2 bases and hit .290. Right now, Guerrero might be losing the starting job to Dee Gordon who can’t hit his weight, and he weighs 143 pounds. It’s nice that another Cuban gets to realize his dreams like Yasiel Puig and Tony Montana, but I’m not even sure if Diaz will make an impact this year, or ever. Despite his name resembling “All Days,” he’s being projected as a bench player. Oh, and I just had a great idea. I’m not sure who can make this happen, but we should get Fidel Castro on the podcast to talk about baseball. Speaking of which, we’re recording the first podcast of the year today and it should be on-site tomorrow. You can hardly wait. No, you! Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for 2014 fantasy baseball:
Kris Medlen – Forearm strain, which is often a precursor for more serious ailments. Dr. James Andrews said, “I’ll be the judge of that,” then laughed evilly for six minutes. I’ve moved Medlen in my top 400 to around that of Eliot Spitzer’s political career, and updated his projections there and in the top 100 starters. My guess is he’ll try to return in a few weeks then things will get drastically worse. Don’t draft him anywhere. The good news is this will mean more Freddy Garcia in the Braves rotation. Well, good news for opposing hitters.
Oscar Taveras – Got into his first spring training action. Fantasy baseballers swoon! But is now sidelined with hamstring tightness. Fantasy baseballers opposite swoon!
Jaime Garcia – Said he’s very excited with how his arm feels right now. He tore his ACL saying that.
Carlos Martinez – Just drafted him in my NFBC 15-team league and he’s now within spitting distance of a rotation spot, assuming Roberto Alomar were the one spitting. I.e., Joe Kelly is failing. Fail, Joe Kelly, fail!
Ervin Santana – I will be so happy when I don’t have to hear anymore signing rumors. I haven’t heard this many Ervin rumors since 1991 when most of the rumors involved Isiah Thomas and Ervin and how they would kiss at half court. Don’t pretend you didn’t hear them too. Santana heard he was rumored to go to the Orioles, and he fired his agent. In related news, the O’s pretend their Christmas presents are in the trunk of the car, park their car three blocks away from home and call in a fake stolen car report, then shop for Christmas presents on December 26th.
Cole Hamels – Tried to throw the other day, but just couldn’t. Said that he threw about 35 pitches and “to my body it felt like a thousand.” Don’t like what this is sounding like at all. I have him around pick 125 overall right now, and I’d give serious pause before drafting him there. You do not want a pitcher who is struggling with a shoulder issue in March. He’ll probably only miss April, but he’s one more setback away from being out until June.
Dayan Viciedo – White Sox have had discussions to get their 4th outfielder out of town. Yay! The Mariners are the ones they’re discussing it with. No! They already have like five outfielders. Give Michael Saunders room to breath.
Archie Bradley – He’s putting together a terrific spring. That’s nice. I still don’t see him breaking camp with the club, so my Archie Bradley fantasy from October still stands. Damn, October Grey doing work!
Mat Latos – Aiming to make his first start April 6th. Seems like that’s a quick timetable but if you follow Latos’s wife on Twitter, you’d wanna get back on the road too.
Alex Rios – Mild oblique strain and will miss ten to fourteen days. I had moon eyes for Rios before this news. Was happy to take him in the 3rd round. Now, I’d still take him in the 3rd round, but would be less happy about it. You have hurt my enthusiasm! Opposite swoon! Rios should be fine for the start of the year. Hopefully this thing doesn’t linger like The Cranberries.
Ivan Nova – Nothing happened to him thus far in the spring, but as I start drafting and seeing later options, I realize I should’ve ranked Nova. He’s a hella a lot better than some starters in the mid-200’s. So, to fix that, I did rank him. Here’s what I said in the top 80 starters post, “A Yankee pitcher? That’s good? That’s not an overpriced free agent acquisition? Okay, that’s just weird, but weird said like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Nova’s K-rate dipped last year, which I didn’t love, but when looking deeper at him (or deeper in his eyes), I saw a guy that is pretty comparable to a guy like Patrick Corbin, who’s ranked way above this point. The AL East and his short track record of success concerns me, but not enough to not at least take a flyer on. 2014 Projections: 13-7/3.88/1.28/170” And that’s me mea culpa’ing me!
Bobby Parnell – Reports say he went an inning in a “B” game. I cannot confirm or deny if everyone was dressed in bumblebee costumes.
Brad Miller – Mariners manager, McClendon said on Saturday that the competition between Nick Franklin and Brad Miller is wide open. Well, ain’t that a tube of toothpaste in the bullocks? I’m still confident that Miller wins the job and provides great sleeper value. Only I’m slightly less confident now. Maybe 92% confidence level.
Marcus Stroman – Could get the 5th slot in the Blue Jays rotation out of camp. I’d probably put his chances at around 20%. Prospect Scott likes Stroman a lot, saying, “The 22-year-old made 20 Double-A starts on the season, posting a 3.30 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and K/9 at 10.4. Those of you who read my posts throughout the regular season know that I’m intrigued by Stroman — he brings a fastball/slider combo that’s as good as any in the minors, and that skill set makes for some exciting performances (he whiffed 11+ batters in four of his 20 starts). Stroman was probably ready for a big league look this past September, but the Jays opted to send him to the Arizona Fall League instead. Big time whiff potential will make him a coveted piece in the fantasy game as soon as he surfaces. Unlike Grey and his ‘dur’ faces.” Hey, what’s that mean? Rookie pitchers are odd ducks — quack, quack. You could get anywhere from a 2.75 ERA to a 4.75 ERA. Stroman should provide solid K ability, think in the high 8 K/9 range. For that alone, he’s worth gambling on in deep leagues.
Cameron Maybin – Could only miss 6 weeks. That’s obviously until the next injury.
Marco Scutaro – Began hitting soft-toss. I can’t wait for the matchup between him and a fifth grader.
Omar Infante – Scratched due to a sore shoulder. Like clockwork he’ll still get his 10 homers, 5 steals this year. Also, like clockwork, he’ll be boring like doing work on clocks.
Matt Harrison – Expected to begin the year on the DL. Jeremy broke down the Rangers rotation in his AL West preview. It’s one of the biggest clusterfudges (the rotation, not the post). Yu, Perez, Ogando and…Nadir Bupkis? I don’t know. My guess is Colby Lewis and Joe Saunders, but Tommy Hanson is there too. When Harrison returns, the least effective starter (prolly Saunders) will be bumped, then Derek Holland returns and another guy is bumped, which means out goes Colby Lewis? Ogando? Perez? Harrison? Outside of Yu, I’d be wary of drafting any of them.
Chad Billingsley – Aiming to return to Dodgers in May as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery. Barring injuries, he’ll eventually share the fifth rotation spot with Josh Beckett and Paul Maholm as the Dodger’s Frankenpitcher, Paush Bilkett.
Taijuan Walker – Threw the other day and felt fine. He had an inflamed bursa in his shoulder but he told his shoulder, “I hate to bursa your bubble, but I’m pitching!”
Ryan Cook – Threw his first bullpen session and should be ready for the start of the season. Definitely a guy I’d look at in deep or Holds leagues. Cook does with gas when he’s right.
Jhoulys Chacin – Played catch the other day. No word if it was with his dad, Yorent, or his uncle, Yomortage, but it’s heartwarming either way.
Dane De La Rosa – Forearm strain. De La thinks he’ll be ready for Opening Day as long as he avoids potholes in the lawn.
Doug Fister – Scratched due to inflammation in his pitching elbow. MRI came back clean and the Nats are saying all the right things: he’ll be fine for Opening Day, he just needs to rest, his burps smell of rosewater. Whether Mr. Fister does have broken wings only time will tell. As of right now, I’m not moving him in my top 400, but that could change at a moment’s notice.
Carlos Santana – Being reported he looks stiff and uncomfortable at 3B. “Try Sweatpants!” says the Council of Outfitting Men For Our Relaxation and Temerity. The President of COMFORT also didn’t draft Carlos Santana to be his third baseman, but rather his catcher, so there’s that.
Jose Iglesias – His shins are feeling better, but the Tigers aren’t sure if he can be ready for Opening Day. Iglesias said, “When I ran without the padding, it was really uncomfortable, but as soon as I changed orthotics and put on the one the doctor made for me, there was a big difference.” In related news, Iglesias signed an offseason sponsorship deal with Dr. Scholl’s.
Nate Jones – Made his debut on Saturday and pitched great. Why do we care? Because we love him and his SAGNOFy, strikeouty self.
Bronson Arroyo – Diagnosed with a bulging disk. He said he should be ready to go for the start of the season, then proceeded to say, “Enough about bulging disks, let’s talk about my upcoming compact disc, ‘Slow Balls, Fast Tracks.'”