You know what burns me up? Fire? Yes, random italicized voice, but something else too. Three weeks ago, ESPN threw out trash like this, “Hamels could be one of the top-5 starters in most leagues now that questions about his durability and moxie have passed. Invest with confidence.” Three weeks ago?! Now, today they say, “Given (Hamels’s) injury history and the combination of an increased workload and long season, Hamels has a significant amount of risk when you consider his lofty place among the elite starting pitchers on the draft board this spring.” That’s so annoying. Almost as annoying as Bud Selig now getting upset at people who took steroids. Like you didn’t know, Bud. C’mon! The other day I talked with Rudy — we talk, ya’ll! — and I was saying to him there’s one pitcher I probably won’t own this year. That’s Cole Hamels. The innings increase worried me. The K/9 dropping in 2008 had me a bit buggered. I liked that he gave up less home runs, but it wasn’t enough. I wouldn’t own him. On February 1st, I said, “(Even considering the good things about Hamels, it) does not mean he’ll be on any of my teams in 2009.” In my top 100 post, I wrote, “Even Philly phans are worried about the extra innings. ” And that’s me quoting and quoting and linking to myself! Now there’s word of Hamels having a sore elbow. This is bad news. I can’t stress this enough. Okay, maybe I could’ve cap that last sentence, but you don’t need me to yell at you, do you? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in spring training for fantasy baseball:
Ivan Rodriguez – Do all the kids out there know Pudge isn’t meant to be an ironic nickname? Just because the Astros signed this schmohawk doesn’t mean you should. Ever. He’s C to the Rap.
Ryan Braun – Same injury that slowed in September has returned. I think he’ll be fine, but it’s enough to knock him below Miggy and Sizemore on your draft sheets. Wait, I already him after them on my top 100. Hey, I’m a fortune teller!
Manny Ramirez – Aggravating his hamstring while aggravating his owners. He’ll play fine when he wants to. Read: July, it has a great ending.
Justin Duchscherer – Let’s see if we got this right, Dooksheer is hurt? No way! I think he might start 5 games all year. I’m not exaggerating. I said this more or less over a month ago in the top 60 starters post. Berry might have ESPN, but I got ESP. Natch!
Vernon Wells – Good ol’ VW thinks he’ll be ready on Opening Day. Here’s what he’ll say sometime around May 15th, “It’s just a mild strain. I’ll be back in 15 days.” Here’s what he’ll say two weeks after that, “It’s not healing how I would’ve hoped. I think I should be back by the All-Star Break.” After the All-Star Break, Ricciardi goes on record with, “We hope to have Vernon back by August.” In August, Vernon returns for a final solid month before pulling his oblique.
Huston Street/Manny Corpas – It may come down to the final days to decide the closer. I think Corpas ends up with more saves on the year because Street will get injured even if he secures the job. In other news, Billy Beane has some AIG stock he’s trying to unload.
Jeff Samardzija – He’s done with that whole starting business. Until Harden gets hurt. May! On the for realz, I wouldn’t own Samardzija in any league. Not right now at least.
Shawn Hill – Like a two year old’s poo, Hill’s looking solid so far. I’m telling you, if he can stay healthy he could be a huge sleeper. But you do what you do. What, I’m gonna beg? Nah, Charlie. Not me.