Now Aroldis Chapman says he wants to be the closer. Hahahahahahaha… Wait, why are you putting me in this room with padded walls? No, the Reds haven’t driven me crazy. I’m wearing a potato sack because the fabric breathes. Dusty’s the crazy one, not me. What is that powdery substance you’re stirring into my Jamba Juice? I saw you… I feel drowsy… Jack, I just want to see what’s in the hatch… ….Whoa, just had the weirdest dream. I dreamt that not only did Dusty say he wanted Aroldis as the closer, but that Aroldis was saying it too. All of that came after they signed Broxton to close games, with Sean Marshall and Jose Arredondo setting him up. Wait, why am I still wearing a potato sack? It’s true?! AAAHHH! I blame Dusty and the toothpick he hasn’t changed since late-1997. He’s got splinters in the brain. The good news (depending on how optimistic you can be) is Aroldis has about the same value and ranking as a closer as he does as a starter. His auction value wouldn’t really change either. If anything, Aroldis is probably a tad higher in rankings if he’s a closer. It’s a role that he’s not only done before, but it’s a role that had him produce a top ten overall fantasy season. The bad news is, you might own a $12 Salad and if you drafted him as an ace, you no longer have a starter, which could change the entire dynamic of your team. This would kill Broxton’s value too. This still isn’t a done deal, Aroldis and Dusty might get overruled by Reds management, who obviously want him as a starter. I ask the Reds, “Is deciding on a role dis hard?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw in Spring Training for 2013 fantasy baseball:
Casey Janssen – May not be ready to go on Opening Day due to his shoulder. In the event that he can’t go, Santos will see saves in the early going. Possible scenario: Santos does well for the first two weeks, Janssen returns but the manager of the Blue Jays — we’ll call him John No-Name — says Santos has been fine so there’s no need to switch them, then Santos stays the closer for three months, then, after back-to-back shoddy outings from Santos, John No-Name says the Jays may go back to Janssen, then people question “go back to” since he’s yet to be the closer except in name only, but John No-Name resents “in name only” because he has no name and the Blue Jays go to City Hall to make John No-Name’s last name officially No-Name so he has a name, then, in an ironic twist, John No-Name goes to a closer by committee unable to choose one name.
Brennan Boesch – Signed with the Yankees. He was only their fourth choice after Derrek Lee, Chipper Jones and The Unknown Comic. To compensate, Boesch will play left field with a paper bag over his head, and Juan Rivera will play 1st base with a Don Mattingly face designed by Rick Baker. This ain’t your slightly younger brother’s Yankees! Boesch is a flyer for your 5th outfielder slot in AL-Only leagues. Not much else. I’ll give him the line of 58/16/60/.252/4 in 500 ABs. It’s not great.
Matt Diaz – Released by the Yankees, which means nothing to most of us, except for us us. Us meaning Rudy and I. I drafted him in our AL-Only CBS leagues (which I still need to post about; as soon as I get a second). I figured with the Damn They’re Old Yankees, Diaz would’ve gotten a chance to platoon. Oh, well, hopefully he lands on a different AL team for us. Still us us, not you us. You Us A! You Us A! Sorry, I’m still drunk from St. Paddy’s Day.
Mark Teixeira – Says he’ll return anywhere from late-May to early-June, which is optimistic with a side of “Yeah, that ain’t happening.” He has the same injury that sent Bautista under the knife last year. Cashman and “Quiz Kid” Donnie Smith– I mean, Joe Girardi, said there’s a 70% chance of avoiding surgery. If he can’t avoid it, he’ll miss the whole season.
David Wright – Could start the year on the DL with a moderate intercostal strain. The WBC is putting the hurt on some guys, huh? No, that’s not the Western Balkan Countries or When Bongos Collide. Okay, you suck, Acronym Finder, these acronyms don’t even exist. The World Blogging Classic? Seriously? “All right, nerds who think they have something interesting to say, you have thirty minutes to write a blog post about anything you want. First one that gets 25 comments wins. Ready, set…Blog!” That’s a judge at the World Blogging Classic. So, an intercostal strain is obviously not a great thing, but it’s early enough that he might only miss a couple of weeks. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him have a setback and miss a month. I’m not going to move him down in my rankings, but if you’re looking at Wright or a healthy player in the 3rd round, I could see going with the healthy player. If Wright falls to the 4th or 5th round, then you have to take that gamble, Rudy.
Jordany Valdespin – Now a legit contender for an everyday job in New York. He has great speed and some decent power (15 homers, 33 steals in his last full year in the minors). In just 191 ABs last year with the Mets, he had 8 homers and 10 steals. Strikeouts could cause him to struggle to hit over .250, but I’d absolutely take a late round flyer on him in deeper leagues. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the season’s first Buy/Sell. Plus, his name sounds like it’s from a Game of Thrones Character Name Generator.
Jackie Bradley – Who was great as the mom in Silver Linings Playbook may get a shot at the Opening Day roster in Boston. Due to Ortiz’s heels not, uh, healing, Gomes could move to DH with Bradley playing outfield. Between High and Double-A last year, Bradley had 9 homers and 24 steals. With only 271 ABs in Double-A, he could be overmatched in the majors once pitchers get a book on him. That book being, “We Can Strike Out Jackie Bradley.” Even if he breaks camp with the club, there’s no guarantee he sticks all year. If he were to get 500 ABs, you’re looking at a guy that could give a seven homer, 20 steal, .250 average year with superb defense, so if your league has a Web Gem category bump him up. To read more, Bradley also made Scott’s top 50 fantasy baseball prospects.
Stephen Drew – Looking unlikely for Opening Day. Ma nishtanah this season for Drew.
Domonic Brown – Charlie Manuel said, “Brown is Smarty Jones or something out front” for the everyday left field job. Then Charlie chewed some grass and pooped as he walked away from the media.
Zack Greinke – Dodgers consider him a longshot to make his first start of the year — or he’s Mine That Bird, if Charlie Manuel’s telling you. But Greinke did throw a pain-free bullpen session yesterday. His first start could be April 13th when the club needs a fifth starter. Staying optimistic, Greinke will face all fifth starters the rest of the year and go 24-5 with a 2.30 ERA. Realistic? Nah. George Steinbrenner voice from Seinfeld, “Realistic is DEPRESSING! Depressing, Costanza! Now tell Greinke to stop kowtowing to his elbow and pitch!” Greinke is in the same sinking ship as Wright. I’m not moving him down in the rankings, but I could see passing him over for a healthy player. Healthy, George! Now bring me my calzone!
Shelby Miller – Hey, wait a second, the Cardinals haven’t settled on Joe Kelly for the 5th starter job yet. They’re giving them both one more audition on Tuesday. If I were to read between the lines with rose-colored glasses, they’re giving them another audition because they want Miller to win the job. Giddy up! (Geez, it’s like this has become a horse racing blog.)
Nolan Arenado – The Rockies are considering Arenado for their 3rd base job. Frankly, they’re idiots for considering him and not just making him their 3rd baseman and don’t call me Frank Lee. Chris Nelson isn’t good defensively or offensively. For fantasy purposes — or porpoises if dolphins are reading, and not plotting our demise; I’m on your side Dolphin King! — Arenado has the hit skill to be the Rookie of the Year. If NL Rookie of the Year is a poor field and Arenado can get 20 homers. If he gets the everyday job, I’ll put him down for 18 homers and a .270 average with no speed. He’s fine for a late flyer in deep leagues, but I wouldn’t count on him to man your 3rd base slot.
Brandon Beachy – Fredi Gonzalez said Beachy is on target to return late-June, then Fredi ordered Venters to throw 600 pitches and returned to reading Joe Torre’s autobiography.
Chris Johnson – Homered yesterday, which means nothing, except he’s still battling Juan Francisco for the 3rd base job. Johnson has a .305 average with 3 homers, Juan-Fran has 4 homers and a .311 average. We got a battle, y’all!
Pablo Sandoval – Scratched yesterday due to a sore elbow. Is there a hamate bone in the elbow?
Jon Garland – Mariners are leaning to Garland and Blake Beavan for the last two rotation spots and not Erasmo Ramirez, who would clearly be better than both. The Mariners are like the girl that can’t ever get love from her father and ends up dating deadbeats. You’re good enough to want better, Mariners!