Back in early November, I said, “Gregg, Cubs Closer?” Well, remove the question mark and call me Nostradumbass. It’s not surprising at all to me that Marmol’s not going to be the closer to start the season. There’s no reason in debating whether Piniella made the right decision. Of course he didn’t. Joking. There’s points for both sides. As I said the other day, do you wanna lose the game in the 8th or the 9th? Either way, all you should concern yourself with is who is getting the saves. The pickle here is Marmol is actually worth owning even if he only gets 5-10 saves all year. So if you drafted Marmol, I’d hold him just to pad your pitching stats. If you have Gregg, nice late pick in your draft. You probably just fell into 35 saves. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in spring training for fantasy baseball:
Brandon Morrow – Says he’s the closer. And so it is. You know what? Every single one of you sitting around reading this blog for the last month could’ve stepped up and said you’d be the closer for the Mariners. But what did you do? You watered down the ketchup, made sure everyone’s coffee was hot and passive-aggressively stuck broken glass under your eighteen-year-old boss’s car tires. You had to know with the top option being Miguel Batista that the job could’ve been yours. Now march into your job and tell them you’re the new fry cook. You got hot oil skillz! Morrow’ll be fine as the closer if he can get/stay healthy. Not sure what they’re going to do with Chad Cordero. Maybe they can turn him into the starter Morrow should’ve been.
Jeff Clement – In a disappointing move, Clement was sent down. You know where he went wrong? He should’ve told the Mariners he was their catcher. Guess Mattel can sponsor that Kenji doll night now. Mommy, why doesn’t Kenji have a….THAT’S HIS ATHLETIC SUPPORTER!
Carlos Villanueva – As I mentioned in our fantasy baseball forums, Villanueva will fill-in for Trevor Hoffman. Is Villanueva the best guy for the job? Who knows? Doesn’t matter. SAGNOF. Ours is not to reason why, ours is to pickup up the replacement closer and hope he keeps the job, unless of course you have Hoffman too. You got to remember to Handcuff the Hoff!
Brett Gardner – Named opening day center fielder for the Yanks. Back in November, I sowed the Gardner.
Matt Lindstrom – Appears to be on track to open the season. Unless you have a pressing need somewhere, I’d hold Nunez for now.
Hanley Ramirez – Hit a HR. Sore shoulder better? You make the call! Or not.
Chris Carter – Might get a shot to be a reserve outfielder for the Sawx. The Red Sox were missing that Sci-Fi edge in the outfield since Manny left.
Troy Glaus – Rehab from shoulder surgery isn’t going so well. Word is he might not make it back in late April/early May after all. Bet they are regretting that Rolen for Glaus trade now!
Joe Mauer – Expected to miss the first month of the season. The bad back must be from carrying the dwindling pennant hopes of Twins fans. Let’s hope Liriano doesn’t strain his elbow picking up some of the slack.
Justin Duchscherer – Having elbow surgery. Supposed to be out a month. I forget what I said and I don’t feel like looking it up, but I think I pegged him for 5 starts this year. Duchscherer’s elbow problems may have been exacerbated by autograph-seeking fans this spring. You gotta stop at J.D., man!
Kelvim Escobar – I keep mentioning this guy, but in the last league I drafted I was able to snag him with like the 345th pick. Um, he should be going before that. When healthy (which he’s nearing), he’s good.
Chris Young – It’s a hard knock life being a 6’10″ pitcher. More strain in throwing the ball down, bigger target to comebackers, lack of selection in Big & Tall shops, etc. He’s been rather bad in Spring Training. Perhaps it’s time to recognize that a pitcher can only go so far with a sub-90 MPH fastball and a unique propensity for fly ball outs. Hopefully, he’ll come around and be solid, at least in Petco.
Mark Teahen – A positive reflection of the Royal roster is that there are less open spots to stash the mediocrity of Mark Teahen. Last stop – 2nd base! From a fantasy perspective, that’s not half bad. Just 40% bad.
John Smoltz – He was due back June 1st but he’s ahead of schedule. Now they are saying perhaps mid-May. If you’ve got 2 DL slots in your league, might as well stash him in one.
Taylor Teagarden – Officially backing up Salty. I think he can still get 300 ABs and contribute. When asked why Saltamacchia over Teagarden, Texas brass explained, “Salty’s name goes to 12!”
Jeremy Guthrie – Opening Day starter for the Orioles. Now if they can figure out a way for it to rain four out of five days, they should be fine.
Dontrelle Willis – On DL with anxiety disorder. He’s been Greinke’d! Maybe he just needs a Miguel Olivo hug. Maybe he’ll go the Ankiel route. You know, Willis was a very good hitter in the NL. There’s got to be a Razzball glossary term for a hitter trapped in a pitcher’s body. How about… Redesignated Hitters.