Justin Upton left yesterday’s game with a sprained ankle. It’s obviously not easy carrying around millions of fantasy baseballers’ hopes and dreams. He hurt his ankle while stealing second, then he advanced to third and scored one batter later. I liked Upton 1.0 better, which came with customizable speed and power but no hustle. The good news is Upton wasn’t removed until after scoring, so it doesn’t sound serious. Just precautionary. It’s an exhibition, after all. You know, like when Kenny Mayne ran Daisy Fuentes for Jerry O’Connell in the 2005 Celebrity Softball game. Anyway, here’s some more news in fantasy baseball:
Dustin Pedroia – Left wrist sprain. It’s spraining, men! That’ll teach Pedroia to try and open the pickle jar all by himself. This actually worries me more than the Upton sprain. Injured wrists are tricky for, ya know, hitting. He’s scheduled to take BP on Thursday so hopefully it’s very minor and the pain doesn’t have to, doesn’t have to, doesn’t have to let it linger.
Ian Desmond – With five errors this spring (as of this writing), he was making it hard for the Nats to choose him over the yawnstipating Guzman. Nevertheless! Jon Heyman of SI, which I believe is not a Spanish language magazine, says Desmond is going to win the starting job. Shine on you crazy Desmond!
Jaime Garcia – Will be the Cards fifth starter. In the minors, he showed a solid K-rate and great ground ball rates. Strikeouts + ground balls = Success. The only downside is his lack of experience, i.e., he can blow up in your face. Right now, he’s a solid NL-Only sleeper, but he can easily jump onto mixed league radars.
Albert Pujols – Returned to the lineup. Pujols eats MRIs for breakfast.
Sean Rodriguez – Zobrist will definitely be playing somewhere, but where might factor into if Matt Joyce or Sean Rodriguez play. Sean-Rod has been hitting in the spring and has a solid pedigree. I put Rodriguez in my top 20 2nd basemen post, and I’m a big fan if he can score an every day job. Joyce, meanwhile, hasn’t done anything and may start the season on the DL. If Gabe Kapler starts in lieu of Rodriguez and Joyce, then it’s welcome back 1999.
Ervin Santana – Hurt his elbow after hitting it on some furniture. Not a broken armchair, just a slightly sore armchair, thankfully. Word on the streets of Bobby Grichville is Ervin will be fine.
C.J. Wilson – Will be the Rangers number two starter this year. (Feldman, Harrison and Colby Lewis will join him after Harden. I wish the Rangers would dump Wilson and Harrison and add some guys named Astin and Brolin to Feldman. Let’s get some Goonies up in there!) I’d chalk up Wilson becoming a starter to the Rangers going with an innings eater, but he’s never pitched more than 74 innings any season in his career. If Wilson can maintain his reliever K-rates, he could surprise, but I wouldn’t touch him outside of AL-Only leagues until during the season. And even then, I’ll have a hard time adding him.
Gil Meche – Out with shoulder stiffness. If you needed a reason to ignore him, now you have one.
Alex Gordon – Won’t be ready by Opening Day. Not sure if this is good news or bad news for Royals, fantasy baseball owners or Gordon. Jury’s been out for three years now.
Alberto Callapso – Hillman plans on trying Callaspo out in the three hole. This is one of the funniest bits of news I’ve read this Spring Training. It’s just inherently hilarious. Callaspo a three hitter? Ha! Ladies and gentlemen, your peasant Royals! If Alex Gordon was the unrealized hopes of another George Brett. Callaspo is Kevin Seitzer.
Blake DeWitt – I might be the only one that cares about this because I drafted Belliard in my Fantasy Razzball league, but DeWitt looks like he has the inside track for the 2nd base job. He’s a poor man’s Casey McGehee. (<–Not a compliment)
Chris Iannetta – I wish I could say Chris Iannetta is proving Olivo to be from The Department of Redundancy Department. Still think Iannetta emerges with more ABs, but they might be pretty close to a timeshare like your Aunt Mitzi has in Boca. Playing only four days a week, Iannetta might just be Napoli for the NL. If only Joe Torre managed them… Or Paul Sorvino.
Andrew Bailey – Close to returning to action and should be ready for Opening Day. Doesn’t mean another flare-up isn’t a week or so away.
Mike MacDougal – Released by the Marlins and signed by the Nats. Capps is still the closer in Washington, but MacDougal could serve as insurance. He was good in Washington last year and he was great in the Doobie Brothers.
Jon Niese – Just about has the 5th starter job locked up. He hasn’t reached mixed league material yet. In NL-Only leagues, he’s there. He’ll get you a mid-4 ERA and a near 7 K/9. Last round or dollar flier? It can’t hurt.
Daniel Murphy – With Ike Davis sent down (surprisingly, Ike is not a slap hitter), Murphy has secured the 1st base job. It won’t be pretty though.
Jose Reyes – Reyes finished first in full-squad sprints. I’m putting it at 3 to 1 for him playing Opening Day. Even odds says he’s back within two weeks. The time to buy low is running out.
Gary Matthews Jr. – Okay, this is the funniest news I’ve read this Spring Training. The Mets are shopping Gary Matthews Jr. Reminds me of the homeless man who lives down the street selling his barely used pants.