Ryan Madson has to have Tommy John surgery. Luckily, he signed with a Dusty Baker-managed team as the trainers have a lot of experience diagnosing busted arms. Sean Marshall will likely take over the closing gig, spurring indie comedy fans in Cincy to bring Sean Of The Red signs to games. Best case scenario: Marshall goes the whole season with the job, continues to rack up a 9+ K-rate and 40+ saves. Most realistic scenario: Dusty brings Marshall into the ninth inning of a tie game and, as the two teams battle scoreless inning after scoreless inning, Marshall stays in the game for another 16 innings and throws 450 pitches. 125 of those pitches he kicks over the plate Hacky Sack-style because his arm is too tired. Then Masset and Aroldis end up getting 5-7 saves each and Marshall ends the year with 30+ saves and an ERA around 3.50. Most likely scenario involving dolphins: Marshall falls asleep on a raft and wakes in Barbados. With the phone lines down due to a tropical storm, he befriends the local innkeeper, Teronimo, who teaches him how to surf. But Teronimo has a hidden secret — Marshall is really his nephew that his brother asked him to watch over. When Teronimo reveals his secret, there’s a giant rift between Marshall and Teronimo that is only assuaged by the sight of dolphins. No matter the scenario, grab Sean Marshall immediately. You might’ve just lucked into a top tier closer for free. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2012 fantasy baseball:
Drew Storen – Could start the year on the DL. Davey Johnson made that announcement minutes after he said Storen had no structural issues with his elbow, which came a day after he said Storen needed an MRI, which was minutes after Storen said he couldn’t throw, which can mere moments after he was diagnosed with strep throat. Following? Yeah, neither do I. I’m beginning to think some ball clubs need a new HMO. Johnson said Clippard would not see saves, but the team would turn to Henry Rodriguez or Brad Lidge. I’d pick them up in reverse order for saves. When in doubt, go with the guy with experience. And no one has experience blowing leads quite like Lidge. “Nats Fall Off the Lidge” is already written on a Post-It on some copy editor’s desk just waiting to go to press. In one league where our innings max is small and our needs for Ks is tall — she says she likes the ocean — we went with Rodriguez. He averages 98 MPH with his fastball and has a 9+ K-rate. If he can keep his walks in check, he could be this year’s huge middle reliever breakout.
Bobby Jenks – Arrested for a DUI. He’s signed a contract with Hanna Barbera for the rights to his name as animated onomatopoeia when a cartoon character crashes a car. Barney, “Fred, Watch out!” JENKS!
Joba Chamberlain – Dislocated his ankle reportedly playing on a trampoline. It was an inevitable outcome of his failed appeasement policy when he ceded playing in the Bouncyland region of Chuck E. Cheesoslovakia.
Joakim Soria – Will undergo Tommy John surgery. Feel free to drop him, we won’t see him until thirteen after twenty.
Chris Carpenter – Updating the previous 17 posts I’ve done on Carpenter, he has nerve issues in his shoulder. Not good news, as if you needed me to tell you. I wouldn’t have drafted Carpenter before this news. Guess how I feel about him about him now. 73? That’s your guess? That’s terrible. Get Lance Lynn in NL-Only and deeper mixed leagues, I’m guessing Carpenter won’t be back for a while. When he dealt with this similar problem in 2008, he threw 15 innings that year. No, I didn’t forget a zero. That’s fifteen. We may even see Shelby Miller by June, if Lynn can’t cut it, though I think Lynn can. Here’s what I said earlier this preseason, “Out of the bullpen last year, Lynn’s fastball regularly touched the high-90?s as he put up a 2.22 ERA and 32 Ks in 24 1/3 IP. As a starter, he was much less exciting (5.23 ERA, 8 Ks), but like a man who needs prunes that was in limited duty (10 1/3 IP). From his minor league track record, we see a guy who has a 7+ K-rate and moderate control. There’s a chance for some sweet, sweet upside here.” And that’s me quoting me!
Trevor Bauer – Was optioned down to Double-A and Uncle Barry Enright was optioned to Triple-A. Rusty Ryal and Chris Jakubauskas were assigned to their minor league camp. You think Chris Jakubauskas ever misspells his own name?
Mark Trumbo – On Saturday, the Sciosciapath said, “We feel (Trumbo) has the potential to be a terrific third baseman.” Then he started laughing uncontrollably.
Chipper Jones – Glass Chipper tore his meniscus announcing his retirement.
Matt Thornton – White Sox announced there’s a five man race for the closer role — Santiago, Ohman, Thornton, Reed and Crain. Kinda sounds like the race to be the Republican presidential candidate. I think right now the chances are Thornton at 80%, Crain at 10% and the field is at 10%.
Chase Utley – Said he’ll miss Opening Day but expects to play this year. Have things gotten so bad that in March Utley is saying he’s going to play this year? He has to clarify at some point in the next six months he’s going to be ready? Yesterday, I said I wouldn’t draft him until around pick 150. I may have been optimistic there. Probably would wait another 50 picks and hope we saw him for about 80 games this year.
Anthony Rizzo – Optioned to the minors. Will probably see him back in June. Until then, Rizzo will be tearing up Triple-A and making prank calls, jerky.
Logan Morrison – May not be ready for Opening Day. He said, “I think the knee is going to tell me. The knee is going to tell everyone. I can’t tell it what to do.” Reading this reminded me of when the ref would lift Hulk Hogan’s arm twice, then Hogan waved a finger up the final time like his finger had a mind of its own. Let’s pray Morrison’s knee waves to the crowd the third time it’s raised. I’m having serious concerns though, and I wouldn’t draft him at this point unless he fell at least four rounds. It’s way too early in the year for this much concern about a surgically-repaired knee.
Bud Norris – Left Friday’s game with tightness in his triceps. He was on Rudy’s risky pitchers for 2012 fantasy baseball list. The only player on the Astros with more sliders in their diet is Carlos Lee.
Travis Snider – Optioned to the minors, and Eric Thames will play left field. I gave Thames some nice projections over at the top 60 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball, saying something like he has power upside. And that’s me paraphrasing me!
Doug Fister – Left Friday’s game with a sore middle finger. Fister has a sore middle finger? Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yup, probably tendinitis.
Ted Lilly – Has neck stiffness. Maybe he got a Viagra stuck in his throat. Will probably miss at least one start, wouldn’t be surprised if he missed two or three starts.
Mike Morse – Might make it back for Opening Day after all, even after his platelet rich plasma injection, which sounds like a procedure a real housewife of Beverly Hills would get.
Matt Bush – Arrested for DUI after hitting a 72-year-old motorcyclist. The motorcyclist’s 95-year-old mother responded, “I told you motorcycles are dangerous.”