Moving the standard disabled list to 10 days from 15 was a horrific decision by Major League Baseball. If a pitcher is going to miss one start, a team can just throw him on the DL now and get that extra body up in his place. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of the starting pitchers in the majors end up on the disabled list for that reason. In the past, when a batter was going to be out for a week, teams had to make a decision whether to force him out another week by putting him on the DL or waiting it out. Now, teams are going to defer to putting the player on the DL. That’s where the biggest fantasy impact is going to come. We’ve already seen a bunch of players go on the 10-day DL and come off immediately when the 10 days are up. On most of my teams, I’ve had 3-6 players on the DL at the same time already and we’re only three weeks into the season. I think the use of the disabled list is going to increase by a fairly wide margin so I suggest that your league has at least 3 DL spots going forward. The more players that go on the list, the more spots you should have. Anyways, let’s take a look at what was posted on Razzball this week, including a bunch of different articles that can help you with injuries:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This morning, I decided to look at my deepest NL-only league to see who the highest-ranked player who went undrafted was. It didn’t take long to find him: as of Tuesday morning, Anthony Senzatela was ranked as the eleventh most valuable pitcher in standard, mixed 5×5 fantasy baseball leagues. My NL–only league includes a fairly complex farm system as well, so it is beyond hard to find a diamond in the rough, since most minor league players with any decent prospect status at all were drafted years ago. It’s clear why Senzatela slipped through the cracks, though – he was a mid-level prospect at best, who entered spring training as a long shot to be part of a pitching rotation in the worst pitchers’ ballpark baseball has ever seen…
Will Senzatela still be the eleventh best pitcher in fantasy at the end of 2017? Uh, no. We’d have to expect some major bumps along the way even if half of his starts weren’t going to come at Coors Field. But he’s owned in just 20% of Yahoo leagues (21% of ESPN), which I think is too low. I am basing this almost entirely on the gut feeling I had while watching him pitch. In fantasy, upside can be overrated: just ask the Robert Stephenson owner in the league I mentioned above. Stephenson has been taking up a minor league spot on his owner’s roster for four years now. Even worse, now that he’s on the big club and his owner feels pot-committed to him, Stephenson and his 5.40 ERA are taking up a valuable active roster spot. There is no guarantee that even the highest-ranked prospects will even reach star status, either in real baseball or the fantasy variety. Taking a flyer on gut feeling won’t always work out either, and sometimes can be fairly disastrous, but it’s a risk that I think you need to take from time to time in a deep league. Otherwise, how will you ever find this year’s Junior Guerra — that guy whose past statistics make you absolutely sick to your stomach, but looks damn good on the mound every time you watch him pitch… and before you know it, has been a major contributor to the success of your single-league team.
Moving on to some other deeper-league names, starting with the AL…Please, blog, may I have some more?