Well, if the Dodgers really do have the Magic touch, they better get Zack Greinke some aid. Greinke flew back to LA yesterday and, boy, is his elbow tired. I say, “Blame it on Harang,” but I say like I’m Milli Vanilli. Greinke’s MRI came back clean, and Dr. Neal ElAttrache diagnosed him with inflammation. Is it me or does Dr. Neal ElAttrache’s last name look like those sneaker/slippers Nike used to make in the 90′s? Any the hoo! Dr. Neal Air Huarache gave Greinke some anti-inflammatory medication and the news has been positive (after the negative news). I really to the third power dislike pitchers with elbow issues, but Greinke is supposed to be able to throw again in a few days. I haven’t moved him down yet in my 2013 fantasy baseball rankings, but I’m going to be watching this situation like I’m a cyclops with a monocle. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:
Hyun-Jin Ryu – Dodgers are saying Ted Lilly might take the 5th starter job from Ryu. Ryu kidding me? Apparently, you are not. I’m pulling back on my preseason Ryu projections before too many people draft. Is Ryu getting the Iwakuma treatment? Maybe. As in, Iwakuma definitely should’ve started the year in the Mariners’ staff, but they used him in relief in favor of Noesi, Millwood, Beavan and your drunk uncle. Plus, I didn’t know Ryu was fat when I ranked him. In January, when he said he was in game shape, I didn’t know he meant video games. In the top 80 starters for 2013 fantasy baseball, Ryu was re-ranked. I still like him as a late-round flyer, but he’s not a number three. I dismiss you! That’s me talking to my top 40 starters after the re-ranking.
Brett Lawrie – Sustained a rib cage injury the other day. Anthopoulos expects Lawrie to be ready for Opening Day, but what does he think of Pita Pan’s tzatziki in Astoria? Lawrie battled through oblique/rib/I-hustle-a-bit-like-I’m-mainlining-Red-Bull issues last year and was never right. Anthopoulos says the injuries last year were ten times worse and he’s not concerned for Lawrie right now. I am. I’m getting to the point where I want to see him put a whole season together before I jump into bed with him and we start painting each others’ toenails.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis – Working his way back from a knee injury, he ran in a pool the other day. Then he swam on a road. Next, he’ll be training for the Man-iron athlon-tri.
Mark Reynolds – Mini Donkey has been battling a sore back. Right now, he’s on schedule to be ready for Opening Day, but if he has a setback or the world’s calendars have a flashforward, there could be a problem.
Julio Teheran – Holy Ayatollah, after a couple years of prospect hype, Teheran looks like he finally might make the Braves staff. Teheran is a worthwhile late-round gamble but don’t let him hold your draft hostage.
Roberto Hernandez – Looks like he’s beat out Jeff Niemann for the 5th starter job on the Rays. One man’s Roberto Hernandez is the rest of the league’s feasto.
Alex Gonzalez – Will be the Brewers 1st baseman while Corey Hart is sidelined. Gonzalez has said he doesn’t feel comfortable at first. Must be similar to how he feels in the batter’s box.
Trevor Plouffe – MRI on his calf came back clean. Then it ate grass for 12 hours.
Luis Cruz – Wasn’t suspended after instigating a brawl in the World Baseball Classic. I just hope he doesn’t increase Mexican-Canadian tensions when he gets back to LA because it wouldn’t exactly be a fair fight.
Jordany Valdespin – He squared up to the plate, trying to bunt and Verlander dinged him in the dong. Ironically, it wasn’t a breaking ball. Jordany Valdespin does sound like a character’s name from Game of Thrones. Maybe he can now hang out with Varys.
Shelby Miller – His final audition for the rotation spot comes on Thursday. Rudy and I just drafted him in Tout Wars, so pray for us.
Matt Carpenter – Another year, another player converted to 2nd base for the Cardinals. The difference between Carpenter and Schumaker is he has more pop and less, um, skip. Worth taking a late-round flyer on him for MI.
David Ortiz – Doubtful for Opening Day due to inflammation in both of his heels. He got so excited by the Oz movie that he clicked his heels too hard. Big Papi, it’s Wizard of Oz not Ortiz.
Brett Anderson – Should be fine, but he was pulled from his last start with neck problems. That’s what he gets for not joining Hiroyuki Nakajima’s two-hour calisthenic pregame program (say that fast 417 times!).
Matt Garza – Resumed a throwing program. That’s good, since he is, ya know, a pitcher. Cubs are still expecting he’s out until May. Decent DL flyer, but I’d expect him to be injured again by June and then I’ll be quoting this. And that’s me quoting my future self!
Ian Stewart – Supposed to make his first Cactus League start this Thursday. I hope he debuts his new strikeout swing.
Carlos Quentin – Scratched yesterday with knee soreness. Weird, I scratch with knee itchiness.
Scott Kazmir – He’s hasn’t allowed an earned run in his 11 spring innings and has K’d 13. He’s also appeared in one major league game in two years, and the two years prior his ERA was north of five. It’s a feel good story…if someone else drafts him and you can laugh at them.
Paul Konerko – Hit his fifth homer of the spring yesterday. Save some for April (and May, June, July, August and September).
Ben Francisco – Signed by the Yankees. Jon Sterling is already practicing….”Home-run-a-roni…it’s a Ben Francisco treat!”
Derek Jeter – Will play shortstop Wednesday after being given final clearance on his ankle. For a limited time only, you can get a shortstop with great name value and 35% off his previous years’ stats.
Chipper Jones – Yankees are supposedly reaching out to Glass Chipper to see if he wants to un-retire and play third for them. This was the funniest thing I read in the last 17 months. It gets funnier. The Yankees also reached out to Derrek Lee and Scott Rolen. What is Mike Pagliarulo up to? Maybe they can plug Boggs into third like Boggs plugged hair into his head.