Confession time! I’m looking at Craigslist’s Missed Connections for a five feet, three inch starting pitcher that I saw last year on TV. I see someone on Missed Connections looking for a man that they ran into who was wearing a striped shirt and a wool hat. Hey, that’s no fair, you have to find Waldo on your own. I don’t see the guy I’m looking for on Missed Connections, so I’m going to fill out my own ad, “Seeking SLM (Sexy Little Man). When I first saw you throwing 100 MPH, I was smitten like a kitten that grabs onto the side of a building on one of those posters that reads, Hang In There. There’s no emoji to express the joy you gave me that day. If you’re interested — no strings attached! — please be available to draft around 220 overall in standard mixed league drafts.” There, now I just have to wait to see if Yordano Ventura is available in my next draft after being officially named to the Royals starting rotation. Since some of youse, have a problem searching the site for what I’ve said about him in the past, allow me to copy and paste me, “Check out these K-rates from Ventura in the minor leagues: 9.91, 9.39, 11.55, 11.55 and 9.47. That’s every year’s K-rate where he had more than 50 IP pitched. Those are eye popping like John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone Movie. I want to sit by a campfire with those K-rates and let them search for firewood on my lap. His walk rates weren’t egregious either. Not elite, not bad. On average around a 3.50. A 9+ K/9 and a 3.50 BB/9 works. He reminds me of Pedro Martinez, which is a huge compliment. Yordano weighs about a buck-forty and he can hit 100 MPH on the speed gun. His stuff is elite. He could be a lights out closer or starter. For now, the Royals think he’ll work as a starter and so far he hasn’t disproved them.” And that’s me quoting me! Ventura is worth owning in every league. Yes, even that one. Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for 2014 fantasy baseball:
Anibal Sanchez – Scratched with a sore shoulder. Yay, I’ve drafted him already. *opens oven, turns on oven TV to Antique Roadshow, can’t reach oven knobs while head’s inside oven, watches TV inside oven instead, incredulous at how much that 15th century jade went for* Right now, the Tigers are saying all the right things: Anibal just needs a little rest, he’ll make his next start, he’s great with kids. On the fo’really, it doesn’t sound like a major issue. I’d be more concerned if it was elbow problems given his breaking ball dependency. I’m not moving him down yet in my rankings or panicking. *bites nails*
Jose Tabata – The Pirates are looking to trade Tabata because…I have no idea. They want to play Gregory Polanco? Great, terrific, adejctive, but why not just play Polanco? Tabata’s been a bench player before, they can put him there again.
Jacoby Ellsbury – Won’t play Wednesday and Thursday due to a sore calf. <sarcasm>I’m sure there’s nothing to it, and all his previous injuries are the fluke variety and he’s not injury prone at all. </sarcasm>
Chase Headley – Aiming to return on Thursday. Or Thursday Fursday as your neighbor, the crazy cat lady, calls it.
Hisashi Iwakuma – Since his middle finger is working again, he’s cleared to start throwing a tennis ball. He sounds like John McEnroe.
Casey Janssen – Threw batting practice yesterday. Sounding like he should be ready for the start of the season, but I’d still handcuff him to Santos, then have Martin Brest film it.
Carl Crawford – Left yesterday’s minor league game with a minor shoulder injury. Lucky he wasn’t playing in a major league game.
Abraham Almonte – Made his 13th start yesterday vs. Michael Saunders’s 1 start. That could mean Almonte is the starter and Saunders is the 4th outfielder. Then again, Almonte is batting .179 and Saunders is hitting .367. I think the Mariners know what they have with Saunders and are giving Almonte a chance to show them what he has. Most likely, Almonte plays center some days, Saunders plays center some days and covers for Corey Hart on other days. Why write 175 words about Almonte? Because he could hit 7-10 homers with 20 steals if he gets the chance.
Joe Weiland – Dealing with a triceps issue. Weiland hurt it during the encore of Interstate Love Song.
Jarrod Parker – Will undergo his 2nd Tommy John surgery. I feel like when you’ve had Tommy John surgery more than Tommy John, you should get to name that 2nd procedure. Maybe call it the “Parker? I Can’t Even Turn The Wheel Because My Arm Is Falling Off” surgery. Or maybe something pithier.
Scott Kazmir – Scratched with triceps tightness. Now starting for your Oakland A’s…Bubb Rubb. Whoo whoo! Kazmir says his triceps is fine and should be able to start on Saturday. With Kazmir, being a pro at getting injured, I expected better.
James McDonald – Dealing with shoulder soreness. Old McDonald has a boo-boo, e-i-e-i-o.
Tyler Flowers – Won the starting catcher job. Fun Fact! His middle name is 1-800.
Elvis Andrus – Scratched the other day due to soreness in his right arm. Andrus Air Force will be closed for a few days for maintenance.
Mitch Moreland – Out with an oblique injury. Vague! The injury bug that floated through Atlanta’s pitching staff last week has hit Texas’s position players this week. Hopefully it stays clear of 1st and 2nd round picks.
Ross Detwiler – Will start the season in the bullpen. The Nats said Detwiler wasn’t happy about the decision, but it was best for the team. After the break, we will return to The Nationals: Teaching Lessons. Tanner Roark or Taylor Jordan will now compete for the 5th starter slot. Throw down your gloves, pick up your balls and cough! Neither are interesting outside of NL-Only or very deep leagues due to yawnstipating K-rates. Of course, once one of them does well during the season, that indifference will go out the window and they’ll be stream fodder.
Michael Bourn – Questionable for Opening Day due to his hamstring. Last year, he gave 23 steals in 130 games. This year he’s trying to outdo…Actually, outdo is the wrong word. Undo? Yeah, that makes more sense. He’s trying to undo that mark with even fewer steals. The King of SAGNOF, Rajai Davis, had Varys send out one of his little birds to tell you to not draft Bourn.
Matt Harvey – Aiming for an August return. The Mets are a bunch of gooftards if they let him rush back for the final two months so they can clinch third place in the NL East. Knowing the Mets, this is gonna turn out bad with Harvey suffering a setback of some sort.
Jon Niese – His MRI showed his ligament fully intact. There was concern because he couldn’t fit his nose into the MRI machine at first. Niese will probably start the year on the DL, but should be ready to make a 3-inning start in early April, where he hurts himself after the 56th pitch. What, my crystal ball is better than yours.
Ike Davis – The Mets are shopping him around the league. Right now, the Mets GM is calling up the Pirates, Brewers and Orioles. In related news, the Pirates, Brewers and Orioles changed their numbers.
Jimmy Rollins – The Phillies would like to trade Rollins because he slept with Ryne Sandberg’s wife. Ryne said, “She asked for it wit wiz,” and Jimmy’s saying, “It rhymed with wiz, but I heard something with a J.”