Drew Storen had arm discomfort… About two weeks ago. He hasn’t pitched in a game since March 7th and had soreness in his biceps playing catch yesterday. Playing catch? What, the Nats doing a video for Cat’s in the Cradle? He should be pitching, not playing catch. So that’s one red flag. The bigger red flag with a skull and crossbones is obviously soreness from playing catch. That’s awesome for a young reliever who was used a lot last year (75 1/3 IP). Two days ago, Davey Johnson said Storen wasn’t throwing because he had strep throat. So does he have strep arm now? Johnson said he’s not worried about Storen. Davey lies… Davey lies when he cries and implies Storen is still his prize… In all but the shallowest leagues, I’d grab Tyler Clippard, who sounds like a captain in the America’s Cup. For those in deeper leagues or feeling light on saves, I’d grab Lidge. I think Storen will ultimately be fine, but better safe than sorry as they say in the Clichè Hall of Fame, which is located on Main Street in Capital City. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in spring training for 2012 fantasy baseball:
Joe Blanton – Report out of Philly is they aren’t motivated to trade Blanton. Sounds like when your garbage piles up and you can’t motivate to throw it out. Maybe we’ll see the Phillies on the new season of Hoarders.
Ryan Howard – Without a walking boot, he took grounders yesterday while sitting on a stool. Maybe he’s hoping he can be the Bill Cosby of 1st baseman. “I was taking ground balls with my manager, Man-yoo-el. Man-yoo-el is great; he gave me chocolate cake!”
Ryan Madson – Threw twenty pitches in a simulated game, then left with pain in his elbow. Wow, and Dusty hasn’t even managed him in a game yet. He just points his toothpick at pitchers’ elbows and they go down. This is starting to sound like Sean Marshall is gonna be the closer for the Reds on Opening Day. Yes, he should be owned too.
Juan Pierre – Has been caught stealing three times in five attempts in the spring. Is there anything sadder than a steals-only guy who can no longer steal? That’s not rhetorical. Really, is there?
Carlos Marmol – Will return on Monday. Will close until July. Will be traded to a contender to be an eighth inning set-up man. It’s a feeling I have.
Mark Reynolds – The O’s are talking about trading him. Looks like the O’s management got the letter in the bottle that was dropped in the Atlantic about thirteen years ago that read, “Go young, you have no chance of competing right now.”
Adam Dunn – Sticking with the newly established donkey theme, Dunn hit two homers yesterday. In 1970, Boog Powell hit 35 homers and won the MVP at the age of 28. The next year, he struggled to hit 22, then 21, 11 and 12 before having one final (Berkman-type resurgence) with 27 homers in 1975, then he was out of baseball at the age of 35. Frank Howard hit 44 homers at 33, then 26 homers the next year and pretty much out of baseball at 35. Greg Luzinski hit 35 homers at the age of 27. At 28, he hit 18. Then nothing for 4 years (had a Berkman resurgence year), then out of baseball at 33. Mo Vaughn went from MVP contender to retired. The history of the big-bellied isn’t great when they start to age. Dunn is 32 years old. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was out of baseball at the age of 35. Can Dunn come back and hit 25 homers this year? It’s possible. It’s gonna come with a .240 or lower average. We’re not going to see 40 homers from The Big Donkey again.
Desmond Jennings – Could be out until next week, but he should have plenty of time to be ready for Opening Day. Or as they call it in the Albright household, O’Jennings Day.
Dustin Pedroia – Left the game after being hit on the forearm. He didn’t want to leave, but Bobby Valentine insisted. Then Pedroia nipped at his ankles and Bobby put a cone on his head. Pedroia should be back in a few days.
Kendrys Morales – In his first action with the Angels since his limp-off home run, he got two hits. Small victories are good. They’re especially good for Morales who celebrates big victories like an idiot.
Tyler Greene – The Cards look like they’re going to start Greene at 2nd base and in the leadoff slot (with Furcal somewhere at the bottom of the order). Greene feels like a guy that someone in an NL-Only league will either get lucky drafting or will want to drop by week two.
Tyler Colvin – Hitting near .400 in spring training. That means nothing, as does Colvin in most leagues. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if we get into the first week of the season and Blake is benched (or injured), Cuddyer goes to 3rd and Colvin is playing the outfield and becomes one of the hottest adds. It’s a thought to stash next to your rolling papers.
Justin Morneau – 3-for-33 this spring. Feels like old times!
Lorenzo Cain – Now has four homers and is batting .486 in the spring. Cain…Sugar!’s not yet on any of my teams, but I think I might need to reach for him in one league. Bourgeois, you’ve been Marx’d down!
Billy Butler – Hit his third homer of the spring as he has an insane 1.258 OPS over 39 at-bats. They don’t call him Mr. Grapefruit for nothing.
David Wright – Took BP and said, “I feel about as good as I’d feel, I guess, picking up a bat for the first time in a few weeks. Hopefully it gets better from here result-wise. But just being out there and being able to go through a full day and a full round of batting practice and not feeling anything, that’s pretty good.” I’ll read between the lines for you. “I was swinging at about 50% against a soft-tossing BP pitcher and I still didn’t really get good swings on the ball. It was sure nice to see the fellas after going through three weeks of testing done by a Met doctor who had a degree from a med school in Guam. I wonder if there’s bears in Guam and if they call them Guamy Bears.”
Fausto Carmona – Or as his birth certificate says, Roberto Hernandez Heredia, is scheduled to throw 80 pitches at the Indians’ academy in the Dominican Republic. Afterwards at the academy, Carmona will take classes like “Ethics In Nomenclature and Age” and “Nutrition: It’s a Real Word.”