Taijuan Walker was shut down for a week due to a bursa in his right shoulder. Isn’t a bursa a type of Ethiopian bread? Sounds more like Somalians are holding my beautiful, upside starting pitcher captive. Only Captain Phillips can get me out of this mess…by being taken captive for two hours of a two hour and twenty minute movie and then being saved by characters we don’t even empathize with. Snooze. True story, schmue story, give Phillips a hidden machine gun in his rectum and let him shoot his way out by farting! This is starting to sound bad for Walker. I haven’t moved him in my top 80 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball yet, and, since I only have him down for 170 IP in my projections, I’m not changing anything, but I’d definitely be careful about pairing Walker with lots of other risk. As of right now, Walker will not be ready to start the year in the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for fantasy baseball:
Carlos Santana – Trying out 3rd base. Be impressed if he can play the more difficult 3rd base position, but Santana said, “Forget being hard, I’m complicated.” If he can pull it off, obviously it boosts his value and I’d place him around Josh Donaldson in my top 20 3rd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball.
Josh Hamilton – Out for at least two weeks. I lied the other day when I said I wasn’t moving him due to his calf strain. I didn’t drop him a huge amount because he still has plenty of time to recover, but I did drop him about fifteen spots overall, or about one round, in my top 400.
Mat Latos – His surgically repaired knee flared up, but he isn’t concerned. It would be much worse if it was a flare up on the shoulder cause then he’d have to wait around two hours for a tow truck.
Yasmani Grandal – It’s being reported his side-to-side movement hasn’t reached a point where he can catch a game yet. He needs to practice by cleaning Hisashi Iwakuma’s car in a ‘wax on, wax off” pattern.
Dee Gordon – Jim Bowden says Gordon is the favorite to win the Dodgers’ 2nd base job. How well you read the preceding sentence without rolling your eyes at the mention of Bowden decides whether or not you believe this news. Brucely, I don’t think Alexander Guerrero’s really worth drafting outside of very deep leagues and Gordon could have some sweet, sweet SAGNOF value. I’ll definitely move Gordon up my rankings once it seems like he really is going to win the job. If you’re drafting early, you should take the flyer in deeper leagues.
Cody Ross – Scheduled to make his debut on March 13th as he recovers from dislocation of the hip, which only sounds like a De La Soul song.
Cody Asche – Sticking with the Cody theme, Asche was hit on the hand by Yao-Hsun Yang…dang! An ultrasound came back saying his hand was fine. Wonder why he had an ultrasound done on his hand. Oh, I know, he’s got baby hands!
Cameron Maybin – Injured his shoulder on an awkward diving catch. He dove for the ball while saying to a girl, “I long for your bottom,” and it was so awkward. You shouldn’t expect Maybin to be healthy for the whole year, so same song, different verse.
Starlin Castro – Suffered a minor hamstring strain, but should only miss a few games, so it’s probably too early to think Baez is going to overthrow Castro. In related news, while at the Cubs Spring Training game on Sunday, Rudy came up with the name for the 2nd base platoon between Emilio Bonifacio and Darwin Barney: Evolvo Dinosaurio.
Neftali Feliz – Rangers are saying Feliz’s mechanics are out of whack. Um, I don’t know, maybe because they jerk him and Ogando around with what they want them to do. You’re a reliever, you’re a starter, you’re a pineapple. Leave them alone! If I were drafting today, I’d make sure to handcuff Feliz with Soria, but it’s too early to say who’s going to get saves in Texas. Right now, it’s Feliz then Soria.
Oscar Taveras – Still not ready for games. I’m already concerned about his playing time due to a crowded team in St. Louie, and now the Cards are making it all but foregone that he’ll be in the minors until June. Why do I get the sense that Taveras isn’t going to contribute much this year?
Eric Young – Dealing with an issue on his side, he hit off a tee and it went well. A little bit of teevana.
Jose Iglesias – Will miss a week due to a recurrence of his shin splints. It’s not currently a major issue for Iglesias and he hopes to circumnavidad the problem.
Zack Greinke – Mild calf strain. It’s a calfpocalypse! He shouldn’t be sidelined longer than a week, and won’t affect his Opening Day status. That’s Opening Day status in the US. As for the Down Under Opening… Well, Greinke probably doesn’t want to go to Australia. The toilet flushes in the opposite direction there and with Greinke’s history of mental anguish…Well, it’s just too much, man!
Jaime Garcia – Could resume throwing in about ten days. Then he’ll be shut down for about a two weeks. Then try arm strengthening exercises. Then go see Dr. James Andrews. Then get a parking ticket because the good doctor can’t squeeze him in for an hour. Then be shut down for two months. Then throw in a minor league game. Then be ready to join the Cardinals in August. Then appear in five games until he’s shut down again. My crystal ball is less cloudy then Garcia’s future prospects.
Avisail Garcia – The White Sox are considering batting Avisail 2nd. Five months ago, I dropped some conjecture on your noggin that had you noddin’ about Avisail batting 2nd when I posted my Avisail Garcia sleeper post. As mentioned in that post, I think there’s a real chance Avisail bats third this year too. I still think that. Look at any player’s splits by batting order. Is there any player that only hit in one slot in the batting order? For serious. Anyone? In the last three years? Sure, some player’s may predominantly bat in one slot, but more often than not players shift around a batting order. Look at the White Sox lineup and tell me that lineup needs to be in a certain order to work. There’s not even a set-in-stone outfield, which has me concerned about a different guy: De Aza. I don’t love Viciedo lurking and Eaton could be, um, eating De Aza’s playing time. I dropped De Aza’s projections by about 75 ABs and he’s plummeted in my top 400 and into the top 60 outfielders.
Miguel Sano – Headed for Tommy John surgery. They say Miguel has to go to rehab, and he says Sano, Sano, Sano…
Matt Kemp – Had a favorable MRI. Isn’t it favorable when you don’t go for an MRI? Is any MRI really favorable? Things that make you go hmm…
Gerald Laird – Out for a few with a lower back strain. Fun fact! Laird is the Gaelic past tense of laid.
Elvis Andrus – Dealing with tendinitis in his right arm. His left arm had no comment, just shook its head.
Hisashi Iwakuma – Timetable looking like he’s going to miss all of April due to his tendon in his finger. “Keep your tendon in your soup.” That’s Dr. Ramen, who specializes in hangover cures. I’ve already dropped Iwakuma into a tier of pitchers I’m not drafting, and that ain’t changing any time soon. We’re gonna have to wait until the end of April to trade for Iwakuma. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, kazoo.
Shane Victorino – Being held out of workouts due to his overall core strength. The Flyin’ Hawaiian needs pilates like a housewife that has nothing to do but pilates needs pilates.
Jon Niese – He went for his bi-weekly MRI, and it showed no shoulder damage. There was a giant shadow on his MRI results that doctors described as ‘shaped like Toucan Sam’ but turned out to be nothing.
Manny Machado – Scheduled to have his knee examined on March 18th and at that point there should be a timetable for his return. And that’s my timetable for his timetable!