Howdy, folks. As my lil’ bio snippet below says, I am in fact drinking a good dark beer as I touch this up for publication. This eve’s beverage of choice: New Belgium’s 1554.
Okay. Bear with me for a sec, but this is just truly the best time of the year. My men’s Hogs are a 3-seed (for the first time since I’ve been old enough to care) and have at least punched their ticket into the Round of 32. My lady Hogs are a 4-seed and look to do the same Monday afternoon. My Diamond Hogs are (as of now) #1 in the nation, but Alabama went AlaHAMa on us on Friday night, so that might not stick. My Blues are not playing very well, but they’re still in the playoff hunt, by golly. My Liverpool Reds are kinda trash this year, but it’s a lost season with injuries anyway. And my Cards are doing that Spring Training thing, and it’s getting closer to the games actually counting. Point being, all my teams are currently in action! Plus, March Madness has returned! (It’s super weird to think it’s been two full years since we’ve gotten March Madness action, isn’t it?)
Anyway, now that you’ve got the unwanted JKJ’s teams sports update, here are the updates you’re actually here for:
Carlos Carrasco is hurt. It sounds pretty not good. Pretty really not good. Firstly, he had that elbow problem, but then that was looking like nothing to really get your knickers in a knot over. He pitched a simulated game Thursday, but then guess what? Tore his hamstring! Reports are saying it’s a high-grade tear, and muscle tear grades are not the kind of grades you want a high score in. We’re probably looking at around two months or more for recovery. That’s the vibe I’m getting. You read Razzball, so you know that we’re not the draft-early-SP types. That means Cookie is SP1 for a lot of us, and he’s my SP1 on a few of my own teams already. *Jake Peralta voice* coolcoolcoolcoolcoolcoolcoolcool.
Framber Valdez? More like Framber-esurrected-season Valdez, amirite?! That sounded/looked a lot better in my head, but I’m rolling with it. Turns out Valdez does not need surgery on his broken finger. There’s no timeline for a return, but his finger has “significantly” healed upon re-evaluation. Draft and stash on IL, folks.
Stephen Strasburg strained his calf back on Sunday and took the next few days off. He pitched a simulated game yesterday. For right this very second, it’s probably safe to assume he’ll still be on track to be ready by Opening Day. He said had it been a regular season game, he could have kept playing.
Like Carrasco, Brendan Rodgers also has a high grade hamstring injury and is likely to miss more than a month at least. Feels like we’ve been waiting for this kid forever, and now we’re gonna have to keep doing just that.
Tejay Antone has been a *Mugatu voice* hot little potato these days, but now he’s nursing a groin injury. Initially, he was supposed to be ready to make his next start; instead, it had to be skipped. We’ll have to wait and see how his next bullpen session goes. Not totally in jeopardy of missing the start of the season yet, but he’s far from being a lock at this point. Those Reds are hurtin’, y’all.
Speaking of the Reds hurtin’, Sonny Gray has been out with back spasms. It’s looking pretty certain he won’t be ready for the season, but it’s also sound like he might only miss a start or two…for now. Backs are tricky! Just ask Alex Wood, whom I was gonna give a whole paragraph to, but he just fits so nicely here. He’s seeing a spine specialist since his back has plagued him for years. Wood is a pretty sneaky late dart throw assuming he’s healthy. Not a safe assumption at all, though.
Another ailing Red is Amir Garrett, who is slated to pitch in a “B” game today. If that goes well, he should start to see some ST action real soon, which would mean he’d most likely be ready to start the season on time.
Trevor Rosenthal finally debuted, but it wasn’t very pretty. He walked one, allowed two hits, and gave up a run. He did manage a strikeout, at least. I’m very high on T-Rose given his opportunity and lack of competition, but that’s of course only if it’s the new and improved T-Rose. Old T-Rose was garbo. Hopefully he’s dead and buried.
Hunter Harvey‘s oblique injury was talked about last week, and I told you it could keep a feller out for a good long while. Guess what? Harvey is already on the 60-day IL. Tanner Scott stonks TO THE MOON.
Ketel Marte left a game earlier this week, but he got back into action Friday as the leadoff man for Arizona. I fully believe in 2019 Marte, so I’m expecting massive value from him in 2021.
Dominic Smith enjoyed a breakout 2020 season and seems locked into regular ABs for the Mets this year. Owners got a little fright after learning a sore wrist kept him out of action back on Wednesday, but sounds like it’s nothing to worry about in the least. He’s already hitting again and even said he’d be in the lineup if this were the regular season.
Ramon Laureano is dealing with a sore left side. Doesn’t sound very serious — and an MRI said as much — so he should be back in action early this coming week. He’s another I’m pretty high on right now: he’s already got a good mix of power and speed, but it’s been reported that he’s been talking to newcomer Elvis Andrus about upping his stolen base game. I’m all about that life.
Drew Pomeranz has been sidelined with a tight forearm pretty much all spring. The good news is it sounds like he’s avoided an injury. There’s no structural damage or anything. Hopefully he can loosen on up and get out there soon and start closing games for the Padres. Cuz surely he’s the #1 option, right? If you own him, I’d be sure to grab Emilio Pagan as a handcuff. I’m not even a little bit worried about the other options in the pen at this point. They’re not very good.
Franchy Cordero is set to make his ST debut today after missing all this time due to a positive COVID test. I’m not 100% what his playing time looks like, but I’d at the very least have him on my DFS radar on days he’s in the lineup.
Alex Bregman debuted back on Tuesday, but then took a precautionary day off on Wednesday. He played again yesterday, so it looks like he’s fine and dandy. Draft as you normally would.
Austin Nola broke his left middle finger. As things stand now, he can catch just fine, apparently. He hasn’t hit yet, though, so his status for Opening Day depends on how that shakes out. Regardless, it’s pretty safe to draft him as you normally would for now, if you’re into that sort of thing. Catchers ain’t my jam.
Zach Eflin has been shut down with back issues. Those ding dang backs, I tell ya! It’s not at all certain he’ll be ready for Opening Day. Eflin was supposed to pitch yesterday, but that was a no go. Most he’s done since it flared up is play catch.
Sixto Sanchez dazzled (velocity-wise) in his brief-but-scoreless spring debut back on Monday. He missed time due to a late arrival to camp and a subsequent false positive for COVID, so it’s excellent news to see the velocity is already there. He’ll be on the bump again today.
Sean Murphy finally got onto the field this week and hit third in the lineup. He drew a walk and struck out twice, but hey, it’s great to see him out there after some scary lung issues.
Lorenzo Cain was the headliner last week with his busted quad. Owners will be pleased to hear he’s scheduled to play today. With no further setbacks, one would figure he’ll be ready to rumble come Opening Day.
Nate Pearson re-aggravated his groin during a bullpen session. I’m reading it was a “mild” aggravation, but I don’t like that a simple bullpen session brought it about. I reckon this lingers and he’s not ready to go for a good amount of time. You can bet your booty he won’t be ready by Opening Day at this point.
Jo Adell banged his knee up recently, but it’s not anything that’ll keep him out. Adell is already available off the bench if needed. He’ll start in the minors, but it might not be long before he gets another crack in the bigs. He was mostly turd-like last year, but don’t give up on him just yet.
Now, I don’t give two crusty skidmarks about Mike Fiers, but the fact that he’s very unlikely to be ready to pitch when the season starts means that A.J. Puk will in all likelihood be the one to get a shot. And if Puk can take that shot and run with it, then he just might keep it. That’s me being pretty speculative, but Puk has been hyped somethin’ fierce for a while now, so I’m excited to see what he can do. Sounds like the 2016 #6 overall pick is firing on all cylinders these days.
Find me on Twitter: @jkj0787. DMs are always open for questions, comments, concerns, complaints, etc. Odds are good I’m drinking black coffee, dark beer, or some form of bourbon at any given time.