Early yesterday, I was staring out my window, the rain slowly rolling down the glass, and from the outside it looked like tears were rolling down my cheeks. From the inside, it also looked like I was crying, because I was. I dramatically turned away from the window, put my hand to my forehead and fell into my Giancarlo beanbag. “Cuddle me, Giancarlo Beanbag,” I whispered into the beanbag I had dressed in a Yankees jersey. On the stereo, Rob Thomas scream-sang, “I want to take you for granted,” and I thought about that. Had I taken Eloy Jimenez for granted? Was this…that? As the wait for injury news dragged on, I wandered out onto the road and stopped a car to ask them if they heard anything on Eloy, and they said, “Are you crazy get off the freeway?” Was I crazy? Was that what this was? So, Eloy Jimenez is out for the year with a ruptured left pectoral tendon. Now allow me to return to playing terrible Matchbox Twenty songs and sobbing IT’S 3 AM AND I MUST BE LONELY. Obviously, my top 500 and top 20 outfielders were updated. Who knew I’d prefer Alloy Jimenez who has been blended with sturdier metals to improve wear. I wonder if CVS has condolence cards for fantasy teams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2021 fantasy baseball:
Jose Leclerc – Experiencing elbow discomfort. Leclerc sounds like an Afrikaner, and he’s Lebroke, so call him F.O. Leclerc, and the FO doesn’t stand for Front Office. It stands for eff off, do I have spell out everything? Rangers’ manager, Woodward, says they’re gonna Roll With It, as they search for a Higher Love who can pitch in the 9th inning. Matt Bush hasn’t had a comeback in, like, 18 months, and only five other comebacks previously, so he might be due. Then there’s Joely Rodriguez. Joely, Joely, Joely, Joely, please don’t steal Matt Bush’s saves. Plus, he’s a lefty. There’s also Ian Kennedy. When did anything bad ever happen with a Kennedy going to Texas? My top 500 is updated for this entire shituation.
Kirby Yates – Out for the year. Tommy John surgery Yates for no man. Luckily, the Jays have a guy who can throw cheese and his name is Romano. “Hey, skip, I’m hitting the zone out there!” “Stop Pecorino’ing the corners!” This isn’t The Last Dance but it could be Jordan’s turn. Or just Dolis, and insert your own pun for him. I upped Jordan Romano and Rafael Dolis in my top 500, I’d grab Romano in all leagues; he could be the Jays closer all year.
Zac Gallen – Suffered a hairline fracture while taking batting practice. Geez, if there was only some way to avoid that. Zac Gallen: Injured by a bargaining chip. I’ve moved him into my top 40 starters, sloppily just putting him in a tier of starters I wouldn’t draft, because, well, I would no longer draft him. Hopefully, if you have already, he’s not out that long. So, he can get back to hitting! My guesstimate is he’s out five weeks.
Daulton Varsho – Was optioned down, and why do I ever bother moving anyone up in my rankings ever? It always feels like a trap. Seriously, I think my first rankings, written in December, are like Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and everything else is a waste of time. Nothing ever good comes out of spring training. That’s my mantra. So, I moved Varsho back down in my top 20 catcher rankings to around where he was prior to the Calhoun injury.
James Karinchak – My iCal reminder every day says “check Wittgren news.” I haven’t adjusted my Karinchak or Wittgren rankings yet, but it might happen suddenly in the next few days.
Sonny Gray – Will start the year on the IL with a sore back, but he’s traveling with the club, so it doesn’t sound too bad. I’d give every last of my Ken Griffey Jr. Sportsflics cards to have Eloy travel with the club.
Stephen Strasburg – Has a completely ruptured tendon in his calf, but that’s the good news! No, seriously, he doesn’t need the tendon and because it’s ruptured it doesn’t need to be repaired. This is great news, Strasburg discovered the appendix of the calf. It’s kinda like when your rear bumper fell off, and was no longer dragging on the ground, sparkling friction, and causing a fire when you parked on top of leaves. Also, you couldn’t pay me enough to draft Strasburg this year. Ruptured tendon in the calf and it’s good? Oh…*walks around the world*…kay.
Starlin Castro – Mild hamstring strain. Hammy on Castro so like a gorgeous pressed sandwich. Is that with pickles and mustard? Please and thank you. Be interesting to see if the Nats go with Luis Garcia to replace Castro, but unlikely. Prolly Josh Harrison for a week until Castro is better.
Juan Soto – Left yesterday’s game, and I died, levitated out of my body, heard Soto’s absence was a minor issue, and levitated back into my body, so we’re fine.
Frankie Montas – Ripped his cuticle. Prolly last time he gets one of those drive and go Uber manicures.
Freddy Peralta – Will start the year in the rotation. It had been so long since we heard any good news, I had forgot what it sounds like. This right here is what it sounds like. Peralta could be a 12+ K/9 guy with a 3.5 BB/9, i.e., what people think they’re getting from Robbie Ray but are not. His projections are like “Redd Foxx gasping for air, clutching his chest” good. I won’t go too crazy, because he still needs to throw more than 125 IP to really make a huge difference, but no one is throwing a lot of innings this year. 125 IP of 12+ K/9 could look like a top 25 starter. I’ve added him pretty high on the top 80 starters.
Nick Anderson – With a partial tear of his elbow ligament, I removed him from my top 500, and raised. Dot dot dot. No one? Who knows with Cash? Not an answerable question. Tell that shizz to the Sphinx, and that ancient pile of sand would just shrug. Diego Castillo and Peter Fairbanks are both in there, and they were adjusted slightly but it’s not clear at all where this goes. Unless someone knows, then tell me and I’ll call you a liar.
Harrison Bader – Out for a month or two with a forearm injury. Sounds like a lost year for Bader, like his cap when he’s running, but I could see a late IL slot flyer in deeper leagues. With Bader out for a month, maybe longer it’s going to be a split between Justin Williams, who might not hit .215, and Lane Thomas, who sounds like a clothing store for mature women. I’m going to Lane Thomas for the flyer and pants suit. He might not get enough ABs to truly matter in mixed leagues, but in NL-Only, you might get a breakout. Or at least a 12/15/.255 filler. The top 100 outfielders has been updated.
Jose Rojas – Looks like he will break camp with the team. That’s Jose Rojas, not Josh Rojas. That’s gonna be fun for comments this year, and not at all confusing. Jose Rojas is a corner man prospect who hit 31 HRs and .293 in Triple-A *whispering* and he’s 28 years old. That screams to me Quad-A, and I’m not sure where he’s going to play, but you know I’m a cyclops with a monocle.
Fernando Tatis Jr. – Was dealing with a shoulder injury, but all signs point to him being fine and I just fainted, levitated back off the ground while cackling quietly as I was placed into my bed. In all seriousness, this is the kind of thing the club can say “he’s great,” then he hits 15 homers all year and in November they say his shoulder was bothering him. Kill me now.
Khris Davis – Out for around a month with a quad strain. That’s a shame. *almost instantly* Put Leody at DH and let’s get that SAGNOF!
Justin Wilson – Dealing with shoulder tightness. Where we at with the over/under date that the entire league’s pitchers are out with arm/shoulder injuries? May 1st?
Alex Kirilloff – Optioned to the alternate training site. Wow, those Twins are cheap! I also said the previous while watching an episode of Botched. In my top 80 outfielders, I have Kirilloff down for 332 ABs, so, yeah, I didn’t change anything. You’re gonna have to stash him for a few weeks, if you want to draft him.
George Springer – Grade II oblique strain, which sounds bad, and makes it laughably optimistic when the Jays say he’s going to be fine for the opening series. But, ya know what, I’m gonna be laughably optimistic because I’ve already drafted him. If more news emerges, I will adjust my top 20 outfielders.
Robbie Ray – Fell and injured his elbow. On and off the field, Ray can’t control his walks.