Early on Saturday, I heard the news that Jay Bruce made the Yankees’ Opening Day roster, and I was like, “Cool, if this is 2012.” Then I thought, “Is this 2012? Am I time traveler?” Turned out it was not 2012, and I was not a time traveler. Double bummer there. Somehow, Jay Bruce is still only 33 years old, so he might be a time traveler. After my brief flight of fancy through a time portal that didn’t exist, I thought, “That sucks, keeping Bruce over Tauchman. He can’t catch a break. That’s not the bee’s knees, that’s BS.” Then I thought, “I can just curse in my own head, I don’t need to spell out BS.” Then, out of nowhere, I saw the Yankees were keeping Mike Tauchman on the Opening Day roster too, and things began to peel away from my very logical brain. How were the Yanks keeping three 1st basemen? Was everything fine with Luke Voit? Welp, turned out it wasn’t. The Yankees were watching a triple feature of Luke Skylimper; Luke Cool Hand, But Torn Meniscus and Luke Voit in Meniscus Cowboy. After disowning Angelina Jolie, Voit will be undergoing surgery on his torn meniscus in his knee, and will miss at least April and May. This puts the spotlight on Bruce to reclaim his Glory Days, when every speedball wasn’t thrown right by him. Whereas, Tauchman is interesting in AL-Only leagues, if he can get in the lineup. I’ve added neither to my 2021 fantasy baseball rankings, because they might only be platooning for six to eight weeks. In the top 20 1st basemen, I lowered Luke Voit, taking roughly 200 ABs off his projections. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2021 fantasy baseball:
Eduardo Rodriguez – Dealing with a dead arm. You can hear me more or less predict this in our latest fantasy baseball podcast. Sometimes the noodle still woks..woks…WORKS! Damn it! Tanner Houck will be in the rotation for the time being. I have Houck listed in my top 100 starters. “Oh, Houck’s yeah,” fist pump.
Matt Barnes – Diagnosed with Covid. VAGNOF! Virus ain’t got no face. The virus does look a bit like a cleaning product in pictures and pamphlets. Or an evil Q-Bert. Any hoo! Barnes isn’t showing any symptoms, so the Sawx think he should be back soon. I still upped Adam Ottavino in the top 500, and lowered Barnes.
Miles Mikolas – Will also start the year on the IL. And Mikolas anagrams to “Kim also.” Whoa. In his place temporarily, Ponce De Leon. He’s my preseason pick for FOY.
Nico Hoerner – Sent down to save service time. Wander Franco? It sucks, but I get it. Jarred Kelenic? Sucks, get it. Nico Hoerner? What are you saving service time for? So you have control over his 8/8 line when he’s 30?
Myles Straw – Out due to contact tracing. Please don’t let this be the news that broke my fantasy team’s back.
Kyle Lewis – Continues to be sidelined due to a banged up knee, and take one of my knees. Take them both and choose which one you want. Please, man, don’t do this!
Taylor Trammell – Will start the year with the Mariners, and likely an everyday job. He stole 41 bags one year in the minors. Think he might be what we thought we were getting from Tim Locastro about three weeks ago. Will call him Tim LoearlyMarchtro.
Joakim Soria – Diamondbacks manager and MTV’s Challenge competitor, Torey Lovullo, said the Diamondbacks have no clear-cut closer. Not taking anything away from them, as we all are our special snowflakes, but I’m not sure anyone has a clear-cut closer this year. Maybe the Brewers and White Sox. Maybe. Stefan Crichton is also in Arizona.
Anthony Santander – Dealing with a minor oblique issue. Ah, one of those. I’m not moving him in my rankings yet, but, yeah, I’m just thrilled to hear he’s got an injury that knocks players out anywhere from two days to two months.
Jazz Chisholm – Won the 2nd base job in Miami. If only there was some hand sign I could do to show excitement, something for Jazz with my hands…Hmm, oh well. This is surprising, and I wish I grabbed Jazz in more NL-Only leagues. In mixed leagues, he’s still a borderline option. Jazz might hit .200. You never know, calculations like average don’t like improvisation. His projections and Isan Diaz have been updated in my top 20 2nd basemen, and top 500. I.e., I removed Isan Diaz completely. Maybe he does better in the summer. Because the heat Isan.
Scott Kingery – Optioned to Triple-A. Wow, this guy got enveloped real fast by the Brett Lawrie SuckTM. Once that enevlopes a player it’s very hard to extradite yourself. You need lots of Tom Emanski videos and lube. I removed Kingery from the top 100 outfielders, and added in Odubel Herrera.
Jed Lowrie – Made the A’s roster. Looking forward to the 7-part true crime podcast about how Jed Lowrie robbed the Mets of $20 million. It will be one episode for each at-bat Lowrie had with the Mets.
Carter Kieboom – Demoted to start the year, but no one was drafting him anyway, right? With the demotion of Carter Kieboom, the Nats seem like they’re going with Josh Harrison, and I, for one, have to hand it to them and applaud their decision. Sorry, weird punctuation there, I have one hand to applaud that decision. Top 20 2nd basemen is updated.
Jake Bauers – Won the 1st base job in Cleveland. I never watched the TV show 24, but if think I get the gist. So, what we’re watching now is bonus summer episodes after the clock has already expired on Jake Bauers.
Nick Wittgren – Next to Wittgren’s Post-it note on my desk it says, “Check status.” I guess I need to leave that Post-it note a little while longer, because I have no idea of his status vs. Karinchak’s.
Travis Shaw – Will split time with Orlando Arcia at 3rd and Luis Urias will split time with Arcia at short, which is a cha-ching for my shares of Orlando Arcia in NL-Only leagues. As for Shaw and Urias, well, did you really want them? No? Good.
Justin Topa – Dealing with elbow discomfort. After throwing 7 2/3 IP last year, I figured he’d have plenty of stamina to get through 15 innings this year.
Todd Frazier – Elected for free agency after he didn’t make the Pirates. Amazing that Todd Frazier, Mike Trout and Grey Albright are all from the same state. Me and Mike laugh at you, Todd! Laugh hard!
Bryan Garcia – Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said he doesn’t plan on naming a closer prior to Opening Day, which is a pretty funny line in itself. Is there a guy on the Tigers who could be the closer? Don’t answer Joe Jimenez, he was demoted, and removed from my top 500.
Casey Mize – Made the rotation, which is. Dot dot dot. Good? They went with him over Michael Fulmer, and Casey Mize’s name works better replacing Stacy’s Mom so this was right call. He’s in my top 100 starters, and I haven’t drafted him once, so you do the math.
Renato Nunez – Didn’t make the Tigers’ Opening Day roster. That’s a bit of a shocker. Maybe someone in the front office is a drunk, and couldn’t refuse any Goodrum. The top 20 1st basemen and top 20 2nd basemen were updated. Renato removed, and Niko added back in.