I swear to you with the sincerity of someone you’ve never met, I woke up yesterday and saw the news about Zack Wheeler and decided it wasn’t a catastrophe for my already-drafted teams. At least I only drafted him in one of three leagues. I liked him a lot, so things could’ve been worse. I felt downright well-adjusted. Breathe in, breathe out, Grey’s fine. So, I went to my car to go on my morning trip to Starbucks, where I have the pleasure of buying an overpriced coffee and having my name misspelled, but, when I got in my car, it wouldn’t start. The car’s not a clunker, never had problems before. Then I realized something very profound. There was a higher power that would not let me be well-adjusted to Wheeler breaking down. A higher power that insisted I mourn the lose of my Wheeler even if it meant hitting me over the head with sad, sad irony that my four-wheeler wouldn’t start either. That higher power’s name, the Fantasy Baseball Overlord. Now I have no car and no number two starter on one of my teams. As I said in yesterday’s podcast that was taped on Sunday prior to the official Wheeler news breaking, the Mets said Wheeler’s elbow was fine so that meant he’d need Tommy John surgery. I was being facetious at the time, but is there any such thing as being facetious when talking about the Mets? Not to answer, but to ponder. Terry Collins said on Sunday, and I quote to let you absorb fully what teams say vs. what is actually going on, “There is nothing alarming or different from what’s been going on before. I know (Wheeler)’s got some issues with the finger (a blister). Other than that, just a little rest and he’ll be fine.” On Monday, Wheeler’s UCL was fully torn and needed Tommy John surgery. That’s one heckuva blister! Wheeler’s biggest challenge will now be finding time to see Dr. James Andrews. He’s getting booked up quickly! I’ve removed Wheeler from my top 40 starters and my top 400. To add insult to Wheeler’s injury, the Mets will moved Dillon Gee into the rotation and not Noah Syndergaard. Gee, terrific. Gee’s a 4+ ERA, 6+ K-rate guy that I won’t add into the rankings because he’s a streamer in most mixed leagues. Also, he’ll be bumped in June for Syndergaard, assuming no more Mets pitcher injuries– Ha! Damn, almost got through that last sentence without laughing. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:
Tony Cingrani – Was bumped from the rotation to the bullpen. Well, I only drafted him on three of three teams so far. *opens The Bell Jar to page one, sticks head in oven, dials cellphone, tells Cougs to turn on oven for me* The Reds rotation is now Cueto, Leake, Bailey (who is already hurt), Question Mark and Question Mark. Love the last guy, but the 4th guy has some question marks. Seriously, are the Reds trying to lose? The Reds said they’re going to stretch out Raisel Iglesias, who is a Cuban raftee with seven innings under his belt as a reliever in Rookie ball, Jason Marquis is an option, i.e., The Marquis De Shat, and Anthony DeSclafani is an option too. He had a 6.27 ERA with the Marlins last year. The Reds rotation right now is Cueto and stay out of the way-to.
Anthony Rendon – Has a minor MCL sprain. I’m trying not to panic with this news. Am I still drafting Rendon where I have him in my top 10? Yes, I am. Am I as confident prior to the minor MCL sprain? No, I’m not. Hopefully it really is minor and it doesn’t turn out that Dr. James Andrews needs to put an elbow ligament into Rendon’s knee so he can throw with his foot.
Chris Capuano – Has a Grade 2 quad strain. Essentially that means his quad strain knows how to add and subtract, but still has pee-pee accidents. Esmil Rogers or Adam Warren will likely take over for Capuano, which is a step up in value. Okay, you got me, you couldn’t have stepped down from Capuano. Neither Rogers nor Warren — or said fast “No Roger, no Rerun, no rent!” — are that appealing in mixed leagues. Warren has a bit more upside, only because he’s less known as a starter in the majors. I’d take an AL-Only flyer on either (Warren first), in case Capuano gets Wally Pipp’d.
Rusney Castillo – Said he will be game-ready by Wednesday. By no means does his rush to get back on the field have anything to do with the Red Sox having seven Major League-ready outfielders. Vegas should take bets (pun unintended; I was backed into a corner for a word!) about how many Red Sox outfield playing time updates I do this season. I’m guessing at least 75 updates. “Today, Betts played, Rusney sat out, Hanley ran into Victorino.” Dot dot dot. “Today, Rusney ran into Betts, Hanley and Victorino played and Allen Craig donned Nava’s jersey and played.” Dot dot dot. “Today, Hanley, Rusney and Victorino played…In Pawtucket as they rehab their injuries.”
Joe Kelly – Left yesterday’s game with biceps tightness, but thinks he’ll be ready for the season. For Kelly, must be the luck of the Irish! Or as it’s known today, the luck of everyone wearing green.
Rafael Furcal – Signed a minor league deal with the Royals. He’s played nine games the past two seasons and tore his hamstring this past winter. No, that isn’t what my Magic Eight Ball is saying for Tulo in 2018, I’m still talking about Furcal.
Cliff Lee – Placed on the 60-day DL. Is that what they’re calling retirement now in Philly?
Drew Storen – Was able to play catch yesterday for the first time since the removal of his hamate bone. Oddly enough, he played catch with his hamate bone.
Nick Markakis – Might not be ready for Opening Day. The Braves are rebuilding, but I’ve never seen a demolishing and lot-clearing take five months. You’ve hit bedrock, guys. How about you call up Jace Peterson and Jose Peraza? I mean, you really need to see how Alberto Callaspoo and Kelly Johnson are gonna do? With Markakis’s injury (and Melvin — what a name!), Eric Young should see playing time, and I like him for an early season SAGNOF’er.
Evan Gattis – Sat out last two days with a sore wrist. People seem slightly caca-cuckoo for Gattis this year. I get it; he can hit 30 homers and should play every day. The thing is — and there’s always a Thing, ask Dr. Seuss — Gattis never stays healthy. Doesn’t matter what position he plays. On a related note, there should be a glossary term for the irrational enthusiasm that comes when a player has catcher eligibility but won’t catch. Please suggest in the comments.
Brett Oberholtzer – Scratched from Sunday’s game with lat soreness. Well, his name does translate from German to Uberhurter.
Chris Taylor – Will miss four to six weeks with a broken bone in his wrist. He was hoping to move out of Brad Miller’s shadow, but now this. Chris Taylor said, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha my ass, more like Miller, Miller, Miller!”
Dylan Bundy – Optioned to Double-A. It feels like Bundy’s been down in the minors for the count of five.
Alex Colome – Has pneumonia. True story alert! My grandfather, Joe, is 87 years old and went on a cruise in the Caribbean this past winter, and returned to the states with pneumonia. He recovered in three days and is back to eating pasta and saying mildly racist things. The Rays are saying Colome’s Opening Day status is up in the air. Colome, you have three weeks! Don’t make me send Joe in for a mildly racist pep talk.
Drew Smyly – Likely to miss first start of the year with shoulder tendinitis. Right now, he’s doing drills by throwing a sock. I can’t wait to see Smyly when the Rays face a lineup of hampers. Last year, Hamels had shoulder tendinitis and I incorrectly dropped him a lot, so I’m taking this Smyly injury in stride, which, in some ways, is like moving socks. I only have Smyly projected for 183 IP and am not changing him yet.
Addison Reed – Changing his delivery to reduce stress on his shoulder. Unless he’s changing his pitching motion to a lateral to Goldschmidt, and then Goldy pitches it home, I don’t think Reed makes it through more than a few months with the closer job.
Yu Darvish – I read the news that ‘Darvish decided to have Tommy John surgery,’ and I chuckled. It makes it sound like he was passing a hospital and just decided to stop in and have surgery. Darvish didn’t decide to have surgery; he has a fubar’d elbow and needs it. I already removed him from the top 40 starters and top 400, and I look forward to the commenters next March asking if they should draft Darvish for his presumably terrific 2nd half in 2016.
Dontrelle Willis – Retired from baseball. “Hello, I am James Brolin, and I’m here in Nicaragua to talk about the flat-billed pitchypus.” *Brolin kneels down by the coastline, revealing scattered feathers covered in oil sludge* “This land used to be a fertile breeding ground for the flat-billed pitchypus, but they’ve been overfarmed and overworked in rotations. With your help, they can still be saved.” *Brolin stands at an ironing board, flattening a baseball cap’s bill* “But we have to act fast.”