Where have all the groin pulls gone?  In my day, you pulled a hammy or a groin, and you liked it!  Now, these kids are all about obliques.  What in tarnation is an oblique?  Where is it?  Is it even in your body?  Do you acquire it in some seedy alley in Tijuana?  Hurt your femur, dang’nabbit!  So Trevor Hoffman is laid up for a few with a strained oblique.  He’ll probably miss the first week of the season and, as with old people, they don’t bounce back like they used to, even with tennis balls on their walker.  So Trevor Hoffman might be out for longer than a week, then this injury might turn out to be a recurring injury that knocks him out for a week every month or so.  Who knows? I don’t even know what an oblique is, but it sounds vague.  Filling in for Hoffman might be Todd Coffey (my personal favorite), Carlos Villanueva (having a rough spring) and Seth McClung (bit more of a not-so-great starter than a not-so-great reliever).  I’d backup Hoffman with McClung, Coffey then Villanueva, in that order.  I don’t think Villanueva with his lack of closer experience and poor spring is getting the call.  Coffey is wild, homer-prone and jittery, but has looked none of that in the spring.  Then we have McClung, who sounds like a mouth breather.  I’m thinking it’s McClung.  Could be Coffey.  I’d grab them both until it sorts itself out.  But don’t pull too many important Jenga pieces from your team just to place McClung and/or Coffey on top.  Hoffman is still the closer when healthy.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Wilson Betemit – Hit his 5th HR of the spring.  Warning, I just drafted Betemit in an AL-Only league (I’ll reveal my team later today — Future Voila, snitches!), so I might make Betemit a bit of a poster boy for a week or two.  Hey, I gotta have weird outside-the-box-they-make-no-damn-sense sleepers too, right?  Oh, and even with five homers, Josh Fields is still outshining him.

Krispie Young – There’s a chance he opens the year hitting third.  Yum!

Mike Napoli – Might start the year on the DL.  Doesn’t change his projections.  He hit 20 HRs last year in, like, 24 at-bats.

Rich Hill – Won’t be in the Orioles starting rotation.  Shocker!

Max Scherzer – Someone in the comments yesterday said the D’backs are going to give Jobacum 170 innings this year.  That’s pretty silly. (Not silly that a commenter said this.  Silly because it’s true.)  Josh Byrnes, how is he not related to Eric, said Scherzer would get close to 170 innings.  170 innings?!  I keep writing it because it’s so unfathomable to me.  This could be huge for this year, but this could have terrible consequences down the line.  Oh, and how huge for 2009?  That could push him over 200 Ks for this year.  You’re looking at a potential top ten starter if he gets 170 innings.

Wandy Rodriguez – Continuing to nurse injuries.  It’s still very early; I’m still on the Wand-wagon.

  1. Dean says:

    Thought you’d mention the big news that Daniel Murphy was awarded the #2 slot.

  2. big o says:

    hassles the hoff
    tennis balls on their walker
    mouth breather

    all good stuff .

  3. Chase says:

    New Glossary word. I’m addicted to K-Cain. Now onto the real business. I just had my first draft of the year last night and this is how it panned out. 6×5 H2H with Hits as a Cat.

    1. (2) José Reyes
    2. (23) Brandon Phillips
    3. (26) B.J. Upton
    4. (47) Carl Crawford
    5. (50) Álex Ríos
    6. (71) Chad Billingsley
    7. (74) James Shields
    8. (95) Joey Votto
    9. (98) Chipper Jones
    10. (119) Erik Bedard
    11. (122) Matt Cain
    12. (143) Alex Gordon
    13. (146) Max Scherzer
    14. (167) Johnny Cueto
    15. (170) Joey Devine
    16. (191) Jeff Clement
    17. (194) Wandy Rodríguez
    18. (215) Matt Lindstrom
    19. (218) Chris Pérez
    20. (239) Jeremy Guthrie
    21. (242) Aaron Heilman

    My first four picks are speed happy but i felt like i was getting a good deal with crawford at 47. I may need to deal some speed for power. What are your thoughts?

  4. Tony says:

    I did a 10 team CBS draft with some guys this weekend. My first 3 picks were Grady, Braun, and Kinsler…. LOL

    A guy took Iannetta in the 4th round!?

    If I dont place in the top two in this league……WOW

  5. AL KOHOLIC says:

    CRAWFORD AT 47,,ill steal that one,,looking for a rebound year

  6. Bristol says:

    No way that Sherzer gets 170 innings pitched this year. I know that is their goal, but I don’t see him holding up the whole year. I think that shoulder is going to be an issue this year and he will be on the DL at some point.

  7. @Chase: Power hungry, to be sure. I don’t see any one in your lineup who is even a lock for 30 HRs. Lots of combo players but I still like at least one or two mashers in there if possible.

    @Grey: Those Brewers fill-in closers all suck ass. Do they not have even one decent set up guy in that pen? Jeez. I was in a 12 team NL only draft and no one took any Brew reliever besides Hoffman.

  8. bpasinko says:

    I just drafted a 12 team keeper league, my rotation is Greinke, Cain, Josh Johnson, Bedard, Carpenter with arroyo and Purcey hanging around as well.

    Should I be worried?

  9. Bristol says:

    What is everyone’s take on the Cubs closer position? Anyone see Gregg pulling this out?

  10. PhillyYorker says:

    Grey, back from my neverending draft. Still have eight slots to fill. Hitters are full but C. Working on the staff. I am in man-love with Mike Pelfrey. I think more K’s are in order. Is Scherzer so obviously better that I take him over Pelfrey? I get Pelfrey isn’t high on anyone’s lists but he’s the #2 on a very good team (that is as much as this Phillies fan will give the Mets) who practically dominated in the second half.

    Scherzer, Pelfrey or Danks? Thanks.

  11. Frank Rizzo says:

    Alright…..draft tonight…..I’d love to get everyone’s final thoughts on A-rod. How soon do you take him in a 10 teamer? Is the 3rd round too soon?

  12. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @Frank Rizzo: I would be inclined to let him be someone else’s headache. That way, you don’t have to worry that his hip doesn’t bother him even when he returns, not to mention all the post-steroid scrutiny, not to mention his fragile psyche seems ill-suited to NYC to begin with, not to mention he could play six feeble weeks then get shut-down for the season, so you could be drafting a lost year in the 3rd round.

    All that said, if he’s on the board mid-fourth, I’d be hard-pressed to resist him, and I hate the dude.

    I’m not taking him before proven third-round studs, but once you get into the 4th, he’s as attractive as the Ellsburys and A-Gonzos of the world.

  13. sean says:

    @grey: Hoffman could easily be this year’s JJ Putz — strained muscle turned into season-ender. I wasn’t thrilled with the guy playing in a homeriffic park considering his propensity to dish up the longball…

    @FrankTRizzo: In a ten team league, I wouldn’t even think about ARod unless he’s available in the late 4th, early 5th. Grey dropped him to 40th, which still assumes he won’t have a lost season.

  14. bpasinko says:

    Do you rank Arod higher in Keeper leagues than in one year leagues?
    In a recent draft, my friend seemed to be amazed Arod fell to him in a keeper in the mid 3rd or so. To me next year, a 34 year old coming off major hip surgery isn’t the obvious top pick he was this year pre injury.

  15. Freak says:

    @Bristol: Yes. I’m 80% positive Gregg will close.

  16. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Dean: We’ll see, I heard Reyes was batting third too.

    @Chase: K-Cain, nice.

    Crawford at 47 is a great deal, but you probably want to move some of that speed for some power. No team needs Reyes and Upton and Crawford. It’s overkill. Though your pitching is solid.

    @Tony: Hehe.

    @Bristol: Yeah, agreed. It seems completely unfathomable. There’s no way he gets there. But it is interesting to think they want him to get there.

    @Fman99: Yeah, they’re not pretty. Coffey is pitching well right now, history tells us that won’t last.

    @bpasinko: Yeah, a bit.

    @Bristol: I’ve been saying I think it’s going to be Gregg since he was traded there. Still think it will be.

    @PhillyYorker: Danks, Scherzer, Pelfrey.

    @Frank Rizzo: Agree with Baron.

    @sean: re: Hoffman vs. Putz comparison, could very well be, but that doesn’t mean Coffey or one of those schmohawks can’t save 25 games. Remember Todd Jones was once a closer.

    @bpasinko: Yeah, but if he can return by July and be fine, he should be okay next year. But I do think we might have seen the last of A-Rod as a number one pick. He’ll probably be a late 2d round pick next year.

  17. ABell says:

    Hey Grey, I’m kinda wanting to drop Maine and jump on the Wand-wagon, is it too early?

  18. sean says:

    @grey: any way tankersley closes in lindstrom’s absence? worth a flier?

    BN is now: Coffey, Cook, Cueto, Devine, Price, Franklin

    PS: CBS Injury update on Devine:
    Oakland RHP Joey Devine threw 32 pitches in the bullpen with no problems on Sunday. Devine, who had been out with a sore elbow, is to pitch in a minor league game on Tuesday.
    Analysis: Devine will likely share closer’s duties with Brad Ziegler to start the season, which makes him a sleeper for saves in deeper formats. Unlike Ziegler, Devine has a power arm and long-term potential to be a dominant closer. He needs to earn his save chances initially, but we fully expect him to by midseason if he is healthy.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:

    @ABell: Yeah, too early.

    @sean: I’d hold what you now have. Thanks for the update on Devine!

  20. Shogun says:

    Should I be dropping Hoff for Hanrahan, Devine (is he even the closer?), Lindstrom, or Chris Perez?

  21. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Shogun: All of those guys should be owned, except Perez. How shallow is this league? I’d hold onto Hoff but try and get Hanranananan on your team.

    EDIT: Left out info.

  22. anoraxx says:

    Here is my first draft from Saturday. Iam already queing for picking Motte and Nunez off waivers for Crisp and Stewart. It is 12 teamer. Any comments?

    1. (3) David Wright 3B
    2. (22) Carlos Beltrán CF
    3. (27) Justin Morneau 1B
    4. (46) Matt Kemp CF,RF
    5. (51) Chad Billingsley SP
    6. (70) Stephen Drew SS
    7. (75) John Lackey SP
    8. (94) Bobby Jenks RP
    9. (99) Jonathan Broxton RP
    10. (118) Adam Wainwright SP
    11. (123) Robinson Canó 2B
    12. (142) Chad Qualls RP
    13. (147) Josh Johnson SP
    14. (166) Conor Jackson 1B,LF
    15. (171) Pablo Sandoval C,1B,3B
    16. (190) Jered Weaver SP
    17. (195) Chris Young CF
    18. (214) Jordan Zimmermann SP
    19. (219) Adam Jones CF
    20. (238) Wandy Rodríguez SP
    21. (243) Cameron Maybin CF
    22. (262) Coco Crisp CF
    23. (267) Ian Stewart 2B,3

  23. anoraxx says:

    And this is my second team from Sunday. The league is of 10 teams.

    1. (5) Miguel Cabrera 1B,3B
    2. (16) Carlos Beltrán OF
    3. (25) Prince Fielder 1B
    4. (36) Nick Markakis OF
    5. (45) Dan Haren SP
    6. (56) John Lackey SP
    7. (65) Alexei Ramírez 2B,SS,OF
    8. (76) Bobby Jenks RP
    9. (85) José Valverde RP
    10. (96) Roy Oswalt SP
    11. (105) Brian Fuentes RP
    12. (116) Bobby Abreu OF
    13. (125) José López 1B,2B
    14. (136) Erik Bedard SP
    15. (145) Chris Young OF
    16. (156) Heath Bell RP
    17. (165) Pablo Sandoval C,1B,3B
    18. (176) John Danks SP
    19. (185) Adam Jones OF
    20. (196) Johnny Cueto SP
    21. (205) Trevor Hoffman RP
    22. (216) Wandy Rodríguez SP
    23. (225) Jordan Zimmermann SP
    24. (236) Delmon Young OF
    25. (245) Adam LaRoche 1B

  24. Freak says:

    @anoraxx: @anoraxx: It makes for much more fun if you put your teams in the forum so they can be discussed there.

  25. Grey

    Grey says:

    @anoraxx: This stuff kinda belongs in the forums.

    re: 1st team — Having both Bills and Lackey seems a bit much, and Jenks and Broxton are a bit much, which caused you to be light on steals, but the Maybin pick should counter that nicely. Overall your team looks solid for a 12 teamer. I like getting Motte and Nunez there.

    re: 2nd team — This team is even lighter on steals and you don’t have the Maybin safety net at the end to counteract that. I do like the guys you’re choosing and where you’re choosing them. Oh, and Oswalt that late is crazy. With Haren, Oswalt and Lackey you’re too stacked on pitching. You should probably trade one of those.

  26. Shogun says:

    @Shogun: It’s a ten steamer, and not very competitive. The pickings are good.

  27. anoraxx says:

    Oh, sorry for that. Will post it in the forums next time.

    Anyway, yeah I am kind of light on steals but you know steals can SAGNOF and I hope I will pick someone off waivers if the situation is far too worrisome.

  28. Doc says:

    I got thrown in the hooskow for a night after hassling a hoff obliquely.

  29. JR says:

    Baby Webb returns . . . (drumroll) . . . in PETCO! I’d say he’s value may have even increased.

  30. vinko says:

    I read where Lastings Milledge is projected to be the lead-off hitter in Washington. Does this affect his value at all?? Seems like he could steal 30+ bases.

  31. Mark says:

    So if I take the Mariners closer (if it isn’t Brandon Morrow) and the Brewers closer this year that will equal one good closer, right?

  32. Grey

    Grey says:

    @anoraxx: No worries.

    @Doc: Ha!

    @JR: Take the Hill!

    @vinko: Might give him a small boost in steals.

    @Mark: Maybe, or you might have a
    very cheap 50 saves.

  33. vinko says:

    FYI – MLB is reporting, “The Nationals are showing concern about Hanrahan because his fastball was clocked in the high-80’s to low-90’s in the Classic. Normally, his fastball is clocked in the mid-90’s.”

  34. Grey

    Grey says:

    @vinko: Hopefully it just takes him getting in some more workouts.

  35. Grey

    Grey says:

    @vinko: Oh, and thanks for the heads up!

  36. vinko says:

    More on the saves front. “The Orange County Register reports Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim CL Brian Fuentes’ velocity topped out at 89 mph Monday, March 23. His ERA is 12.27 this spring.

  37. Grey

    Grey says:

    @vinko: Thanks for the heads up! Yeah, he’s been miserable this spring and they actually do have options behind him. He might be my number one closer that loses his job this spring.

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