Anthony Rendon was cleared for baseball activities, which meant he was able to spit sunflower seeds and adjust his jockstrap with no pain. Then he reported discomfort when he bent his knee. Matt Williams, singing a’la Weird Al, said, “Rendon’s Opening Day is in jeopardy…Baby…Ooh…” Honestly, I feel like I’m in a pickle wrapped in a can’t-win-shituation surrounded by a chimichanga of head scratching with a Mexican saying, “No lo se,” and me saying, “No lose? More like no win, Jose!” We’re still two weeks away from Opening Day and Rendon could be fine by the end of the first week, which means he’ll miss maybe 25 ABs, which is nothing in the big picture. Dock him 3 runs, 2 RBIs and four hits and move on. This could actually be a buying opportunity in drafts if he falls too far. But if he’s downplaying his injury as every player who has been injured does, then he could struggle, hit the DL for a month or two and have a lost season. He never had blazing speed, so I worry that he might not steal with the knee injury or at least not as much in the early part of the year. Therefore, ergo, vis-a-vis I lowered him out of my top 10 and into my top 20 where I’d be more comfortable drafting him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:
Jayson Werth – Could take ABs on Wednesday. I’m told that’s Werth noting.
Nate McLouth – Could start year on the DL due to his surgically-repaired shoulder. I hope McLouth didn’t make the classic mistake at the doctor’s office of thinking he was getting ‘The Six Billion Dollar Man’ operation, but it was ‘The Six Bouillonaire Man’ operation where they replace his shoulder with chicken bones and give him a broth transfusion.
Heath Bell – Was given his walking papers by the Nats. To add insult to injury, his walking papers were titled, “For Whom The Bell Strolls.”
Matt Wieters – Tendinitis in his elbow and hopes to get on the field by Wednesday. Since he had Tommy John surgery this past year, it sure would be nice if he could just get into the lineup as the DH, but Steve Pearce is taking that spot. Hey, you say, can’t Pearce play the outfield? Yes, but Delmon Young, De Aza and Snider are in the corner outfield spots. Wait, you then add, are you saying the O’s would rather those guys than Wieters in the lineup? Yes, I know, your 2010 self is so confused.
Brett Cecil – The Blue Jays confirmed that Cecil would be the closer, which I predicted would happen about two weeks ago. I will now try my hand at picking lottery numbers. If you’re reading this after I’ve won the lottery, screw you! If you’re reading this before, thanks for reading, I really appreciate you.
Aaron Sanchez – Safe to assume he’s now in the rotation, at least for a majority of the year. He should be able to safely throw about 150 IP this year, but the Blue Jays are aggressive with their youngsters and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sanchez pass the 150 mark. Still, that’s what I have him down for in the top 100 starters and top 400. He’s nothing more than an endgame flyer, but since he throws 97 MPH with movement, I like him for a little “How’s your father?” He could easily have a 4.50+ ERA or a 2.50 ERA. Likely somewhere in between. Yes, I could be a landscape architect with those kind of hedges.
Devon Travis – “Maicer, what goes on? Maicer” went down with a groin strain. TMI! So, this will give Ryan Goins or Devon Travis a shot at the everyday job. Goins can’t figure out if he’s comins or Goins, “Maicer, what goes on? Maicer” is hot garbage in the trunk of your car in the Sahara Desert, so I decided to add Travis to the top 20 2nd basemen as a very late flyer. Is Travis that good? Aw, hecks no! But he’s in the lead for the job and a decent pick after 300 overall for an MI flyer.
Micah Johnson – Lots of talk about him and how he could be the starting 2nd baseman for the White Sox. Why the talk? Cause he has 35-steal speed with an everyday job. I haven’t included him in my rankings yet, and not due to ignorance. I know, what a surprise! The White Sox are not a team that is rebuilding and I just don’t see them sitting Bonifacio and Beckham every day. Maybe Johnson platoons, maybe he goes to the minors, but I just don’t see him as an everyday starter. At least not in April. And that’s your Micah check, 1, 2.
Mike Fiers – Has shoulder weakness, but not expected to need a DL stint. Not moving him yet in my rankings, but I don’t love the sound of this since Fiers has never been much of a workhorse in his career. I.e., where there’s smoke, there’s Fiers.
Wilmer Flores – In a walking boot after fouling a ball off his foot. Don’t worry, Mets fans, you don’t just have Muno and Reynolds for shortstop, but also…dun-dun-DUNNNN…Ruben Tejada! Your favorite! The Mets are hoping Flores is fine for the beginning of the season. I bet they are!
Jhoulys Chacin – Released by the Rockies. I imagine this kind of news is received by a pitcher like someone being told they didn’t just ingest poison, but they did just eat dog testicles. “Yay, no more home games in Coors!” Dot dot dot. “Wait, even the Rockies don’t want me?!”
Wilin Rosario – I’m done pretending the writing isn’t on the Rockies’ bathroom stall wall. As hard as it is for me to process this, the Rockies are planning on making Nick Hundley their starting catcher. On one hand, a catcher that could hit 30 HRs. On another hand, a catcher that could hit 15. On a third hand that is actually a picture of Hamburger Helper that I cut out of the box, don’t draft either of them. I’ve adjusted my top 20 catchers, adding Hundley and lowering Rosario.
Nick Franklin – Has a strained oblique. Even though he’s now on the Rays, I’m pretty sure Franklin’s injured because Brad Miller is a spiteful man that couldn’t handle me labeling him a sleeper last year so he’s now infecting random middle infielders with lowered expectations. Rays will likely turn to Logan Forsythe for a week while Franklin heals. Fun fact! Another name for the Rays’ 2nd base combo of Franklin/Forsythe is Poor Richard’s Almanack.
Jon Lester – Dealing with a dead arm. In related news, Boras is trying to get Lester a bit role on The Walking Dead.
Josmil Pinto – Out for a few days with a concussion, and by ‘days’ the Twins mean years. I’m only half joking. Don’t worry, four lady readers, it’s my lower half. Rawr! On the fo’really, Morneau missed two years with a concussion, Mauer never looked right again after he was concussed, and what’s up with Twins and concussions? Wonder Twin Powers activate…in the form of a helmet!
Yasmany Tomas – World, I feel like you didn’t want me to like Tomas as much as I did this year. Are you happy now? Cause I’m officially concerned. I still think he can produce a 20+ HR, .260 season, which is, ya know, more than you’ve gotten from, say, Ryan Zimmerman for two of the past four seasons. Everyone associated with the Diamondbacks has said they’re fine with his bat. Unfortch, you need more than just a bat in the NL. I know, stoopid. Not the way Abner Doubleday would’ve wanted it, but what are you going to do? Dig up Abner’s grave, have a seance and request that his ghost protest that the use of the DH is the purest form of baseball? No, you’re not. Now that the Diamondbacks are whispering about sending Tomas to the minors, I’d be lying if I said I’d still draft him in the top 100 as I had him, so I dropped him in my top 20 3rd basemen and top 400.
Nick Ahmed – Could be the starting shortstop in Arizona. Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said, “To name (Ahmed) the starter is hard to do, because we still have camp left. I’m not ready to do that. He’s been very impressive.” Then the GM Dave Stewart did some karate and said Chris Owings is going to be the starter if he’s healthy. Sounds like they’re on the same page…number in different books. Ahmed once stole 40 bags in a minor league season, but he also once hit .236 in Double-A, so SAGNOF, but not much else.
Domonic Brown – Suffering from Achilles tendinitis. What happened to Philly fans throwing batteries? Now they’re shooting arrows? Brown will be held back a few days, and could miss a week early in the year, but it sounds like it’s no worse than his ISO last year.
Jason Kipnis – Dealing with back spasms that has sidelined him here and there for almost a week. I haven’t drafted Kipnis yet, and won’t change my rankings with him, but I also wouldn’t draft him unless he fell. I get a serious vibe from him that he was hanging with A-Rod’s cousin during the 2013 season. *Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, needle in the butt*
Evan Gattis – Hit a home run yesterday, which is whatevs, but it’s a good sign his wrist is feeling better. He credits his strong wrists to the years when he was homeless and used to pick mozzarella off discarded pizza boxes.
Hyun-Jin Ryu – Will start the year on DL due to shoulder inflammation. This could totally be a coincidence (I highly doubt it), but Ryu in Street Fighter throws a Super Fireball, which can cause the shoulder to burn and feel inflamed. Last year…Make that every year, Ryu has shoulder issues and ends up being fine while missing a few starts here and there, but this year it sounds a bit worse. I’ve docked him about a month of innings and I lowered him into the tier in the top 60 starters that I would not draft. Yeah, I’m concerned.
Koji Uehara – Played catch on Monday. Sounds good until you find out his dad was playing “Cat’s In A Cradle” nearby on a boombox and Koji was guilted into playing catch. Koji had a hamstring issue that sounds like it’s not going to be much of an issue at all by the time we get to Opening Day. And what I mean with “by the time we get to Opening Day” is baseball ever starting? Is this the longest preseason ever? Bud Selig’s toupee might’ve looked like a dead racoon, but at least he limited spring training to six weeks.