Jedd Gyorko wins 2nd base job, yay says fantasy baseballers and Richard Kelly. The next thing you know, ol’ Jedd will head off to Beverly, Hills that is. On road trips to Los Angeles. Or Magic Johnson will just give him $100 million to sit next to Dee Gordon and Ryu. “You use your free tickets yet to see Jack the Giant Slayer at Magic Johnson theaters?” That’s Ryu talking to Gordon. They’re good friends. So, Gyorko is reportedly the new 2nd baseman in San Diego. I say bravo to the Friars. In one week, a new Pope and a new 2nd baseman. What did you do this week? Stretch your Sunday meal out into Thursday? Nice work! This might be the Year of the Snake, but it’s the week of the Gyorko, after mentioning him already three times. The hype’s been building in my pants for a while. Did I just say in my pants? No, I don’t think I did, but this post is a locomotive that can’t be stopped. In November, I wrote a Jedd Gyorko fantasy. There, I said I’d be surprised if he didn’t start the year in the majors. *shrugs, combs mustache, waits for balloons to fall from ceiling* I wrote that shizz in November! Okay, no ceiling balloons, fine. Blowing a frickin’ noisemaker wouldn’t hurt you. Gyorko has been a beast through the minors, and should hit in the majors + Petco = Linda Ronstadt. Wow, my math was way off there. It was supposed to equal a 2nd baseman with upside. Since I figured Gyorko would be in the majors to start the year, his projections were already in my top 400 for 2013 fantasy baseball, but I did move him up in the top 20 2nd basemen and top 20 3rd basemen posts. I almost moved Jedd up even further, but Petco and cold sores from previous bouts of rookie nookie kept him in the early 200’s overall range. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2013 fantasy baseball:
Zack Greinke – He’s been out a week now with elbow inflammation. He definitely won’t pitch Opening Day…but that’s because Kershaw is starting and Greinke isn’t schedule to pitch out of the bullpen. Maybe they skip his first start just to be safe. In leagues that haven’t drafted yet, I have no idea how far to move him down the draft sheet — I’ll let you know when I have more inflammation.
David Wright – Scratched yesterday from the World Classic due to a rib cage injury. Can you spell oblique? I can. See three words ago. I wouldn’t cry into my pillowcase dress just yet. Wright says this is something that has been bugging him for a week, and he’s played fine during that time. Even if it’s an oblique injury, it’s still early and it doesn’t sound serious. He will get reexamined today though, so stay tuned. Or not. Your choice.
Aroldis Chapman – While the Reds front office clearly decided that Chapman will be a starter this year (and re-signed Broxton to close), Dusty still seems to think Aroldis should pitch out of the bullpen. Maybe Dusty will compromise and pitch him 9 innings every start.
Nick Markakis – He’s optimistic to play on Opening Day. If you draft him, I’d be less optimistic for games two through 162.
Chris Perez – Still trying to get his shoulder ready for Opening Day. He probably starts the year on the DL based on advice from doctors and Vinnie Pestano’s associates.
Lance Berkman – Has had no setbacks over the last few weeks. I’m pretty lukewarm about Lance-hurt-a-lot, but Rudy seems enthused by the prospects of him in Texas at DH, so Berkman’s ended up on a few of our teams. I will now attempt to turn lemonade out of all lemony Berkman news.
Kyle Lohse – The Lohse ‘Will he or won’t he?’ signing drama continues. The Rangers say they remain in contact with him. Someone get Jim Gray on the line. This has the makings of a sequel to The Decision. Only they’ll air it at 4 AM on QVC. “Kyle, will you be signing with the Rangers?…And how about this set of steak knives?”
Albert Pujols – Cleared to run the bases, though he’s still wobbly as he recovers from offseason knee surgery. The Angels plan on pinch-running for him in later innings of preseason games or if he hits a walkoff home run.
Ryan Madson – Still hasn’t faced any batters in the Grapefruit League due to a recovering elbow and an aversion to pulp. Frieri will start the year as the Angels closer unless the Scosciapath decides to complicate the situation. Bring me Scott Downs!
Shelby Miller – Looks like the underdog now to win the 5th spot in the Cardinals rotation as he has been outpitched in the spring by Joe Kelly. Miller has already proven he can strike out guys in AAA (136 IP with 10.5 K/9 albeit an ERA over 4.00) so he probably is the next guy in should there be an injury (bring me the sore arm of Jaime Garcia!). In shallow bench leagues, let him go. He’s a rookie starter. In deeper leagues, hang tight.
Pete Kozma – The Cardinals named him their starting shortstop. Scouts say about Kozma, “Spectacular instincts, quick hands, and a strong arm…” i.e., he’s not good for fantasy. And they say fantasy ruins real sports. Please.
Danny Hultzen – Another one of the Mariners’ top fantasy prospects was sent to the minors. Hultzen has a real shot of returning at some point early enough to make an impact. In deep leagues and keepers, it will require a CWM.
Carl Crawford – He had an auspicious spring debut vs. the Fightin’ Daughters of Meiji University, going 3-for-6 and a steal. As I alluded to in the outfield rankings, Crawford could have a nice bounce back season. I would take the flyer on him for the right price.
Frank Francisco – Pointed to Bobby Parnell’s locker and announced to the media that “He is the closer.” That made the Mets bullpen situation crystal clear until everyone saw that Bobby Parnell went to Jon Niese’s plastic surgeon in the offseason and now looks like Kyra Sedgwick.
Yunel Escobar – The Rays have announced that Escobar will be the everyday shortstop and that Zobrist will focus on 2B and the OF. Yunel will likely hit 2nd in the Rays lineup so he’s a good late round value in drafts. He’s just low on draft boards because he doesn’t play nice with guys who like Cox.