A Loch Ness Monster waits nervously in a doctor’s office. He turns to his left to a unicorn. “What brought you in here?” “I was having a weird pang behind my horn for a few weeks while in Candyland, and I went for an MRI when they found a growth.” The unicorn chokes back its fears, finishing, “I’m having a biopsy. You?” The Loch Ness Monster hands the unicorn a tissue, then, through tears, “I’ve been pooping this tar-like substance, and they’re not sure…what…it…is.” As the the two of them sob uncontrollably, they look across the receptionist area to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The unicorn fights through tears and asks, “Why are you at the National Institute of Made-Up Injuries and Diseases?” “The Jays said I had an oblique injury to delay my free agency.” So, Vlad Guerrero Jr. has an oblique injury, which, honestly, is likely a real injury, but doesn’t sound serious. Maybe it is just an aching venient injury. Who knows. I’ve been saying for a while that I’m not drafting Vlad, due to his ADP, and wrote a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. schmohawk, so this doesn’t affect me a ton. Nor his MLB ETA. He wasn’t starting the year with the Jays either way. I haven’t changed his projections or ranking in my top 20 3rd basemen, though there have been a bunch of changes in my rankings, so let’s get to it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2019 fantasy baseball:
Salvador Perez – Damaged UCL. Terrible news for Royals fans, but think, it could be worse if it was a damaged UL Washington. We must protect UL Washington at all costs. I’ve removed Perez from my top 20 catchers for 2019 fantasy baseball, and took 45 minutes to try to guess the Royals’ new catcher for 2019. Finally, I guessed Drew Butera, but the Olympic strongman is on the Phils. Three days later, I woke in a sweat and screamed, “Cam Gallagher!” But, alas, that was a nightmare even to the Royals and they went out and signed Martin Maldonado. That’s Candy’s son who was conceived during The Golden Girls episode that Martin Mull guest starred in. Maldonado for fantasy? How about Maldon-no-no? Alas, I added him into my catchers’ rankings.
A.J. Minter – Snitker said Minter and Vizcaino would split save chances. He actually scribbled it in his journal, which he calls a Snitker doodle. In my top 500, I have Vizcaino as the Braves’ closer, and I don’t think that’s gonna change much with this news. I have Minter projected for 11 saves, which seems about right. Plus, Minter had shoulder issues earlier in camp.
Chris Paddack – So, his spring training hype can no longer be ignored and I added him into the top 100 starters. Here’s what Prospect Mike said, “Paddack has a double-plus change and plus command. Splitting time between High-A and Double-A in 2018, he pretty much made opposing hitters his b**** – whiffing 15 per nine and walking just over one per nine. He should be on all radars, even redrafts, as he’s likely just an injury or string of poor outings away from a call to San Diego. Speaking of injuries, can I pay someone to injure Grey?” Hey, what’s that about? PM thought about a month ago an injury or poor performance by a Padres starter moved Paddack into the rotation, but as we travel further into spring training and Paddack puts on a clinic, he could just be in the rotation to start the year and I’ve already drafted him. For his price, there is no earthly reason to not at least take a flyer. There’s many ethereal reasons to draft him. He was also added to my Fantasy Baseball War Room and the top 500.
Matt Strahm – Da duh duh, da duh duh! Let the boys be boys! Strahm! Due to his spring training performance, I couldn’t overlook what Strahm Da duh duh, da duh duh! was doing anymore. He throws 94 MPH fastball with a curve, slide-piece and change that are varying levels of plus. In the minors, he regularly registered a 10+ K/9 and even tamed his once-wild command to respectable levels in the last year. I love NL West pitchers, and there feels like a real chance for a breakout here. So, definitely draft Strahm Da duh duh, da duh duh! Let the boys be boys! (If you can say his name without the rest of that, you’re a better man than I.) See top 80 starters for his projections, and I updated my pitchers’ pairings if you dig that sorta thing.
Travis Jankowski – Out with a broken wrist. Jankowski is an anagram for Janki, ow, SK. SK is the country code of Slovakia. Slovakia’s national anthem is Travis’s song, Side, because they call every injury an oblique injury because their country never sees any sun. “Broke your wrist? That is oh-bleek.” That’s a Slovakian doctor. If you think all of this is a coincidence, then you’re not seeing the forest because your forehead is smack up against a tree. Jankowski was never in my top 500, so no harm, no foul, except to him.
Miguel Sano – Out until May with a debridement procedure on his Achilles. Think of debridement as a divorce of a mucousy wound. “I’m sorry, I’ve fallen in love with another pus pocket.” “You never loved me, admit it!” I’ve lowered him further in my top 20 1st basemen and top 20 3rd basemen. On an unrelated note, I moved Pete Alonso up in my top 20 1st basemen. Draft him, prematurely balding men!
Adam Jones – Signed with the Diamondbacks to play…*sees crowded outfield* …um… *looks up news about a DH being added to the NL* …hmm… *Googles if Adam Jones can pitch* I guess Jones is going to play mostly outfield and Ketel Marte pushes Nick Ahmed to the bench, or Jones just doesn’t play. Moved him down to the top 100 outfielders.
Carlos Gomez – Signed a minor league deal with the Mets. He joins Rajai Davis and Gregor Blanco as non-roster invitees to camp. This, folks, is the Met’ greatest test. In years past, they would’ve made an Opening Day outfield of Rajai, Gomez and Blanco, benching everyone else, but they’ve grown…Right, Mets? Right?
Kyle Seager – Underwent an MRI on his hand, which he injured while diving for a ball. If he was playing soccer, this would’ve never happened!
Jose Altuve – Out with an oblique injury, that the Astros haven’t yet called an oblique injury. Why does it feel like this preseason is filled with injuries to guys I would never draft to begin with? Rhetorical! The Astros are saying Altuve will be fine for the start of the season. We shall see. Or not. Your choice!
Jeremy Jeffress – Was shut down for a week, due to a shoulder injury, but hopes to be ready for Opening Day. Jeremy’s spoken. Though, Jeremy’s broken. I haven’t moved him yet in my rankings, but I’m not drafting him until I hear more.
Luke Voit – Yankees said there will be no platoon. It’s either going to be Voit or Bird. Bird or Voit. Finkel/Einhorn. If you own Voit because of my Luke Voit sleeper, or want me to look brilliant, now is the time you hunker down to think good thoughts.
Luis Severino – Shut down with shoulder inflammation. Damn, so far in my tier to avoid in the top 20 starters, it’s Kershaw and Severino who are sidelined. Greinke is goofy awful, but always stays healthy (which is what a prognosticator says right before said player is injured), so I need to go 4-for-4 in that tier to make sure my Noah Syndergaard schmohawk doesn’t look dopey. I docked Severino 20 innings from his projections and — surprise! surprise! — I still would not draft him.
Zack Cozart – Grade 1 calf strain and unlikely for start of the season. This is after he was already returning from a shoulder surgery. Cozart’s full name is Woofgah Ama-DL-es Cozart. I didn’t move him in my top 20 2nd basemen, because I wasn’t giving him a full season anyway.
Andrew Heaney – Inflammation in his elbow. Lowercase yay! I only drafted him in every league so far. Stupid early leagues. Your whole family is dumb, early leagues! All of them! On the bright side that’s not entirely bright, he threw on Friday (a whole 25 pitches) and says he felt fine. Further good news (that is barely good news), he had this same issue last year, returned mid-April and was fine. Maybe his elbow doesn’t like the spring. Hey, my knee doesn’t like the winter. I haven’t moved him in my rankings yet, but that’s prolly just because I can’t bear it.