After Jada Pinkett Smith started the #closerssowhite controversy, boycotting SAGNOF until there were more black closers, because her husband, Will Smith, wasn’t immediately anointed closer of the Brewers, the entire MLB began a well-needed discussion about race.  Our Commissioner Manfred said, “I thought about this for a brief second, then I realized the entire league is Dominican.  I mean, before I was chosen as commissioner I had to vacation in Punta Cana for a long weekend just to ‘feel the vibe’ as Selig said.”  Jada Pinkett Smith said she will not sleep until her husband gets saves or Torii Hunter comes out of retirement and is made closer of one of those real white teams, “Maybe Minnesota.”  Closers So White lives on.  Will Smith’s closer season, however, looks about as promising as an After Earth sequel.  On Saturday, it was reported he tore his LCL.  He tore his 150?  That’s like when Pablo Sandoval’s dyslexic cousin saw Pablo tore his 501’s.  My money’s on Jeremy Jeffress getting the most saves in Milwaukee this year.  My money also has Alfred E. Neuman on it.  Jeffress is the top guy from the Brewers pen in my top 500 with Corey Knebel up next.  The fantasy baseball war room has been updated, as well.  (By the way, some rejected titles for this post were Collateral Ligaments of the World Ain’t Nothing But Trouble and Will Smith Gettin’ Limpy With It.)  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Ryan Braun – Already suffering from a stiff back after having back surgery this offseason.  I have the feeling Braun is going to have a 18-homer season while struggling to stay on the field.  I’m not moving him down in my rankings, but I’m also not excited about drafting him.  Steamer hitter projections has him down for 24 HRs and 17 SBs in 141 games, and that feels generous at this point.  Maybe 18/12 is more realistic?  I don’t know, but I will say 24/17 feels like the ceiling rather than the floor while the basement is being remodeled by the Property Brothers for Braun to move into.

Jon Gray – Diagnosed with a strained abdomen and will miss a week of the season.  Prior to this, he was diagnosed with a “Pitches at Coors,” so he was an avoid anyway.  If you’re a fan of the director of Straight Outta Compton, that’s F. Jon Gray.

Troy Tulowitzki – X-rays on his knuckles came back negative after he was hit by a pitch on the hand.  You could tweet “Tulo is hurt” and pin it for the whole season.

Will Venable – Released by the Indians like a smoke signal or Wayne Newton from a casino contract.  As previously reported, I added Tyler Naquin into the top 100 outfielders.  If the Indians couldn’t have an Al Naquin, at least they have a Tyler.

Michael Brantley – Unlikely to be ready for OD.  No one is, man.  I was watching the Amy documentary and– *intern whispers in my ear*  I’m told OD is Opening Day.

Jake Arrieta – Has a blister on his thumb.  Don’t worry, his Opening Day start isn’t in Dire Straits.

Kris Medlen – Will be the Royals 5th starter.  True or false, I have him ranked in my top 100 starters.  True and false.  He’s ranked in the top 100, but outside of the top 100.  Oh, Grey, you are a puzzle brain.

Eric O’FlahertyBraves acquired him from the Pirates for cash.  The cash was said to be more than three dollars but less than seven.

Tyler Moore – Acquired by the Braves for Nate Freiman.  This reminds me of the trade I made in middle school of a Milli Vanilli CD for a Gregg Jefferies rookie card.  At least the Gregg Jefferies rookie card took up less space.

A.J. Pollock – “Mint” Chip Hale is not ruling out a DL stint for Pollock to begin the year.  This doesn’t sound like a big deal at all.  Just some elbow thing.  I’d continue to draft him aggressively.  *opens up A.J. Pollock schmohawk post and laughs maniacally*  Cougs, I will take out the garbage in a minute, I’m laughing maniacally right now!  Geez, woman!

Steven Wright – Will be the fifth starter until Eduardo Rodriguez returns at the end of April.  Steven Wright drolly said, “I hope I don’t let anyone down.  But no promises if I have to carry David Ortiz.”

Pablo Sandoval – Experiencing back tightness.  Red Sox haven’t ruled him out for Opening Day.  The Red Sox caterer would really like a decision on the matter so he knows how much to prepare.

Brock Holt – Could usurp Rusney Castillo for the left field job.  Usurp is also what I want to name my ramen shop, except spelled U•Surp.  It wouldn’t shock me if Holt takes the job and Rusney becomes a 4th outfielder.  Brucely, they’re both 4th outfielders.  I drafted Holt in one league for his Swiss Army knife-ness of eligibility.  With him, anything’s POSsible.

Daniel Norris – Has non-displaced fractures in his back.  Brad Ausmus said the injury sounds worse than it is.  Ausmus is the first Jew ever to play down an injury.  Tigers say Norris’s timetable doesn’t change (missing just a few starts), which sounds completely unlikely.

Victor Martinez – On track to play Tuesday.  Brad Ausmus said, “(V-Mart) said he felt absolutely nothing.  He really hasn’t felt anything for about five days,” when asked if V-Mart still had a pulse, Ausmus slowly walked out of the room.  Situation developing!

Scott Kazmir – Left Saturday’s game with an abdominal injury, which comes a week after he was dealing with decreased velocity.  Was almost one full preseason roundup without a Dodgers injury.  Ya know, I’m not sure how I feel about the Dodgers remaking M.A.S.H.  It was such an iconic TV show/movie of its time.  In related news, a little red man with horns was seen driving around with a Trump bumper sticker, asking where the Dodgers train in the preseason so he could collect a soul.  Seems like Kazmir’s full season last year had some stipulations.

Yasmani Grandal – Dave Roberts hopes to have Grandal for Opening Day.  Yeah, someone’s gotta catch, pitch and play left field for the Dodgers.

Evan Gattis – Will start the year on the DL.  No surprise, he was always pegged to miss a week or two in April.  Or he was always April’d to miss a week or two in Peg, if you have female name dyslexia.

Tyler White – When the promise of spring couldn’t be more pulchritudinous, Prince Fielder hit the veggie buffet and went heavy on the kale.  Oh, sorry, didn’t hear you come in.  I was just updating Casey at the Bat.  Sure glad I don’t need to say pulchritudinous for my book on tape; I’ll leave that to George Will!  So, Tyler White is now in the lead for the 1st base job in Houston until A.J. Reed emerges.  So what’s that, a two month audition?  Sounds like he’s auditioning for Kubrick.  Will only play two months?  Nothing here!  Dot dot dot.  Or is there?!   White could take over or platoon with Valbuena when Reed comes up.  White doesn’t K and walks a lot.  That get your juices flowing?  Meh, a little for me, but not much.  He has Loney-ish power, which is to say droppers between the 2nd baseman and right fielder.  I added him in the top 20 1st basemen, and gave him the projections of 47/9/52/.274/1.

Matt Wieters – Played catch from 120 feet.  Too bad he didn’t play catch with 120 feet.  That would be cool.  Like a flash mob of Hacky Sackers.

Justin Masterson – Will hold a showcase on Monday.  Right now, he’s writing on a sign in magic marker “Ray Searage” and affixing it to a folding chair, which will be his last production design touch for his updated Waiting for Godot.

Dae-Ho Lee – Made the Mariners team to face lefties at first base and maybe DH.  Lee hopes his addition will be more than just as a modification on adjectives, verbs and other adverbs.  Fangraphs, which has never said a negative word about any Mariner ever, managed to say some nice things about Lee, but only barely.  They said he was better than Chris Carter and Pedro Alvarez, which is the usual Mariner homerism.  I’d bet anyone that Lee won’t approach those guys in value.  Lee is going to be 34 years old this year, looks like Billy Butler ate Godzilla and might get 250 ABs.  Nothing to see here for fantasy unless he breaks out.

Jesus Montero – Designated for assignment.  Hopefully, Jesus will emerge again next Easter.

Jacoby Ellsbury – Still feels discomfort in his wrist.  You’d have to pay me to draft Ellsbury.  Not much.  Hey, I’m a cheap date.  But I still wouldn’t draft him without some form of compensation.

Alex Rodriguez – Could retire after the 2017 season.  Will give him more time to hang out with his best friend, a mirror.

 
  1. JakeTPE says:
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    With the Medlen news, ecologists and fantasy baseball players alike breathe a collective sigh of relief: The endangered flat-billed pitchypus, not yet extinct!

  2. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    Money For Nothing! I got one!

    Immediately after last night’s RCL draft, the 1st overall pick was traded for a 6th rounder and 10th rounder – Trout for Greinke and Hanley.

    • VinWins

      VinWins says:
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      @VinWins: Same league, one team drafted:
      4 Cody Allen, Cle RP
      21 Yan Gomes, Cle C
      28 Jason Kipnis, Cle 2B
      45 Mike Moustakas, KC 3B
      52 Corey Kluber, Cle SP
      69 Wade Davis, KC RP
      76 Francisco Lindor, Cle SS
      93 Adam Eaton, CWS OF
      100 Carlos Santana, Cle 1B
      117 Cody Anderson, Cle SP
      124 Evan Gattis, Hou DH
      141 Francisco Rodriguez, Det RP
      148 Brad Ziegler, Ari RP
      165 Jay Bruce, Cin OF
      172 Mark Teixeira, NYY 1B
      189 Mike Fiers, Hou SP
      196 Gio Gonzalez, Wsh SP
      213 Anibal Sanchez, Det SP
      220 Logan Forsythe, TB 2B
      237 Brad Miller, TB SS
      244 Howie Kendrick, LAD 2B
      261 Joey Gallo, Tex OF
      268 Alex Rodriguez, NYY DH
      285 Jarrod Dyson, KC OF
      292 Ryan Madson, Oak RP

      • JoeG414 says:
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        @VinWins:
        A Midwest owner ?

      • Mike says:
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        @VinWins:

        I’m in a league with some people that used to work for the Indians. They are my favorite team also, but I never draft them because everyone takes those guys about 2-3 rounds earlier than they should go.

      • MattTruss

        MattTruss says:
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        I’d claim he was an Indians homer, but he didn’t even get the best Indians…

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        @VinWins: Maybe he thought he was in JB’s REL league and owned the Indians

      • Indians Fan says:
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        @VinWins: @VinWins: Those Indians picks are more depressing than being a Cleveland fan.

        • Duckbillgates says:
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          @Indians Fan: I think the most interesting thing about that is the order in which he drafted those Indians. Homer is one thing, but who thinks “I better take Yan Gomes now … Kluber and Lindor will be there six rounds later.”

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @VinWins: Wow, that’s puzzling

  3. Bread n Mustard says:
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    Hello Gray,

    Do you know a certain tool (or article) which tells us around when a player should be drafted in a certain type of league? For an example, in H2H where one can stream pitchers Clayton Kershaw can be drafted around the 7th round. I believe I saw something like that here a while ago. Thank you!

  4. Noam says:
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    Good stuff Grey! Franco is tearing it up this spring…this year’s breakout?

    Any concern over Polanco and his shoulder? I’ve heard rumblings that he’ll be hitting 6th or 7th….still love him?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Noam: No concern about Polanco… Yeah, I like Franco, I say he’s Arenado in the rankings

  5. RJ says:
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    Grey, I just drafted my 12-team 6×6(OPS, QS and we use K/9 instead of K’s), mixed league. We keep 3 guys at the round they were drafted in, the year before. My team from pick #10

    C. Nick Hundley (19)
    1B. Anthony Rizzo (1)
    2B. Jonathan Schoop (17)
    3B. Maikel Franco (5)
    SS. Jean Segura (15)
    CI. Albert Pujols (6)
    MI. Trevor Story (18)
    OF. Starling Marte (2)
    OF. Justin Upton (4)
    OF. Lorenzo Cain (13)*
    OF. Delino DeShields (11)
    OF. Joc Pederson (10)
    UTIL. Nick Castellanos (23)
    BN. Yasmany Tomas (24)

    SP. Noah Syndergaard (3)
    SP. Jake Arrieta (7)*
    SP. Danny Salazar (8)
    SP. Michael Pineda (9)
    SP. Taijuan Walker (12)
    SP. Carlos Rodon (14)
    SP. Yu Darvish (22)*
    SP. Jose Berrios (20)
    SP. Sean Manaea (25)
    RP. Drew Storn (16)
    RP. Fernando Rodney (21)

    How did I do? What are my weak spots? Thanks for the help, been reading you a long time, have a good day!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @RJ: I love the team, solid balance of hitting and pitching… Not much to complain about… Yasmany and Manaea are whatever, but that’s fine for endgame flyers

  6. Eric says:
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    Hey Grey, I was wondering if I could get an opinion on my team, see where I need to fill up some stats haha

    12 Team Yahoo League with OBP and QS

    C: Derek Norris
    1B: Adrian Gonzalez
    2B: Jonathan Schnoop
    3B: Todd Frazier
    SS: Manny Machado
    CI: Maikel Franco
    MI: Brett Lawrie
    OF: Mookie Betts
    OF: J.D. Martinez
    OF: Michael Brantley
    OF: Brandon Belt
    Util: Albert Pujols

    SP: Danny Salazar
    SP: Taijuan Walker
    RP: Arodys Vizcaino
    RP: Fernando Rodney
    P: Hisashi Iwakuma
    P: Aaron Nola
    P: Yordano Ventura
    P: Steven Matz
    Bench: Robert Osuna
    Bench: David Hernandez
    Bench: Kevin Gausman
    Bench: Andrew Heaney
    Bench: Joe Ross

    Thank you!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Eric: The hitting looks solid, the pitching looks decent, but a tad risky/upsidey…Not bad though, I do like the guys you drafted

      • Eric says:
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        @Grey: Haha I gotta catch that lightning in a bottle!

  7. White says:
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    Not related to anything you said in this post…but like the person you never want to talk to at a party I want to tell you about my fantasy team dilemma.

    AL Only 12 team keeper $260 cap.
    Pre draft trade offer:
    $20 Carrasco and $11 Cain for $6 Rodon and $6 Buxton.

    Carrasco/Cain last year of contract. Rodon/Buxton 3 years of control.
    I’m trading Carrasco side, already keeping sale, kuechel, Salazar.

    Would you do? Am I giving up too much current value for wishful thinking breakouts? Does the extra $19 at the draft tip it to my side? And why do they call you Grey? Is it a Gandalf thing?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @White: Ha, I’d want Cain

  8. Jason says:
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    Hi Grey

    I’m in a H2H 12-team 10×9 dynasty “keep forever” league. We have 40 man rosters (32 MLB and 8 MiLB). The categories are:

    R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OPS TB and
    IP K/9 K/BB HR W QS WHIP ERA SV+HLD

    I need to upgrade my pitching depth. I have an offer where I trade Desmond for Samardzaji

    At SP I have – Arrieta/Carrasco/Cueto/Lester/Leake/ERamirez/Hughes/Hill

    At SS I have – Desmond/Suarez/Aybar/TAnderson

    Will I be too weak at shortstop if I trade Desmond away?

    Which side would you want?

  9. Mrs.Featherbottom says:
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    I once traded a C+C Music Factory cassette, I believe it was “Gonna Make You Sweat”, for a David Robinson rookie card.

    • @Mrs.Featherbottom: Yeah and I only listened to it twice before my stupid baby neighbor took it in the other room with a pencil…looking back, I should have held on to my black closer card…

  10. Your mom says:
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    In a 20 tm keep 8 league.. Trade my c. Gomez and a 2nd rd pick for his g. Polanco and 6th rd pick? I know its early but i should take it right? Thanks!

  11. bossmanjunior333 says:
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    10 team 5×5 OBP h2h with budget for moves

    C Mesoraco
    1B Rizzo
    2B Odor
    3B Franco
    SS Lindor
    OF Betts
    OF JD Martinez
    OF J Upton
    UTL Belt
    BN Park

    SP: Archer, Kuechel, Wacha, Stroman, CMart, Iglesias, Severino, Corbin, Aaron Sanchez

    RP: McGee, Storen, Jeffress

    Really happy with the way my offense turned out. Pretty much hit all of my targets except for Pederson but I was able to snag Belt late and he looks ready for a breakout. Was hoping to grab DeShields or Santana as my bench bat but took Park as a consolation prize.

    Since it’s a shallow h2h, felt a little more comfortable taking some risks with my pitching considering the upside could be worth it. I know a few of these guys aren’t your favorites but I just took the cards I was dealt (I literally took two cards!). Was hoping to grab Syndergaard and Carrasco but they were sniped. Closers aren’t anything special but SAGNOF!

    Limited budget for moves but…

    1) Hold Park or drop for D. Peralta, Vmart, Arod, Krush, Moreland, Lind

    2) Hold Aaron Sanchez or drop for Colome, Anibal, J. Ross, Rodney, E. Santana, Nicasio

    3) Hold Mesoraco or drop for Grandal when/if he is healthy? Grandal looks really nice in OBP.

  12. C says:
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    Grey,

    Just had my first draft last night (12-team Yahoo! 6×6 (OBP, HR, R, TB, NSB, RBI / K, NS, H, QS, ERA, WHIP) with 1250 IP cap. I picked 4th overall and was sniped a few times (missed Springer and Strasburg by 1 pick) and drafted a few guys I wasn’t planning to (like Price and Hamilton). Would love to know your thoughts and any stats you think I should try to address early in the season. Thanks!

    C – M. Wieters
    1B – A. Rizzo
    2B – J. Schoop
    3B – M. Franco
    SS – F. Lindor
    LF – J. Upton
    CF – D. DeShields
    RF – C. Davis
    Util – B. Hamilton
    Util – K. Davis
    Bench – B. Buxton
    Bench – D. Valencia

    SP – D. Price
    SP – C. Carrasco
    SP – J. Samardzija
    SP – T. Walker
    SP – P. Corbin
    RP – K. Jansen
    RP – S. Casilla
    RP – T. Watson
    P – D. O’Day
    P – K. Jespen
    Bench – J. Berios
    Bench – J. Ross

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @C: Team is a bit imbalanced on offense, but Hamilton will do that to you… Also a tad upsidey… Your pitching is very strong

  13. Ryan says:
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    Grey, thoughts on my team? Thanks!

    15 team league

    C (2): WRamos/JT Realmuto
    Middle INF (3): BLawrie/CSeager/MSemien
    Corner INF (4): LDuda/MMoustakas/BHPark/APujols
    OF (5): DDeshieldsJR/MOzuna/DPeralta/GPolanco/CYelich
    P (9): KGiles/ERamirez/CRodon/TRosenthal/TRoss/MPineda/MTanaka/MWacha/AWainwright

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ryan: You look weak on AVG, power….Pitching is a mess

  14. ButchHudkeyLives says:
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    Weird Auction draft question. Friday I had my 10 team NL only auction draft, Nola Arenado was my only topper and I had been looking to keep him. So bidding goes as normal until one person is left who then proceeds to bid 5 more times driving up the price on purpose. has anyone seen this kind of move before? Was I right to get angry over it?

    • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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      @ButchHudkeyLives: under what rationale would it be, since you didn’t get what you wanted?

  15. bossmanjunior333 says:
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    Oh hey…did I not mention I also had my RCL draft with Tehol last tonight too? In fact the two drafts actually overlapped for an hour and I was busy running back and forth between two computers at my office like a mad man. Anyways here is my RCL (with far less information)

    C Wellington
    1B Cabrera
    2B Odor
    3B Machado
    SS Russell
    MI B. Lawrie
    CI Longoria
    OF Blackmon
    OF Braun
    OF Puig
    OF Souza Jr.
    OF Kiermeier
    UTL D. Santana
    BN Semien

    SP Syndergaard, Felix, Smyly, Odorizzi, McCullers, E. Santana

    RP Rondon, Ramos, Perkins, Grilli, Colome

    Despite the SAGNOF mantra, I made a conscious effort to gets some dependable middle tier closers. I seems like every year in the RCL I always get screwed on closers and am never the quickest to the waiver.

    1) Kiermeier looks like my weakest bat…hold or drop for Plouffe, Beltran, Lind, Werth, Valbuena, Olivera, Rasmus, Cron, Lamb

    2) Hold E. Santana or drop for Cashner, Eovaldi, Fister, D. Hernandez, Nicasio

    3) Hold Wellington or drop for Norris, Grandal, Ramos

  16. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    Drew Hutchison, after being hit in the head by the catcher’s throw to 2B, “That’s what you get for walking the leadoff guy.”

  17. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Hey Grey – I have my redraft OBP H2H draft tonight + was targeting Yasmani as my sneaky $1 obp stud catcher. Should I be looking elsewhere (meso, Martin, someone else?) based on Yasmani’s arm, or are you not too concerned?

    Also, what do you think about the ATL closer situation? Think Arodys is the guy at this point, or will they try Grilli first for trade value purposes?

    Thanks!