The World Baseball Classic news hit the wire first, “Team USA will add another first baseman; Team Yankees will add another leading doctor in the world of performance-enhancing drugs.” Team USA added Eric Hosmer, Team Yankees added a guy with a peach fuzz mustache, a B.U.M. equipment sweatshirt and red, white and blue Zubaz who goes by the name, Rick, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Phoenix. Team USA said that whole thing about Votto being a Canadian was total BS, Rick said he trained with Lance Armstrong. Team USA no longer has Mark Teixeira, neither does Team Yankees. But Rick’s got a plan. It worked for Lance Armstrong and A-Rod. Drink carrot milkshakes and inject horse semen. “These are my stallions.” That’s Rick overlooking his kingdom (a musty cellar with bad lightning). John C. Reilly is in talks to play him. So, if Te(i)x being hurt is a surprise to you, I wouldn’t want to see you when a cat jumps out of a closet. He will miss eight to ten weeks after hearing a pop in his wrist. He might miss more time. Right now, Cashman isn’t optimistic. I changed my Te(i)x projections and rankings in the top 20 1st basemen; I don’t foresee me drafting him anywhere. They’re no longer the Yankees, they’re now the Jankees. At first base, they’re looking at the craptastic Dan Johnson/Juan Rivera blahtoon or the more likely scenario of Youuuuuuuuuk moving to first and Nunez (and his razztastic defense) over at third. Will suck for any Jankee LHPs to have Pasta Diving Jeter and Errordo Nunez. Today, Mets fans are smiling. If you can’t beat them, pray they join you! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:
Zack Wheeler – Yesterday, he threw from flat ground. I’m confused. Didn’t Columbus already prove this theory wrong?
Aramis Ramirez – Will miss 7-10 days with a sprained knee. Looks like he’s already in regular-season shape!
Cody Ross – Out for 2-3 weeks with a lower leg strain. This never would’ve happened if he didn’t try to stretch out a single into a double first name. The Diamondbacks are going to go with Rico Sauve Parra to fill-in. And you thought you had problems. Previously unreleased audio alert! Overheard at the Diamondbacks meeting right after hearing about Ross’s injury. “Do we have any talented prospects to trade for a replacement?” “Skaggs?” “I thought we traded him already… Get Detroit on the line!”
Carl Crawford – Hit off a tee yesterday. He’s been battling nerve irritation. Being ready for Opening Day seems unlikely. Because all of the news about him is regarding his elbow and not his legs, I’d still take a DL-flyer on him, but I’m starting to think we might be lucky to see a 55/8/60/.270/15 season from him.
Brian Wilson – Says he’s about 80% recovered. The beard is always the last thing to fill in.
Joaquin Benoit – I just went over all the closers the other day. As you see there, the Tigers shituation is a mess that has a storm cloud bringing in a full-scale Closepocalypse. The news in all its 3rd-person-ness thinks the Tigers will probably bring in outside help from a FEMA. The Tigers have already scratched Rick Porcello from their short-term plans to be closer. The fact that they were even considering Porcello as the closer says all you need to know. Smile, Tigers, Brian Wilson is available.
Andrew Cashner – Said he should be ready for the start of the season. When a guy is pegged for an over/under of five trips to the DL, he needs to get off the DL as soon as possible to get back on it. Right now in the top 80 starters for 2013 fantasy baseball, I got love for Cashner. That love hasn’t grown with this news. I’m happy for him, I’m gonna send him a card with some pink frilly shizz, but he’s still gonna miss some time during the regular season even if he starts the year on time. In case you’ve forgotten about him, here’s your reminder.
Derek Lowe – The Rangers signed him to be a swingman. Fritz Peterson would be proud. Rangers could give Lowe some starts, depending on how Robbie Ross pans out. I think Ross could do well for AL-Only leagues, at least in the early going. Think April to end of June. Once the weather clams up in Arlington, I don’t want any of their pitchers.
Kyle Lohse – More news about which team is not going to sign Lohse came out yesterday. He’s in this weird inverse news cycle. “Top stories today on Sportscenter are who is Kyle Lohse not going to sign with and what illegal drugs is A-Rod not doing. Later on, we’ll have some fantasy news with our very own, Snafu Larry.”
Aaron Hicks – So far the two most exciting names this spring are playing for the Padres and the Twins. The classically-trained-in-being-lousy Mastroianni can’t get on the field due to a sore left hammy. Meanwhile back at the hidden valley ranch, Hicks is hitting everything he sees, and not in a Brett Myers type way. Our prospect writer, Scott, said of Hicks, “After a rough year in 2011 at High-A, Hicks moved up to Double-A in 2012 and looked like an entirely different player. The 23-year-old hit .286/.384/.460 with 13 homers, and 32 stolen bases at New Britain. Most think that a stint in Triple-A will serve Hicks well (to start 2013), but expect to see him in Minnesota at some point. BTW, am I the only one that has drawn a mustache on my Grey Poupon jar?” Hmm, didn’t remember that last line. Mastroianni should be a bench bat and Hicks should be given a whirl by the Twins. That’s not saying it will definitely happen. I’d put those chances at about 70%. It was less than a 5% chance about a month ago. Hicks has the speed to boost his BABIP, but he’ll need a BABIP north of .350 to hit for a respectable average. He does have some decent power, which will be made lighter by Hubert H. Homerfree Dome. If he gets the job/lead off spot, think 81/8/42/.257/25. For this year, he’s basically a poor man’s Angel Pagan. I will call him On-sale Pagan.
Ryan Madson – Mike Scioscia told Sirius that Madson won’t be ready to go until mid-April. In related news, I told Siri to call my mom and it texted the Israeli consulate that I was waiting outside for them. Now I have the Shin Bet tapping my calls. Ernesto Frieri is the favorite for saves in the interim.
Dylan Bundy – Should be fine to start the year in the minors after feeling a groin issue. Of course, Bundy’s gonna feel that, he sits on the couch all day with his hand down his pants.