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While Sunday is normally a day of rest for most, we fantasy baseball players need to be at our sharpest. The week is wrapping up and the waiver wire is a hotbed of action. We have to go through each team, check playing time situations, pore over injury reports, and see who’s hot and whose cold spell is pushing them closer and closer to bench time. From there, it’s checking next week’s match-ups and, for those in leagues with weekly moves, it’s all about planning the course of attack for the next six or seven days. We’re only two months in and this type of due diligence needs to be followed each and every week. It’s the dedicated ones who rise to the challenge while the casual fan whose interest drifts in and out starts to suffer.
Every time we look up it seems like another player is hurt. Some of the players you could care less about, I didn't see anyone shed a tear when the Cubs announced that Ian Stewart's quad injury would cause him to miss Opening Day, but when the Dodgers started to tell us what the deal was with Zack Greinke's elbow, the Twitterverse went into a tizzy (Greinke might only misss one start from the sound of things). And that got me to thinking. I haven't written an article this year that deals directly with injured players and how we should treat those players in the fantasy game. Every player is different, some injuries are minor others major, but if we have a defined time-line for a return from injury, let's say 4-6 weeks as is the case with Chase Headley who we will discuss, what does that do to the value of the player in the fantasy game? If you've ever wondered how to think about injured players when trying to put together your fantasy squad, then this is the article for you.
Adrian Beltre is being taken in the top-25 overall this season in fantasy baseball drafts. To me, that's crazy early. I'll explain why Beltre has more in common with Troy Tulowitzki than you think and why that should cause you some pause. In the outfield Lance Berkman is already dealing with a gimpy wheel while Corey Hart might return from his knee issue much sooner than anyone thought he would. Nolan Reimold is another outfielder looking to return from a significant injury. If he's healthy, he could have a significant role with the Orioles. Finally, Denard Span is going back to his old batting stance in the hope that it will enable him to recapture his previous success. On the hill Clay Buchholz says his hamstring is fine, Ted Lilly's shoulder is coming along and Brandon McCarthy says it's all systems go with his health.
The Diamondbacks had a blue chip outfielder in Justin Upton. For some reason I've yet to be able to fathom, they were unhappy with that situation. Finally, after doing the old do-se-do for about 12 months (that's a fancy country dance move folks), the D'backs sent Justin Upton, their best and brightest player, out of town to Atlanta where he will be reunited with his older brother, B.J. Upton, to form a potentially dominating duo in the outfield. The main piece the D'backs got back in return was Martin Prado, but they also added a whole host of other youngsters in the deal including Randall Delgado. How does this deal effect the fantasy value for the main players involved? So glad you asked.
Jim Thome may not have a lick of fantasy value left in him these days, but the guy can still make headlines, can’t he? And the best part about it is that, unlike so many other things going in the sports world these days, it’s for something positive. How sick and tired are you of hearing about this Jerry Sandusky crap? How about some more Roger Clemens steroids articles? So when Thome set the record for most walk-off home runs by a single player, I was genuinely excited for him. The stuff about Jonathan Papelbon blowing the save and then offering Thome $5K to win it for the Phillies was cute and all, but to me, that was much more secondary to watching a guy who, at the age of 41, can still bring the lumber.
To a certain extent, every player is an injury risk. They are grown men, playing a game, throwing their bodies around with reckless abandonment. They get hurt. That’s just fact. But obviously, there are some that are riskier than others and for all intents and purposes; Josh Hamilton is the riskiest of them all.
With some of the pitching performances we’ve seen over the past week – Matt Cain’s perfect game, R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball madness, and Ryan Dempster’s 15 straight shutout innings just to name a few, fantasy owners tend to get lulled into a false sense of security. Just when everything seems to be going your way and your pitching staff looks invincible…BAM!!!! The injury bug swoops on in and takes a huge bite out of your rotation’s proverbial ass.
We have entered the final month of the season boys and girls and we are heading down the home stretch. It seems like with all of the minor league callups this season, the date of September 1st didn't mean as much this year. However, we will talk about the one big prospect that was called along with what we think he can bring you in the last weeks of the year. There is also news on two of his injured teammates, a rehabbing pitcher across town, and a catcher in Bean Town. I give you which major leaguer is the most proned to craziness, and a starting pitcher that I love for 2012. Don't lose focus now with football starting, stay right here with Rounding The Bases.
Happy Saturday everybody, time to sit down and take in another day in fantasy baseball as the standings are likely starting to show the cream of the crop by now. Tonight we have the first talk about the last great prospect in the minor leagues, and a post hype prospect who is trying to stay healthy and figure things out. We have good news on a scary situation in Colorado, and bad news on one of 2011's biggest surprises on the mound. I also give you a couple of sleeper names for pitchers next season, a young man who made his major league debut, and another pitcher who made his debut for his new team. One more day in the fantasy baseball week, and now is a great time to make the appropriate moves to try to steal this week's matchup from your opponent. So sit back, relax, pop a cold one, and enjoy Rounding The Bas
It is the Fourth of July and I hope that all of you have enjoyed the celebrations of the day with many drinks, lots of meats on the grill, and if the weather was nice where you are, some basking in the sunshine. Fantasy baseball was still in full swing today though and there is plenty ot cover. A lot of the news has to do with starting pitching, where there are some I trust, some I don't, and some I am unsure of yet. We have a minor league prospect who is back in the majors, a zoo animal who seems to be on the road to a big second half, and a recently called up prospect who is tearing things up. If you haven't had too many drinks today, enjoy Rounding The Bases.