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Expectations are a b - - - h. That's the simple, yet straight forward truth that we all face on a daily basis. For three youngsters in particular – Cole, Cingrani & Myers – expectations have reached a fever pitch (I'm not even going to waste my time talking about Yasiel Puig since people are trading him straight up for Prince Fielder and claiming he is the next Willie Mays. I've seen a lot of crazy rookie love in my more than a decade covering fantasy sports full time, but I don't ever recall seeing a bigger blitz to add a player than the hype surrounding Puig, and that includes Mike Trout last year just to be it in comparison). Can any of this trio possibly live up to expectations in 2013? I think you know the answer to that, or you should at least. The answer is likely no, because even if they perform like some solid veterans I'm going to compare them to, I bet those that add the young guns would be disappointed if that's all they got as a return on their rookie investment.
Every year we get the rush of people who, acting like it's a holiday sale at Walmart, aren't afraid to run over their competitor to add the hot new toy to their basket (in this case we're talking hot shot youngster to their fantasy team). Believe me I understand the temptation. Just look at what guys like Trout and Harper did last season. But for every successful rookie standout there are tons of youngsters who fail to live up to the overblown expectations of many in the fantasy game. I'll try to lend some sanity here. I'll then touch on some of the news of the day including will Manny Ramirez play in 2013? Is Joe Saunders a reliable innings eater? What were the Phillies thinking signing an unreliable veteran righty? Is Mike Napoli every going to sign with the Red Sox? Is Jose Valverde's career as a closer over even though he had 35 saves last year?
Just a quick rundown today, folks. Lots of great ball played on Monday and who doesn’t love a full slate of games on what is normally considered a day of rest for the sport? But while the games were great and there was a bit of action to be had all over the place, no one really stood out as head and shoulders above the rest. Sure, there were some great pitching performances and obviously there were a handful of hitters that did their fantasy owners right, but for me, no one worthy of that coveted Beast tag today. What can you do? It happens. Doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to see though…
Patience, people….patience. I know the debuts of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper were supposed to be these huge, breakout extravaganzas, but remember, it’s just one game. One game of a remaining 140-ish on the schedule. We talk about things like sample size all the time and constantly use the cliché, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” so really, in essence, the initial debut games of Trout and Harper mean very little in the grand scheme of things. Each player has a very long way to go and one game just isn’t going to cut it for an evaluation, let alone talk of what either may be worth in your fantasy league. Sometimes you just have to sit back and watch and just enjoy the game for what it is…a game.
I hate using that “any given Sunday” cliché here, but if there’s one thing you can take away from Philip Humber throwing the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history, it’s just that. Anyone, anywhere, anytime….so long as the stars are aligned, I suppose. I mean, how else do you explain a 29-year old journeyman who is on his fourth team in five years and whose biggest claim to fame is that he was one of the prospects the Mets traded to Minnesota in the Johan Santana deal achieving one of the most difficult feats in the game? Even if you were going to turn around and try to trivialize the moment and speak of the ineptitude of the Mariners’ offense and the fact that none of them are batting over .300, your argument still wouldn’t hold water. The moment is too tough to achieve and guys like Ichiro Suzuki, Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley are still too good a group of hitters.
The calendar changes again as we enter June and fantasy baseball is in full swing. It is prospect season now as many of the minors' best will be discussed in front offices as teams decide whether or not to bring their players up. You will likely see many over the next week or so, including Brett Lawrie even though he is resting a few days after being hit on the hand. You will likely really have to make some tough choices with these kids coming up as you can't have all of them so you have to hedge your bets on which one or two might be able to help your team. But there is plenty of other news and games happening each and every day so never miss a night of Rounding The Bases.