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While the month of April gets ready to wrap, fantasy owners should realize that there is still plenty of work to do to get their teams ready for a long and arduous season. The offseason prep work, the draft, and the early-season waiver hunting may be your foundation, but now you have a five-month long process of taking that foundation and building it into a championship. You now have to keep an astute eye on the waiver wire, explore some possible trades that will help your team in the long run, track injuries, and most of all, pay close attention to the daily happenings around MLB. You’ve got full slates of games five days a week with shorties on Mondays and Thursdays. So much can happen over the course of just one day that missing even just one could be the difference between finishing in the money and standing on the outside looking in. Maybe it sounds silly and a bit over-dramatic to some, but just look at yesterday’s action and the potential fantasy impact…
I wanted to sit down tonight and finally write about some fantasy baseball for the first time in far too long. Since our show, The Fantasy Alarm Show has gone to five and sometimes six days a week it has gotten hard to encapsulate any additional thoughts into text. But alas I have a belly full of some weird Mike’s Hard Mango Punch crap that my wife stocked the refrigerator with (it’s just so yellow and yummy looking!) so here comes two weeks work of fantasy baseball angst.
So it’s like that again, huh? Just the third day of the 2013 MLB season and we’re already staring at a perfect game? Well…..almost. Pretty damn close as Yu Darvish manhandled the Astros lineup and came just one out away from throwing baseball’s 24th perfect game and fourth in less than a full calendar year.
We'll take a look at five pitchers who toed the rubber on Monday. What is the outlook of this five-some – Bedard, Cain, Capuano, Diamond and Tillman – the rest of the way? We'll then touch on two bullpen arms that are dominating – Street and Betancourt – before detailing a couple of other arms that are headed in opposite directions (Colon and Wilson). Don't worry fans of offense, we've also got a breakdown of Cespedes, LaHair and Rutledge for you.
With little or no news coming in from the waiver circuit and even less getting churned out of the MLB rumor mill, it looks like we can just focus on the games now – which is actually a good thing. Sometimes we get so caught up in who’s moving where and which teams are buyers and which are sellers, that we tend to lose a little focus on our own personal team needs. With less than two months to go, it’s more important now than ever to either solidify your place at the top of the standings or figure out your best course of action to get there. In the meantime, we’re going to get to the highlights as Saturday had some outstanding performances.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is how the old adage goes, and it couldn’t be any more perfect a phrase when discussing the trade of Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox just a few short weeks ago. Bobby Valentine may have won the Battle of Beantown, but it is the White Sox who have won the war and it is Youkilis who is enjoying the last laugh here. As the Red Sox try to fight their way out of last place and a 9 ½ game deficit in the AL East, the White Sox are sitting atop the AL Central, 3 ½ games ahead of heavily favored Detroit, and Youkilis has played a tremendous role in the process.
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.
Adam Jones has been an outright star over the first third of the 2012 season. What are the odds that he continues his assault on opposing pitchers? This is also a big week to ten days for some pretty important outfield pieces who are trying to work their way back from injury. You want power? We've got Yoenis Cespedes closing in on a return, and Michael Morse isn't likely to be too far behind. Need some speed? Cameron Maybin hopes to return this week. What about a combo player who helps with his bat and wheels? For those of you interested in that Desmond Jennings has been cleared to ramp up his activity. Today, in Round the Bases, it's a smorgasbord of outfielders for your perusal.
And here we are at another Sunday morning. Time to look at the news and highlights from Saturday and start thinking about that lineup for next week, including Sunday FAAB claims that likely have to be in at some point today. We’ve got plenty of stuff to cover here, so rather than juts harp on one topic in particular, we’re going to run through yesterday in more of a “stream of consciousness” here and cover as much as we can. There are highlights, lowlights, jobs changing hands and of course, a few key injuries we’re going to have deal with. So let’s get to it…