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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…
Wednesday was a pretty big day in the world of baseball – both real and fantasy. You’ve got the news that Michael Pineda has a torn labrum in his shoulder and is headed for season-ending surgery before throwing even one regular season pitch for the New York Yankees. Then there’s Paul Konerko hitting his 400th career home run, a solo shot to tie the game in the top of the ninth inning and force it into extras. Or how about The Kansas City Royals ending their 12-game losing streak with a four-home run assault? And if you stayed up late, then what about Javy Guerra taking a vicious line drive off the face and still staying in the game to finish the innings? Just a day steeped in baseball deliciousness.
While remaining patient in fantasy baseball is one of the most difficult things to do, it is also one of the most critical at this time of year. Sitting back and watching underperforming players is ridiculously frustrating, especially if those that aren’t pulling their weight are the ones you were relying on most, and their lack of production has you sitting, if not all the way at the bottom of your standing, at least real close to it. But as we get set to enter the final week of April, your patience with these players is now more important than ever.
It's been two weeks, but everyone loves to panic. It's in our nature. Something goes wrong, and we immediately start looking for a quick fix (think of all the weight loss pills out there when the best course of action would just be to eat well and exercise). Fantasy baseball is no different and the start to the season has led to a whole lot of consternation over names like Tim Lincecum, Francisco Liriano, Johan Santana and Mark Melancon. I'll address all of those arms. I'll then wrap the piece up by focusing on something near and dear to me – numbers. What numbers have stood out to me in the early going? Read on to find out.
“Wait, wait, wait….whaaaat? What’s today? Easter? Really? Well did they know it was the first weekend of baseball when they made it Easter? Oh, really? It was Easter before it was baseball? Hmmm. Yeah, I don’t know about that, but ok, I guess.”
Vegas may not have been as hopping as we thought it would be (where was everyone?), but that doesn't mean that it wasn't as much fun as I was expecting. I participated in a baseball draft for the FSTA, networked at the conference, and talked shop with some of the best minds in the business. I also got the chance to spend some time with the brain trust of Fantasy Alarm, and without naming names, I can tell you that these are some quality people folks. You are in good hands if you have Fantasy Alarm bookmarked as a daily read. Now that my sucking up is at an end, though let's face it I'm nothing if not someone who understands the value of self promotion passing along accolades when needed, let's get down to the baseball analysis.