July 30, 2021

Clearing The Bases

April 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Pretty big night in the world of sports this Thursday.  We have the NFL draft, which I will be following closely along with two Game 7s in the NHL not to mention a smattering of games in MLB, doesn’t really get much better.  As for fantasy owners I have another Top 9 list for you, players who are ruining your team by being on the disabled list for at least a couple of months.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again, assuming you’re a competent owner, the draft will not win or lose your league for you, it’s staying healthy throughout the year and making the necessary moves that will go a long way towards the success of your team.   This list seems to be highlighted by quite a few closers, just another reason not to overpay for them in your draft.  This list didn’t include the Royals’ Joakim Soria as he wasn’t all that good last season and perhaps we should’ve seen this coming.  Unfortunately for the Red Sox they seem to dominate this list, certainly not the list you want to be on the top of.  Once again these players are in no particular order.  Outside of Pineda I have each one of these players on at least one of my fantasy teams.

  1. Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies:   The Phils finally received some good news on Utley when it was announced that he took batting practice with the team while they were in Arizona this week, but the pain in his knee still persists whenever he is in the field.  That’s a problem when you play in the National League (no DH).  Utley missed 59 games last season so no one was expecting a full slate of games from him this season, but still, even if he only managed to play 120+ games, 15 HRs and 15 SBs would make him a valuable asset as second base.  His teammate Ryan Howard could also be on this list, but we seemed to know before the draft that he was going to be out quite a while, possibly till June or even the All-Star Break.  Howard has yet to begin baseball activities and looks like he won’t be coming back anytime soon.  He could be a cheap source of HRs when he does make his return.


  1. Michael Morse, Washington Nationals:  Morse burst onto the scene in a big way last season with 31 HR, 95 RBI, .303 AVG, and a .910 OPS, those numbers seemed to be ingrained in every fantasy owners cheat sheet as he kept getting higher and higher on those lists.  Problem was he suffered a lat injury in spring training that was supposed to cost him the first week or two of the season, but a setback now has his return sometime in late May or early June.  His fantasy owners couldn’t realistically expect his average to remain as high, but the power was legit and will be missed.


  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox:  One of the true five category players in fantasy suffered yet another freak injury when Rays shortstop Reid Brignac fell on him while trying to complete a double play.  Ellsbury suffered a shoulder separation that has him out until June at the earliest.  Devastating news for his owners as he was a no worse than an early 2nd round pick in most leagues.  Ellsbury did get off to a slow start this season and one has to wonder how long it might take him to get into the swing of things when/if he returns to action.  There is always a chance that Ellsbury will need surgery, that would end his season.


  1. Ryan Madson, Cincinnati Reds:  Another closer that bit the dust before the season began.  Madson didn’t do himself any favors either by signing a one-year contract with Cincinnati, wanting to have a great year before signing a big deal next off-season.  Oh well, so much for the best laid plans.


  1. Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals:  Carpenter had had the “injury prone” label attached to him in the past, but he has also made 97 starts in the last three season’s thus seeming to shed that label.  Well it’s come back in a big way this season as Carp has been out all season with shoulder weakness that seems to be related to a neck injury suffered early in spring training.  What is even more concerning to fantasy owners is that there doesn’t seem to be any hard timetable as to when he might return, seems no one including the Cardinals really know.


  1. Carl Crawford, Boston Red Sox:  The Red Sox have quite a few bad contracts on their roster (John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka) but Crawfords may be the worst.  He signed for seven years and $142 million last season as Boston thought they had their leadoff hitter and leftfielder set for the rest of the decade.  Well, not so much.  Crawford was terrible his first season in Boston batting in the bottom third of the lineup most of the time.  For those who thought he would improve in his second season with the team, he has yet to take the field after undergoing wrist surgery late in the off-season and suffering an elbow injury after that.  The elbow injury is of major concern now as he will see Dr. James Andrews later this week to get a diagnosis.  The elbow only hurts when he throws, not good, especially when you can’t put him at DH with David Ortiz entrenched there.  Seeing Dr. Andrews is rarely good news, we all seem to be bracing for the worst.


  1. Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants:  Yet another closer who will miss the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.  Like Soria, this should not come as a shock after seeing Wilson miss time last season due to arm problems, seems one leads to the other.


  1. Michael Pineda, New York Yankees:  Devastating news for the Yankees yesterday when it was discovered the Pineda has a torn labrum and will miss the entire season.  The Yanks were hoping Pineda could be that hard throwing number two starter for them, something they haven’t had in quite a long time and were willing to deal prized prospect Jesus Montero for him.  Not really working out now is it.  Hard to blame GM Brian Cashman for the deal as most thought the Yanks did quite well in the trade, but once again perhaps we should’ve seen this coming after seeing his velocity and results drop in the second half of last season.  The Yankees did their due diligence before the trade so it’s unlikely they missed a major injury there, but probably an underlying cause, of course Pineda showing up 20 pounds overweight to training camp didn’t help any either.


  1. Andrew Bailey, Boston Red Sox:  Perhaps the biggest of the closer injuries for what it has done to the team.  Bailey has always been injury prone so a freak thumb injury suffered in camp shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the domino effect it had on the bullpen should.  Mark Melancon who was a part-time closer for Houston was so terrible early on this season that he was sent to AAA.  Alfredo Aceves hasn’t been much better and has fans and the media clamoring for the team to put Daniel Bard back in the bullpen.  It’s a mess in beantown.


Remember, you can ask me any fantasy questions you like on Twitter, @GeorgeKurtz

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