With pitchers and catchers reporting to camp, spring training is officially underway. As you prepare for your fantasy baseball draft, it is imperative that you closely monitor the status of players who are coming back from injuries. Fortunately, it looks as if J.D. Drew is going to retire from baseball which should save all fantasy baseball writers several hours of their lives from writing about his frequent and bizarre injuries. Hopefully he doesn’t strain his larynx when he officially makes an announcement. That being said, here is a look at some players dealing with injuries and recoveries.
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1. Ike Davis (1B-NYM). After suffering what looked like a freak injury in a collision with teammate David Wright, Mets prospect Ike Davis is hoping to pick up where he left off after only 36 games in 2011. Davis is not reporting any lingering pain in his ankle. However, he did have to go back to New York for some additional tests because of a lung infection. It is not believed to be anything serious and he is expected back in Mets camp by the end of the week. Davis has produced solid power numbers in his young career and could be a sleeper because he has fallen off people’s radar.
2. Tommy Hanson (SP-ATL). After struggling for most of 2011 and suffering from a shoulder injury, Tommy Hanson was anxious to get to Braves camp to start working on a better 2012. He may have been too anxious as he blew a tire out and got into a car accident on the way. Reports are that Hanson suffered a minor concussion and has been shut down for a few days. There is no cause for concern as he should be fine. But it still must be watched closely how well he can come back from his shoulder woes and fulfill his potential. His value is not what it was at this point last year, so he should slip in most drafts. He is worth taking a chance on.
3. Jake Peavy (SP-CHW). If you are looking for a definition of “red flag” then you just need to do a Google search for Jake Peavy. The former Cy Young award winner has openly admitted that he is “as 100% as he can be.” This does not bode well for a pitcher who has not made more than 30 starts in a season since 2007. Peavy has suffered from numerous injuries and has lofty goals heading into this season. But those lofty goals may be delusions of grandeur. He is worth a look in the late rounds of a draft or for a couple auction bucks at most.
4. Joba Chamberlain (RP-NYY). Once viewed as the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera, Joba Chamberlain has fallen on hard times over the past few seasons. It is not entirely his fault as the Yankees have completely mismanaged his career thus far. Whether that had anything to do with it is unknown, but Chamberlain underwent Tommy John surgery last summer and is ahead of pace to make his return this season. He likely won’t be back until at least June because the Yankees won’t want to rush him. But when he does come back, he will slide right into the 6th-7th inning part of the Yankees bullpen. He could be valuable in terms of getting some vulture wins and having a low WHIP and ERA.
5. Brian Roberts (2B-BAL). Once regarded as a top fantasy option at second base, Brian Roberts has missed significant time over the past few years with concussions and other assorted injuries. After only playing in 39 games in 2011, he is hoping to regain his health and his timing in 2012. Reports out of Orioles camp are that Roberts is hitting off a tee from both sides of the plate and participating in long toss drills. It is not known whether he will be ready by Opening Day. If he doesn’t miss much time and can stay healthy, Roberts can still be a solid fantasy contributor with his speed and deceiving power. But do not spend an early round pick on him.
Michael A. Stein is the owner and Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment. Follow him on Twitter @FantasyJudgment.
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