2014 Fantasy Baseball Position Battles -- Annoying Indecision
A look at some of the 2014 spring position battles still yet to be decided
George is getting angry!
With just two days before the season truly gets underway, there’s nothing that pisses me off more than a manager who can’t make a simple decision. You’ve got two or three guys vying for a position and you’ve watched them all spring. How hard could it be?
What? It’s not so simple? Come on. We’ve all seen them play. We’ve read the scouting reports. We know what the projections/expectations are. Who are you kidding? Make a decision and stick with it. If it doesn’t work then make the change early on in the season, but for crying out loud, guys, sh*t or get off the pot. Fantasy owners gotta make some moves here.
Here’s a look at some of the more annoying position battles that have yet to be decided. Keep in mind, I’m not going over fifth starter spots in rotations as a number of the “winners” won’t last past April. Between guys coming back from injuries and just the revolving door that pitching staffs can have, it’s hard to see many of these guys lasting. Not to mention, most of them have no business being on your fantasy team unless you play in some uber-deep league filled with baseball nerds nerdier than me. Let’s just stick to the main road here, shall we?
Arizona Diamondbacks SS
This one just kills me. I want to take Gibby and slap him upside the head here. What is so hard about this? Chris Owings had a solid spring and batted .286 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBI over 49 at-bats. He had three walks, struck out six times, and his defense was solid. Then in Australia he goes 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts. Considering his three unsuccessful at-bats came against Clayton Kershaw, I think we can forgive him. Meanwhile Didi Gregorius couldn’t hit his way out of a paper bag all spring, batting just .195, and has never projected to be even a yeoman with the stick. He’s all glove and really hasn’t done anything this spring or in the second Australia game to warrant his holding of the job. And don’t start with me about Cliff Pennington, because any fool knows that he’s nothing more than back-up material. I’m not sure what Gibby is really looking for here, but in deeper leagues, I’m taking Owings because, in the end, he’ll easily out-perform his competition.
Baltimore Orioles 2B
Come on, Buck! Let the kid play, dammit. He’s earned it, you know. Sadly, my words fall on deaf ears and Jonathan Schoop will not be the starting second baseman. At least not yet. Despite a .385 spring with two home runs, eight RBI and strong work at the keystone, Showalter is heading into the season with a platoon between Schoop and Steve Lombardozzi who, for the record, has always been a utility player and frankly, he’s sucked at the plate all spring long. If you just traded Alex Gonzalez, a guy who had zero hope of cracking this roster, and all you got in return was Lombardozzi, then how does he earn a platoon spot at second? Not to mention, Buck’s going to use Schoop at third too? Sure, multi-position eligibility is great, but what are you doing to the kid’s development? It’s simple – Ryan Flaherty covers third while Manny Machado is out, Schoop handles second and when Machado comes back, if Schoop isn’t hitting then move Flaherty back to second. If he is, then Flaherty stays a utility guy and Lombardozzi becomes depth at the minor league level. What’s so freakin’ hard about that?
Chicago White Sox Closer
Robin. Robin. You’re killing me, Robin. Killing me. Nate Jones is your closer. I know it. The fantasy community knows it. Even the drunkest of South Siders ready to hop the wall to throw an umpire a beat-down knows it. So why don’t you? Why not Nate Jones? Why this stupid committee? He’s a ground ball pitcher with double-digit K/9 potential and he’s out-pitched every one of the rest of the guys you’re considering this spring. How many times do we need to see Matt Lindstrom fail? Daniel Webb, I could understand if he had a better track record, but just 38.2 innings above the Double-A level doesn’t excite me for a ninth-inning specialist. Javy Guerra could barely hold the job in L.A. even when Kenley Jansen was doing his Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz impression and Ronald Belisario? Come on. Ground balls galore but he’s ROOGY material, at best. Perhaps Ventura doesn’t want to just hand the rookie the job just as they did with Addison Reed, but you’re not doing anything for his confidence by telling him that he’s got to share the job with a bunch of tomato cans after rightfully earning it. Besides, with Reed they went through how many failures before finally giving him the job? Save us all some time and aggravation and just give it to Jones already!
Milwaukee Brewers 2B
So here’s one that I’m not that annoyed with because, in truth, I couldn’t care less. Rickie Weeks lost the job last year because of repeated ineptitude at the plate as well as a worse glove than Scooter Gennett, but has somehow played his way back into manager Ron Roenicke’s heart. Obviously it helps when your competition [Gennett] has the batting skills of a four-year old playing tee-ball, but it’s difficult to imagine that Weeks will go back to where he was in 2012. But even if he does, the plan was to sacrifice a bit of offense to have better defense up the middle, so what changed? A 31-year-old Weeks didn’t suddenly become more spry in the field and add to his range did he? If Roenicke is worried about scoring runs then fine, make the decision to go with Weeks, We don’t need a platoon here. Well, what am I saying with this ‘we’ stuff? I wouldn’t roster either guy on even my worst fantasy team.
New York Mets 1B
Really? We have to continue to endure this colossal battle between Ike Davis and Lucas Duda? Ugh. Can’t we just accept a lesser of two evils and just go with Davis for having a better spring? The outfield is crowded enough already, so Duda’s flexibility to play both first and right field shouldn’t even factor here. Power-wise they’re probably equal, but Davis has hit nearly 60 points higher. By keeping them both Terry Collins is sacrificing added infield depth because he’s already going with four outfielders in a stupid platoon out there. Do we really need two first basemen? Two lefty first-basemen at that? And do fantasy owners really need a platoon? If Collins is waiting to see which one is swinging the hot bat during the season, he could be waiting an awfully long time. Just pick one, dammit!
And here’s to the biggest, most annoying indecision of them all --- when the #%^! are the Pittsburgh Pirates going to wake up and sign Kendrys Morales? Gaby Sanchez and Travis Ishikawa? You gotta be sh*tting me!