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So I’m a little late on posting some highlights from Sunday’s games, but with the limited game slate not starting until 7 PM (eastern) here on Monday, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it just might be beneficial right now as there’s a bit of Monday morning news that might be worthwhile for you as you’re still able to make lineup changes and roster moves in most leagues. If your waiver period has ended, well, maybe there’s some food for thought here for next week. In the meantime, let’s just touch on a few things you’ll need to know moving forward.
The fine fantasy action was as abundant on Friday as the night was long and arduous. The Giants and Cardinals were postponed due to tornado warnings in the St. Louis area, the Rays and Indians were delayed by rain for nearly five hours and the Blue Jays and Padres played til the wee hours of the night/morning to finish off a 17-inning extravaganza. We saw old-timers shine, young bucks play like seasoned veterans and we saw some early season strugglers finally emerge from their statistical cocoon. While it wasn’t the offensive fiesta we saw just a couple of nights ago, this one was still jam-packed with plenty of excitement that had fantasy owners on the edge of their seats.
For those of you who didn't hear, I was hospitalized for three days with a hideous case of the flu (throwing up 20 times, and I'm not exaggerating for effect, ain't fun). I'm back at it today, at least I'm trying to be. Fantasy Alarm pays me to be witty and informative. I will not be witty today, so let's hope I will be informative. With this being the first day of May, the season is unofficially a sixth over, let's look back on a handful of players who excelled in April or those who were unable to get things on track. Again, nothing witty, but hopefully there will be some things in here that are at least informative.
Now I don’t want to get all religious on you here, but as I look at one of my teams sitting at the very bottom of the standings in one league, I am reminded of a very important biblical quote that you should always pay very close attention to, especially if you’re dealing with a certain amount of fantasy frustration. “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.” You know how some coaches have inspirational quotes hanging in their offices? Well, this one is hanging in mine and it is specifically directed towards the sharks in every league who think they smell blood in the water just one week into the season. Three guys hurt on my roster isn’t exactly chum, but there they are, circling and ready to strike.
With your draft looming and barely three weeks to go before the season opens, studying up on all of the open position battles is key to your draft prep. Obviously you want the best at every position, but since you know that’s a pipe dream, unless of course you’re in a league of idiots, you have to know where to tighten up your budget. But if you are following the spring action and know who is likely to win a job outright, perhaps you can come in with a late, sneaky pick and still manage a quality pick at a particular position. Here’s a look at some of the bigger position battles we’re seeing this spring. Some should be settled sooner than others while you might see one or two linger into the season. But here’s a look and my take…
The Diamondbacks had a blue chip outfielder in Justin Upton. For some reason I've yet to be able to fathom, they were unhappy with that situation. Finally, after doing the old do-se-do for about 12 months (that's a fancy country dance move folks), the D'backs sent Justin Upton, their best and brightest player, out of town to Atlanta where he will be reunited with his older brother, B.J. Upton, to form a potentially dominating duo in the outfield. The main piece the D'backs got back in return was Martin Prado, but they also added a whole host of other youngsters in the deal including Randall Delgado. How does this deal effect the fantasy value for the main players involved? So glad you asked.
While perhaps the story of the day should be how Bartolo Colon hasn’t allowed a run in 20.2 innings, dating back to July 22, center stage again belongs to everyone’s favorite rookie, Mike Trout. Turns out that when Trout homered off of A’s reliever Travis Blackley, he became the youngest player in MLB history to hit 20 home runs and steal 30 bases in a single season. Even better is that he did it on his 21st birthday! That’s right, for the first time in his fledgling career, Trout could actually celebrate one of these milestones with a legal alcoholic beverage. No more getting drenched with non-alcoholic sparkling cider, no more guys buying him root beers and Diet Cokes after the game. When they say it’s Miller time, it’s actually Miller time.
The final weekend before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline finished with a fizzle on Sunday in comparison to the way it began. No big names on the move, no crazy player packages being put together; just a couple of minor tweak deals. Obviously there’s still another two full days (ok, maybe just a day and a half) to go and a few key names being bandied about right now, but all still in the rumor stage and nothing actually happening. Is it the calm before the storm or have we seen the bulk of the action already? We’ll just have to wait and see. For now, though, let’s look at the deals that went down yesterday.
Ever wonder where the Angels would have been had Mike Trout not been called up to save the day? Angels fans shudder to think about it and fantasy owners of Trout want little to do with a baseball world that doesn’t include the 20-year old center fielder. With his incredibly humble, team-first attitude and his .355-64-13-44-30 batting line, Trout has injected new life into this game that simply gets everyone excited about the game.
As if there was any doubt as to who was going to eventually win this little war between Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine and longtime third baseman Kevin Youkilis, the brewing kettle finally game to a boil on Sunday and Youkilis found himself with a one-way ticket to Chicago. In exchange for RHP Zach Stewart and utility-man Brent Lillibridge, Boston sent Youk and about $5.5M in cash to the AL Central-leading White Sox in a deal that actually works out for everyone. And by everyone, I mean everyone, including the fantasy world. OK, maybe not the guys that own Orlando Hudson, but both of them are probably in last anyway and stopped paying attention to their teams weeks ago. But as far as everyone else in the baseball world goes, this trade was win-win-win.